July kicked off with more Google algorithm updates, as part two of the June/July core update landed bright and early on July 1st. Google also released a new link spam update later in the month, as well as the first application of their new MUM technology, an AI-based solution driving greater efficiency in parsing and processing information.
In other Google news, John Mueller has provided some clarifications around internal linking, and the Page Experience update (vs the old Google Speed update); and commented on a lag users were seeing in the GSC Index Coverage report. Google Search Console has added Math Solvers as a search appearance filter, and SERP features continue to evolve, with new guidance (and a new structured data property) for job postings and a new way to enable video key moments in Search. Another update to SERP features was the addition of ranking factor notes to the “about this result” overlay.
July’s Top Stories
July 2021 Core Algorithm Update: June saw a lot of algorithm updates, and this is continuing into July, with another core update that began rolling out on July 1st. This July update was announced as the second part of the update which rolled out on June 2nd. Both of these updates took about 2 weeks to roll out fully.
Initial industry analysis indicates that the impact of the July update was slightly less than the June one. These updates seem to be particularly affecting listing and reference sites, for example car sales, song lyrics and celebrities and tv information. There have also been some mixed outcomes for dictionary and translation sites. Finally, we’re seeing some sites which were impacted by the December 2020 core update rebounding with the June/July updates.
In addition to the core update rollout (and the first application of Google’s new Multitask Unified Model (MUM) technology), there was also a new link spam update which rolled out on July 26th, accompanied by a Google Developers post “reminding” readers of linking best practice guidelines. This update was a global and multilingual update, which focused on nullifying spammy links rather than actively penalizing them. It remains to be seen to what degree this will impact overall search results.
Google has added new “about this result” notes in SERPs: Google has announced a new feature of the “about this result” overlay, providing additional details on the high-level factors for why that particular page is ranking. These factors include matching keywords, related terms, links, and local or linguistic relevance. It’s pretty basic but somewhat interesting.
Tight Ship take: we’re speculating that this could be an “anti-antitrust” play from Google, safeguarding themselves from accusations of low transparency and to avoid being subpoenaed for full details of ranking factors.
Read on for our roundup of what else is new in search this month:
Industry News and Updates
- Google has consolidated all Google Search Content Policies in one place
- Google updates job posting guidelines with new structured data property and content policy
- Google announces a new way to enable video key moments in Search
- First look at MUM impact: how MUM improved Google Searches for vaccine information
- Google is fixing two search bugs: review snippets and soft 404 detection
- John Mueller: Assume the Google Page Experience update replaced the old Google Speed update
- John Mueller: Using too many internal links on a page can dilute their value
- Google: We ignore PDFs for Core Web Vitals & Mobile Friendlessness
GSC and BWT Updates
- Google Search Console: Performance report adds Math Solvers as search appearance filter
- John Mueller on lag in GSC Index Coverage report