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Google to Start Using Nofollow Links for Indexing and Crawling, Eventually

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

No Expected Rollout Date for Nofollow Link Attribute Changes Says Google

While no official announcement has been made, attendees at the digital marketing conference, PubCon, received early confirmation that Google will soon begin using nofollow links for crawling and indexing. Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, Gary Illyes, who was a speaker at PubCon, told attendees that there is a good chance that Google will start using nofollow links for indexing and crawling in the near future. However, he emphasized that this change has not yet been worked on by Google’s engineering team and there is no estimated timeframe for when this would be rolled out. https://twitter.com/methode/status/1225421980364615680

Going Back to the Beginning

As a bit of background, Google had previously announced changes to the nofollow attribute back in September 2019, and said that going forward, it would use the nofollow link attribute as a “hint” for ranking purposes.

“Nearly 15 years ago, the nofollow attribute was introduced as a means to help fight comment spam. It also quickly became one of Google’s recommended methods for flagging advertising-related or sponsored links,” said Google in a blog article. “The web has evolved since nofollow was introduced in 2005 and it’s time for nofollow to evolve as well.”

The change included two new link attributes that would provide webmasters with additional ways to identify the nature of particular links to Google Search. But that’s not all. Google said that it would also expand on the initial nofollow link attribute change by allowing it to be used as a hint for crawling and indexing purposes as well. This change had been expected to roll out by March 1, 2020, but based on Illyes’ comments, it would appear that this has been delayed. Furthermore, according to Tweets from those who attended Illyes’ PubCon talk, there also appears to be some confusion about whether Google had actually been using nofollow links for ranking purposes since the announcement in September.

However, despite his comments at PubCon, Illyes did appear to confirm back in September that the change had already rolled out following the announcement, so unless we hear otherwise from Google, we’ll have to take his word on it for now.

As for using the nofollow link attribute for crawling and indexing, again, there doesn’t seem to be much movement on this, so we’ll just have to keep waiting for an official announcement down the road.

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 Updates Its Guidelines for Search Quality Raters

10/20/2021

Google has finally updated its Search Quality Raters guidelines this week after a year without any updates.

For those who are unfamiliar, Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines offer insight into how Google assesses the quality of online content.

The last update took place on October 14, 2020, and was 175 pages. The latest update saw three of those pages removed, reducing the document to 172 pages. However, according to Search Engine Round Table, 3,635 changes were made – 807 replacements, 812 insertions, and 356 deletions.

Here is a quick summary of what was changed:

  • The definition of the YMYL subcategory ‘Groups of people’ has been expanded

  • Direction on how to research reputation information for websites and content creators has been revised

  • The ‘Lowest Page Quality’ section has been restructured, updated, reorganized, and refreshed

  • The definition of ‘Upsetting-Offensive’ has been simplified and redundancy in the Lowest Page Quality section has been removed

  • Other minor changes have been made throughout the document, such as updated screenshots and URLs, wording, and examples for consistency removed outdated examples and fixed typos.

Here’s what the ‘Groups of people’ section looks like now: 

“Information about or claims related to groups of people, including but not limited to those grouped on the basis of age, caste, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, immigration status, nationality, race, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, victims of a major violent event and their kin, or any other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization.”

Along with reporting from Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Round Table, SEO consultant Glenn Gabe also took to Twitter to share some of his insights on the new document.

Check it out below:

 

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Google Caps off Volatile Week With Another Algorithm Update

10/08/2021

What in the world is going on with the internet this week? It was only Monday that we reported that Google had rolled out a massive unconfirmed update, and the following day, Facebook experienced a colossal outage affecting billions of people around the world. Now, Search Engine Round Table is reporting yet ANOTHER unconfirmed update appears to be happening. And yes, this all happened in the span of a week. What a wild ride it’s been. 

While this latest update doesn’t appear to be as big as the one that took place last weekend, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Round Table is reporting that tracking tools seem to show that an update began rolling out on October 6th, peaked on October 7th, and is now starting to slow down.

This time around, there is way more industry chatter going on in the SEO forums. Here are some interesting snippets posted in WebmasterWorld around October 6th:

“Seeing a return of the drop in USA traffic in the middle part of the day again. Starts in the morning and traffic remains very low for hours. Back to the old June patterns…”

“For me traffic has fallen off the cliff edge today with hardly any multiple page view visitors.

Over the last few weeks I have also seen many, many visits by Singapore, Huawei Clouds.” 

“Yesterday was my worst traffic day in years. Gulp!” 

“All competitors I am tracking are down today with only one exception, me lol I am in the same position as I was yesterday but the biggest volume keywords were targeted and pushed down the serps. Some low volume keywords improved. The algorithms constantly target high volume keywords.”

Tracking tools aren’t showing a ton of volatility, mostly just a shift in the Google search results. Overall, things look pretty calm compared to the update last weekend. Still, we’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

Check out the screenshots posted by Search Engine Round Table:

Semrush:

SEM Rush tracking 

Cognitive SEO:

Cognitive SEO report

SERPmetrics:

SERP Metrics report

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