Saijo George

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thursday21 May 2020

Google Doesn’t Treat User Generated Content Different From Main Content

https://www.searchenginejournal.com

I always assumed things like comments on a page has less weight than the main content on the page, I assumed Google is smart to pick things that are editorially added on a page and what falls into the UGC territory especially when considering the comment section on a site. But apparently I was wrong, according to John Mueller, when it comes to rankings there’s no difference between UGC and main content.

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.

So anyone got a list of sites that don’t have nofollow for links in the comment section? Time to fire up Scrapebox ?.

Update 22/05/2020: Had some good discussion around this on LinkedIn, so updated that info in here.

What is the basis for saying that?

Not JM’s video in that link?

Everything JM says (as Cutts et al before him) needs to be carefully evaluated as it is typical for them to communicate in a loose way that has multiple interpretations – giving rise to many ‘Google Said’ SEO myths

I do not interpret what he said in the way you are UGC is the same as self-written – that’s totally logical He clearly states that it will be Judged the Same – also logical So Make Sure It Meets Your Quality Standard – as you will be judged on it

A more accurate interpretation would be: ‘Be careful not to have lots of crappy UGC or it will drag you down’ NOT ‘Crappy UGC is as good as high-level content’

Your website will be judged on ALL content so make sure you are not allowing low-quality content of any type including UGC – that is the message here

UGC is ‘judged by the same rules’ Not ‘UGC is considered to be of equal value no matter the quality’

That would be totally illogical

Do you disagree?

David Cranwell

It’s just based on that video by John. 

My take away from that video was as simple as when Google looks at a document, they look at the entire content and grade it and don’t differentiate the editorial content on the page and say let us give this more weight and put less a weight for the UGC content. 

When I said ” Google Doesn’t Treat User Generated Content Different From Main Content ” in my view it closely aligns with your view 

‘Be careful not to have lots of crappy UGC or it will drag you down’ & ‘UGC is judged by the same rules’

not sure how anyone would make the assumption 

‘Crappy UGC is as good as high-level content’  OR

‘UGC is considered to be of equal value no matter the quality’

Also regarding “Your website will be judged on ALL content so make sure you are not allowing low-quality content of any type including UGC” .. I think it’s more of a document-level view(per URL) as opposed to a site-wide thing. 

I hope that clears up my view on it 🙂

Saijo George
SEO


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