This move could make it difficult for SEO strategists to use the code and could discourage its use.
Rel=nofollow, an HTML code which prevented Google from factoring any dubious links into search rankings, has now been made suggestive rather than directive. Making rel=nofollow a suggestion shifts the power from SEO strategist to Google when it comes deciding which links are harmful or dubious.
This piece says that Google’s policy change will help protect users from dubious backlinks and help control misinformation. But SEO strategists could also be discouraged from using the code since Google could override their recommendation.
Since rel=nofollow is a strong hint, Google is not going to punish people who misuse the code. While this would mean that some “shady links will still receive backlink power”, Google will still be able to see all the activity.
[6 minute read]