August has been a relatively straight forward month in terms of Google updates, whilst it doesn’t appear there was any major updates, there was some fluctuations (as covered below) and some new functions to the Google search results such as games being added.

August 1st: Distribution between follow and nofollow links not a metric

John Mueller has tweeted, and when he tweets the SEO world listens.

This time John was asked about follow and nofollow metrics and how important is it to keep a “natural” backlink profile. Mr Mueller replied by saying whilst it does make sense “I do not think I ever looked at this metric before.” Leaving us SEO experts to believe it isn’t necessary as important as first believed.

August 4th Google adds games to search results

It appears that on mobile devices Google has added some games to the search results.

google mobile search result game

First covered on Twitter when you search for ‘Ansel Adams’ for example on a mobile device you can see the game in the search results.

August 4th John Mueller: Negative Reviews can harm your rankings

There’s been some insight over at SEwatch after John Mueller mentioned that negative reviews about a company online, especially lots of negative reviews and information about a business could harm it’s online rankings as Google algorithms could pick up on this.

August 9th – Guest post links have zero value

Something we already knew about blog posts wad reiterated again on this day by John Mueller: “Those links have zero value. It’s a waste of time if you’re just doing it for the links.”

We knew this already and was advised back in June to no follow the links, but it was reiterated again during August that there is indeed no value from guest post blog links.

August 11th – Google update was a glitch?

What appeared to be one of the biggest updates we have seen from Google actually turned out to be a glitch. It seemed the chatter from the web and forums was huge changes in search results and volatility reaching recent highs showed signs of a Google update – But things were back to their usual by the next morning.

August 15th Header tags are not the magic key to SEO

The importance of header tags has always been played down, some SEO experts believe that header tags are vital for the websites hierarchy and believe that they SEO a big improvement in their rankings when they use them, others on the other hand, believe that as John Mueller has said previously they wont “make or break a website”.

John Mueller has tweeted again clarifying “They’re useful for understanding the context of content (text & images), but they’re not magical pixie dust that will make your site rank better.”

August 31st – Word count NOT a ranking factor?

John Mueller added some context about word count. Whilst many SEO experts believe that word count is an important SEO metric – John Mueller put that into context when tweeting:
“Most search engines can index content with hundreds of megabytes. Assuming the average word is 8 bytes, that would mean you should have over 10 million words/page to maximize your chances. Over 12 bibles. 17x War & Peace. 200x Farenheit 451. Per page. Sounds challenging.”