Google’s Report: Google Does Not Differentiate Between the User Generated Content and the Main Content
When it comes to ranking a web page, Google treats the user-generated content and the main content the same. John Muller has recently explained that there is basically no difference between the user-generated content (UGC) and the main content.
In their Ask Google Webmaster video series on YouTube, Muller answered a few questions sent by the site owners.
When one site owner asked that Google ranks web pages based on a few factors including content relevancy and quality, and if the same will be applied in case of User Generated Content, Muller replied, user-generated content is nothing but the content that a user added to a page after the page was originally published. It might be the comment section of an article, the live discussion between users or the entire pages might be written by the other users of the site.
There can be different types of user-generated content. However, Google treats them as same as the content published by the original page author.
Muller advises the site owner that the user-generated content on a site should live up to the standard of the site owner’s own content. In simple words he meant, not to allow anything to be published by users. This might affect your site.
Site Owner’s question: “Google ranks web pages based on content relevancy & quality (among other factors). Does this apply in case of User Generated Content as well?”
Muller’s reply and advice: “Overall, Google doesn’t differentiate between content you wrote and content your users wrote. If you publish it on your site, we’ll see it as content that you want to have published. And that’s what we’ll use for ranking. After all – it’s your website, right? So, if you have a larger amount of user generated content, make sure it meets your standards for publishing content on your website.”
Moderating user-generated content:
Muller suggested a few ways by following which the sites can accept user-generated content in a way so that they don’t impact on ranking.
First, He suggested blocking pages with user-generated content from Google’s index if they are not thoroughly checked.
User-Generated Content attributes for Links:
At the end of the video, Muller advises site owners to take precautions, especially for the UGC that contains links. He also added if a site accepts user-generated content with the prohibit links, it should use the UGC link attributes.
In another way, site owners can accomplish the same thing by using the rel=”nofollow” attribute.
From the learning video, it is evident that Google is still insisting on adopting the link attributes that it introduced last year.