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User Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is additional content on a website that has been added by a user rather than the webmaster, such as comments. How does Google view UGC when it comes to ranking your website? Google is able to identify user-generated content on a site and will manage it in several ways.

Within our SEO Office Hours Notes, we cover examples and advice from Google’s ‘SEO Office Hours’ sessions for managing user-generated content.

Learn more about SEO best practices for website content in Lumar’s Website Intelligence Academy

Rel=”ugc” Attributes Should be Used on Links that Exist on UGC Pages, Not Links Pointing to UGC Pages

The rel=ugc attribute is meant to only be used on links that are contained within a page that has user-generated content on it. You don’t need to add this attribute to links from other pages that point to a page that contains user-generated content.

18 Feb 2020

Prevent Search Engines From Crawling Low Quality UGC

When working with user-generated content, John recommends filtering out high quality pages to ensure search engines are able to see this rather than the lower quality content.

6 Sep 2019

Google Doesn’t Differentiate Between UGC & Other Content

Google doesn’t differentiate between UGC and the other content on a website, so it is important to control how low-quality UGC is dealt with.

1 May 2019

Google Ignores Links from User-generated Content

Google is able to identify and ignore links pointing to other websites within user-generated or auto-generated content.

7 Apr 2019

Comments Can Be an Indirect Ranking Factor

Article comments sometimes contain useful, relevant text content which match user intent, so the page they’re included could be more likely to be shown in search. There is not a direct correlation between comments and rankings, however.

5 Apr 2019

High-quality Comments Can Add Value to a Page

Comments on blog posts and articles are viewed as page content, and should only be disabled if posts are attracting a large number of low-quality comments that can’t be managed. Comments are also valuable for community building.

5 Apr 2019

Google Ignores Links from User-generated Content

Google is able to identify and ignore links pointing to other websites within user-generated or auto-generated content.

19 Mar 2019

Index User-Generated Content if it Provides Value

It is fine to index user-generated content, such as comments, but it is up to webmasters if they think that it is valuable content that should be visible to search engines. In the case of comments, it might make sense to block them from being crawled and indexed.

11 Dec 2018

Sites Reliant on UGC Should be Mindful of Content Quality Across Site

Sites with a strong focus on user-generated content can struggle to maintain a high quality of content across the site.

15 Jun 2018

Ensure Ratings Markup Reflects Primary Page Topic & is Based on User Feedback

Google requires that ratings markup refers to the primary topic of the page e.g. a rating on a page about a car model should refer to that specific car model. Also, make sure ratings are something that anyone can submit feedback for and are not handpicked testimonials.

15 Jun 2018

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