Google Nofollow Change March 1st But Google Says Don't Expect Any Change Yet

Feb 28, 2020 - 7:49 am 10 by

Nothing To See Here

So the big nofollow link attribute change is coming March 1st, which is this Sunday. But it seems like we shouldn't really see anything happen on March 1st, at least based on how Gary Illyes and John Mueller of Google are both saying we shouldn't see any changes on March 1st.


Well, first what is suppose to change on March 1st? On March 1st, Google said the nofollow will become a hint as of March 1, 2020 for crawling and indexing purposes. Google said "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."

Just to be clear, Google already can use nofollow links for ranking, if they want. Just not until this Sunday can they use it for crawling and indexing. But hey, most SEOs know that you cannot fully control crawling and indexing just using nofollow on links.

So I asked Google about this and this is the response I got when I asked what changes we can expect on March 1st:

The responses:

What does that mean Gary hasn't done anything? So I asked "does that mean we won’t see changes on March 1 or you haven’t dug into researching the impact?" Gary responded "Yes."

Then he added:

John Mueller from Google also said that he wouldn't expect to see any "visible effect on most sites."

Then Eric Enge, an SEO, responded asking a bit more:

In any event, it seems like we shouldn't expect much of a change, or any change at all to our rankings, crawling or indexing on or after March 1st just from this nofollow rule change.

And no, the changes we saw in February are unrelated to any nofollow changes:

Forum discussion at Twitter.


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