New Releases: 6 Google Updates That Affect SEO and Organic Rank

By Marcel Deer
TOPICSFeatured, Google, SEO

As a part of our 15 Easy Ways To Turn SEO Pitfalls Into SEO Profits webinar, we took time to give attention to the influx of Google SEO updates and changes rolled out in June and July 2021. You can watch the webinar on-demand and get the slides at your convenience. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about the Google updates and how they affect SEO and organic rank.

A Quick Recap: Not the Norm for Google Updates (SEO and Otherwise)

Google typically releases updates for its search engine every few months or so. Six major updates in June and July far exceeds the norm. These can have profound impacts on SEO optimization for eCommerce businesses. You can catch full explanations in the webinar, but we think the changes are so important that we wanted to make sure you had them in a single post. Here’s a quick recap of the most important points for your reference:

June Core Update: 6/2-6/12

The June Core Update was the first of Google’s planned summer core updates, with the second rolling out in July. The June update was a Broad Core Algorithm Update. The big change was the inclusion of signals for user experience as part of Google’s ranking algorithm. This Google SEO update also involved testing visual indicators for page experience, which may give us a clue about the importance of images and videos going forward.

Core Web Vitals/Page Experience Update: 6/15-8/31

This update was the start of Google’s new ranking algorithm that measures page experience through a new set of metrics called Core Web Vitals (CWV). Page experience signals including CWV, mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPS, and no intrusive interstitials are also now used to qualify a page for inclusion in Google’s Top Stories and carousel section. Google believes that these changes enhance the user’s experience and eliminate previous annoyances.

Spam Update 1: 6/23

On June 23, Google released one of two scheduled Spam Updates for Search. Google said only that it was to increase the quality of search results and eliminate spam results.

Spam Update 2: 6/28

Quite similar to the June 23 Spam Update was the second installment of Google’s Search Spam Update. Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed that both updates impacted global searches across search and image results. Both announcements also linked to Google’s webspam terms. As always, Google was trying to limit bad actors who would game the algorithm or send users to dangerous sites

July Core Update: 7/2-7/12

Google’s July Core Update was Part 2 of the summer Core Updates, with the first having rolled out in June. This was also a Board Core Update to the main search algorithm. The July updates caused a stir among SEO practitioners and marketers by creating above-average volatility. As with all core updates, this was enacted to improve search by prioritizing websites that ranked high on E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) and improving search results to match user intent.

Link Spam Algorithm Update: 7/26

Rolled out on July 26, the Link Spam Algorithm Update focused on effectively identifying and nullifying link spam. Link spam comprises a lot of bad doings. If you’re curious, learn what it entails at Wikipedia’s Spamdexing  The change is set to affect search results across different languages. Google announced updated guidelines on qualifying links of a commercial nature by using the appropriate rel values (rel attribute defines the relationship between a linked resource and the current document for affiliate links, sponsored posts, and guest posts). In this update, Google reiterated best practices for link tagging. It also reminded users to avoid link schemes, link buying, and other violations.

As with each release, all of Google’s developer decisions are subject to change. You can keep up with the latest Google SEO updates here.

Next Steps for SEO Success and Improved Organic Ranking

For more on SEO best practices and ranking updates, watch the 15 Easy Ways to Turn SEO Pitfalls Into Profits the webinar on-demand and get the slides at your convenience. You can also get more info on SEO at our Ultimate Guide to Understanding & Improving eCommerce SEO: Your Free Resources Center 

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