Internal Nofollow Links – 2019

Google Says Internal Nofollow Links Will Continue to Work


Google’s John Mueller clarified an important question about how Google treats nofollow links that are internal. This is important to publishers who use the nofollow attribute to block Google from thin or duplicate content. In his answer, Mueller stated that the nofollow change was primarily for outbound links.

Yet he also affirmed that internal nofollows are no longer directives while also confirming Google will still regard nofollows as links the publisher doesn’t want Google to follow.


How Google Handles Nofollow on Internal Links

No Follow Links on Faceted Navigation

The person asking the question was concerned about how Google handles nofollowed links on faceted navigation.

Faceted navigation allows site visitors on an eCommerce site to filter and sort the products choices.

Nofollow Hint Plan is Not 100% Defined

Google’s John Mueller started out by explaining that the nofollow hint plan is not 100% defined. That was interesting because it seemed to mean that Google is still evolving this new way of treating nofollows as hints.

How Google Uses Internal Nofollow Links

This is Mueller’s answer:

“It’s not 100% defined but the plan is to make it so that you don’t have to make any changes, so that we will continue to use these internal nofollow links as a sign that you’re telling us:

  • These pages are not as interesting
  • Google doesn’t need to crawl them
  • They don’t need to be used for ranking, for indexing.”

John Mueller affirms that they will use nofollows on internal links but states that it is not a directive.

Previous to Google’s change in how it handled nofollows, the nofollow attribute was a directive.

Here is what Mueller said:

“So it’s not a 100% directive like robots.txt, where you say these are never going to be crawled. But it does tell us that we don’t need to focus on them as much.”


Nofollow Hints is About Outbound Links

John Mueller then made it more explicit that treating nofollow as a hint and the new nofollow attributes are primarily for outbound links.

“So for us, the main change with nofollow and these new attributes is for outbound links… from your website to another website.”

That statement is in line with what Gary Illyes was reported to have said about the reason for treating nofollows as a hint.

According to what I was told, Gary said the motivation was to capture more of the link signal in order to return better search results.


Internal Nofollows for Faceted Navigation Continue to Work

“Within the website, for these kinds of faceted navigation for categories and sorting and things like that, that continues to work.”


Takeaway on Nofollow Hints and Internal Links


It appears that Google’s nofollow hint change is primarily to reclaim nofollowed link signals on outbound links for the purpose of improving search results.

This may explain why nofollow links on internal links will almost continue to work as before. I say almost because, according to John Mueller, internal nofollow links are no longer treated as directives.

So if the nofollow attribute on internal links is no longer a directive that means Google is treating internal nofollows as a hint. But he also said they will continue to work.

If that sounds a little convoluted, the reason might be because how this is going to work hasn’t been defined 100%, per John Mueller. It almost sounds like they’re still working this out.

Internal nofollow links tend to be nofollowed for real reasons that are important to the publisher. Thus it makes sense for Google to continue to respect the nofollow attribute when applied to internal links.


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URL Structure

Is Changing Your URL Structure a Bad Idea?


The most common reason to change the structure of your URLs is during a company rebranding, site migration or redesign where some site defining element like domain name, product types, topical focus, or platform changes no longer allows you to keep the same URLs.


Why You Should Try to Maintain Your URL Structure

There are definitive reasons you want to try to maintain your URL structure, whenever possible, outside of SEO.

For instance, a change might break bookmarks users have saved in their browser from visiting your site or emails you have sent out.

Changing the URL structure, in essence, removes the direct link relationship the user has to your site.

Or you might have advertising or collateral materials that used your URLs in their creation, which would now need to be redone at some expense.

Hopefully, you have put in 301 redirects. But if your site has undergone complete restructuring, there may have been no direct page to send the user to, in which case you might lose them in the process.

However, most reasons to not make such a change without good reasons are related to SEO.

The most important being links and the time it takes Google to rediscover your site’s pages through the new URLs.

When you do a site redesign, you can lose links in the process, thus decreasing your site’s SEO value.

This is why it’s so important you create a current and future sitemap and make sure to redirect those pages via a 301 (permanent redirect) to a new page that matches the old one in terms of topical focus.

If you try to redirect an old page to a page that is not similar in topical focus, Google may remove the value of those links.

And make sure to never redirect all your pages to the homepage or a top-level page if it is not that page type. Google has stated it can devalue links in these cases.

If your links are devalued, it means you lose that portion of your link profile and if those links were important it could hurt your site’s rankings.

Also, during this time, don’t forget all the links outside your website that will need to be changed as well.

For instance: paid campaigns, social platforms, and off-site advertising will also need to change have links changed as well.


Google’s Time to Rediscover Links


Google has advised site owners for some time to not change URL structure unless really necessary.

As John Mueller stated in a Reddit thread on changing URL structure it takes time for Google to rediscover links to your site.

“The bigger effect will be from changing a lot of URLs (all pages in those folders) – that always takes time to be reprocessed. I’d avoid changing URLs unless you have a really good reason to do so, and you’re sure that they’ll remain like that in the long run.”

During this time, you may experience a downturn in rankings and therefore traffic.

Now this downturn is likely to right itself fairly quickly as long as you made sure to follow a migration checklist and properly applied your redirects.

But “quickly” is a relative term. Depending on the size of your business, “quickly” may still be a few weeks or even a month or more.

So how long can your business live with that downturn in rankings?

If your traffic is low and you do not enjoy high ranking placements, this is a far different question than if you are a billion-dollar company who has to report their earnings to “The Street” every three months.

If you find you have no choice but to make the change, then just make sure to plan it during your least busy time of year and that you follow all the proper protocols including your migration checklist and URL re-mappings.

Note: This does not apply to an HTTP to HTTPS change. Google has a special process for this, so there would be a minimal effect on sites who are moving to make sure they are more secure.

In the case where you have no alternative as to whether to alter the URLs, make sure to follow a migration checklist so that you do not miss anything during the process.

Missing something in a revamp of URL structure can cost you rankings and traffic.


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Local SEO

Local SEO – Searching for best products and services.

Local SEO – Customers are searching for the best products and services near them – and they want answers fast, give it. DigitalXRun SEO Services for your Business Success

Will your business show up at the exact time when local customers are looking? Will they pick you out of all the local businesses that offer the same products and services?

Search Engine Journal’s ebook, A Guide to SEO, tackles what you need to know about optimizing for local search.

Local search engine optimization requires a strategic and targeted approach that is distinct from general SEO.

Brick-and-mortar businesses wanting to win against competitors should make sure all the local signals across Google’s local search landscape are consistent and correct.

We created this comprehensive guide to help SEO professionals gain a better understanding of today’s local search landscape.

Local SEO to learn:

  • The basics of local search engine optimization. Discover what L SEO is now, why it’s important, who benefits from it (and who do not).
  • An evolution of Google local algorithm changes and what’s in store for the future.
  • Find out what are the top local search ranking signals and why local backlinks, localized content, consistent NAP, Google My Business, and reviews matter.
  • Get to know essential SEO tools and listings management tools that you can use.
  • How to do SEO for large organizations. What are the pros and cons of SEO for large enterprises and essential practices to keep you going.
  • Social media tips for local businesses. Why local businesses should invest in social media marketing and how to connect with customers on social.

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Google Updates Search Rankings to Favor Original News Reporting

Google Updates Search Rankings to Favor Original News Reporting

Google is updating search rankings to give more weight to the original reporting of news stories.

With this update, Google aims to surface original coverage more prominently over follow-up coverage from other publications.

Google will also make sure the original report is featured in search results for a longer period of time.

“While we typically show the latest and most comprehensive version of a story in news results, we’ve made changes to our products globally to highlight articles that we identify as significant original reporting. Such articles may stay in a highly visible position longer. This prominence allows users to view the original reporting while also looking at more recent articles alongside it.”

In addition to being an official ranking update, Google’s renewed focus on original reporting is emphasized in the recent changes to the search quality rater guidelines.

This change is being made to help both publishers and searchers. Searchers are more likely to find the original story right from the source, and the publisher will benefit from greater visibility in search results.

What is Defined as Original Reporting?


Google says there is no absolute definition of what qualifies as original reporting. To that end, there is also no standard in place for establishing how original one article is over another.

“It can mean different things to different newsrooms and publishers at different times, so our efforts will constantly evolve as we work to understand the life cycle of a story.”

Admittedly, this can be more challenging to determine in some cases than others. For example, if a world news event was covered by multiple outlets at the same time, then it could be difficult to figure out which outlet published the “original report.”

If an outlet published a article that itself became news and was covered by others, then it would be easier to figure out which report should receive prominence in search results.

These changes are in effect now, so time will tell how Google handles these different types of news coverage.


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SEO for Beginners: An Introduction to SEO Basics 2019

At its core, search engine optimization (SEO) is about increasing your website’s visibility in the organic search results of major search engines.

To get that visibility, you must understand three core components:

  • What types of content people want or need.
  • How search engines work.
  • How to properly promote and optimize your website.

While search engines and technology are always evolving, there are some underlying foundational elements that have remained unchanged from the earliest days of SEO.

This is why, in collaboration with some of the field’s top authorities and experts, we created this in-depth overview and tutorial – to define SEO for aspiring SEO professionals and explain how search engine optimization really works now. Today.

Scroll down to start reading all 18 information-packed chapters – or, if you prefer, we’ve compiled all the chapters in a downloadable ebook, SEO 101: Learn the Basics of Search Engine Optimization.


SEO for Beginners: Learn the Basics


Are you an aspiring SEO professional? Then this is the guide you need to read.

You will learn the basics of how SEO works and why it’s so important, plus:

  • The basics of search engine optimization. What is SEO now, why it’s important, how people search and what they search for, how long it takes to see results, and some big challenges you’ll face in your career.
  • Key ranking factors. Why links, keywords, and high-quality content are all incredibly important for SEO success. Also, we dispel some of the biggest SEO myths.
  • How to continue your SEO education. Discover the top online search publications you should read, digital marketing conferences you can attend, and industry experts you should follow.
  • The history of SEO. From the dawn of websites and search engines in the 1990s up to today, we recap the biggest milestones to help you understand where search has been, where it is today, and where SEO is heading in the future.

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