There are things in the world that are certain to happen once a year. Christmas, tax time and your birthday, to name just a few. Google’s Broad Core Algorithm Updates also make it on the list, even though they may be a little less emotional for you - unless you happen to work in SEO, that is. The most recent Broad Core Algorithm Updates were released in June and July 2021.These updates typically take a week or two to roll out entirely, but this last one was slightly different. The last Broad Core Algorithm Update was split into two parts seeing that some of the planned updates were not quite ready for the June launch.But instead of delaying the release, Google stuck to their plan and began the roll-out of phase 1 on June 2nd, explaining that the next instalment would follow in July.
Some of our planned improvements for the June 2021 update aren’t quite ready, so we’re moving ahead with the parts that are, then we will follow with the rest with the July 2021 update. Most sites won’t notice either of these updates, as is typical with any core updates....
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) June 2, 2021
What is a Broad Core Algorithm Update?
A couple of times each year, Google will make noteworthy, Broad Updates to the search algorithms and internal systems. In the past, Google referred to these as "Core Updates". These updates are significant because you may notice the impacts of these changes on your search engine rankings as a webmaster. But why does the search engine keep updating their algorithms? What happened to “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? If we believe Google, broad core algorithm updates are designed to ensure that searchers are presented with the most relevant and authoritative content. Whilst Google doesn’t usually announce minor updates, broad core updates typically produce notable effects. Some website owners may notice drops in traffic - or vice versa.If Google didn’t inform us of these updates, many webmasters' heart rates would go through the roof as they look to fix errors where there are none - or worse, fix the wrong things.Here’s another way to put it: Just imagine you made a list of your favourite songs in 2011. A decade later, you do it again. Naturally, the list will now look different. Perhaps your favourite bands have released new songs, maybe your taste in music has changed a little. Perhaps you now rate some of the songs much higher than you previously did. Others might have moved to the bottom of the list because more deserving songs come before them.That is exactly what happens when Google updates their algorithms. They change the way they assess songs, err, listings.Consequently, some content on your site may now do better - or worse, than before the update.
The Difference Between a Core Update And Other Updates
We don’t want you to panic, but the fact is that Google releases one or more algorithm and system changes every single day, thousands of times each year. Most of these updates might not be noticeable but help Google improve the user experience and the quality of search results.These ongoing updates are usually focused on improving specific categories of results. An example would be the recent Google Page Experience Updates. Broad core algorithm updates can be a lot more noticeable than those daily updates. As the name suggests, they involve broader improvements to Google Search and substantial changes to the ranking processes instead of targeting specific categories.
Google’s Philosophy on Core Algorithm Updates
Whilst it’s wise to be aware of any updates and the possible consequences for your site’s performance, there’s no reason to worry. Google wants to make sure all search results users are presented with are relevant and as trustworthy as possible.If you notice any changes during or after a core update, it’s likely due to a range of factors you will need to address over time.So take a step back and get a broader view of how your online presence could improve overall before you do anything else. At the same time, if you see improvements in your ranking, it’s likely a result of ongoing search engine optimisation, not an effect of the Algorithm update in itself.
Things that you won’t get away with include, but are not limited to:
- Technical SEO problems
- Low content quality
- User experience issues
- Deceptive marketing techniques
The Impact We Have Seen So Far
There’s no reason to panic. So far, none of our current clients has seen immediate changes due to the June or July 2021 Core Updates.If search rankings are essential to your business, it is necessary to monitor your position. Yet, ranking fluctuations are normal and can drop or increase due to many factors - Core updates aside. Sometimes, you may lose a position you’ve held for a while because a competitor made improvements to their site or hired a new SEO agency.
What You As A Webmasters Or SEO Can Do
Following Google’s recommendations, we can only repeat how important it is to “focus on offering the best content you can”. Here’s a couple of questions you need to ask yourself to get started:
- Does your website provide unique and valuable information?
- Are your headlines and page titles descriptive?
- Is your content trustworthy, well researched and produced?
- Does your website display well on all devices?
- Does your website offer added value to that of competitors?
- Does your content meet users’ expectations?
Keen to learn more? You can read more about these Core Updates on Google’s Webmasters Blog. Still a little lost? Not sure where to start optimising your site? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the SEO experts at Anchor Digital! We’d love to hear from you!