No Changes Expected After Rollout of Nofollow Link Update
In a strange turn of events, just weeks after Google claimed it had no ETA for when it would begin using nofollow links for crawling and indexing, Google is now saying that the change will in fact be rolled out by its original launch date of March 1st.
But if that wasn’t confusing enough, despite the March 1st rollout, we won’t actually see any changes right away. So, what gives?
— Gary "鯨理／경리" Illyes (@methode) February 28, 2020
According to Google’s initial announcement made back in September 2019, the nofollow will become a hint on March 1 for crawling and indexing purposes.
“Those depending on nofollow solely to block a page from being indexed (which was never recommended) should use one of the much more robust mechanisms listed on our Learn how to block URLs from Google help page,” said Google.
It’s important to note that Google is already able to use nofollow links for ranking, just not for crawling and indexing until this Sunday.
Confused yet? Let’s back up a bit.
By Way of Background
Back in September 2019, Google announced that it would begin using it would use the nofollow link attribute as a “hint” for ranking purposes, and by March 1st, for indexing and crawling purposes as well.
But as March 1st started to creep up, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, Gary Illyes, told attendees of PubCon earlier this month that Google had not yet started working on the latter, and had no timeframe for when it would roll out.
But it would appear that Google had a change of heart and got the ball rolling, because according to Search Engine Round Table, the nofollow change will be launched this week.
However, don’t expect much to change, says other Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller.
I wouldn't be surprised if it had no visible effect on most sites.
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) February 28, 2020
That’s it. Nothing more. Zilch, nada, no explanation. Therefore, unfortunately, we don’t have any more information to share on this. But as always, we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop should things change in the coming days.