A lot has changed at Google in 2019, and this has big consequences for everything and everyone involved in link building. That's why in this article we take a look at this year and see what this year can mean for us when it comes to linkbuilding.
New 'no follow' rules
On 10 September 2019 Google changed the 'no follow' rules. From now on there are two new possibilities to mark a link. A sponsored link gets a 'sponsored' tag and user generated content gets the tag 'ugc'. This can have major consequences. Many platforms will attach the new tags to their links, and also change historical links. Does this cause those historical links to lose value, or do they retain their value? Will the use of the tags be rewarded, or will not using them be punished? It raises questions. Moreover, it can be a lot harder to get 'do follow' links from content.
Ultimately, it depends on how strict Google will be in complying with these rules. With the previous Google E-A-T updates it became clear that some platforms lost up to half of their traffic if they had a low E-A-T factor. If Google's new rules are adhered to as strictly as they are, things can change a lot. Buying articles and building 'do follow' links using PR won't be as easy anymore, even though both techniques are chosen very often. In that case, these rules can already make things more difficult this year.
You don't get a penalty just like that, and yet some bloggers in England got one the other day. They got manual penalties on outgoing links. The question is whether Google will do this more often. It is advisable to take this into account when building a link profile. Until now, however, this does not seem to be the case and Google probably wanted to create fear. Moreover, it has little direct risk for your website. Only incoming links threaten to become worth less.
All this change ensures that the focus is mainly on the value of links, links that are generated from value for both users and media. Things like research information, interviews and other tools can help with this value. It also helps to provide on-site content of value and with good content, so the content gets links in a natural way.
How do you generate a higher E-A-T factor? Qualitative backlinks help with this. For example, add outbound trust links to your content, or place trust links to externally placed content. Links from industry, government and educational organizations also help.