User Generated Content

UGC is additional content on a website which has been added by a user, rather than the webmaster, such as comments. Google is able to identify any user generated content on a site and will manage it in several ways. Within our Hangout Notes we cover examples and advice for managing this type of content.

Prevent Search Engines From Crawling Low Quality UGC

September 6, 2019 Source

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.

Google Doesn’t Differentiate Between UGC & Other Content

May 1, 2019 Source

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.

Google Ignores Links from User-generated Content

April 7, 2019 Source

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

High-quality Comments Can Add Value to a Page

April 5, 2019 Source

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.

Comments Can Be an Indirect Ranking Factor

April 5, 2019 Source

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.

Google Ignores Links from User-generated Content

March 19, 2019 Source

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

Index User-Generated Content if it Provides Value

December 11, 2018 Source

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.

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

June 15, 2018 Source

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

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

June 15, 2018 Source

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.

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