A few times a year, Google rolls out core updates, which are often noticeable to businesses and can impact search rankings. These core updates aim to provide the best search experience possible, and deliver on Google’s “mission to present relevant and authoritative content to searchers”. Each time a large core update is rolled out, Google refers to their search quality rating guidelines to serve as a reminder for businesses to focus “on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward”.
It’s crucial for content producers, developers, and local marketers alike to understand the impact of these core updates to ensure your site continues to achieve prime positioning in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Having a firm understanding of what has changed with Google is the best way to improve your search ranking. Let’s dive into what Google’s June 2021 Core Update entails.
Expect Two Back-to-Back Core Updates
There will be two back-to-back core updates, one that will roll out in June and the other in July. Historically, most major core algorithm updates release months apart from one another, making these releases a rarity. The reason for the two-month rollout? Google said that some of the company’s planned improvements for the June core update will not be ready to release this month, and will be pushed until July instead.
What the June 2021 Core Update Means for Enterprise Brands
Google notes, “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”. Danny Sullivan, Public Liaison for Search at Google, shared with Inc. that most sites won’t notice either of these updates.
However, if you do notice a substantial decrease in traffic to your site, Sullivan adds that “these changes aren’t because of something they’ve done, but rather because of how our systems have been improved to better assess content overall and better address user expectations.” Improving your site’s content and technical aspects of SEO are the first steps to ensuring your site is ranking highly in the search results.
It’s also important to note that Google’s June and July core updates are happening concurrently with the page experience update. Over the next 3-4 months, it is even more necessary to watch your local marketing performance closely and focus on Core Web Vitals. To learn more about the page experience update, check out our ebook: The Ultimate Guide to Google Page Experience for Enterprise Brands.
How Businesses Can Ensure They’re Not Negatively Impacted by Core Updates
Google shares what webmasters should know about Google’s core updates with each of its updates. Guidance for the June 2021 Core Update can be found on Google Search Central’s blog. Additionally, Google recommends adhering to the following best practices to improve the search experience for your site:
- Provide a mobile-friendly experience: In the first quarter of 2021, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 54.8% of global website traffic, proving that more people use their phones to search than desktop devices. Use a responsive design that works for mobile users to improve their search experience with your business and encourage conversions.
- Avoid keyword stuffing in page titles: The title of a page should reflect the content on the page. Provide a clear description of the page and what your readers and Google can expect to see on that page.
- Decrease your page load speed: Google has continuously expressed the need for an optimal page experience, as evidenced by their page experience update. Page experience signals such as largest contentful paint, first input delay, and cumulative layout shift all are taken into consideration when evaluating how quickly your page loads for a searcher.
- Use alt-tags for images to provide more information for Google crawlers: Detailed alt images also tell a searcher what the image is if the image fails to load on the user’s screen.
- Keep your sitemap up to date: Google states, “sitemap tells Google which pages and files you think are important in your site and also provides valuable information about these files: for example, for pages, when the page was last updated, how often the page is changed, and any alternate language versions of a page”.
- Maintain a healthy search presence: Your local listings are key in helping searchers find more information about your business. Ensure consistency across all your locations for every directory your business appears on and be the voice of authority for each of your location’s information. If you’re in need of an audit to see where your local opportunities lie, Rio SEO can perform a custom audit for your business for free.
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