To understand exactly the value of the links placed within a website, Google has introduced some attributes assigned to the HTML tag: these are the nofollow, sponsored, and UGC attributes.
All three of these attributes apply to outgoing links from your site and indicate what the relationship ( rel is the attribute name) is between the page and the resource being linked. So, you don’t need to use them if you want to link to an internal page.
When to use dofollow links
First, let’s clarify when you don’t need to enter any attributes.
If you are citing a very authoritative source, which can be from Wikipedia to a prestigious online dictionary, you can easily use a dofollow link.
This type of link is the default does not contain attributes and is created automatically by WordPress when you insert a link in a page or post.
WordPress does not automatically add nofollow, sponsored, and UGC attributes, although some plugins may do so.
Try inserting any link into your content, and then turn on the Edit as HTML option in the block editor, or go to the Text tab of the Classic Editor.
You will see the HTML code of your page and you will see that the link will simply consist of the tag with the href attribute inside it, which indicates the URL that will be opened on click.
Noopener and noreferrer
You may find the rel = ”noopener noreferrer” attribute, which WordPress generates automatically.
Noopener is for security purposes and is applied to links that open in a new tab.
Instead, Noreferrer will prevent the destination site from finding out where the visit is coming from.
I’ll explain better the function of noreferrer . Have you ever explored Google Analytics and consulted the Acquisition> All Traffic> Channels report? Here you will find data relating to the origin of visits to your site.
Under Referrals, there will be the domains from which the visitors came. This will allow you to keep track of which backlinks bring you the most traffic.
However, if the link to your site contains the noreferrer attribute, then this data will not be collected, the visit will end up in the Direct section of this report and therefore will be counted as a direct visit.
So, this is the typical scenario that you can find in any link placed on a WordPress site.
When to use the nofollow link
Now let’s find out when we need to use the nofollow, sponsored, and UGC attributes.
Let’s start with nofollow .
The nofollow attribute indicates that you are citing an external resource, but you don’t want it to receive value, you don’t allow link juice to pass.
When, for example, you want to mention a site on which a scam has occurred, you will necessarily insert the nofollow link. If, on the other hand, you are simply not sure of the authority of that site, you can take cover by using this attribute.
There are very few websites that “deserve” the dofollow link, such as the aforementioned Wikipedia, very prestigious online dictionaries, but also government websites …
The introduction of the sponsored and UGC attributes
Google realized that nofollow links were too general and too numerous. For this reason, it has decided to introduce new attributes that allow us to further distinguish the type of relationship that exists between the pages and the resource being linked.
Let’s see when it is necessary to use the sponsored and UGC attributes.
When to use the sponsored attribute
The sponsored attribute can be used when referring to:
- sponsored content
In summary, all those cases in which you can earn a commission thanks to that link.
Especially if you make recurring use of links of this type, for example, you have an affiliation with Amazon and in your content, you often suggest products that can be purchased on this platform, you will have to use the sponsored attribute.
If you still have a travel blog, and you have added a Booking.com banner in your sidebar, also in this case you will need to use sponsored links.
When to use the UGC attribute
The UGC attribute is used to mark links that are posted by users who leave comments.
UGC, in fact, stands for User Generated Content, “ User Generated Content ”, and warns Google that that link has not been added by the author of the site, but by a visitor.
It will therefore give different importance to these links than those you have inserted in your content.
Here is the Google table that explains how to use these attributes.
How to insert nofollow, sponsored, and ugc links
There are various methods to insert this type of link and the various plugins that in the past were used to automatically insert the nofollow attribute have almost all adapted to the new Google rules.
Rank Math also allows you to activate the option to enter nofollow and sponsored .
You can still choose any plugin to apply these attributes, but always remember to choose plugins with at least 10,000 installs, highly rated by users and updated no more than six months ago.
If you prefer to work in code instead, just go to the HTML edit of your page or article and add rel = ”nofollow” , rel = ”sponsored” or rel = ”ugc” to your link. You can also enter multiple attributes for the same link by separating them with space. Here are some examples:
|< a href===https://www.webaudittool.com </a> Web Audit Tool </a>|
|< a href===https://www.Seotoolsnet.com </a> Free SEO Tools </a>|
In the last example, as you can see, I also added the target = “_ blank” attribute, which is used to open the link in a new browser tab, and I inserted two attributes, noopener, and nofollow.
Now all you have to do is apply these rules to the links on your website. I understand that correcting all the links on your site can be a huge undertaking, so I suggest you go in search of some good plugins that can simplify your work.