As of March 1st 2020, Google's search ranking algorithm will be giving higher value to links that have the 'nofollow' directive applied to them. Previously, any links on webpages which point to a page on your website that had a 'nofollow' attribute (such as is common for links on social networking platforms and similar sites) would not have given a significant boost to your page's rankings for keywords in Google's search results - now things have changed.
While Google has not explicitly stated how much of a difference this change will make for an average page, the reality is that many links on the web do currently have the nofollow attribute and are therefore not playing much of a role in boosting the relevance and authority of their target pages and sites. This has a huge relevance for sites which attract significant attention on social networks and community forums, since they may now find that they fare better in search results in Google than they did previously. 'Nofollow' essentially tells search engines not to pass on the 'link juice' or 'page value' from the page that contains the link to the page that the link points to. This allows sites to point people to other sites without effectively giving a 'thumbs up' to say that the target site is one which has some kind of worth or value. Essentially, this change may have taken some of the power away from website operators and handed it back to the end users - the people who create content online, everyday, in so many ways (but who do not run their own websites).
There are many other implications for this change and we will be carefully monitoring the effect that this change has on the ranking of various websites in order to best understand how to adapt our SEO strategies for ourselves and our clients. For more info on this topic you can read the latest update at SearchEngineLand - plus, stay tuned here for more updates as more information becomes available.
Wishing you well,
The Crucial Web Team