Google has introduced a new update to its core. This update will roll out from June through til August, with the first release on June 2. Google’s core update brings noticeable changes to its search engine results pages (SERPs). For this reason, it will impact digital marketers around the globe.

This article will examine what you need to know about the 2021 Google Core Update. We will explore what this update is about and the reasons why Google decided to update its core algorithm. 

After investigating these background factors, we will showcase some professional opinions concerning the update’s pros and cons. By the end of this 5-minute read, you will have all the tips needed to prepare your search engine optimisation and use the update to your SEO advantage.

What is the 2021 Google Core Update About?

Core updates aim to increase the overall quality of Google’s search results. As mentioned above, Google began rolling out its new update on June 2. This was the first update since December 2020. But before you relax, the next one is coming next month (July 2021).

Every update causes anxiety to online marketers, bloggers, and content writers. According to professionals like Cesar Cobo, updates bring significant changes and this one is certainly no different. In fact, Google’s update will affect the ranking algorithm, which can affect a website’s ranking, visibility and traffic. It will affect the way we create online content.

For this reason, this article will identify: 

  • The seven key components from the Google core update
  • How to take advantage of those changes
  • The advantages and disadvantages of the update

Without further ado, let’s dive deeper into the upcoming changes.

Why did Google Announce This Core Update?

Before we conclude why Google decided to make this update, it is important first to identify how the ranking system will change. This update will alter seven key categories: 

1. Mobile Friendliness

This is one of the most important changes. Google understands that every day, more and more people use their mobile devices for browsing. For this reason, the algorithm recently started to prioritise websites with responsive, mobile-friendly interfaces. This update is also oriented in this direction.

2. Website Safety

The new update favors websites that focus on user safety. Likewise, the ranking system will identify crawling websites, phishing, etc. For this reason, it is vital to ensure that your website or blog adheres to the safety protocol.

3. HTTPS/SSL Protocol

As with previous updates, the Google algorithm keeps preferring websites that use HTTPS over HTTP. Accordingly, if you have a valid SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate, your website will be an HTTPS website, showing the padlock in the address bar. This integral factor in your website’s security lifts your search ranking. 

4. Limit Intrusive Interstitials

This is another important feature of the upcoming Google core update. Many websites and blogs use pop-ups, banners, and paywalls. Google believes that this kind of interstitials is intrusive as they often popup before the expected content for advertising purposes. For this reason, the latest algorithm update bans the excessive use of these interstitials. Keep in mind that interstitials, like cookies, are at times necessary, such as for age verification. Thus, certain types of interstitials won’t hinder your ranking.

5. Webpage Interactivity 

Google’s new ranking algorithm also focuses on the interactivity of the user with a website. With a brand new score, called First Input Delay (FID), Google will identify if your webpage interacts well with the visitor. This factor relates to speed, measuring the time it takes for the browser to respond to a user’s first interaction. According to Philip Walton, your website should have an FID of 100 ms or less.

6. Website Stability

For Google, Visual Stability has to become a priority for all websites. With the term Visual Stability, we mean the stability of your webpage during a user’s visit. This is now measured by the so-called Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which are the unexpected changes that occur during a visit. For a CLS score to be considered good, it has to be 0.1 or less. 

7. Website Loading Speed

Last but not least, Google’s core update focuses on the loading speed. To be more precise, this is a different score than your page speed. Google has introduced LPC, which stands for Largest Contentful Paint. 

What this metric counts is the time needed for your webpage content (largest image, text block, etc.) to be loaded. According to Google developers, a good LPC score has to be 2.5 seconds or less.

Google Update Advantages and Disadvantages According to SEO Professionals

As with any Google core update, the latest one has fans and haters. The Google ranking system is changing once again, but SEO experts explain that these changes to the algorithm probably will not cause major problems for most websites. 

Even though there are some changes concerning content, most of the key elements focus on user experience. For this reason, this might be a problem for websites that rely on pop-ups and banners. 

Likewise, this update could influence ad-reliant websites, like news sites. However, most SEO professionals are confident that this update won’t bring enormous impacts to SEO. 

Any update can result in drops or gains for content, but this update is somewhat different as it is rolling out in stages. Gains or drops may be temporary as impacts could be reversed from one roll out to the next. 

Also worth noting that negative impacts don’t necessarily signal that a website has broken any rules. It can simply be a sign that content that was relevant previously is just no longer as relevant in search results. 

Top 4 Tips to Get Prepared for Google Core Update 

Preparing is vital for those concerned about the changes mentioned above. Thus, if you are not sure how the update will affect your webpage, it is important to follow some tools and tips: 

  • Read the Web Vitals report: Google offers a Core Web Vitals report that is worth a read. By exploring this report, you get insights concerning your webpage performance. Thus, this is a smart tactic to follow if you want to improve the metrics we analysed above (CLS, LPC, FID).
  • Focus on content quality: This is one of the most important things to do. If your website relies on SEO, creating high-quality, original content is vital for your success. 
  • Prioritise user experience: As mentioned above, the new update focuses on parameters like mobile-friendliness and safety. Accordingly, you can prepare your site by using Google’s mobile-friendliness test and security issues report.
  • Don’t stress: even if the new core algorithm has affected your ranking, don’t forget that this update will take at least two more months to fully roll out. Thus, there will be adjustments and new changes on the go. Now is the time to be proactive. 

The Bottom Line

This article explored what you need to know about the 2021 Google Core Update. It’s an update to the algorithm that focuses on elements like user experience, mobile-friendliness and security. SEO professionals are being as prepared as possible for the upcoming changes and any impacts it could have. In any case, keep in mind that this is a long rollout, and we can’t predict its outcome. Most importantly, be proactive, but don’t panic! 

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