This month was a big one for algorithm updates! In addition to the much-anticipated Page Experience update beginning its rollout, Google announced two core updates, one in early June and one in early July. There was also a separate spam update released on June 23rd and June 28th.
In other Google news, John Mueller reiterated that quality changes can take several months to be reprocessed and evaluated, and Google released additional documentation around Google News sources as AMP no longer is required for Top Stories carousel or Google News inclusion. Google search data also got a refresh, with the new Search Console Insights feature, combining Google Analytics and GSC data to offer insights into how audiences discover websites’ content.
In tech and tools updates, the acquisition of Moz by email marketing provider iContact generated quite the buzz, while Shopify announced that they are now making it possible for site owners to edit their site’s robots.txt file.
Read on for our top stories and roundup of what else is new in search this month:
June’s Top Stories
Page Experience update is rolling out and will finish by Aug: at long last (and after a COVID-related delay of about a year), the Google Page Experience update began rolling out on June 15 and is expected to be completed by the end of August 2021. The announcement emphasized that this update is expected to have a minimal initial impact, as it is being rolled out slowly and also is just one of many factors that the algorithm considers for ranking purposes. As part of this update, Google is also expanding eligibility for its “Top Stories” carousel, removing the AMP requirement for inclusion in this feature and for Google News inclusion.
Multiple other Google algorithm updates rolling out in June and July: On June 2, Google announced they were releasing a new core update, along with the statement that this would be followed by another one in July. (The reason for this was that some of the improvements planned for the June update wouldn’t be ready in time and will instead roll out a month later.) They also noted the possibility that a small number of sites may see changes in June that then are reversed in July’s update. Early signs point to Health, Autos & Vehicles, Pets & Animals, and Science & Travel being the most affected verticals for the June core update. Despite this, overall the initial update seems to have rolled out slowly and with relatively low impact. Reports of directory sites and fake airport domains being impacted will be interesting to keep an eye on, as well as some content-focused sites losing visibility.
In addition to these core updates and the Page Experience update, on June 23rd Google announced they were rolling out a new spam update. This update was completed on the same day, with a part two update released on June 28th. So far the impact of these updates seems fairly minimal.
Read on for our roundup of what else is new in search this month:
Industry News and Updates
- Google I/O 2021 – Official Roundup
- New documentation on Google News sources as AMP is no longer required for inclusion in Top Stories or the Google News app
- Google: Quality Changes Take Several Months To Be Reprocessed & Reevaluated
- Spam Update: leading up to this update, Google published some documentation related to spam prevention and spam-related guidelines:
- Google Dev Blog: How we worked with you towards a safe and spam-free Search experience in 2020
- Google Dev Blog: Prevent portions of your site from being abused by spam
GSC and BWT Updates
- Search Console regex filters update and quick tips
- Learn how to improve your content with Search Console Insights