An official statement (in quotes below) was made by Google in September 2019 on Nofollow links, saying that they would take those links as a hint along with some factors (to rank websites).
“When Nofollow was introduced, Google would not count any link marked this way as a signal to use within our search algorithms. This has now changed.
All the link attributes — sponsored, UGC and Nofollow — are treated as hints about which links to consider or exclude within Search.
We’ll use these hints — along with other signals — as a way to better understand how to appropriately analyze and use links within our systems.”
Now that update is in full swing affecting crawling and indexing of websites based on those hints.
What are Nofollow Links?
A Nofollow link is the one with an HTML attribute that tells Google about its untrustworthiness. Until now, it ignored user-generated content, advertising and other such links without considering their merit.
The Big Daddy’s declaration may now give some value and authority (juice) to the anchored text (keyword) displayed on Nofollow links.
What is the SEO World Saying?
SEO people are both positive and opposite on this hint. One says there is no reason to add links, while another says that the unfair situation of websites automatically placing Nofollow attributes on all connections may be over.
What Google Replies?
Danny Sullivan, Google’s Public Liaison of Search on his reply, said that Google does not force anyone to use Nofollow attributes. See his tweet for details.
The two Nofollow link attributes have one indicating user-generated content (UGC) with the other showing sponsored content.
User-generated content shares some knowledge to the ongoing conversation and related while the sponsored links convey a message about the commercial aspect.
Based on his reply, it is clear that only the UGC content will help in ranking.
What’s the reason to trust Nofollow UGC Links?
UGC content, as told above, adds value to something. It increases their worth. It comes in explanatory paragraphs, numbers, arts, graphs, etc. For example, if one has written on any topic and has a link attached to complete the information, then the purpose gets accomplished. Simple.
Where to find UGC content?
Forums have an unlimited amount of information coming from real users all around the world. People share experiences concerning their life, product use, bits of advice and other forms of answers. Newbie’s can find and learn lot from here.
A blog is a way to express a topic with detailed analysis. There is no limit to your blog. Write in as many words and show as many relevant links to prove how helpful the blog is to everyone.
Wikipedia is a neutral source to find information on the basics and the advanced. The information displayed here is thoroughly edited and put through. Anyone can make a free account and write content and connect links to the page, only if it is valuable. They have spam detecting bots that straight away deletes/remove the irrelevant material.
SEO is sure to impact from this as to how far people treated the Nofollow links and how they will consider it. The change is an opportunity that may also deliver more spam. But it depends only on you to make the most out of it.