5 recent Google Search updates you should know

Google keeps updating its algorithm numerous times in a year.

But many of those changes would usually be small ones.

As in, it would not affect sites but just some internal updates.

But in the last few weeks, Google has announced changes that affect many industries.

Including SEO, PPC & WordPress.

I’ll cover the main changes in this post.

1.” No-follow ” status change

This is probably the most important one.

What is the Nofollow tag?

The Noindex Nofollow tag has been present for a long time now.

Noindex meant that Google should not Index that page.

Nofollow essentially meant Google should associate that page value to the page where that link leads.

So what changed?

Google’s understanding of these tags changed.

Google, from now on, need not strictly follow these instructions anymore.

It is up to Google to follow or not.

Hence the status of the tag changed from Directive to Hint.

What is the impact of this?

It basically means you need to be more careful about the external links you place on your site.

You should be aware that you are not completely isolated from the link.

Even though you have added Nofollow.

But will it work the other way?

Say, for Wikipedia.

All Wikipedia links by default are Nofollow.

So will Google now allow Wikipedia to be associated with all other linked sites?

As per Google, this is not completely true.

They are working on this aspect.

Will you need to change or remove the existing Nofollow tags?

No. You don’t.

But the status of all those tags has now changed.

So you need to re-evaluate all your Nofollow links.

2. 2 new “rel” features

Google has introduced two new rel features.

As below

1. Rel = “sponsored”

2. Rel = “ugc”

1. Rel=”sponsored”

You need to add this to all the paid/advertised/sponsored links on your site.

To clearly differentiate them.

Example:

<link rel=”sponsored” href=”https://www.website.com”/>

Links have always been one of the top-ranking factors for Google.

Even the penalty for breaching this is quite high.

This new tag should now completely ensure the proper value of a link.

2. Rel=”ugc”

This is for links with User Generated Content like comments and posts.

You can use multiple tags like

Rel = “nofollow ugc”

Rel = “ugc sponsored”

You need to make sure you add these tags to the relevant links.

Providing the proper “Hints” to Google is imperative henceforth.

3. Lazy load plugin for WordPress

Now, this could be a really good option for WordPress sites.

What is WordPress?

wordpress

It is a CMS – Content Management System.

The most used one globally – to build websites.

It is pretty easy to use – you have a host of themes to choose from.

Along with plugins.

You have plugins for everything that you can work on directly.

By that mean, without coding.

A plugin is a piece of software with a definite function.

wordpress plugin

Like email forms, ebook downloads etc.

Google’s new plugin is intended to reduce page load time.

It lazy loads images and iframes with the new loading attribute.

It also includes a fallback mechanism for browsers that do not yet support it.

You don’t need to code anything.

Directly download it in WordPress.

Coming from Google itself, I think it a must for WordPress users 😊.

4. Same-day data on Search Console

For the first time, you can see the traffic data on the Search Console for the same day.

This means you can see your website performance as close to real-time.

Say, on a Monday morning you can see how the Search was over the weekend.

That’s great right?

If a technical issue that was present, is fixed, you can check at the earliest if the site or the page is up and running again or not.

In the Search Console, you need to go to “Performance” to see this.

search console performance

Now, this may not be available everywhere, but it should be, soon.

5. Removal of Accelerated Ad Delivery

ads logo

This one is for Google Ads.

If you have run Google Ads, you will know that there are two kinds of Ad Delivery methods.

Standard

Accelerated

accelerated ad delivery

In Standard, your Ad will run throughout the day consistently.

In Accelerated, your Ad will run as fast as possible thereby consuming the budget as soon as possible.

Accelerated Ads are usually run if there is a short-lived ad or ads on timer etc.

Google will remove this “Accelerated” delivery method soon.


Conclusion

These were some of the important Google updates that happened successively.

I’ll post on other updates as and when they are out.

Until next time 😊.

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