The Latest Google Algorithm Updates You Need to Know

Written by Laura Farkas

Updated June 10, 2021
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If you are worried about your search engine rankings after the June 2021 Google core algorithm update, you might be wondering what counts more and what is unimportant to fix. At LMNts Marketing, we work with local businesses in Liverpool, Manchester, and London on their search engine optimisation strategy. We keep a close eye on the rankings of the websites we manage, so here’s what we found when researching the latest Google algorithm updates that came to force earlier this month. 


Here To Understand All There Is To Know About the Google Broad Core Algorithm Update? We Have You Covered…

You might be wondering what the new Google update is about. The simple answer is that it’s all about user experience; in other words: UX. Back in the day, in the early days of Google there thing that mattered the most for your search engine optimisation strategy was keywords. Now it’s all about the users and how they are served by your website. 

The most important thing you need to do is to add “Core Web Vitals”. Don’t be worried about the name; it simply means that you need to have advanced structured data on your site, so search engines can easily discover what it’s about and pull information from different sources. Not having structured data and snippets will hurt your SEO in 2021 more than ever. 

The page experience update launched in 2021 is focusing on web vitals; simply put an information quality and reliability scorecard benchmarking system for every site. 

Need The Vital Information for Google Core Web Vitals? You Are In the Right Place….

There are three different Core Web Vitals that the new Google update affects. It is recommended that you focus on these, if you would like to preserve or improve your rankings for your selected keywords. There’s a reason why these are called “vitals”: they are vital for your search engine optimisation strategy. 

Loading (LCP)

This vital benchmark refers to the speed of the site. Using Google’s site speed tool, you will find out how long it takes your website to load on desktops and mobile devices. Bear in mind that these days mobile speed counts much more than desktop speed. 

This vital metric refers to the largest contentful paint; fully loading the site. Let’s say that your customer is using their mobile for browsing and has 4G or 5G on two bars. If the site doesn’t load fast, they will not get a good user experience and will be likely to leave. This will also affect your bounce rate (the number of people leaving the site in a few seconds), which is another crucial ranking factor. 

Any LCP store under 2.5 seconds is good. Any speed above will need work. 

Interactivity (FID)

First Input Delay measures how long it takes the browser to respond when someone hits the website. If the interactivity feature of your site is low, you are likely to lose both visitors and Google rankings. 

A good FID or interactivity score is around 100 milliseconds. You can use any speed test tool to find out what yours is and how you can improve it. In many cases, your server speed and location will have a huge impact on your interactivity. If you are targeting people from different countries and regions, it might be worth it to change your hosting company to one that serves traffic from their local servers, such as SiteGround

Visual Stability (CLS)

The times when you could get signups with endless pop ups on your site are over. You now need a strategy that involves interaction without flash and moving images. 

Visual stability is also called CLS score, which determines how stable your site is. Simply put: the more moving elements and scripts you have running in the background, the lower your visual stability score will be. 

A good visual stability (CLS) score is 0.1 or below. While this issue is harder to fix than others, it is possible. Google tells you exactly what is causing the issue within its Page Speed Insights page.

So, What Are Google’s Intentions With This New 2-Part Update?

Google focuses on improving its search results it is delivering to end users. That’s why there will be new definitions for measurements and standards related to web vitals. 

One area that the second part of the update that will be released in July 2021 is categories and results. It is likely to affect millions of websites and their position in search results for years to come. It is not related to certain categories, like minor updates, but the overall quality of search results. 

As Google put it, it is important for the search engine to remain competitive across 150 languages and deliver the best results for each query. 

It is important to note that the core updates are not the only changes that are coming to the search engine. In fact, there are dozens of minor updates rolled out every week to further improve the algorithm. They might be minor, but they all point in the same direction; favouring websites that take user experience seriously. 

Google sometimes rolls out updates in parts, as they are not quite ready at the time of the release. So even if the first part hasn’t affected your search engine strategy, your site’s rankings might suffer when the Google algorithm changes are fully implemented. 

All in all; if your website falls short on the core web vitals benchmarks, you are going to lose traffic and rankings. While it is not easy to understand all the trends and technical terms, you can engage with a professional web designer who is following SEO updates regularly to create an audit and come up with recommendations on what to fix first. While Google’s platforms give you instructions on how to address certain UX problems, they are not worded for the average user, and are aimed at search engine optimization professionals. 

So, the Serious Question We All Would Like the Answer To. What Are the Expectations for Businesses Being Impacted?

As a business owner, website manager, web designer, or SEO professional, you always need to ensure that you follow the trends and Google’s recommendations. We could have mentioned other search engines, too, but given the market share of Google, and its leading position, the rest of the pack follows the leader. 

The main focus of businesses operating in the online sphere should be:

  • Focusing on customer experience for user engagement.
  • Carrying out UX (user experience) testing regularly to make sure that all website functions are performing well.
  • Getting rid of plugins and themes that are not used and are taking up website resources to reduce loading speed.
  • Improving the site’s navigation system to ensure users find exactly what they are looking for with the fewest steps involved possible.
  • Serve local traffic from local servers to reduce browser response delay.
  • Minimise image sizes that may affect your page speed.
  • Minify CSS files and scripts using either plugins or coding.
  • Test the page display, speed, and performance on different devices and screen sizes. 

If you have noticed your website’s rankings drop, the first thing you need to look at is user experience, speed, and structured data. You also have to understand that it is not something you have done wrong; it is something that is changing. Google keeps on moving the goalpost for all the right reasons; to serve its end users better. If you are on board with the changes, you have nothing to fear. 

The good news is that those who adopted the changes early and took on board what Google has been saying in the past few years will experience their rankings to go up. It is recommended that you build your search engine optimisation strategy in line with Google’s ongoing algorithm updates and trends. 

If you notice a change in your rankings in a few days after the release of the update, don’t worry just yet. It is normal to notice a huge fluctuation in the beginning, and then after the second part the rankings will get more stable. It’s like when stock markets get disrupted and prices go up and down all the time after they settle at a sweet spot. 

Your Business Will Be Negatively Impacted If…

There are certain things that will negatively impact your rankings after the new June 2021 Google algorithm update, such as:

Google updates errors

Slow Site Speeds

It is important that your site speed is as fast as possible, especially on mobiles. An increasing number of customers are browsing on the small screen these days, and not all of them have WiFi. If the design is not responsive, or not checked on mobile screens, you are likely to lose visitors and traffic, too. We use Divi for most of our WordPress sites, and it allows you to change the layout and structure for tablets and mobiles, too. If you don’t have this feature, you can also use the AMP plugin in WordPress to optimise your mobile speed.

mobile speed google algorithm

With Divi, you can also check how the site looks on different devices. 

Bad Design and Structure/Navigation

Oh Boy, have we seen bad design affecting rankings? You bet we have a few times. From an outdated theme to images that take over the screen; you take your pick. If your site is hard to navigate, your users will give up and leave. Don’t expect them to buy anything. And don’t expect Google to reward you with high rankings, either. 

One of the main issues we see with websites we take over from other web design companies or DIY SEO enthusiasts is too many call-to-actions on one page. You don’t want to be confusing your audience with multiple messages; have one that takes them to where you want them to be. It’s simple. 

No Engagement

As we always say; there’s no such thing as a one-way conversation. The longer you keep people engaged on your site the better chance you will have to convert them into followers or customers. Get them involved and allow them to interact with your content. We are not talking only about comments; get them to create their own experiences. 

Our Quiz funnel service takes care of the engagement on your site and boosts your conversions at the same time. It engages with people, helps them decide what they need, and allows you to do the market research. Read more about  quiz funnels in this blog post.

If you are lacking in one of the above areas, it is time to get to work. The trend is going to continue for some time. 

We Have Asked the Serious Question, Here Are the Serious Resolutions…

If you are affected by the June 2021 Google algorithm update, here are a few questions you should ask before you tackle any SEO project. 

google future updates

  • How can you improve the site’s speed without impacting the functions? Are there any plugins that need updating or deleting? It’s not enough to disable the plugin you are not using: you need to remove it to speed up the site. 
  • How easy is it to navigate your site? Are the categories and links working? The best bet is to ask a friend who is less tech-savvy or an older person to test drive the site and give you feedback. 
  • How about the images and the videos? Are they set to automatically display or play? You might solve your speed issues by simply delaying the loading of images or videos. 
  • Check for broken links and redirects. They can affect your user experience and speed as well. 
  • Conduct a site audit. It will reveal all the errors that might affect your search engine rankings and user experience. 
  • Carry out a mobile friendliness check to see if there are any pages that don’t display or function properly.
  • Talk to an SEO expert to get suggestions on how to fix issues. Chances are that if you speak to a web designer they will push for a rebuild which will negatively impact your SEO rankings. 

 

Future Google Core Updates: The Bottom Line

If you are wondering whether this is a one-off initiative from Google, the answer is NO. The search engine giant is likely to continue the trend, and a further update related to web vitals is likely to come out in July 2021. 

You might have noticed that previously Google used to take up to six months to roll out new core updates. Even though they issued smaller tweaks to their algorithm in between, there were no major changes more than three times  a year. Now, the developers seem to be working overtime, and they are busy focusing on the people that made Google a multi-billion dollar turnover company: end users. 

Visual Indicators – Will Google Incorporate a Visual Indicator Related to the Latest Core Update?

Google is planning on rolling out new algorithm updates related to visual indicators as early as next year. Only websites that comply with all the page experience guidelines will be included. So if you get on board quickly, you might have a competitive advantage in the future. Websites with visual indicators will have a more prominent position in search results. That’s all we know at the moment, but will keep you updated as we find out more. 

The bottom line is: you should look at Google’s core updates as a trend, and not react to each one individually. If you have the same priorities as Google when it comes to web design and SEO, you are already winning the game. 

Worried about your SEO rankings and want some expert advice? Contact our SEO team and we will be happy to have a chat

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