New Link Attributes, RIP Legacy Search Console - Backlink Breaker #21

Why do we do what we do? We should all take a minute and really think about it. Not to uncover some life changing epiphany, but just to stop — it’s always go. And go. And go. Maybe the simple act of stopping, and looking back at yourself, can be valuable on its own. So, why are you doing all this work today?

The News

Google will change the way it handles nofollow links with the launch of two new link attributes. These atributes are rel=”sponsored” for sponsored content links and rel=”ugc” for user-generated content like forums and post comments. Instead of the blanket rules of “nofollow,” which forces Google to ignore links entirely, Google will use these new attributes as “directions” to make a decision on whether to follow or not. This is a useful update because it gives link value a chance while protecting your domain from manual link penalties. Google made it clear that webmasters don’t have to change existing site links to match this update.

After a lengthy, dramatically slow phase out, Google is officially shutting down the old Google Search Console. Goodnight, sweet prince. You can still access some of the old data from the “Legacy tools and reports” section in the current Search Console.

A recent update to the search quality rater guidelines focuses on accuracy for news sources and YMYL, along with stronger guidelines for identifying hate content. While these guidelines are not direct ranking factors, it’s important to know what Google’s raters are instructed to focus on, because it can signal Google’s algorithmic directions.

When it comes to App Store Optimization, the community has always believed that Apple favors its own apps in search listings (wouldn’t you?). A New York Times report found proof of bias in Apple results. Apparently, Apple executives acknowledge this bias to the NYT, but claims to have “adjusted” the app sore to provide more equal results. We shall see.

Ranking Factors

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