Google’s Nathan John talks about the core ranking algorithm update and more

Google search quality analyst Nathan Johns talked about the core search algorithm update, the mobile-first index, Google’s zero results experiment and more on in an Ask-Me-Anything session on SMX west, a conference for SEO and SEM professionals.

Here are his most important statements:

  • The core search algorithm update started to roll out on March 7 and it is designed to ‘reward under-rewarded sites’. If your website ranking dropped, just improve the quality of your web pages.
  • Google’s speed update is coming in July. It’s important to make sure that your web pages are fast and mobile-friendly.
  • Social media is not a ranking signal. Google treats links from social media just like links from other pages.
  • Except for the SafeSearch filter, Google does not treat adult sites differently from other websites.
  • Except for geo-targeting, other TLDs are not treated differently than .com domains.
  • The nofollow tag for links hasn’t changed at all. You don’t have to worry about crawl-budgets and you should not use the nofollow tag on your own website for crawl-budget purposes.
  • Nathan Johns said that you should not have to worry about the ‘vast majority’ of negative SEO. Use Google’s disavow links tool if you are concerned (the Link Disinfection tool in SEOprofiler can help you with that).

Tom Cassy

Tom Cassy is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at “”.