Hello internet, now that we’re all done getting loved-up in February let’s get back to some news. And it looks like Search Console is the direction of Google’s affection, with some great quality of life updates. Lucky us!
1. Reminder: nofollow changes hit on 1st March:
Until this update hits, any link with the rel=”nofollow” attribute would be disregarded by Google for use in its calculations for page rank. Like with many on-page signals that can be abused, misused, or misrepresent a link, Google is forced to “evolve” with the times.
New mark-ups to better represent sponsored content and user-generated content (UGC) are being introduced as more descriptive options than nofollow:
- rel=”sponsored”: to identify paid-for
editorial or advertorial links.
- rel=”ugc”: recommended for links
within user generated content, such as comments and forum posts.
- rel=”nofollow”: nofollow is for links that you don’t want to imply an endorsement, including passing along link equity.
In all three cases, this will leave Google’s algorithm to decide whether the content is high quality and valuable, or spam, taking the contextual attribute into consideration.
If you want more control over what’s crawled and indexed, use robots.txt or noindex tags, just like before.
What does this all mean? Well, nothing really. Just keep doing what you’re doing. However, if you notice a shift in your rankings in March, bear this update in mind.
2. New reports for ratings & review snippets
Reviews or ratings schema, when done correctly, gives your site the opportunity to appear as a rich result that includes star ratings or snippets from written reviews, either under your search result or part of the Knowledge panel.
To support this endeavour, new reports are being rolled out to Search Console to help you find any issues with your implementation and report on your rich results’ performance.
The report allows you to see errors, warnings, and valid pages for schema implemented on your site.
In addition, if you fix an issue, you can use the report to validate it, which will trigger a process where Google recrawls your affected pages.
Check out the full announcement on Google’s blog.
3. Better exporting in Search Console
More Search Console updates are always welcome! If you’ve ever been frustrated by the limitations of Search Console data once it leaves the platform, then you’ll be pleased to hear that more and better data is available to export. You’ll now be able to download the complete information you see in almost all Search Console reports.
Updates apply to:
- Enhancements & AMP report
- Performance report
Check out the sample data posted by Google on the webmasters blog for a preview.
If any of this news has got you thinking about your own website, get in touch today to speak with one of our SEO Consultants!