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Google Launches June 2021 Core Update Second Core Update Coming in July!

author image Written by: Wade Morris           Categories - Digital Marketing, In The News, SEO

Google has launched its first Core Update of 2021 – and the next Core Update is coming sooner than you’d think.

During the afternoon of Wednesday, June 2, the Google Search Liaison Twitter account, operated by Google’s Danny Sullivan, posted a thread announcing that the update would be launching later in the day.

Though there were plenty of unconfirmed Google updates in May, this is the first real Core Update of the year – the last one was launched in December 2020. SEOs have been waiting for this day!

UPDATE (June 7) – Following the launch of Google’s most recent Core Update, SEOs are taking to message boards and social media to share their reactions. Read more here: SEOs React to Google’s June Core Update

What is a Core Update?

All of Google’s updates are important to consider for webmasters – but the Core Update is particularly important.

When a Core Update is launched, Google makes broad, important changes to its search engine algorithms. This means that the metrics that are considered to rank a web page change. Therefore, webmasters should look at their web pages’ metrics to see if their performance has changed following an update.

This is not to be confused with Google’s other kinds of updates – these are usually implemented for specific purposes.

Why does Google launch these updates? The internet is a fast-paced place, and its users are constantly changing. Google updates its algorithms to better reflect changing patterns of behaviour from users, as well as their expectations. Ultimately, the goal of a Core Update is to better help users find what they’re looking for through Google Search.

Google compares core updates and the SERPs they affect to a hypothetical list of ‘top movies.’

“Imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2015,” they explained. “A few years later in 2019, you refresh the list. It’s going to naturally change. Some new and wonderful movies that never existed before will now be candidates for inclusion. You might also reassess some films and realize they deserved a higher place on the list than they had before.”

I’m a Webmaster – What Should I Do?

In 2019, Google released a guide for webmasters, detailing what to do following a Core Update. The guide – available here – is still useful years later.

“Pages that drop after a Core Update don’t have anything wrong to fix,” Google explains.

If you want your pages to rank higher following an update, they suggest reassessing your web pages’ content, first and foremost. Following a core update, what may have performed well before may begin to underperform on SERPs – meaning your content might need a refresh. With keyword search intent changing, Google is better able to align the content that users are looking for.

Google also suggests paying attention to their Search Quality Rater Guidelines for directions on how you can improve your site. This is an extensive guide that all site owners should read to perform well on SERPs.

 

How the Update Has Affected SEOs So Far

As with any Google update, the Core Update has created plenty of chatter in the SEO community.

So far, a handful of experts have seen little change. Rob May, our V.P. of Search & Digital at Creative TRND, notes that sites have been stable for the most part, but fluctuations could still be coming.

 

Others SEO professionals seem to have the same results looking at thier client data this morning:

Of course, updates affect each site differently, and users may notice changes days or even weeks later.

When’s the Next Core Update? Much Sooner Than You’d Expect!

Typically, Google launches a Core Update once every few months. However, Google has different plans for this summer: a second Core Update will be launched in July – just one month later.

“Some of our planned improvements for the June 2021 update aren’t quite ready,” Google tweeted yesterday. “We’re moving ahead with the parts that are, then we will follow with the rest with the July 2021 update.”

Our VP of Search’s theory is that the GWVC (Google Web Core Vitals) algorithm wasn’t quite ready for a full roll-out in June, so some of the its foundations are being pushed out now, in preparation for the upcoming GWCV launch.

Notably, Google explained that the dual nature of the update may cause chaos for some users.

“Because of the two-part nature of this release, it’s possible a very small slice of content might see changes in June that reverse in July.”

Additionally, Google is still planning to launch the Google Page Experience Update this month – it will bring Core Web Vitals into the fold.

Google’s Core Web Vitals measure three metrics that will soon affect search rankings.

These metrics are:

  • Largest Contentful Paint, or how quickly content loads

  • First Input Delay, or how quickly a page can become interactive

  • Cumulative Layout Shift, or how little unexpected movement of visual elements there is on the page.

Learn more about the Google Page Experience Update here.

The freshly launched Core Update has only been live for less than 24 hours, and these updates normally take a few days to complete. We recommend checking in on your pages periodically over the next week.

Wade Morris

Wade brings an energetic approach to writing – he is always on the hunt for stories and angles that matter. With years of experience in journalism and marketing environments, Wade has written about everything from politics to education. Now, he writes about SEO and digital marketing trends.

Google Confirms Core Updates Can Affect Local & Image Search

08/05/2021

Interesting news for Google Image and Local Search enthusiasts – contrary to popular belief, core updates can, in fact, impact both image search and local search results. This comes directly from the source, Google Public Search Liason, Danny Sullivan.

While Sullivan had previously stated that core updates don’t impact local results, he is now changing his tune. On August 3, he confirmed on Twitter that it actually depends on the situation, as core updates can affect all different types of content across search.

“Core updates can involve image results or any type of content because they involve our core ranking systems that themselves involve all types of content. That’s why our page about them mentions ‘content” so often,’ said Sullivan, adding that generally, core updates don’t involve local search.

“It typically wouldn’t do much. But it could because…core updates involve our core ranking systems…”

READ MORE: July 2021 Core Update Completes 12-Day Launch

Sullivan’s comments were made in response to SEO consultant and Search Engine Land columnist, Glenn Gabe, who posted on Twitter how core updates can impact image search with examples and tagged Sullivan to confirm.

After his initial comments, Sullivan went on to explain how you can tell if your image or local search content has been impacted by a core update.

“Typically, if you see — as our post says — “widely notable effects,” that’s a sign a core update is playing a role with content.”

So, there you have it. Images and local search can be impacted by core updates. Are you surprised by this revelation?

READ MORE: SEOs React to July Core Update
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July 2021 Core Update Completes 12-Day Launch

07/13/2021

SEOs have kept their eyes peeled all summer for information pertaining to Google’s various updates. Finally, Google has announced that its pair of summer core updates has finished rolling out.

Google launched its first core update of the year on June 2. With the launch, Google said that it would be splitting the core update into two launches – one for June and one for July.

The June update completed its rollout on June 12, and the July update began its rollout on July 1, finishing yesterday, as per an announcement from Google:

The core update is a particularly significant type of update. Upon a core update launch, Google makes broad changes to its search algorithms, in turn affecting what metrics are used to rank pages on SERPs. Following a launch, SEOs and site owners should pay close attention to their sites’ performance.

READ MORE OF OUR JULY 2021 CORE UPDATE COVERAGE

Not Done Cooling Down Yet

Even though the July core update is finished rolling out, tracking tools are still showing plenty of heat. Over the last twelve days, there have been two ‘spikes’ of activity – one on July 2 and one on July 9. It’s possible that sites are still reacting or catching up, even though Google isn’t making more explicit changes.

SEMRush as of July 13 at 10:00 a.m.

Have You Been Affected?

It’s not always clear following a core update which sites or pages will be affected. Most SEOs would agree that the update phase feels like a rollercoaster.

SEO Barry Schwartz writes that he’s ready plenty of theories about the recent updates on forums and social media. These posts speculate on what the update’s actual outcomes were, and what site owners should do to recover. However, Schwartz warns not to feed into these theories without proof.

I don’t think any of those theories have anything to do with what a core update is about or what it actually does,” he says. “Please be careful when reading these theories and associating them with the core update. I really think they are unrelated and lead you to fishing for the wrong thing.”

SEO Glenn Gabe, meanwhile, writes that he’s seen volatile results across sites from certain categories.

Specifically, sites with content pertaining to finances or the health and medical industry seemed to be hit hardest. Additionally, sites with product reviews have been hit hard, especially considering that the product reviews update was launched in the spring.

Gabe provides plenty of tips for SEOs who want their sites to recover. He points out that, unfortunately, you may have to wait for the next update to see favourable results.

“Sites that are heavily impacted by broad core updates typically cannot see recovery until another broad core updates rolls out,” he says.

Still, site owners should take an ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ approach to fixing their rankings. This means checking every possible factor rather than assuming a drop in rankings comes from one specific thing.

A Timeline of Recent Updates

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