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Google Clarifies that Nofollow Change Was a Policy Update with No Action Taken

author image Written by: Nicole McCormick           Categories - In The News

Google Confirms They Have Not Made Use of Nofollow Link Update

Just when you thought you’d heard the last about Google’s recent nofollow link change, Google decided it wanted to have the last word on the matter by speaking out about some confusion surrounding the change. The change, which allowed Google to treat the nofollow link attribute as a hint, rather than a directive, for ranking, crawling and indexing purposes, was rolled out on March 1st. However, shortly before the rollout, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller, stated on Twitter that he didn’t anticipate the change having an impact on sites. https://twitter.com/JohnMu/status/1233369331561615361 Other than that, we didn’t have much more to go on, so we were forced to just take Mueller’s word for it. Until now, that is. Mueller recently clarified his vague Twitter statement and provided a bit more insight into the change during a Google webmaster hangout by saying: “So, this is something where we made some changes in our search algorithms with regards to how we treat nofollow links. I believe the change was split into two parts, one kind of being able to pass signals through nofollow links and the other with using nofollow links for discovering new URLs.” Mueller added that this nofollow attribute change was merely a policy update, and that as far as he knows, no engineer nor anyone else at Google had actually done anything differently since the change.

“Essentially on our side the change is that internal systems are now able to do this,” said Mueller. “That doesn’t mean that internal systems are currently doing it. But at least from a policy point of view they’re able to take this on. And if there are teams within Google that say I will be able to I would want to use this then that’s something that they’re open to doing that. So, it’s possible for them to do it, it’s not the case that it’s like we’re like pumping everything full through those links now. It really depends on what teams internally are kind of testing evaluating and what makes sense for them.”

Translation – just because they can do something, doesn’t mean they will. via GIPHY When probed further and asked whether “teams are actually doing anything with that now?” Mueller added that he wasn’t sure. “They can but I don’t know,” he said. So, the takeaway here is that while the change has been in place since March 1, nobody at Google has actually made use of it yet, and they may or may not do so in the future. Thanks for the very ambiguous update, Google.

Nicole McCormick

Nicole is a wordsmith wizard, passionate about the written word and an avid storyteller who uses creatively crafted prose to help bring your brand’s story to the next level. A former journalist with writing credits in both local and national news publications and a few newspaper awards under her belt, Nicole now enjoys telling your stories and finding new and creative ways to create valuable content that resonates with audiences in the digital landscape.

Google’s Spam Update Has Rolled Out

10/25/2022

Last week, Google announced the October 2022 Spam Update would be rolling out. The update began on October 19th but it took less than 48 hours to complete, Search Engine Land reports. Users didn’t expect such a quick turnaround from a spam update but here we are.

What Is The Update & How Does It Work?

Google’s October 2022 Spam Update is a new search ranking algorithm. This means its impacts will be visible in search results, however you might be impacted too. This spam update was global and affects all languages, Search Engine Land reports.

Google expected the spam update to take up to a week to rollout but it was quicker than most expected. Users can see on Google’s Search Ranking Updates page where the updated was added and listed as complete on October 21st. Google’s spam update is meant to attack harmful stolen content or malicious websites.

Read More: Google Launches October 2022 Spam Update

Here is what Google says about the October 2022 Spam Update:

“While Google’s automated systems to detect search spam are constantly operating, we occasionally make notable improvements to how they work. When we do, we refer to this as a spam update and share when they happen on our list of Google Search ranking updates. For example, SpamBrain is our AI-based spam-prevention system. From time-to-time, we improve that system to make it better at spotting spam and to help ensure it catches new types of spam.”

Previous Spam Updates

As Google mentions their AI-based spam prevention system, you might be wondering how many spam updates there have been before. And more importantly, what to do if you’re sit has been hit.

When you have a look at Google’s Search Ranking Updates page, users can see that 2021 was a big year for spam updates. The last one rolled out in November 2021 and before that there was a two part update in July.

Read More: Google Offers Insights Into How It Deals With Spam

What Do Users Think About The Update?

Now, you might be wondering what people are saying about the October 2022 Spam update and if many users have been impacted. Here’s what SEO expert Glenn Gabe says about the update and what impacts he sees.

Search Engine Land reports on what users can expect from this update’s impacts.

“Spam updates target specific guideline violations. Google did not say if this was links, content or other forms of spam, but rather just said it is spam-related in general,” says Barry Schwartz. With such a wide gap between spam updates, users could be waiting another year before Google runs one again.

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Smart Campaigns Will Be Gone For Good Soon

07/22/2022

Google began rolling out automatic updates to convert Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max – Search Engine Land reports.

For most users, the updates will finish rolling out in two months. They will receive a notification around 2 or 3 weeks before the updates take effect. They will also be notified of the specific date when the campaigns will be converted. However, some Smart Shopping campaigns, like the ones using vehicle ads, will be completed early next year.

Read More: Google Updated Performance Max Campaigns

Don’t Wait For Google

You don’t have to wait for Google to do this for you. Actually, you shouldn’t – take this into your own hands and have more control over the settings of your campaigns.

If you want to update campaigns on your own, because you’re smart, strong, and pretty – you can do that by using the ‘one click’ upgrade tool.

Whether your campaigns are automatically- or self-upgraded with the tool, all the history and learnings from your previous Smart Shopping Campaigns, along with its settings are automatically transferred over to your new Performance Max campaigns.

Read More: Google Performance Max Getting 7 New Updates

New Ad Creation Tools

Google also launched three new ad creation tools which could help drive better results, especially on YouTube:

  • Asset Storage
  • Video Ad Templates
  • Voice-over Audio

These new tools should help advertising teams out there create and collaborate on campaigns without leaving the ads platform.

Read More: Discovery Ad Users Get Four New Features

Read More: Data-driven Attribution Becomes The Default?

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