the user generated content (UGC)In English, “User Generated Content” or “UGC” means blog comments, customer ratings and reviews, tagged social media posts, forum posts, etc.
This type of content, which you get for free, can enrich the content of your web pages by adding new perspectives and compelling information to other readers.
But can UGC affect your organic search ranking?
To answer this question, we will see later in this article if there is a link between user-generated content and improved Google SEO.
Is User Generated Content a Google Ranking Factor?
The different types of user-generated content
UGC can be text, images, video, or any other form of content (blog comments, forum posts, product reviews…). It can be both positive and negative for your brand or business.
You can use user generated content to build engagement around your brand/website, improve your content and even contribute to your SEO efforts. Think of Amazon and the number of reviews that have contributed to its growth and notoriety.
Is UGC really a Google ranking factor?
google takes care of “user generated spam” in your Google Search Central documentation. Google explains that:
“In some cases, malicious users can spam a decent site. This issue typically occurs on sites that allow users to create pages or add content. »
Google specifies that: “If you get a warning about this type of spam, don’t worry. This usually means that the quality of your site is such that we have not deemed it appropriate to take any manual action on it. On the other hand, if your site is spammed too much, it can affect your rating, which can ultimately lead to manual action on your entire site. »
Google continues to give specific advice on how to prevent user-generated spam. But we retain above all here that a poor quality content in certain parts of your website may affect the overall site rating.
How does Google treat user-generated content?
Google indicates in this regard that it can remove or downgrade pages flooded with user-generated spam to protect the quality of their search results.
In 2020, John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, answered a question about how Google ranks pages with user-generated content, based on relevance and quality. Mueller explains that:
“In general, Google doesn’t differentiate between the content you’ve written and the content your users have written. If you post it to your site, we’ll see it as the content you want to post and use it for rankings. »
Mueller’s advice is that if you have a lot of user-generated contentmake sure you meet the publication standards of your website.
Regarding the links in the UGC, Mueller explains that:
“…by default, you probably won’t be able to respond to links that have been added. For these, we have a way to recognize user-generated content links via the rel=“ugc” link attribute. »
In 2021, Google released a video UGC for AdSense publishers. Again, we hear that Google can’t tell the difference between your content and UGC.
“If you don’t make sure that user-generated content meets your publishing standards…spam comments on a page can affect your site’s ranking. »can be heard in the video.
We know from John Mueller that Google doesn’t differentiate between the content you’ve written and the content your users have written. We already know that content is a key ranking factor for Google.
Therefore, user-generated content is a real ranking factor. Unfortunately, it can negatively affect your ranking if Google deems the content undesirable.
Don’t hesitate to create posting guidelines that encourage users to post quality content on your site. And make sure you always have control over the moderation user-generated content on your site.
want to set up a content strategy consistent and effective? do not hesitate to Contact us for more information !
Google Search attorney John Mueller gave an interesting answer when asked if sites linking to HTTP pages experienced any drop in SEO.
The answer was: No. According to Müller, “there is nothing against linking to sites like these“. Although since 2014 the HTTPs protocol is a well-known ranking factor, links to insecure pages do not fail SEO. See his response in the following video.
However, users may find certain pages over HTTP to be a negative factor, and this negatively affects the experience.
To better understand, first look at the difference between HTTP and HTTPs Internet security protocols.
What is HTTP and HTTPs and are the differences between them?
Both are considered Hypertext Transfer Protocols for the Internet, which allow the transfer of data between the browser and Internet hypermedia servers, acting as standard formats of communication on the web.
The difference between the backs centers on the face on which the information is transmitted. HTTP works by sending data purely in the form of text, being susceptible to emergencies given the message path, while HTTPs has an additional layer of security called SSL (Secure socket layers) or TLS (Transfer Layer Security) that provides secure and reliable encryption to the data exchanged.
Get a sample: imagined that you put your credit card information on a website and someone manages to capture the payment halfway. This situation can easily be found on an HTTP site.
HTTPs is a ranking factor
As a consequence of the beginning of the article, Google announced in 2014 the importance of the secure transfer protocol (HTTPs) for the positioning of websites in search engine pages.
The city says: “We are also working to make the Internet more secure in general. A big part of that is keeping certain that the websites that browsers access from Google are safe. For these reasons, over the past few months we have been testing whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking factor.“.
Likewise, it is mentioned that Google’s intention to change the environment will be of great help for website owners to change from HTTP to HTTPs to make the web a little more secure.
So along these lines, to prevent your site from facing any penalty in this ranking factor, just direct them to HTTPs links?
According to Mueller, it is not necessary.
Is it okay to link HTTP pages?
He noted the final answer provided by Muller: “From our point of view, it’s perfectly fine. If these pages are on HTTP, that’s where they will link to. There is nothing against linking to sites like that. It’s okay if you find yourself on HTTP pages because it’s a bit old or not as interesting as HTTPS. I don’t worry about it“.
That is, there is no visible problem in linking to pages that use the HTTP protocol in SEO. In other words, Google will not penalize you for it.
However, in addition to the clear security and reliability problem of sites that use technology without the “s” at the end, it is not clear to the user if the same server from which information is requested will be the same one that delivers it.
It is important to keep in mind that as technology evolves, new forms of attack by cybercriminals also emerge. Thus, the importance of the role of professionals who work in SEO is made visible, contributing to the pages being a safe environment for the user and for the Internet.
If possible, opt for us to connect to secure sites and look for other alternative sites that may offer the same content or reference to those still on HTTP.
As an SEO strategist, you must address the user, think first about the experience they will have on your pages and keep them safe from any danger so that they are available to return again.
But how to implement the HTTPs protocol on your website?
To activate a security certificate on your website, you need to have a hosting company that offers this service.
Keep in mind that it is possible to make this purchase even with other service providers, depending on what best suits your portal.
We recommend this article for you to shop more on the subject.
Do hashtags actually help improve the reach of your posts on Instagram?
The common belief is that they do, but recently Instagram chief Adam Mosseri poured cold water on the hashtag debate by noting that hashtags doesn’t really help the views.
Instagram hashtags aren’t necessarily designed to maximize distribution, with an emphasis on categorizing content to better connect users with what they’re looking for.
But that should also help improve the range, right? Do hashtags really not influence post views?
To get some answers, the Socialinsider team recently analyzed over 75 million Instagram posts made between March 2021 and March 2022, to see what the data says about the relationship between Instagram hashtags and post views.
Research shows that the number of hashtags in an Instagram post does not influence post distribution.
As you can see in the graph below, there are no significant differences in the average engagement rate by impression values of the Instagram posts analyzed, despite the number of hashtags.
The highest average engagement rate per impressions (3.41%) is generated by posts with 3-4 hashtags. This is not surprising – Instagram itself has already noted that keeping between 3 and 5 hashtags is the best strategy to adopt when it comes to distributing posts.
But, ultimately, the number of hashtags you use doesn’t influence reach, on average, at least not significantly.
The Socialinsider team wanted to dig deeper, so they added an extra parameter in “Follower Count” to make sure we’re looking at equal comparisons.
The data shows that there are no major differences in the average impression rates of Instagram posts analyzed when looking at hashtag and follower counts together, although there are some nuances, according to the profile tracking database.
In the case of large accounts (50K and 1M followers), impression rates decrease as they use more Instagram hashtags. According to the data, the best practice for large accounts is to use 3-4 hashtags to maximize their chances of achieving the average engagement rate per impressions of (3.42%).
For smaller accounts, with 5,000-10,000 followers, more tags also equates to lower engagement, but the variance isn’t as pronounced. That said, it’s always good practice for smaller accounts to include fewer hashtags (focusing on 5-6 hashtags) to get the best engagement rates.
The same trend applies to medium-sized accounts, with 10,000-50,000 followers, which should use more than 5-6 hashtags to guarantee higher impression rates.
Of course, this all depends on your specific audience, the types of hashtags you use, and the goals you’re trying to achieve. Yet, according to this data and industry experts, Instagram hashtags do not help in the distribution of posts.
The real trick is to use the right hashtags for your target audience, so that your posts are seen by people searching for the right topics in the app. Do your research, figure out the right tags for each of your posts (based on everyone’s topics, not the same hashtags for every update), and you should always see the benefits of using hashtags.
More information on Instagram hashtags can be found in the full report.