Aside from the announced page experience change and the usual core improvements that we expect every year, Google made several surprises in store for us.
And the summertime & year-end, in particular, has been one of the most turbulent that we have seen.
In this post, we look at all of the main algorithm adjustments Google updated in 2021, outline the key features of each one, and examine what they signify for search engine optimization in 2022.
Google updates its algorithms
Every month, there are at least two big updates related to the ranking system and policies of Google Search Console (GSC). These updates affect both small businesses and large enterprises.
GSC is used by millions of users globally across various devices such as desktop browsers, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, laptops, etc. It helps them check if their websites comply with Google’s rules and guidelines.
According to recent studies, approximately 20% of people use GSC while 80% don't even realize they should go through these steps.
With this awareness, Google regularly releases updates to improve user experience and provide better services. Some of the notable ones in 2021 include:
Passage rating replace – February 2021 Update:
Google may utilize artificial intelligence to index internet sites with the passage rating replacement. But also individual passages from those pages.
The idea is to quickly respond to unique inquiries rather than requiring the user to browse through the relevant internet web page to find it.
Product reviews replace – April 2021 Update:
The goal of Google in April wasproduct reviews to stimulate product evaluations that give in-depth investigation, insightful analysis, and distinctive content material rather than summarize a listing of items.
So, to develop high-quality product review information.
Google Core Update – June 2021 Update
According to the blog post published on Jun 26th, 2021, Google intends to expand its AI capabilities.
Since artificial intelligence plays a key role in shaping customer experiences, the tech giant strives to develop products that can identify patterns and predict future actions.
To do so, Google upgraded its existing systems to handle complex tasks. And yes, that includes making decisions faster and creating fresh ideas faster.
Google's link spam update for June 2021 was intended for on-site and image results. It was into two parts, which Google stated would begin and conclude on the same day, but it took two weeks longer than intended.
Google Core Update Extended – July 2021 Update
According to the announcement posted on Jul 25th, 2021, the tech giant implemented several improvements to its search engine rankings system.
First off, Google introduced a new algorithm designed to filter abusive comments on posts.
Afterwards, Google started enforcing stricter penalties against accounts found violating certain policies.
Moreover, Google rolled out experimental changes to the link graph structure.
When it comes to SEO, Google introduced a new ranking signal known as Structured Data Markup intended to simplify reviews and other parts of a website.
Page Title – August 2021 Update
According to the announcement published on Aug 17th, 2021, Google wants to give website owners greater control over the way their content appears in SERPs.
By doing so, the platform aims to enhance user experience and encourage higher engagement levels.
For example, let's say you own a restaurant and you wish to appear on top of search results whenever someone types ‘Chinese food' into the browser. Then, you could take advantage of Google My Business feature to achieve this goal.
Once you submit your details, the tool will display your business name alongside every query on search engines.
Another noteworthy thing is that Google also enhanced its product listing policy for merchants to ensure clarity between vendors and buyers.
Now sellers won't face any difficulty while placing orders via phone calls since they'll receive instant responses from support agents.
Spam Update – October 2021 Update
On Oct 2nd, Google announced some minor changes to promote high-quality web pages over spammy sites.
The main aim was to reduce the number of low-value domains appearing in SERP results.
According to the company's official statement, “the average domain authority score for new indexed domains dropped overall during October”.
However, according to another study, most experts believe that this move would ultimately increase the rank positions of well-reputed brands rather than smaller organizations.
Therefore, we recommend staying updated with industry news to avoid negative consequences later by subscribing to our blog newsletter.
Google Core Update – November 2021
According to the report published by Moz in early 2021, Google made several changes to make sure that searchers get accurate information when searching specific queries.
For instance, if someone searches for ‘dog training', then he/she might see suggestions based on his location as well. But if he uses a different device, he may only see dog breeds instead of actual courses.
This happens because Google shows local recommendations first to attract potential customers who live near those areas.
Hence, if you want to target global audiences, then you should keep updating yourself with the latest news regarding Google updates.
Product Reviews – December 2021 Update
December saw the third wave of updates. If you're wondering why there is a threefold approach, then think again!
These updates are mainly aimed towards improving the quality of content being shared on platforms like YouTube.
Users tend to share videos containing irrelevant keywords just because they find something interesting in them. Since this type of behaviour doesn't help anyone,
Google tries to minimize it using machine learning techniques.
Besides, the other reason behind releasing multiple updates in quick succession is to boost the effectiveness of each update.
Apart from these announced updates listed here, there were 22 updates that went unannounced but still happened and noted by various SEO companies.
Google updates are a valuable source of information for SEO pros. You should always keep yourself updated with these.
Always keeping an eye on the latest Google updates and analyzing the Google search console will help you keep your website updated with the latest trends to rank top on Google.
A lot of beginner SEO pros still follow old practices and principles that they have learned by going through the top ranking websites. This is a beginner practice and should be updated.
Follow the latest Google updates and its SEO effects. We cover major updates on our blog so keep following our social media channels and subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated with these.