Important Google Updates for Travel Bloggers, SEO tips for the proper way to link out from your website to other sites, the truth about domain authority (DA) and what code you need to use when working with sponsored posts with content marketing expert George Nguyen of Search Engine Land.

This podcast interview with George Nguyen focuses on some recent and important Google updates that all bloggers should understand including how to link to other websites and content creators from your website pages, when and how to use the rel=sponsored attribute and the upcoming Google’s Page Experience update.

About George Nguyen: George Nguyen is an editor for Search Engine Land. He has written guides on SEO, Amazon’s A9 algorithm, podcast advertising and provides the community with news coverage on organic search. His background is in journalism and content marketing. Prior to entering the industry, he worked as a radio personality, writer, podcast host and public school teacher. You can find him on Twitter at @geochingu.

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BITW 156: Important Google Updates for Travel Bloggers with George Nguyen

George Nguyen

Listen to today’s episode to learn how to  

Below you’ll find the main topics we chat about as well as several questions from the Aspiring Travel Writer Facebook community. To hear the full podcast click here!

The Topics and Questions George and I Chat About:

1) nofollow changes based on Google’s John Mueller saying all guest blog posts, no matter how often you contribute, should have all links nofollowed. He recently added, even if those links are not paid for – as long as those links can potentially pass signals – they should be nofollowed.
2) rel=sponsored attribute
3) Google’s Page Experience update  

Below is an overview of our conversation including a few questions from members of the Aspiring Travel Writer Facebook Group:

No Follow questions

  1. What does nofollow mean in its simplest definition?
  2. Google had said make the link “no follow” but “no follow” links are still read by Google, so can no follow links still count in your favor because it tells them you are building links organically?
  3. What is the best way to build DA today with Google’s most recent updates? 
  4. Maria Berneiser Haase from Should these changes be implemented moving forward or do they expect us to go through thousands of articles and remove/change links? Should we just make all links nofollow?
  5. Rachel Heller with asked: Is there any advantage to writing guest posts or contributing to collabs if all links back are no-follow? Should we stop doing collabs or accepting guest posts?
  6. Rachel also asked: Can Google tell when a link is just informational, especially if it links to a commercial site or a blog? Should we make ALL links no-follow?
  7. Cristina Gatachiu from Honest Travel Stories What would be the next steps to gain links if guest posts and collabs are supposed to become nofollow?
  8. Cristina: Is there any chance left for the new, small blog in this world then?
  9. Cristina: In this context, a link swap will look more natural, and it’s also easier to make, but at the same time it’s against google’s recommendations. So, why would people not do this instead?

rel=sponsored attribute questions

  1. What rel=sponsored means and how to use it properly when linking out to sponsored or paid content. 
  2. How does rel=sponsored differ from using rel=”noopener noreferrer” or simply  rel=noreferrer

Google’s Page Experience Update  

Explanation of the upcoming Google’s Page Experience algorithm.

    1. The new update scheduled to roll out in 2021 means that Google is more likely to rank pages higher if they provide a good user experience.
    2. The best tips for bloggers to optimize a page to do well in Google search and prepare for this upcoming change?
    3. Rachel Heller with asked: If an element of page experience shows up as poor (eg LCP (Largest contentful paint) is too slow), is there a way to find out what element on the page is causing it? Also, won’t ads, eg from Ezoic or other ad networks always make the LCP slow? And if so, wouldn’t that advantage those who don’t run ads?
    4. Rachel: Why do junky.sites with inaccurate, incomplete info (e.g. TripAdvisor) so often turn up high in search results, even when blog posts clearly give more and better info? Will page experience improve this situation?

SMX Next conference & Search Engine Land

  1. SMX Next takes place June 23-24 — a free online conference full of SEO and SEM tips to help business owners learn to drive more traffic, leads, and sales.
  2. How SMX Next benefits bloggers. 
  3. Best sessions from the conference for bloggers.
  4. How bloggers can best use the resources at Search Engine Land  


George’s SEO Guide at Search Engine Land
Sign up for SMX Next Free virtual conference

Connect with George & Search Engine Land

George on Twitter | Search Engine Land on Twitter

Join our Travel Writing & Blogging Community!

The Aspiring Travel Writer, the Facebook group

Aspiring Travel Writer Evergreen Threads

Connect with Alexa, Break Into Travel Writing & My Travel Blog


Hope you enjoyed this episode and are inspired to think about how you can set goals for your blog in 2020! Interested in hearing the full podcast? Click here to listen now!

Feedback on the Podcast If you have any suggestions for upcoming shows or a question for an upcoming episode, leave a comment below. If you enjoyed this podcast, I’d be extremely grateful if you would take a second and leave me a review and rating over on iTunes. Taking a minute to do this allows me to help more people with this podcast, so I really appreciate it (once on that page, simply click on the “View in iTunes” button to leave your review — thanks very much!)


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Important Google Updates for Travel Bloggers


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