July 1st 2021 marked the release of Google’s most recent ‘Core Update’. The update was the second of two major updates revealed by the tech giant this summer, the first of which occurred on June 2nd 2021.

These updates shouldn’t really surprise anyone as Google is known to update their search engine and it’s algorithms “thousands of times a year”. However, these Core Updates are certainly worth discussing as they represent a “significant”, “noticeable” and “broad” change to the Google Search platform.

We all like new and improved stuff (especially when it comes to tech) so these updates should be a good thing? Surely?

The following questions should hopefully answer any queries you have about the recent Core Updates to Google.

Why have we got two core updates so close together?

Google’s original intentions were to release one Core Update in June, but certain elements of the update weren’t ready for that deadline. Instead of pushing back the release, they “moved ahead” with what was finished, releasing it in June, and then followed up with the additional elements in July.

It’s likely that the July update will have partially undone the work of June’s update, so perhaps Google may have been better to release the update in one go. But hey, what do I know?

Why do we need them?

To quote Google “just as computers & smartphones are regularly updated, the same thing happens with Google search”.

These updates are intended “to improve the experience and the quality of results”.

So, just like an iPhone IOS update improves the usability of an iPhone, these Google Core Updates aim to improve Google’s search results.

All good news so far.

What do they do?

Essentially, they alter their search algorithms and systems, in turn affecting how high up (or low down) a website appears on a Google results page. They’re meant to present more “relevant and authoritative content to searchers”.

The updates are global and are not specific to any geographical region, language or category of website. July’s update took around 1-2 weeks to fully implement itself, whilst June’s took around 10 days.

How are they going to affect me and my website?

After a Core Update, you’re going to be effected in one of two ways:

  • Your website is going to go up in the search rankings. (Great stuff!)
  • Your website is going to go down in the search rankings. (Oh no!)

Unfortunately, it’s very hard to tell how the update will affect you, until the update has been put in place. It’s important to know when these updates occur because of their impact. If you were unaware of a recent update, and you have dropped down the rankings,  you may wrongfully blame your drop on your content and not the update.

What to do if I am negatively affected?

Google realises that negatively impacted websites will likely look to “fix” their downfall and have set up an Advice page to help website owners remedy their decline down the rankings.

Sadly though, Google does say that sometimes there might not be anything to fix at all. They compare their ranking system to that of a “Top 100 – Movie List”. For instance, ‘Forest Gump’ is a cinematic masterpiece, but it certainly won’t top this year’s Hollywood rankings. Similarly, just because your website doesn’t top the search rankings, it doesn’t mean your website is bad.

Google’s algorithm rewards new and “more deserving” websites with a higher spot on their list. So, to bump yourself back up the rankings, or to keep yourself there:

Ensure your content is new, original, insightful and interesting.

Include a brief summary or description of content where possible.

Ask yourself, would I share this content with a friend? If yes, then brilliant!

It’s only a matter of time before Google rolls out another Core Update, so get working on your website and climb your way up the ranks.