SEO News You Can Use: Part 2 of Google’s Latest Update, the July 2021 Core Update, Is Rolling Out

SEO News You Can Use

Another week, another Google update (or, in this case, another two). It’s becoming increasingly challenging for SEOs to determine which algorithm change is causing ranking shifts because there’s an endless supply of updates to choose from. So first, the big one: The sequel to the June 2021 Core Update, dubbed the July 2021 Core Update, started rolling out on Thursday – another global rollout impacting all languages. Google announced the rollout on Twitter.

This algorithm update is really just the other half of last month’s update and consists of planned improvements that weren’t ready for release when the previous core update launched on June 2. The June 2021 Core Update took about 10 days to complete, but historically, most core updates require the full 14-day period, so it wouldn’t be surprising if this one lasts a little longer.

But that’s not the only “part two” of an update that was released last week. On Tuesday, Google also announced that the second half of its so-called “spam update” was rolling out – a smaller-scale update that only took a day to complete. Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed on Twitter that this is just another part of the spam update that was released two weeks ago and is similar in nature. This update concludes another battle in Google’s continued war on spam, something the search engine has been vocal about in recent months. 

If you’re playing by Google’s rules and following its guidelines, you shouldn’t be one of the affected parties. But the Core Update is a little more unpredictable. Google has already warned that the two-part release increases the possibility that content that saw drastic changes in June could reverse in July, so we can’t be 100 percent sure that any changes we’re seeing will be permanent. 

The past three months have already seen a total of six algorithm updates (that we know of). And, let’s not forget, we’re still right in the middle of Google’s Page Experience update, which was initiated on June 15 and will only complete at the end of August. The tectonic plates of the internet are still extremely unsettled, and it’s still impossible to predict where – and when – the ground might crack. 

And while it’s easy to start panicking at the slightest wobble in your rankings, it’s possible that the changes you’re seeing now won’t be permanent. Only by mid-July will we have a clearer picture of what the June and July core updates have done to (or for) us – and, even then, the numerous other updates could have been the actual cause. When there’s so little to be certain of, the only thing we can do is wait and see what happens. When August hits and Page Experience is fully rolled out, we’ll feel more confident in our understanding of how we’ve been affected and what we need to fix. 

More SEO News You Can Use

Google’s First Real-World Test of MUM Proves the Model To Be Highly Effective: Google’s first-ever application of its sophisticated new language model, MUM (Multitask Unified Model), is officially underway. Back in May, we reported on the introduction to MUM as a “language model 1000 times more powerful than BERT” at Google’s I/O conference. Now, Google is officially testing it in the real world. And if Google’s blog post is anything to go by, the results are rather astounding. Google used MUM to understand variations of COVID-19 vaccine searches. According to the company, MUM was able to identify more than 800 variations of vaccine names in over 50 languages in seconds – a feat that would otherwise take weeks to achieve. As far as early testing goes, it looks like MUM will be able to deliver on Google’s promises and then some. 

Google Shares Tips on Speeding Up the Process of SEO: If you’ve ever worked with a client, you’ve undoubtedly been asked this question: How long does SEO take? And as any SEO knows, there’s no easy answer, and it’s never a good idea to promise results. But maybe now you can let Google take some of the fall. In the latest episode of Ask Googleblot, Google’s John Mueller answered how long SEO takes for new pages. As we’re well aware, a definite time frame does not exist, but there are ways to expedite crawling, indexing and, therefore, ranking. A new page can take anywhere from hours to weeks to be indexed, and Mueller guesses most good content is indexed within a week or so. Mueller, predictably, can’t give a definitive answer, but he does offer plenty of advice for making pages rank as quickly as possible. Check out the full video to find out what he says.

Google Implies That a Website’s Appearance Can Affect Its Rankings: Well, well, well. It seems looks do matter. In a recent SEO office-hours hangout, Mueller confirmed that a business website’s presentation and overall aesthetics can affect its search visibility. Mueller said a website’s design could impact its performance if it doesn’t meet users’ expectations of quality and experience. He also explained that some details may seem insignificant to a site owner but could be a major turn-off for users. Stylistic issues, hastily produced content, too many ads, bad color choice – all of these factors might turn users away from your website and affect your position on search results. If your website isn’t seeing a lot of traffic or your bounce rate is high, it’s a good idea to get some unbiased feedback on your website presentation.

Google Has Released a Document on HTTP Status Codes and SEO: A new help document published by Google explains how different HTTP status codes could be affecting your site’s visibility in search results. The document covers the 20 status codes Googlebot most often encounters. It also looks at how network and DNS errors impact Google Search. The document goes into thorough detail, and most SEOs would likely already be familiar with a lot of this information. That said, it’s always advisable to refresh your knowledge with the most updated insights about all facets of SEO. Matt Southern of Search Engine Journal (SEJ) put together a helpful summary of the contents of the help document, so consider running through his blog for a quick reminder of how these status codes affect your rankings.

Remember Panda? Here’s Why It’s Still Relevant Today: Google Panda is probably something you haven’t thought about in a while, but SEJ’s Danny Goodwin is here to remind you that, even a decade later, the update affects us. In a viral blog titled “A Complete Guide to the Google Panda Update: 2011-21,” Goodwin goes into great detail about Google Panda: why it was launched, how it relates to Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness (E-A-T), what we need to know about it and a complete timeline. Goodwin’s article serves as a reminder of what happens when an update becomes part of Google’s core algorithm – while we don’t talk about Panda anymore, any Google core update is underpinned by principles Panda introduced. It’s entirely possible that in the next 10 years, Google’s Page Experience update will see a similar fate. We won’t be talking about it as much, but SEO as we know it will be influenced by it.

Editor’s Note: “SEO News You Can Use” is a weekly blog post posted every Monday morning only on, rounding up all the top SEO news from around the world. Our goal is to make a one-stop-shop for everyone looking for SEO news, education and for hiring an SEO expert with our comprehensive SEO agency directory.

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