The period between early April and late July 2021 will be remembered as one of the busiest on record for SEO agencies that live and die by Google’s ranking algorithms. At least six significant algorithm updates have touched practically every industry and played havoc with website traffic and rankings.
Here are the major updates from the past three-and-a-half months, as identified by Search Engine Land:
- Product reviews update: Rolling out between April 8 and April 22, this update rewarded companies and company websites that provide researched, in-depth product reviews rather than “thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products.”
- June Core Update: Rolling out between June 2 and June 12, the impacts of this major ranking update were felt gradually throughout the month.
- Page Experience Update: This ongoing update, which Google advertised for more than a year before launching, looks at a variety of user experience factors. More on the Page Experience Update here.
- Spam update, part one: launched on June 23, part one of the spam update was a continuation of Google’s ongoing anti-spam efforts.
- Spam update, part two: launched on June 28, part two of the spam update was more of the same.
- July Core Update: Rarely does Google launch core updates in back-to-back months, but it made an exception this summer. This update is still rolling out, but its impacts were felt quickly by SEOs in certain industries.
The most frustrating part about core updates, at least from the perspective of SEO agencies, is the futility of trying to fix ranking declines. Google’s advice for webmasters is simple: do nothing.
“We know those with sites that experience drops will be looking for a fix, and we want to ensure they don’t try to fix the wrong things. Moreover, there might not be anything to fix at all,” explained a company blog post published in 2019. “There’s nothing wrong with pages that many perform less well in a core update.”
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