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A free information pack with all this weeks search news, Google updates and insider tips to circulate round your team to keep them informed.

What’s in the news this week?

Well… Google has announced that the way it values links for SEO is to change, the search engine is also moving to a 100% focus on mobile first indexing, and FAQ markup guidelines are changing. Plus, there is a new lighthouse extension for Firefox users and more capabilities have been added to Rich Snippets.

 

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Transcript:

– So the way Google values links is changing and SEOs everywhere are like. In this week’s Canonical Chronical we are going to explore the changes in how Google calculates nofollow links, the public experiments that Google are doing with search profile cards, FAQ markup guidelines changing and a brand new lighthouse extension for Firefox users as well as Rich Result testing capabilities and Google moving 100% to mobile first indexing. Phew. So without further ado, let’s get into it. So this week Google has reversed the decision it made around calculating link value. In particular, the search giant has changed the way it views nofollow links. Now for most of you this isn’t really news, Google announced they’re changing the way they value nofollow links as well as introducing new link types to make better algorithmic decisions, in particular they’ve released rel=UGC and rel-sponsored. Now REL UGC was meant to be for user generated content and REL sponsored was meant to be for paid placements and when it came out most SEOs were kinda like.

– Fucking ridiculous.

– So from now on Google will be also treating nofollow completely differently but they will still be using it as a hint for ranking and indexing. Now the reason they’re reneging on the original use of nofollow is they kind of painted themselves into a corner. Links are a major ranking signal and when half of the world’s websites turns that off it’s really hard to work out if you should rank or not. The thing is a lot of nofollow links, they actually come from really reputable sources; mainstream newspapers, Wikipedia, social sites, you name it. As a search engine do you think it’s good to ignore a national newspaper link? Probably not. So, with this new nofollow stuff, what should you do? On the link building side, good news, all those nofollow links you got from newspapers, much more valuable now. If you’re using it to block things on the site however you’re gonna probably need to think of a better way to do that. Use something like meta robots or robots.txt instead of nofollow links. Next up, Google has started to experiment with public profile card in search results. Do you remember Google+? It was that social network Google had until recently they were like.

– Rest in pieces motherfucker.

– Well it looks like the search giant is playing around with the idea of surfacing people’s profiles in search results once again. According to Google they are testing it in India but have got no plans to roll it out globally. For SEOs this is quite interesting as it shows the degree to which Google now understands what an entity is, and more to the point, the characteristics that actually make up an entity like a human being. Now it would make a lot of sense if they use this in their E-A-T factors, expertise, authority and trust, and if they know that you’re an entity that writes about medical or financial they give you a different weighting. Next up, Google changes the rules for using FAQ markup. What is guaranteed more than the sun coming up tomorrow?

– Is that marketers ruin everything.

– Thanks Gary. That’s right, we ruin everything and SEOs are especially bad at gamifying things for short term profits and getting everything revoked. In particular FAQ markup has kinda become like the new thing for us to abuse. So if you’ve got FAQ Schema on your page listen up. Now Google is gonna give you a violation if you’re reusing the exact same Q and A over and over again in multiple websites. So if on multiple pages you’ve got the exact same question and answer with FAQ Schema, you need to remove it otherwise you might get a penalty. Next up, the Rich Results testing tool now gets support for How-to Schema. For those of you that are running Wikisell websites or blogs with lots of in-depth tutorials and how-tos this one is gonna be very valuable for you. If you want more rich results to appear in the SERPs and also those kinda smart device things like Google Home, you need to schema mark up to enable it. Now how to mark up isn’t actually very new but the way in which you validate it is. So now you can us a rich results testing tool, drop in your URL and it’s actually gonna tell you if it’s valid or not. If you want to use it yourself go to search.google.com/test/richresults. Next up, 100% mobile first indexing. We all know mobile is a big thing. If your site isn’t optimized for it yet, for the love of God, please start now.

– This is your cell phone.

– The thing is, everyone knows mobile’s important. Right Drake? ♪ You used to call me on my cell phone. ♪

– That’s right, I used to call you on your cell phone and now I do pretty much everything that connects me to the outside world on my cell phone and Google knows this. That’s why they’ve announced they’re applying mobile first indexing to all websites next year. Now lots of webmasters are now getting messages through search consoles saying that’s gonna happen to them over the next six to 12 months. If you’re a Type A Media client don’t worry, we know this and we’ve already implemented it on your site. If you’re not a Type A client and you want to test this for yourself you can go to Google’s mobile friendliness report, drop in your URL and it will tell you if Google thinks your site is mobile friendly or not. That’s everything for this Canonical Chronicle. If you liked the video please like it and if you loved it please subscribe and, until next time, we will see you later.

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