If there is anything not permanent at all, it’s the algorithm of Google. It’s a complex system that Google uses to retrieve data from its search index and determine the relevance of a site.
Imagine sorting through hundreds of billions of web pages to find the most relevant and useful result for a search.
Without understanding how Google algorithms work, it would be virtually impossible to be on the first page of the SERPs (search engine results pages).
Google Algorithm Update 2021
When we talk about updates in Google’s algorithm, we think about the latest trends and the most accurate results of a search.
It helps digital marketers perform better and adjust their approach in these areas:
- Know how to keep up with the best SEO practices.
- Know how to improve rankings.
- Understand the reasons behind performance shifts.
How many updates are made every year? There are thousands of updates made to Google algorithms every year.
Most of these changes are not noticed, but Google usually rolls out major updates that impact SEO a great deal.
What Are the Top Google Algorithm Updates?
Sometimes Google announces their algorithm updates outright when the update is major, important, and impactful.
Stay up to date on the top Google algorithm updates in 2021 that can potentially affect SEO performance:
1. Passage Ranking Update (February 2021)
The aim of this Google algorithm update is to use Artificial Intelligence to make it easier to understand content to rank the page.
Read more about the update here.
2. 100% Mobile-First Indexing Update (March 2021)
If you have a mobile version of your website, this Google algorithm will prioritize you in ranking considering all other factors optimized as well.
This speaks of the responsiveness of a website, which means having a website design that applies to all digital devices, especially mobile devices.
3. Product Reviews Update (April 2021)
With this algorithm update, Google focused on in-depth expert knowledge of products which includes these aspects:
- Products comparisons
- Quantitative data
- Expert opinions
4. MUM Update (May 2021)
MUM refers to a multitask unified model, the most recent AI in Google’s algorithms.
It uses contextual information from web content and determines if a page has well-structured content that is able to answer complex questions through the use of target question keywords.
It is important for a website to do keyword research and publish long-form content that targets long-tail and question keywords for it to be ranked higher by Google.
5. Link Spam Update (June 2021)
This Google algorithm update specifically focuses on malicious tactics being used by websites. So, if you want to rank higher, you should be able to:
- Check security issues by using Google Search Console,
- Clean up spammy actions like multiple requests from an IP address,
- Use noindex and mark low-trust pages as nofollow.
6. Page Experience Update (June 2021)
User experience is the target of this Google algorithm update. It is a newly prioritized factor that helps identify pages of a website that provide the best user experience.
Here are the factors or web vitals used by this algorithm to quantify a person’s experience on a web page:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): how fast the main content of the page loads.
- First Input Delay (FID): how quickly a webpage responds to the user’s first action on the page.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): how stable the layout is
7. Page Title Update (August 2021)
Though this algorithm update is not being received well and does not receive as much response as the other updates, Google created a new system that adjusts the title of web pages to better represent the page as a whole instead of adjusting according to queries.
Many website owners claim that this Google algorithm update has negatively impacted their sites.
8. Core Update (November 2021)
This update is focused on fighting spam within search engine results. It is designed to improve the quality and relevance of Google’s search results and is rolled out on average, every two or three months.
Google Core updates change ranking algorithms and thus, drastically affect search engine optimization for Google.
To prepare for these regular core updates, it is best to consistently optimize your website’s content and to avoid black-hat or manipulative SEO practices like keyword stuffing, link spam, or paid links.
9. Local Search Update (November 30 to December 8, 2021)
Google has adjusted its ways of generating local search results. The main aspect being considered in this algorithm update is the proximity of the searcher to the business.
The value of keywords in a company’s name is being discounted. If you want to rank higher, make sure that you target users or potential customers who are looking for your products and/or services in your location or near your location.
10. Product Review Update (December 2021)
Google has introduced and recognized two new practices for writing product reviews. These are:
- Provider evidence
- Include links to multiple sellers.
What is Google’s Latest Update?
Do you want to know the latest Google algorithm update in 2021, so your website can perform better in 2022? It is the December 2021 Product Reviews update that was rolled out for English-language pages.
Google developer Advocate Alan Kent mentioned in his tweet that the goal of this update is to reward authentic, high-quality reviews.
Google will rank sites that post articles reviewing products, thereby encouraging website owners to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews that they show their users.
To rank higher, a product review should include this important information according to Google’s product review update:
- Evidence of the products actually being tested in the form of visuals, audio, or other links to the customer’s own experience with the product.
- More options for purchasing the product could be in the form of links to multiple sellers to give the reader the option to purchase from their merchant of choice.
Now that you better understand the reasons behind performance shifts in Google, you can now optimize your website content according to these updates and adjust your SEO practices so that Google will rank you higher.
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