Google’s latest 2021 core algorithm update is now fully available. Any change in the ranking you see later is probably due to a simple transfer of search results.
This announcement was made this afternoon by Google SearchLiaison.
Google is releasing the Broadcore Algorithmic Update 2021. This update was announced last month and is now available.
This update is a continuation of last month’s major update. Google says it hopes to add more in the June Core update, but the timeline is over.
Launching today is, perhaps, the rest of the changes Google wants to add in the June update.
It usually takes 1-2 weeks for a core update to become fully available. Google’s guidance on recovering from this update is similar to all other major updates that have been launched in the past.
Google Algorithm latest updates 2021
Google is constantly developing its algorithms to ensure that it brings the most accurate, relevant, and secure pages to its users. And every year, it introduces more updates per year.
So today, we are going to cover the eight most influential Google algorithm updates for 2021 overtime. These include:
- Passage ranking
- About this result
- Product reviews
- Link spam
- Mobile-first indexer
- Page experience
- Page title
We also provide tips on how to optimize your content in line with these updates.
Top Google Algorithm Updates of 2021 (chronological)
Google always releases algorithmic updates, sometimes announcing them in full and at other times depending on the importance and impact of updates. However, the biggest update to the 2021 update page is the experience update, but let’s see what else has changed before that.
1. Passage Ranking Update
With the passage ranking update, Google can now use Artificial Intelligence to index not only web pages but also individual parts (paragraphs, sentences) from those pages. This means that specific paths appear as featured snippets. It aims to provide quick answers to specific questions, rather than users scouring through a relevant web page to find it.
Using the following example, Google explains that passing the doityourself.com page (B) will give you a better answer to the question than the wearshade.com result in Google (A). “In this case, our systems were able to highlight the featured snippet, but this improvement applies to how we rank entire web pages.”
Optimizing your post for passage ranking is not the main thing here, but:
- Aim for long-tail keywords.
- Provide in-depth, high-quality content on the topic.
- Properly design your webpage content to facilitate indexing for Googlebot.
2. “About this result” update
With February 2021 “About this result”, Google will provide additional context for personal search results so that users can identify which results are most helpful to them.
The box about “this result” is shared here:
- When the page’s website was first indexed by Google.
- Whether your connection to the site is secure.
- The words you search for will appear on the page.
- Link other websites to the page with those search terms.
- Page language.
It seems to be relevant to this search in most areas.
And if you have a Wikipedia reference, it pulls a short description from there (not the meta tag this time).
By knowing the source before opening the results, the user can determine if the site is trustworthy. It specifically helps the user to find official and trusted but unpopular websites. However, this feature remains in beta mode.
What can you do?
The “About this result” box does not affect your ranking; This is just a list of page facts — some of these are ranking factors. So it includes:
- Make sure your site is using HTTPS.
- Getting quality backlinks.
- Match exactly with the purpose of the keyword.
3. 100% Mobile-first indexing update
With the increase in mobile traffic in 2010, Google began to place more emphasis on mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor in 2015. One year later, mobile-first indexing was introduced – that is, when Google crawled – and thus ranks – pages according to the mobile version of your website’s content.
As of July 2019, mobile-first indexing has become the default for all new websites. And by June 2021, it will be the default for all websites, old and new.
To optimize for mobile friendliness:
- Make sure you have a responsive site.
- Use lazy loading and image compression.
- Always test pop-ups manually on your mobile phone and create activities
- Mobile-friendly works page-wise, but you can find site-wide mobile performance measurements in the search console with mobile usage reports and Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool.
4. Product Review Update
The goal of Google’s April 2021 product review update is not only to capture product listings but also to promote product reviews that provide in-depth research, insight analysis, and original content. So to create high-quality product review content, Google recommends you:
- Inform expert knowledge about products.
- Share content that is more unique than that provided by the creator.
- Provide quantitative measurements for performance.
- Compare with previous models and other products.
- Help customers make an informed purchase decision.
This Wix review by Website Tool Tester is an example of this kind of in-depth product review. It contains 3,500 words of content that includes detailed comparisons of competing products and an interactive plan finder, frequently asked questions, an active comment section, screenshots, and videos.
5. MUM Update
Google is making progress with its algorithms with AI, most recently the May 2021 MUM update.
The Multitask Unified Model (MUM) is a native language model that is much more powerful than the October 2019 BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representation from Transformer).
MUM is designed to “help you when there is no easy answer”. MUM aims to use relevant information from a variety of sources to generate comprehensive answers to complex questions.
So instead of searching:
“Adams needs to know how to prepare to climb the mountain,” and then
“How to prepare for Mount Fuji hike,” and then
“Mount Adams vs Mount Fuji Hiking,”
One person may ask
“I climbed Mount Adams and now I want to climb Mount Fuji. Next fall, what else do I need to do to prepare?”
And learn all in one search.
6. Link Spam Update
Google’s June 2021 spam update applied to webpage and image results (so, not local results).
Google says it has two steps, each starting and ending on the same day — but actually took two weeks longer than expected. Little is known about this update, but it is always a good idea to check and make sure your website is protected from spam.
If your website provides user interaction through comments, forums, etc., you should be especially wary of these malicious actors. Here are some tips to protect your website from spammers:
- Update your website’s SSL certificate
- Use the Google Search Console to check for security issues and manual action reports.
- Regularly clean up suspicious spam activity, such as multiple requests from an IP address.
- Use noindex to prevent Google from indexing less trusted pages, especially those that display
- user-generated content. Alternatively, you can mark the link as nofollow.
7. Page Experience Update
In addition to indexing the mobile version of websites, Google has also introduced specific metrics through a page experience update called Core Web Vitals. These are not new metrics, but new priority factors for measuring a person’s webpage experience.
- Largest ContentFull Paint (LCP): How fast the main content of the page loads.
- First Input Delay (FID): How quickly a webpage responds to a user’s first action on a page.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): How stable the layout is (that is, the elements do not jump unexpectedly).
You can access actual data for these metrics through Page Speed Insights or the full Core Web Vital Report on the Search Console. Each of these reports comes with recommendations to improve the response of the page.
Again, these metrics have been around for a long time. But now they are having more impact on your rankings. In short, webmasters should redouble their UX optimization efforts. Here are some things you can do to improve your key web features:
- Remove inappropriate interstitial ads or banners that block content.
- Execute lazy loading
- Optimize and compress images
- Provide images and optimal dimensions for embedding
- Improve server response time
8. Page Title Update
For over a decade, Google has been changing page titles by query in the SERP. But since August 16, people have started noticing that Google is making drastic changes that are often harmful to their page titles. A week later, Google confirmed that it had introduced a new system that no longer adjusts titles to questions, but represents the entire page.
This update has not been well received, as titles are created from H1s, image tags, and anchor text from other pages. As of this writing, the article is still ongoing, but you can learn more about the page title update here.
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