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Search Off The Record: Episode 1 Highlights

search off the record episode 1
Google’s Search Relations team started a new podcast series. Here are the episode 1 highlights.

John Mueller, Gary Illyes, and Martin Splitt from Google’s Search Relations team have started a new podcast series called Search Off the Record. The podcast gives listeners insider information regarding the decision-making behind launches, feature prioritization in Search Console, and the projects Google Search teams are working on. The best part is that they also promised to share fun stories from conferences as well as discuss the trending topics in the SEO community, so there is much to look forward to!

In the first episode of the series, the team discussed topics ranging from the new Core Web Vitals signal and nofollow attributes to pop filters, Garry Ilyes’s cooking blog, and how to deal with working from home. Listen to this extremely fun and useful podcast here and if you’re short in time, see the highlights below!

On Nofollow Links

As you may have heard, on March 1st Google has announced that it will treat nofollow links as hints for crawling and indexing. Garry Ilyes explained that while they are still working on exploring the usage of nofollow links, he thinks they might be very helpful in identifying spammy and malicious sites, for example, those that force downloads or spam.

Although, even If more updates were to be announced about the nofollow attribute, Garry Ilyes says that the webmasters don’t need to optimize for those changes if they are already using the attributes correctly. You can use the new link rel attributes if you want to, but it will not affect your website’s performance on Google.

On Core Web Vitals

Martin Splitt went on explaining how they came up with the performance measurements for the Core Web Vitals. Reflecting on how 10 years ago Google used server response time as a measurement for website’s performance, now, as the websites evolve there is a need for new metrics that will better capture what users actually find helpful. With that in mind, Google started to look at how long it takes for a page to paint content, become interactive for the user, and deliver a smooth interaction in terms of layout. Those metrics are known as Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, and Cumulative Layout Shift and will become ranking factors starting 2021.

You can check our article on the topic to learn more about Core Web Vitals update.