Google has just updated its guide on linking (for now only in its English version). These are the main points and recommendations:
There are non-recommended ways of implementing links, but all of these can be followed by Google, such as:
So if the goal as SEOs is to get Google to process and take links into account, avoid these three options and make it easy. On the other hand, if the SEO goal is that the robot does not process certain links as such, then these systems would not serve as a method of obfuscation or link sculpting.
With anchor texts we indicate to Google the context of what it will find in the link that we are placing. Google's recommendations for use are as follows:
Google recognises the importance of working well on internal linking, and encourages us to optimise it. It points to the importance of using anchor text in internal linking, as it will help both the user and Google to guide navigation.
Google has talked extensively about good practices in internal linking in other documents. On this occasion it does so, curiously, to encourage us to put external links on our sites. It has often been recommended not to include external links, with the idea of not encouraging users to flee from our site, and to avoid losing domain authority. However, in times of EEAT, placing a link on a source of information that we have used, will provide more context and credibility to our content. Google also specifies that external links must be followed, unless we do not trust a source (then why put it), it is a sponsored link (use the sponsored or nofollow attribute), or if the content has been generated by users in comments on blogs or forums (use attribute ugc or nofollow).
Most of Google's recommendations in this update on linking are good practices that SEOs generally recommend, although they are not always applied. We do appreciate the clarity and conciseness of some of the details, and in general the application of common sense to linkbuilding. Links for SEO are neither the philosopher's stone nor the devil, they are very important and will help us if we work with naturalness and head, always.