Recently, Google announced the rollout of yet another core update to their algorithm from July 1, 2021, following their page experience update from May 2021.
The update, which will take around 1-2 weeks to complete, is the second round of a two-part process that began last month, with the June Google Core update.
Here’s the announcement from Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan:
Though Google typically releases two broad core updates in June and December for their search engine, there are several more released in-between – usually with very little notice and guidance to website owners, unless Google expects there to be major changes that should be actioned.
So, why is the June core update being released in two parts? It simply wasn’t ready.
In June, they told us that some of the planned improvements to Google’s algorithm for the June 2021 update were not fully prepped to be released. So Google decided to move ahead with the parts that were ready and push out the other improvements in the next month – the July Core Update.
See the Search Liaison announcement below:
In this article, we’ll outline:
- What is the June 2021 core update?
- What is the July 2021 core update?
- What were the effects of the update?
- What are the other recent Google updates?
- & finally, what you should do if you’ve been impacted by a core update
What is the June 2021 Core Update?
The June 2021 core update started rolling out on June 2nd and caused some rumblings through the SEO community within days. Though Google has maintained that core updates to their search engine should roll out over two weeks, site owners began noticing traffic gains and losses within a few days of the June 2021 update rollout.
An official tweet from Google Search Liaison confirmed that the June 2021 Core Update rollout was complete as of June 12, 2021.
The effects of the first part of this update have already been felt, with websites in categories such as health, auto, pets, animals, science, and travel seeing the most volatility.
Google’s Search Liaison has informed site owners not to get too excited (or worried) about any major changes, as the second part of the update is sure to make a similar impact or even reverse movements seen in June.
What is the July Core update?
After the June Core update, another broad core update was expected to roll out from Google, though the overall effects have remained unknown.
With the impact of the first part of this update to Google’s algorithm and ranking metrics, talk amongst the SEO community suggests expecting “major shifts” in SERPs and volatility following this second rollout.
Effects of the Google Core Update:
While Google releases several updates throughout the year, broad core updates tend to have the most significant impact and affect the highest number of websites.
Though Google rarely gives out guidance on how to mitigate specific aspects of these updates, it’s important in the coming weeks to closely monitor movements in rankings, traffic, and Google Analytics to see if they’ve been affected and how.
Other Recent Google Updates:
The last few months have been very lively for Google’s updates, with not only the June and July Core updates rolling out but several others alongside.
From April, the Product Review update saw Google promoting high-quality product reviews with original research, rather than thin content that simply summarises a bunch of products.
In May, we saw the announcement of the Page Experience update, which began rolling out in June and is due to finish in August. The effects of this core update may also play a part in volatility over the coming weeks.
On June 23rd, Google also confirmed the implementation of a spam update, with a second one being implemented just a week later.
This spam update was a part of regular updates that Google produces for its algorithms annually to target phishing scams and other fraudulent pages on the web that try to rank in search results.
Last year, Google’s automated systems blocked over 40 million spammy pages and backlinks from being indexed every day – with all signs pointing to a crackdown on rampant spam even further this year.
Google also released this video on how they’re fighting spam in the search results pages:
What should you do if you’ve been impacted by a core update?
Though the full impact of these rollouts is still to be seen, Google has advised on what actions you can take if you’ve been negatively impacted in the past such as sites lost.
If you’re following Google’s Web guidelines, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Negative impacts following an update don’t necessarily mean there is anything wrong with your website, just changes to how Google’s algorithm is perceiving and ranking different metrics.
Google’s Search Central explains further:
“There’s nothing wrong with pages that may perform less well in a core update. They haven’t violated our webmaster guidelines nor been subjected to manual or algorithmic action, as can happen to pages that do violate those guidelines. There’s nothing in a core update that targets specific pages or sites. Instead, the changes are about improving how our systems assess content overall. These changes may cause some pages that were previously under-rewarded to do better.”
If you want to get proactive ahead of any core algorithm updates, Google has outlined a list of questions to consider if your site has been impacted by a broad core update including those around content, expertise, and presentation.
Why do we care?
Whenever core updates roll around, there isn’t always a lot you can do to prevent ranking increases or decreases. However, just knowing when these updates are rolling out can make monitoring and improving the SEO performance of your website a lot more straightforward.
Keeping track of any algorithm updates gives you something to point to during website performance changes. For example, if some of the content on your website suddenly performs better, you can track whether it was from changes you made or changes to the algorithm.
Keep an eye on your rankings and analytics over the next couple of weeks – your SEO strategy will thank you for it!