SEO News: Google Core Update, Unlinked Citations and Nofollow Link Changes

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Discover the latest news stories from the world of SEO in our latest weekly roundup. From Google’s core update for May to Google Search Console adding guided recipes support and reports, read more.


SEO News: Google Core Update, Unlinked Citations and Nofollow Link Changes

What are the latest updates from the world of SEO? In this news update I’ll be talking you through the rollout of Google’s latest core update, a new "off the search record" podcast promising undocumented information, and a discussion around whether unlinked citations help with search rankings.


Google May 2020 Core Update 100% Rolled Out

According to a recent article published by Barry Schwartz (@rustybrick) on SERoundtable, Google finished rolling out the May core update on the 18th of May at 12:37pm ET. That makes for a full two week rollout, which began on the 4th of May.

Here are the tweets from Google:

According to Schwartz, the May core update was a big one in many ways, with anyone who felt it agreeing. For example, Mozcast noticed the first two days of this update, before it began to slow:

Have you seen a positive or negative impact as a result of the new core update? Do you agree with Google’s timestamp on the rollout? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting @clickthrough.


Google Search Console Adds Guided Recipes Support and Reports

In a recent article published on SERoundtable, Barry Schwartz explains how Google Search Console has added support for guided recipes (step by step instructions on how to complete a recipe in Google Search and on Google Assistant). There is also a new enhancement report for guided recipes in Google Search Console, and the Rich Results test also supports this format.

Search Console allows you to view a Rich Results status enhancement report with the errors, warnings and fully valid pages found among your sites’ recipes. As well as this, it also includes a check box to show trends on search impressions. What’s more is that this report not only finds the issue, but also fixes it. You can then use the report to notify Google that your page has changes and should be recrawled.

The report is as follows:


Google Launches New Podcast Promising Undocumented Information

It has recently been announced that Google are launching a new podcast which, as Search Engine Journal author Matt Southern puts it, “promises to live up to its name Search Off the Record”. Google’s John Mueller (@JohnMu), Martin Splitt (@g33konaut) and Gary Illyes (@methode) are teaming up to present a “mixed bag” of content about Google Search:

In the podcast trailer, Mueller states that the team will share information that has never been documented before. The Google Search team will also be discussing upcoming projects they’re currently working on:

“This is a new podcast series that we’re trying out to try to give some behind the scenes insights into what goes on at Google when it comes to search and the communications around search. Our goal is not to be another source of documentation, but rather to just give some background information on [what’s on our minds.]”

Google has yet to publish its first full episode of Search Off the Record, but you can still subscribe now from the podcast app of your choice.


Google: Unlinked Citations Usually Do Not Help with Search Rankings

On May the 21st 2020, a Twitter user asked John Mueller if “unlinked brand citations can help in defining trust of a website/brand?” Mueller replied:

Mueller then hinted that maybe SEOs can test it, but, as Barry Schwartz points out:

“If SEOs test it and say something, it doesn’t mean it is true. Even if Google says it is not true after SEOs say tests show it is true, no one knows what to believe. So Google can say yes here, unlinked citations do help and some SEOs would believe it and some wouldn't. So I guess John figures, why bother?” (SERoundtable)

What do you think? Does Google use unlinked citations for rankings, or only for discovery? Tweet us @clickthrough.


Google Is Working on Something Related to Nofollow Link Change

Google recently made a change to the nofollow link policy, stating that as of March the 1st 2020, Google can look at a nofollow attribute as a hint and not as a directive. Barry Schwartz tweeted Google’s Gary Illyes asking for an update on this change, with the response as follows:

To sum up, Illyes doesn’t believe anything has been launched yet, but what he is working on will indeed need to be announced – so, watch this space.


If you’d like to discuss any of the SEO news I've included in this update, why not get in touch with our SEO experts today. You can also tweet me @tommy_iv.

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