We are familiar with the term “google algorithm”. We also know what role the google algorithm plays in the SERP rankings and how it affects our SEO process.
Earlier, Google used to make only a few updates to its algorithms. Now, Google makes hundreds of changes every year.
Throughout this year, Google regularly made updates to their algorithms, which caused changes in the search results. In 2021 so far, Google has already rolled out many core algorithm updates, such as:
In this article, we’re gonna discuss the 9 most impactful Google algorithm updates mentioned above, from the latest update to the first algorithm update of this year(2021).
Google recently rolled out an update to the local search and map pack results. The update began on November 30 and finished on December 8.
“Vicinity” can be defined as the nearby area or surrounding a particular place. According to many SEO specialists, this update was mainly about proximity.
Through the Vicinity update, Google naturally makes local search results more relevant to the user. From a business’s point of view, this gives a greater chance to rank well in relevant local searches, as the competition with businesses that are further away will be reduced.
Google has been using page titles in the SERP according to the query for over a decade. Recently, on 16 of August to be exact, people began noticing that Google was drastically changing their page titles, often in a deleterious way. After people started talking and complaining about this, Google confirmed that it introduced a new system that will no longer adjust titles according to queries but to better represent the page as a whole.
Since titles are being generated from H1s, image tags, and even anchor text from other pages, this Page title update is not being accepted well by the SEO Community.
GSC data a week before title rewrite for keyword “advantages of social media”
GSC data a week after title rewrite for keyword “advantages of social media”
This update has negatively impacted many websites including ours.
Google introduced a specific set of metrics through the page experience update called Core Web Vitals, in addition to indexing the mobile version of websites. These are newly prioritized factors to quantify a person’s experience of a webpage.
Core Web Vitals are a set of precise factors which Google considers essential in a webpage’s overall user experience. Core Web Vitals includes largest contentful paint, first input delay, and cumulative layout shift.
These reports also come with recommendations to enhance the responsiveness of the web page.
Here are some things you can do to improve your Core Web Vitals:
Link spam update was implemented on the web page and image results excluding local results in June 2021.
This update had two phases. Google mentioned that each of the phases would start and finish on the same day, but took around two weeks to complete. Even though there weren’t many details on this update, it’s good to check and make sure our website is guarded against spam.
We should be careful of this spam if your website provides user interaction through comments, forums, etc.
Implement the following tips to save your website from spammers:
MUM stands for Multitask Unified Model. It is a new AI-based technology by Google to understand & answer complex search queries. MUM is a natural language model that is much more powerful than Google’s BERT update released in October 2019.
The update was landed in June 2021, to provide search results that overcome language & format barriers to deliver an improved search experience. MUM update uses contextual information from different sources around a core query, providing more information we want in a single search.
MUM can understand & translate 75+ different languages, which includes texts and images. It’s said that the MUM update will see us bid farewell to 2019 released Google’s BERT update.
Google’s product reviews update April 2021 was rolled out to encourage product reviews that don’t just summarize a list of products but also focus on product review & product testing websites with a target to push high-quality and expert content in this category up the rankings. Google mentioned that this update is not a core update but an update in the ranking signal which makes the update important
To create high-quality product review content, Google recommends the following suggestions:
Google began placing more importance on mobile friendliness as a ranking factor with the rise of mobile traffic in the 2010s. In 2016, mobile-first indexing was introduced — by which google crawls and ranks your website pages according to the mobile version of that content.
Mobile-first indexing became the default for all new websites by July 2019. It became the default for every old and new website as of June 2021.
Here are the tips to optimize your website for mobile-friendliness:
Google started providing additional context to individual search results so that users can make out which results of their query would be most helpful and informative to them with the ”About this result” of February 2021.
“About this result” box contains:
The “About this result” box doesn’t impact your ranking in any way. It’s just a list of facts about the web page, some of which are search engine ranking factors, which includes:
February 10th, 2021 and Google introduce its passage ranking update. Initially only launching in US English SERPs. With this update, Google can now use AI to index not only web pages, but also individual passages (paragraphs, sentences) from web pages. This means particular passages will show up as the featured snippet. The aim is to quickly answer very specific queries, instead of making the user go through the entire web page to find it.
Using an example, Google explains that it can now understand that the passage from the doityourself.com page (B) better answers the query than the wearshade.com result on the (A). “In this case, our systems were able to highlight a featured snippet, but this improvement applies to how we rank web pages overall.”
The idea here is not to optimize posts for passage ranking, but to target long-tail keywords, provide in-depth, high-quality content on the topic, and structure your webpage content correctly to make indexing easier for Googlebot.
Following are the Google Algorithm updates we discussed in this article:
As a digital marketer, web developer, or business owner, it’s very important to be up to date and analyze your performance which will help you strengthen your strategy and improve the existing result.
When it comes to SEO, just make sure to stay focused on EAT and best practices, and keep in mind that content is always the king. Updates will not affect your ranking much if you focus on the above-mentioned things.
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