Google June & July 2021 Core Update

Google’s June Core Update Begins June 2, 2021 

Google has just announced it will begin releasing its June 2021 Core Update today, with Part-2 of this release to begin in Mid-July called the “July 2021 Core Update”. Below is the official statement from Google’s SearchLiaison Danny Sullivan. With Google outwardly noting that dropped rank doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong with your content, or conversely if rank increases that you have done something right, be aware that you might not have an immediate change that is required, but instead it might be time to refresh some of your existing content or freshen up your current content strategy. Since these Core updates can take 2-3 weeks to fully release, it is best to monitor any impacts you see this month especially since with a new update coming next month, it is possible any changes you see might end up being corrected next month anyway. This means if you see page rank increase, don’t get too excited until after you are able to see what occurs after the July 2021 Core Update, and the reverse is true if you see a rank decrease.

As Google explains “pages that drop after a core update don’t have anything wrong to fix. This said, we understand those who do less well after a core update change may still feel they need to do something. We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward.” For this reason, Google Core updates may not mean there is anything wrong with your site or content, but instead, new signals are being used by Google’s algorithm which might result in it finding other content more valuable or relevant than your content. Our advice is to consistently focus on the most engaging content using some of the principles Google has outlined, which we will further discuss below. If you notice consistent drops in rank or performance, it is then worth looking at other signals that might be influencing this.

Another factor to consider will be Google’s Page Experience update also slated for this month. Search Engine Land does a great job of outlining the factors that Google will be implementing in its page experience update article. The main impact of this change is that Google will begin to use its Core Web Vitals in its ranking factors. We talked about Google’s Core Web Vitals in our Google Algorithm Update – User Experience article, but this update from Google basically means the algorithm will begin using signals from user experience data as users interact with a page to determine how these users “perceive the experience of interacting with a web page”. The result of this is if Google’s Core Web Vitals reflect that someone has a poor website experience, that page may be negatively impacted in rank. Since this is a different update from the Core June 2021 Update or the Core July 2021 Update, this is an update that needs to be treated separately, which we will discuss further in a future article. For now, it would be good to update yourself on the March 2019 Core Update, which we wrote about in an article discussing the E-A-T impact towards page experience.

When it comes to the impact of the June 2021 Core Update, we already discussed our recommendation of waiting until the July 2021 Update is completed to determine what impact you might have actually seen from these two updates combined before taking any considerable action. When thinking about what action you might consider taking, whether now or following the full release of both updates, we lean on Google’s advice of “focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward.” before assuming the worst about your site.

Google offers some starting points in an effort to help break down how to do this, which we explain more below. The goal of these steps is to assess how well your content is meeting the quality standards and determine if there are ways to either freshen up or write new, more relevant content. These are questions directly from Google’s What Webmaster’s Should Know About Google’s Core Updates article, which we will further explore in a later article with some of our own interpretations and explorations of the questions.

Content And Quality Questions

  • Does the content provide original information, reporting, research, or analysis?
  • Does the content provide a substantial, complete, or comprehensive description of the topic?
  • Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • If the content draws on other sources, does it avoid simply copying or rewriting those sources and instead provide substantial additional value and originality?
  • Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content?
  • Does the headline and/or page title avoid being exaggerating or shocking in nature?
  • Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  • Would you expect to see this content in or referenced by a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?

Expertise Questions

  • Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author or the site that publishes it, such as through links to an author page or a site’s About page?
  • If you researched the site producing the content, would you come away with an impression that it is well-trusted or widely-recognized as an authority on its topic?
  • Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?
  • Is the content free from easily-verified factual errors?
  • Would you feel comfortable trusting this content for issues relating to your money or your life?

Presentation And Production Questions

  • Is the content free from spelling or stylistic issues?
  • Was the content produced well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
  • Does the content have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  • Does content display well for mobile devices when viewed on them?

Comparative questions

  • Does the content provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  • Does the content seem to be serving the genuine interests of visitors to the site or does it seem to exist solely by someone attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?

In addition to challenging yourself and your team with these questions, it might be worth having a trusted unbias resource provide an assessment of your site and where they see room for improvement. It is also worth keeping a record or audit of any rank decreases you have experienced, what pages you have experienced the largest drop in rank, and what searches you show up less relevant for. By looking at these things, you can also make educated guesses on understanding how any of these drops might be aligned with some of the questions listed above.