For the last 15-years links marked with the rel=”nofollow” attribute have been ignored. However, earlier this week Google announced that they were changing their “nofollow” markup policy and that now they would take the attribute as a hint rather than an instruction. They also introduced two new attributes: “sponsored” and “ugc”.
The new definitions for each term is now as follows:
rel=”sponsored”: Use the sponsored attribute to identify links on your site that were created as part of advertisements, sponsorships or other compensation agreements.
rel=”ugc”: UGC stands for User Generated Content, and the ugc attribute value is recommended for links within user generated content, such as comments and forum posts.
rel=”nofollow”: Use this attribute for cases where you want to link to a page but don’t want to imply any type of endorsement, including passing along ranking credit to another page.
For more information see: Evolving “nofollow” – new ways to identify the nature of links