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Link rel="" values Started by Spuds · · Read 55054 times 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. previous topic - next topic

Link rel="" values

There were a couple of discussions and an addon around this topic of using "nofollow" on external links

https://www.elkarte.net/community/index.php?topic=3334.0
https://www.elkarte.net/community/index.php?topic=4682.0

Things have changed since then, so I'm looking for input of how to progress.   I've been working on adding a feature to 2.0 which is along the lines of what the addon (linked above) does. The primary change is that "nofollow" is nothing more than a hint for search bots, and I think using "ugc" (User Generated Content), is what we should add, by default, to all links.  Currently links have no "nofollow" restrictions at all.

Here is what Google says about these https://developers.google.com/search/docs/crawling-indexing/qualify-outbound-links

rel="ugc"  - We recommend marking user-generated content (UGC) links, such as comments and forum posts, with the ugc value. If you want to recognize and reward trustworthy contributors, you might remove this attribute from links posted by members or users who have consistently made high-quality contributions over time.

rel="nofollow" - Use the nofollow value when other values don't apply, and you'd rather Google not associate your site with, or crawl the linked page from, your site. For links within your own site, use the robots.txt disallow rule.

You can also combine values like rel="nofollow ugc"

The question is what are we trying (or thinking) to accomplish? You can read the various articles and its "experts" trying to guess what Google / etc. is actually doing, while pretending that they know !

The 2.0 update I'm working on
  • Adds "ugc" to all link tags. 
  • A permission to allowing setting a links to "follow", essentially remove the "usg"  TBH I feel this is a bit clumsy as you have to know to how to use the bbc url code to set this value, as such I really don't see it being used?
  • A simple allowList, so if the link is to a preferred site it removes the "usg", this feels clean.

I'm interested in your thoughts on the permissions thing.  To use it you need to use a new variant of [url] and then the software needs to make sure you are allowed to use that.  In my experience special codes are not used, maybe you have a different experience.  Using an allowList seems easy for the admin to set sites you want to be affiliated with, so that makes sense to me.

Thoughts, comments, other directions, leave it alone :D


Re: Link rel=\

Reply #2

I envisioned the allowList as a list of Domains that the site wanted to allow following.   

Example, if you had a fan site for Kia cars, you could put Kia.com in the allow list, or perhaps a site you were affiliated with that sold Kia parts, like kiastuff.com that you get a affiliate payment or whatever.

Going the membergroup permission route you would have to a) be in that group and then b) use a url like like [url url=somesite.com follow=true]yowsa[/url] and I just don't feel members would remember or bother to do that.  There is also the complication of auto embedded urls which is, again my experience, what most member do (cut/paste).  Those could be handled automagically with an allowList but not really with permissions.

Re: Link rel=\

Reply #3

Here is where I ended up on this.

All links by default get a rel="noopener noreferrer nofollow ugc"
If you allowList a domain you get rel="noopener noreferrer ugc"
If you have permission and use [url url=somesite.com follow=true]somesite[/url]  you get rel="noopener noreferrer ugc"  You can also set that to false to override the allowList on a per link basis

I'm thinking of dropping the noreferrer from the allowed to follow links, I don't see the harm with passing the site info to the link you are following.