All You Need to Know: Google Algorithm Updates ( June to December 2021)
Google always strives to provide relevant and accurate information to its users. Hence, the Google algorithm is updated frequently. With each update the algorithm becomes more smarter and gives best results to its users. However, businesses need to stay on top of their game by understanding what updates Google has rolled out!
In our previous blog, we talked about all the Google Algorithm updates from Jan to May 2021. If you have not already read the blog, you can read it here!
In this blog we dive into some more updates that Google rolled out from June to December 2021 and understand their impact!
June 2021 Core Update (June 2021)
When it began – Google released the regular algorithmic update in June, which focused on filtering out thin content and filtering not-so-relevant content from the SERP. This update rolled out in two phases, with the latter phase coming out in July.
The Impact: The rank impacts were visible in thin content and YMYL sites. Like previous core updates, this one also focused on the E-A-T mechanism, and the sites which follow this suite remained steady on SERP. Sites like ‘techradar.com,’ ‘yourdictionary.com,’ ‘medium.com’ where UGC content is dominant saw a dip in their ranking where the content is thin and of low authority.
Suggestive tip: Websites that have suffered a dip in rankings take the effort to improve their website’s relevancy and correctness. Compared to similar pages, these websites should prioritize having in-depth relevant content in the long form of having visuals like images, infographics, or videos, or having podcasts or other engagement content to have author competence and quality.
Link spam Update (July 2021)
When it began – Started in June last week, link spam update rolled out completely by July. Though it’s a qualitative update, many sites taking part in a spammy link exchange, getting bulk links from spam domains took a hit on their ranking as it follows. Duy Nguyen, Search Quality Analyst at Google, says, “link spam has been greatly reduced over the past two decades, thanks to our constant improvements in our ranking systems and spam detection systems.”
The Impact: Rankings for the websites participating in such link exchange activity have seen a drop in their organic footprint. Google likewise announced on Twitter that websites and blogs that monetize their content through affiliate links or sponsored and guest posts should now start qualifying these links through “sponsored’ tags. Following the suite, webmasters started putting ‘no-follow’ or sponsored tags in any referral links out of their domains.
Suggestive tip: If you’ve seen a drop in your rankings, you should run a backlinks audit and check if your link profile has odd incoming or outbound links. To avoid penalties for such link updates in the future, do frequent link audits on your profile to identify low-quality or potentially dangerous links and disavow them on Google disavow tool. You should follow Google’s rules & regulations on link profiles.
Page title rewrite update (August 2021)
When it began – Beginning on 16th August, many people noticed that Google was significantly changing their page headings more frequently. A week later, Google announced the page title update of a new technique that will no longer vary titles depending on queries but instead change titles to represent the page better.
Danny Sullivan, Search Liaison at Google, said, “Last week, we introduced a new system of generating titles for web pages. Before this, titles might change based on the query issued. This generally will no longer happen with our new system. This is because we think our new system is producing titles that work better for documents overall, to describe what they care about, regardless of the particular query.”
The Impact: Because titles are created using H1s, image tags, and even anchor text from other pages, this modification has been met with dissatisfaction with the organic search community. Google has even begun to display the same page title for different domains appearing in SERP for the same query. In August, websites encountered a drop in their CTR with up to a 27% drop in CTR on the same number of impressions.
Suggestive tip: If you also encountered your pages with different page titles on SERP, you can optimize your page titles concerning target keywords. Although Google’s title tag generator is unavoidable, there are several steps you can do to help prevent Google from changing title tags.
- Keep title tags brief – Long HTML title tags will almost certainly cause Google to modify your titles. To avoid undesired changes, keep titles under 65 characters.
- Stuffing target keywords in page titles should be avoided – Only use target keywords in title tags when necessary. If you try to place too many focus keywords into a title tag to boost ranks, Google won’t prefer it.
- Make sure to put a title tag at all times – Make sure every page includes a title tag; otherwise, Google will generate one for you.
Product reviews update (December 2021)
When it began – Google has released yet another major algorithm update, which may affect websites over the holiday shopping season; they issued the December 2021 Product Reviews Update, the second official product review update after the April 2021 update.
The Impact: Google has released the second product review update for 2021, which is meant to rank websites that provide in-depth reviews and assist users in making an informed purchasing decision. Like the previously released update in April, the December Product Review Update is expected to have a similar impact. But as the holiday season started, this update was welcomed with few critiques regarding its timing as they saw ranking fluctuations between the seasons.
Suggestive tip: Just like April’s product review update, this will also focus on expert review rather than any thin affiliate program. Long term, you will want to ensure that you put a lot more detail and attention into your product review content in the future so that it is distinctive and stands out from the competitors on the web.
According to Google, review content should provide insightful analysis without any bias. As a result, attempt to have an expert review of the product on the site to have authority over the topic in the future.
At A Glance
In 2021, 8 significant updates happened, which gained a lot of buzz from the SEO community.
What’s Next in The SEO World?
We have stepped into the e-world, and now there is no turning back. You can face a comma-sized pause in terms of algorithms in the Google world, but there will never be a complete stop.
With constant updates in AI-based algorithms and Google’s detering mission to provide all information in one click will keep changing the dynamics in the Google environment. Trust me; there will be some roller-coaster ride ahead of us. So enjoy what’s coming along and tackle those with new findings and insights.
It is not the end of the blog; when in doubt regarding Google’s latest updates from 2021, 2022, and the years to come, this insightful blog is always at your door for a quick knowledge dip.