In accordance to Google’s new treatment of the nofollow link attribute, the robots meta tag is going to be treated as a hint, Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes tweeted on September 11.

 “There’s no meta robots ugc and sponsored, it won’t do anything if you add that,” Illyes also stated in his tweet. 

A number of SEOs question why they should adopt the ugc and sponsored link attributes. Both Illyes and Danny Sullivan reiterated that they only serve to help Google understand the web better and enable webmasters classify the nature of their links. The nuances Google looks at netween the nofollowugc and sponsored attributes won’t have an impact on your own site, and implementing the new attributes is completely voluntary.

Whats the difference between noindex and nofollow?

“The robots meta tag remains the same as before, noindex affects the page, nofollow affects the links on the page. It’s just that nofollow on the links is now different,” Google’s John Mueller added for further clarification.

Regardless of if you’re using it as a link attribute or within meta robots, Google will look at nofollow as a “hint” about the context of the link and not as a directive to ignore the link altogether. In a majority of cases, Google says that nofollow links is going to be treated as they always have and won’t pass link equity. But, it will collect the data within the links and, in some cases, those signals may impact rankings.

SourceGeorge Nguyen