Is User-Generated Content (UGC) A Google Ranking Factor?

Do blog comments, ratings, and reviews, as well as tagged social media posts, have an impact on your site's search rankings? Here's everything you need to know about it.

User-generated content (UGC) can help increase the value of a page’s content by providing new perspectives and engaging information for other readers – all while saving the content creator money.

Tagged content from social media, blog comments, ratings and reviews, and forum posts are all examples of UGC used to boost the word count.

Can UGC, on the other hand, have an impact on your organic search rankings?

Continue reading to find out if there’s a link between user-generated content and higher Google rankings.

User-Generated Content Is A Ranking Factor, According To The Claim

What exactly is user-generated content (UGC)?

Text, images, video, or any other type of content (e.g., blog comments, forum posts, product reviews) created for a brand, business, or publication by someone who is not affiliated with that company is known as user-generated content (UGC).

You can use user-generated content (UGC) to increase brand/website engagement, improve the content, and even aid SEO efforts.

Consider Amazon and how much customer reviews have aided in its rise to and continued dominance.

Is it, however, a Google ranking factor?

The Proof That User-Generated Content Can Be Used As A Ranking Factor

In the Google Search Central Advanced SEO documentation, Google addresses user-generated spam:

“Sometimes, spam can be generated on a good site by malicious users. This spam is usually generated on sites that allow users to create new pages or otherwise add content to the site.”

Not all sites will be negatively impacted.

“However, if your site has too much user-generated spam on it, that can affect our assessment of the site, which may eventually result in us taking manual action on the whole site.”

Google goes on to give detailed instructions on how to avoid comment spam. In terms of rankings and spam comments, we see:

“Low-quality content on some parts of a website can impact the whole site’s rankings.”


“Google might remove or demote pages overrun with user-generated spam to protect the quality of our search results.”

In 2020, Google Search Advocate John Mueller responded to a question about how Google ranks user-generated content pages in terms of relevance and quality:

“User-generated content can take lots of forms, from comments on the bottom of your pages to discussion between users to complete pages written by users.

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 the content that you want to have published, and that’s what we’ll use for rankings.”

He added that,

“…if you have a large amount of user-generated content, make sure it meets your standards for publishing content on your website.”

With regards to links in user-generated content:

“…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.”

Google released a presentation on user-generated content (UGC) for AdSense publishers in 2021. Comments are described as follows:

“…a great way for site owners to build community and readership and because of that, comment sections are often used by spammers who run automated programs that post spam to abuse them [the comments].”

They claim that Google is unable to distinguish between your content and user-generated content (UGC).

“…spam comments on a page can impact your site’s rankings if you don’t ensure that user-generated content meets your publishing standards.”

Our Opinion On User-Generated Content As A Ranking Factor

According to Mueller, Google does not distinguish between the content you created and content created by your users. We already knew that content plays a role in ranking.

As a result, user-generated content is a well-established ranking factor.

Unfortunately, in terms of UGC spam, it can have a negative impact on your rankings.

Create publishing guidelines that encourage users to submit high-quality content, and keep an eye on your site’s user-generated content moderation at all times.


Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Don't miss the best oppertunities.