SEO Weekly Digest on 08-12 of January 2024

Google Explains The Index, Follow Meta Tag

In a recent update, Google’s John Mueller clarified the use of the ‘index, follow’ directive in the meta robots tag. While it is a common practice among SEOs and publishers, Mueller emphasized that Google completely ignores this tag as indexing and following are the default behaviors of search engine crawlers. This revelation, documented on Google’s official pages, underscores a significant misunderstanding in the SEO community about the impact of such directives on search rankings.

Brave Launches Mistral-Powered CodeLLM In Search Results

Brave Search has introduced CodeLLM, an innovative AI tool designed to enhance programming queries within its search results. Built on the Mistral AI model, CodeLLM offers developers relevant, contextual code snippets and detailed explanations. This feature, available on both desktop and mobile platforms, marks a significant advancement in AI-assisted programming support, tapping into the vast potential of large language models for real-time, practical coding assistance.

Google’s Stance on Bylines in Search and News Rankings

Google has made it clear that author bylines, while not influencing search rankings, are essential for news sites to be included in Google News results. This requirement forms part of Google’s transparency policy for Google News, emphasizing the importance of authorship in news dissemination. However, the presence of bylines doesn’t translate into improved ranking within Google News, serving solely as a criterion for eligibility.

Google Alters Purpose Of Special Announcement Structured Data

Google has revised the application of the SpecialAnnouncement structured data, initially intended for COVID-19 related announcements. This update widens the scope of the data’s use, moving beyond its original focus on the pandemic. While still in Beta, these changes suggest a shift towards a more general application for urgent announcements, including but not limited to health and emergency situations. The modification, encompassing subtle yet significant changes in the documentation, reflects Google’s adaptive approach to structured data in evolving global contexts.

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