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Google News Digest: Possible Algo Updates, New Quality Rater Guidelines, Nofollow, and More

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Google News Digest: Possible Algo Updates, New Quality Rater Guidelines, Nofollow, and More

Judith Lewis
Google News Digest: Possible Algo Updates, New Quality Rater Guidelines, Nofollow, and More

Summer fun is over, but Google news never stops. Here is a digest of what happened in the world of Google and beyond in the last two weeks. You will learn about quite a few new tools and features, as well as the end of a couple of old ones. Let's go!


GOOGLE SEARCH NEWS

"Evolving Nofollow" - Nofollow Link Attribute Will be Seen a ‘hint’

On September 10th Google announced, "two new link attributes that provide webmasters with additional ways to identify to Google Search the nature of particular links." They explained the new attributes, as well as the current nofollow as:

rel="sponsored": Use the sponsored attribute to identify links on your site that were created as part of advertisements, sponsorships or other compensation agreements.

rel="ugc": UGC stands for User Generated Content, and the ugc attribute value is recommended for links within user generated content, such as comments and forum posts.

rel="nofollow": Use this attribute for cases where you want to link to a page but don’t want to imply any type of endorsement, including passing along ranking credit to another page.

Google said all of the link attributes are treated as hints regarding which links to consider or exclude within Search. "We’ll use these hints – along with other signals – as a way to better understand how to appropriately analyze and use links within our systems."

For Crawling and Indexing Purposes, Nofollow will Become a "Hint" as of March 1, 2020

Currently, the link attributes sponsored, UGC and nofollow work as hints for Google to incorporate for ranking purposes, but it is on March 1st of next year that nofollow will become a hint for crawling and indexing.

To say the search community was confused and/or irritated with this news is an understatement; here are just a few of the comments and questions we saw on Twitter.

We are sure there will be plenty of upcoming articles, tests, and guides on these new attributes. Until then, we suggest you carefully read the article from Google, and check out Danny's thread from last night. 

Source: Evolving "nofollow" – new ways to identify the nature of links

Possible Google Algorithm Updates

Speculation about two ranking algorithm updates in a row roamed the community in the last two weeks. The first update reportedly rolled out on August 29th. SEMrush sensor, as well as some other tools, spotted increased volatility on that day. The next wave of SERP changes happened on September 4th and 5th, as evidenced by numerous users on Webmaster World forum. Google, as always, has not confirmed anything yet.

SEMrush Sensor data SEMrush Sensor data for the last 30 days

Sources: Signs Of A Google Search Ranking Algorithm Update On August 29thGoogle Search Ranking Algorithm Update On September 4th & 5th?

Quality Rater Guidelines Update

A major update for Google's Quality Rater Guidelines rolled out at the beginning of September. Marie Haynes was among the first experts who noticed it:

As Marie noticed, many of these changes are related to YMYL and E-A-T – these two concepts are believed to be of the highest importance to the search engine. For those still unfamiliar with them, YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) content is any content that may affect your health, well-being, or safety. E-A-T stands for "Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness."

Content quality requirements for YMYL sites are particularly strict; also, these sites must indicate who created the content – either it is their own or third-party authors. From now on, the professional reputation of YMYL content authors must be taken into account by quality raters. You can find more information about guidelines updates in this awesome change log published by Search Engine Land.

Sources:  Change log: Google updated its Search Quality Rater Guidelines

What's New on SERPs

As always, lots of new features and experiments are spotted on SERPs every day, here are some of them documented by the one and only Barry Schwartz:

1) Insights from Google My Business on Google maps:

Google News Digest: Possible Algo Updates, New Quality Rater Guidelines, Nofollow, and More. Image 1

Sources: Google My Business Insights Now On Google Maps Profiles

2) URLs with capital letters:

Google News Digest: Possible Algo Updates, New Quality Rater Guidelines, Nofollow, and More. Image 2

Source: Google Tests Capitalizing URLs Of Snippets In Search Results

3) Distance from the hotel to the main attractions in Local Pack:

Source: Twitter: Gus Pelogia


GOOGLE ADS NEWS

Seasonal Bid Adjustments in Google Ads

Google Ads has added manual seasonal bid adjustments to the Target CPA and Target ROAS smart strategies. Now, if you expect a change in the rate of conversions, you can set a new coefficient. This adjustment is recommended for short sales and promotions that are one to seven days long. At the end of this period, the settings will return to the normal bidding mode. This type of adjustment is currently only available for search and display campaigns.

Google News Digest: Possible Algo Updates, New Quality Rater Guidelines, Nofollow, and More. Image 3

Source: Introducing seasonality adjustments for Smart Bidding

Rules Update for Google Adsense Publishers

In the following weeks, Google is going to simplify the rules for publishers in Google Adsense. The usage policy will now be divided into Google Publisher Policies and Google Publisher Restrictions. The first will state what types of content cannot be monetized (illegal content or sexual content).

The restrictions for publishers will describe types of content that do not seem to violate Google’s rules but may not be suitable for all types of advertisers (for example, tobacco and alcohol). An important point was made by Amy Gesenhues at SEL, "It’s worth noting, Google isn’t launching any new content policies, only restructuring the framework around how they are presented."

Sources: Simplifying our content policies for publishersGoogle moves to simplify, standardize content policies for publishers


GOOGLE TOOLS NEWS

Old Google Search Console Is No More

The old version of GSC is officially closed; the announcement was published on the Webmaster Central Blog on September 9th. "From now on, if you try to access the old homepage or dashboard you’ll be redirected to the relevant Search Console pages," says the statement. Some tools will still be available in the old interface. You can find the list of legacy tools and reports here

Webmasters and SEOs around the world pay their tribute to old Search Console by posting tweets with #SCmemories hashtag. Here are some of them:

Source: Saying goodbye to the old Search Console

Automatic DNS Check in GSC

With the advent of new domain proprietary features in the Google Search Console, domain verification was added using DNS records. But as it turned out, this type of verification often causes problems, since not all site owners know where and how to add a txt record in the domain’s DNS, and some simply do not have access to DNS records.

Therefore, now automatic DNS verification has appeared in GSC. Google has entered into an agreement with several of the most popular domain name registrars, which greatly simplifies domain verification. But if your registrar is not on this list, you will still have to add entries manually.

Google News Digest: Possible Algo Updates, New Quality Rater Guidelines, Nofollow, and More. Image 4

Source: Introducing Auto-DNS verification in the new Search Console

New Service Options in GMB

Google My Business has made it possible for certain types of businesses to select specific types of services. For example, plumbers may indicate what they repair (faucet, shower, toilet, etc.). In addition to plumbers, new categories are available to private teachers, translators, music schools, etc.

Google News Digest: Possible Algo Updates, New Quality Rater Guidelines, Nofollow, and More. Image 5

Source: New Services Options in the Google My Business Dashboard

Check your business listings now

See if you are represented in the most authoritative directories

Please specify a valid domain, e.g., www.example.com

Hire by Google is Shutting Down

Google is planning to close its hiring service on September 1, 2020. The reasons for this decision are not disclosed. The project as a whole was called successful, but the company considers it necessary to focus on other products. At the moment, the subscription fee has been suspended, and the service can be extended for free until closing.

Google News Digest: Possible Algo Updates, New Quality Rater Guidelines, Nofollow, and More. Image 6

Source: Sunsetting Hire by Google

Desktop Version of YouTube Kids

YouTube launches the new web version of YouTube Kids with “safe” videos for children only. Previously, YouTube Kids existed only as a mobile application, but now it is a separate site. On the YouTube Kids website, as in the mobile application of the same name, the videos are distributed by recommended age, and there are no targeted ads. YouTube Kids also has its own design, large fonts, no comments, and likes.

Google News Digest: Possible Algo Updates, New Quality Rater Guidelines, Nofollow, and More. Image 7

Sources: YouTube Kids launches on the webAn update on kids and data protection on YouTube

New Movie Recommendation Service for Mobile Users

Google has launched a new feature for finding movies on mobile. Now, for requests such as “what to see,” users can click on the "Top picks for you" button to open a carousel with movies and TV shows. The carousel will be based on personal preferences, and swaying to the right or left can influence the recommendations. By clicking on a particular movie, you can see a list of sites where you can watch it. So far, new functionality is available only in the US.

Google News Digest: Possible Algo Updates, New Quality Rater Guidelines, Nofollow, and More. Image 8

Source: Find the best flicks and favorite new shows this fall


This is all the search news we have for you, but stay tuned for our next digest in two weeks. And don't forget to sign up for Global Marketing Day – the world's first 24-hour online marketing conference. More than 50 top-level experts will share their knowledge with you, and it is completely free! Don't miss your chance to learn about new tactics, the most useful tools, and unique insights. Travel around the marketing world without leaving your home or office!

Judith Lewis
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Judith is a renowned writer, trainer, blogger and a digital and media consultant specialising in applying strategic understanding of digital technologies to help businesses innovate and optimise their effectiveness within the new, networked communications environment.
She is a regular speaker around the world on SEO, content strategy, link building, PPC, and digital strategy, a contributor to the Huffington Post, and has been recognised by her peers as one of the most influential people in the UK digital industry.
Judith judges the MENA, EU, US and UK Search Awards, an industry leading award and has every year since their inception. She has worked with market-leading global businesses including Google, Orange, COI, NatWest/RBS, National Gallery, CIPD, Fidelity, GalaCoral, NBC Universal, Readers Digest, Bayer, Family Search, Amadeus, AMD, AmEx, TotalJobs, Virgin.com, Virgin Startup & more.
She has over 20 years of experience, predating Google in her entry into the market and now runs her own consultancy. She has worked at Centaur Publishing, i-level, & Beyond before setting up her own consultancy. Judith also blogs about chocolate, helps with London Girl Geek Dinners, was a founding Modern Muse, and has contributed to the book “Pimp My Site” and the Econsultancy guide to Paid Search. She is currently working on updating the Econsultancy Best Practice guide to SEO and teaches the advanced SEO course as well as the Paid Search courses.
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Comments

2000
Astha Upadhyay
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Thank you, Judith for that wonderful post. All necessary SERP related information in one place. Very well organised. Love the new Google Youtube Kids feature.
Frank
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

thank you so much for update about this tags recent i just listen the news and don't know what is about can you please tell me how these tags help in SEO Guest Posting
Judith Lewis
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Frank
I don't know if it is about helping the site or more about helping the algorithm so I don't think it can be isolated to a specific effect.
Adam Rizzieri
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Coming into work this morning, did any of you see any major SERP shocks following Friday the 13th?
Judith Lewis
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Adam Rizzieri
SEMrush sensor wasn't showing any major changes but perhaps someone else saw something..?
Hamza Hahsim
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Thanks for sharing this amazing information.
Judith Lewis
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Hamza Hahsim
a whole team gets involved in making these happen so thank you from all of them!
AstroTalk Astrology
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Thank You for updating us with the new updates of google . No follow and do follow are important part for creating backlinks. A website should maintained a ration 7 : 3 of do follow to no follow links .Your blog is very interesting and informative .
Judith Lewis
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

AstroTalk Astrology
I don't agree on the ratio but I hope it works for you. Thanks for commenting!
Hamza Ali
Pro

Asks great questions and provides brilliant answers.

The new generation of marketers won't know what it felt to be with the old search consoles; or using Nokia 3310, or colored floppy disks, or walkmen, or CDs, or rotary phones... Or how all we had to do was add a nofollow.

Let's take a moment and congregate from our homes as we enter these slightly confusing times.

Very informative article though. Thanks for sharing Judith!

#SCmemories
Judith Lewis
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Hamza Ali
I think the updates to the algo with regards to teaching it more is important.
Hamza Ali
Pro

Asks great questions and provides brilliant answers.

Judith Lewis
Yes, keeping up and teaching is more important.

My comment was whimsical and sidestepped acknowleding the impact of the latest updates and our responsibility to share them within our circles. My bad.

Thank you for bringing them together and sharing it with us.
Sohail
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

How do Google treat and rank using sponsored and UGC attribute? Still confused.
Judith Lewis
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Sohail
They treat it as a hint - as they have for some time. They are looking at increasing the grannularity of how they see links. We're teaching the algo
Sohail
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Judith Lewis
You are right they have some time, but according to your or any SEO expert prediction, how do we make backlinks, which Google will prefer? Thanks
Lukasz Zelezny
Pro

Asks great questions and provides brilliant answers.

Sohail
That is all about confusions Sohail : ) They want us to know less : ) My hint is - test, test, test
Sohail
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Lukasz Zelezny
Yes we have to test, test and test. But now we have ranked websites, we don't want to take risk on those websites. But we can start new blog for testing purpose for those anchor REL attributes, but it's time consuming.. :-) Thanks
Sebastian Hovv
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Wow this was thorough. Thanks Judith!
Judith Lewis
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Sebastian Hovv
Thanks but it was a whole team that put it together so thank you from the team!
Simon Cox
Pro

Asks great questions and provides brilliant answers.

Google is bound to do a core algo change on Friday 13th as it is BrightonSEO, and they have form for doing this in the past!
Judith Lewis
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Simon Cox
We'll see tomorrow if that is the case! If it is, it would make BSEO quite significant...
Dmitry Kotlyarenko
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Wow News Digest, This is big change for informative link and for ranking too.
Judith Lewis
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Dmitry Kotlyarenko
Thanks there is a lot going on right now...
Paul Lovell
Master

A veteran community member.

Great Round up there Judith
It will be fun to see what the affiliate marketing world does and how they are effected
Judith Lewis
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Paul Lovell
Affiliates are always nimble and they tend to act swiftly and work hard to overcome the obstacles that Google throws in their way.

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