According to Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land’s News Editor in an article on Search Engine Land, Google is attaching link tags to the links on your website. No one is completely sure what all of the tags are but there are 3 tags that have come out as being used:

  1. Footer
  2. Disavow
  3. Penguin Real Time

Impact On Your SEO

As with everything Google, every piece of information that we learn about their practices, policies or algorithm can have an impact on the optimization that is being done to your site.

So, what impact will this have?

Links will be able to have multiple tags attached to it that bring a lot more definition of the link, to Google. As an example with the tag footer Google could now look at this link as not being very important because it’s in the footer (bottom of your page) of your webpage and if its at the bottom of a page it can’t be very important.

This will have a real negative impact if you’re one of the tens-of-thousands of companies that use footer links to add the cities that you do business with. The thinking with this strategy is that listing the cities in the footer would give you a chance to show up for serches with that city in the query. This hasn’t been a good SEO Strategy for quite some time, but now it could end up hurting your site.

They Know What You’re Doing

Apparently, these tags could tip off Google’s Manual Action Team to SEO things that are going on with your site, flagging your site so that they dig a little deeper into your site to see if everything is being done in accordance with Google’s guidelines. This in turn then could end up in a penalty being applied to your site. Really pretty serious stuff.