Google algorithm tremors. There may have been a smaller Google ranking update at the end of last week. We posted about some of those signs and signals over on this blog.
Do links count. John Mueller of Google was asked if a specific type of link counts or not and John said it doesn’t matter. He said, “It doesn’t really matter if it ‘counts,’ does it? Over time, as your site grows in importance on the web, as its reputation among users grows for providing unique, compelling, & high-quality content, Google Search might also recommend it more. That’s not an on/off thing.”
Special character domain names. When it comes to special characters or languages in domain names, Google handles it. Mueller said, “IMO we don’t do anything special for IDNs or IDN TLDs (other than the punycode handling, there’s no need to handle them individually). There was quite a bit involved with the first IDN TLDs, but they’re pretty well-established nowadays.”