Biggest Google Algorithm Updates 2021 – Helps Stay In Line With SEO Best Practices& Further Updates of 2022
Google is constantly evolving its algorithm to improve user experience. The changes can appear subtle, and many of us overlook them. Once a Google algorithm update is made, it becomes part of the permanent algorithm. Few Google algorithm updates in the search engine history have had more success than Google Penguin.
On April 24th, 2012, Penguin was launched to fight webspam by demoting websites engaged in manipulative link schemes. Starting January 2014, Penguin began to impact Google organic search results and caused significant volatility in organic search.
But why should we discuss about these changes now, at the end of 2021? Without a doubt, these are major factors to keep your website on top of SERP in 2022. Because, the upcoming 2022 Google Algorithm changes are based on these recent updates. If we follow and familiar with these 2021 updates, it would be more convenient to stay in line with the upcoming updates.
If you want to analyze your site and the impact of Google algorithm changes, many SEO website agencies can do so. Also, knowing what kind of Google updates have taken place in 2021 will help you stay focused and have a good SEO score.
Google Algorithm Updates 2021
1. Passage Ranking Update
Passage Ranking is a new ranking factor intended to help better understand articles covering a wide range of topics. Google announced on February 10 that a new ranking factor, Passage Ranking, has gone live for US-based English queries.
Passage Ranking is an all-new ranking factor developed by Google for identifying and ranking relevant passages within web pages in search. The core objective of this method is to quickly answer particular queries of users instead of making them browse through all pages.
According to Google SearchLiaison, “This change doesn’t mean we’re indexing individual passages independently of pages. We’re still indexing pages and considering info about entire pages for ranking. But now we can also consider passages from pages as an additional ranking factor….”
Google may now, in 2022, employ artificial intelligence to index web pages and individual passages (paragraphs, phrases) from those pages, thanks to the passage ranking update. As a result, specific passages can appear as the featured snippet.
2. Google’s About This Result Update
“About This Result” – an interesting new addition to Google search results started rolling out from February 2021. Users can get more information about the websites shown in the search results by using this feature.
Google search users can use this feature to learn more about the websites/results that result on the Google Search page. It provides greater context by providing more information about the search result, especially if they are seeking anything vital, such as health or financial information, as follows –
- When Google initially indexed
- Which terms from your search appear on the page.
- Whether theweb site is secure or not
- The pagelanguage.
- Whether there is a link to other website pages related to the search terms
- Whether it appears to be relevant for this search various locations.
You can click on the three-dot icons in the top-right corner of the result card to activate the function.
At the time of launching, Google noted, “If it’s a site you haven’t heard of before, that additional information can give you context or peace of mind, especially if you’re looking for something important, like health or financial information,
3. Mobile-First Indexing Update
In 2015, as mobile traffic increased in the 2010s, Google began to emphasizemobile-friendlinessas a ranking factor. A year later, Google implemented mobile-first indexing, which refers to when Google crawls and ranks your website pages based on the mobile version of that content.
As of July 2019, Google brought out Mobile-First Indexing as the prior version and default for all new websites. Then in March 2019, Google implemented a 100% mobile-first indexing update for both old & new websites.
To make your website more mobile-friendly:
- Make sure your website is responsive
- Image compression
- Always test popups and form functionality on your phone manually
Google is expanding its user base by rewarding websites that deliver a pleasant experience because most searches are done on mobile devices. With the help of Search Console or Google Mobile-friendly test tool, you can find out site-wide mobile performance in no time.
4. Product Reviews Update
The purpose of Google’s product reviews update on April 2021 was to encourage product reviews that included in-depth research, intelligent analysis, and original material rather than just summarizing a list of products. So, to develop high-quality product review content, Google suggests that you:
- Demonstrate excellent product understanding.
- Provide unique content in addition to what the manufacturer offers.
- Provide quantitative performance indicators.
- Compare it to other products and prior models.
- Assist customers in making informed purchasing decisions.
With this update, your genuine product reviews from the real customers get identified by the Google and filter spam automatically. Thus, every genuine product stand out from the crowd and get ranked on top in coming years.
5. MUM Update
In May 2021, Google announced the Multitask Uniform Model (MUM) update, the most recent search engine adaptation. MUM is a multimodal algorithm that evaluates information across multi-language text, images, video, and audio to solve complex queries.
MUM is Google’s newest technology, allowing the search engine to understand the content better and search intent.According to Google, MUM is a thousand times more powerful than its predecessor BERT and will help Google better interpret not only written text (HTML, PDF, TXT, etc.) but also videos, photos, and podcasts in 75 languages, bringing it one step closer to actual interaction with users. This means that instead of scanning documents on the subject matter, future searches will provide information that is the best fit for the search query.
MUM is laying the groundwork for translating information from other languages and making it accessible in the user’s local dialect.
As like human mind, MUM’s AI smarts can understand user intent and thought process and it will be more accurate in 2022.
6. Link Spam Update
On July 26, Google launched the Link Spam Update, a new initiative to prevent low-quality content from ranking higher.Since the link spam Google algorithm update can detect links in several languages, many links could be affected.
When labeling your links, employ the following tagging practices and some more tips to avoid being punished by Google:
- “rel=sponsored” affiliate links
- “rel=sponsored” is used to identify sponsored links.
- “rel=nofollow” for guest posting
- Integrate SSL certification
- Regularly monitor Search Console property to find security issues
- Check for spam actions like multiple requests from a single IP address
- Use the “noindex” tag to avoid low-trust pages from Google indexing
Following white hat SEO tactics and avoiding approaches that violate Google’s link scheme standards is best to avoid being affected by the upgrade.
7. The Page Experience Update
Google began rolling out a major core algorithm update called “The Page Experience Update” on June 16th, 2021.
This update aims to provide a better user experience by prioritizing pages that provide high-quality page performance, such as quick load times and a non-shifting, stable page. Google has long had page experience metrics — mobile-friendliness, HTTPS security, and invasive interstitials — and has emphasized speedy sites since 2010. But with the Google Page Experience update2021, they areadding three additional metrics, the Core Web Vital, to measure both speed and overall page experience. It includes –
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): how quickly a page’s primary content loads.
- First Input Delay (FID): the time it takes for a webpage to respond to a user’s first action on it.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): the layout’s stability (i.e., whether elements move around suddenly).
Page Speed Insights or the Core Web Vitals report in Search Console provide real-time data for these parameters. Each of these reports includes suggestions for improving the page’s responsiveness as listed below:
- Remove any interstitials or banners that block content.
- Make use of lazy loading.
- Compress and optimize images.
- Make sure photos and embedded in the correct dimensions.
- Make server response times faster.
Google also announced that the Page Experience update will come to desktop in February 2022 and the roll out will be completed by March ending.
8. Google’s Page Titles Update
Google released the latest approach to creating title tags for web pages on August 25, 2021. When SEOs noticedstrange title tag rewrites appearing in the SERPs, the upgrade caused quite a stir.
Google has a history of changing title tags. Since 2012, Google could override HTML title tags in some circumstances. The way they create title tags, on the other hand, has been altered, and SEOs were among the first to discover the changes.
In the past, Google has displayed title tags that are more relevant to a searcher’s query using Meta tags and public information. The new Google page title update is intended to give appropriate titles for every inquiry, lowering the likelihood of a webpage displaying different titles based on search intent. Google is now generating relevant title tags from the text on a page.
The anticipation of the most significant Google algorithm updates 2021 is over here! Businesses and users must stay in line with these changes to succeed. Even though these updates seem similar to the previous updates, they are still a significant disruption to many since they impact the day-to-day SEO best practices that have been in place for over a decade. Most of these updates are the basics for the Google algorithm updates 2022 and would be more progressive than these updates.
Want to integrate your website as per the latest Google algorithm updates? DevGraphix can assist you to be on top of SERP by following all the Google search algorithm updates 2021.
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