Google Algorithm updates every marketer needs to know about

Keeping up with algorithm updates is an ongoing task for marketers. These changes, be it across search engines or social media platforms, can have a significant impact on how we reach and communicate with our audiences. Think of Instagrams latest algorithm update and it becomes clear just how much impact these updates can have.

When it comes to Google, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and get lost in the ‘race against the algorithm’. Particularly at the rate that it has been rolling out these changes. Below I’ve listed some of its key algorithm changes and how marketers can navigate them in 2021:

Google passage ranking update– February 2021

If you frequently browse the net using Google, you’re likely to have noticed the search engine’s increased use of specific passages at the top of your search results.  This new update, announced back in October 2020, highlighted that Google would now not only rank pages but individual passages on the overall page in order to enable users to find the needle-in-a-haystack information they are looking for. It was announced that the key update will affect 7% of search queries across all languages when fully rolled out globally, which will significantly impact site owners.

Google page experience update – June 2021

This update reiterated the significance Google places on user experience. It introduced the use of core web vitals that will be used  to judge web pages based on how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. So, that’s everything from how mobile-friendly your site is, your site’s HTTPS status, its speed and interactivity…you get the point. The good thing is Google has not only broken down the every aspect it will measure but has given us roughly 6 months to prepare and make ample changes ahead of time.

Google core update – June & July 2021

As with all of Google’s core updates, the latest update made significant, broad changes to the search engine’s search algorithms and systems. Spanning across June and July, the two-part update covered Google’s core ranking algorithm as opposed to specific ones like the page experience update. Sites that were significantly impacted were mainly what Google calls YMYL (Your Money or Your Life), i.e., websites offering advice on sensitive topics such as finance, law and health. While older sites that had been losing visibility over the last few years were rewarded.

Final words

It’s important to recognise that these updates can actually provide us with great opportunities as marketers. For example, optimising your site as per the Google page experience update will not only improve your site’s rankings but also user experience. It really is a win-win! The key of course, is to be well-informed and well prepared.

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