Have you ever considered how user-generated content affects your website? User-generated content comes in many forms, but site owners decide on what is published. This video explains how Google search engine approaches user-generated content on websites, how to block this content from being indexed, and how to flag links within user-generated content. Watch now!

Video Transcript

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JOHN MUELLER: Today’s question is from Amit Kumar, who is asking, “Google ranks web pages based on content, relevancy, and quality, among other factors. Does this apply in the case of user-generated content as well?” It’s good to get your user-generated content for this series. Thank you.

User-Generated Content

User-generated content can take lots of forms, from comments on the bottom of your pages to discussions between users to complete pages written by users. Overall, Google doesn’t differentiate between the content you wrote and the content your users wrote. If you publish it on your site, we’ll see it as the 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 large amount of user-generated content, make sure it meets your standards for publishing content on your website. A simple way to do this is to block those pages from being indexed by default and to only allow them to be index if you’re happy with the quality. For example, you could block them with a no-index robots meta tag, which you remove once you’re happy. Figuring out how much it takes for you to be happy with the content is up to you. Some sites collect information on how happy other users are with the content, which might be useful for this. Finally, one thing to keep in mind with user-generated content is that, by default, you probably can’t vouch for the links that were added. For these, we have a way of telling us that these links are user-generated content with the rel=”UGC” link attribute. I hope you found this useful. Thank you for submitting it. I’ll link to the details in the description below. And see you next time on “Ask Google Webmasters.”

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Allan McNabb, COO, Internet marketing by Image Building Media

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