In late 2019, Google announced a two-part update which was based on treating nofollows. The next part of this update will come on March 1, 2020.
This update will affect the crawling and indexing of all the nofollow links. Previously Google used to treat all the nofollow links as a directive. However, it will change on March 1st, 2020. From the 1st of March, Google will treat all the nofollow links as a hint for indexing, as well as for crawling. The announcement from the house of Google was as follows, “For crawling and indexing purposes, nofollow will become a hint as of March 1, 2020.”
Many people use nofollow to keep their pages from being crawled. Here it is important to understand that blocking Google from indexing and crawling websites was never a good practice. However, many people make their profile pages, login pages, other similar pages nofollow.
If you want to stop pages like these from being indexed, then you have to look for better options. You can try meta robots noindex directive for preventing your pages from being crawled and indexed.
Impact on Ranking
It’s difficult to say now how the update on crawling and indexing of nofollow links will impact the ranking. Well, we think that it will depend on what pages will Google choose to index. It is expected that Google might set rules to select pages that it wants to index and not to index.
When it comes to search engine ranking, you should not ignore a single update. So you have to be ready for the changes that are going to take place on March 1st, 2020. Overall it is fair to conclude that poor deployment of nofollow may lead your site to unintended problems. So you should consider checking your nofollow links and move them to meta robots noindex.