Last month, Google started rolling out the much-anticipated Page Experience Update on 15th June, but Google has been very busy. There are five other updates in play that may affect website ranking:
- 10th June: The ‘Predator’ Update
- 12th June: The June Core Update
- 23rd June: Spam Update, part 1
- 28th June: Spam Update, part 2
- 1st July: The July Core Update
This means there’s even more to look out for and understand than just Core Web Vitals and the rest of the Page Experience Update.
Let me try to pick apart what’s going on and pinpoint which ones may affect your site and which ones you can forget.
The ‘Predator’ Update
A very specific update, Google’s ‘predatory sites algorithm’ targeted libellous content, attempting to stop misinformation from spreading. The New York Times explained the algo update like this:
Google plans to change its search algorithm to prevent websites, which operate under domains like BadGirlReport.date and PredatorsAlert.us, from appearing in the list of results when someone searches for a person’s name.The New York Times
It won’t affect you unless you own a particular type of website.
The June Core Update
Six months after the December 2020 update came the June Core Update. They generally come along every few months (I wrote about the January 2020 update ). The June Core Update started rolling out over a month ago, on 2nd June and finished sometime around 16th, just as the Page Experience Update started. Google laying it on thick? It looks like it.
At the time of the update, Google wrote How Google updates Search to improve our results. It’s worth reading, but for what we’re talking about here, this is what you need to know:
Delivering great results at this type of scale and complexity requires many different systems, and we’re always looking for ways to improve these systems so we can display the most useful results possible…
Periodically, we make more substantial improvements to our overall ranking processes. We refer to these as core updates, and they can produce some noticeable changes — though typically these are more often noticed by people actively running websites or performing than ordinary users.How Google updates Search to improve our results
Inevitably, some sites perform better and others worse following the update.
The Spam Updates
So we had the June Core Update finishing and the Page Experience Update taking off, then on 23rd June, along came the first of two so-called Spam updates. Google outlined its intents in Webspam Report 2020 published in April of this year.
These updates are designed to identify and downgrade spam content to protect searchers from content with malicious intent. Hopefully, these updates won’t apply to your site.
The second spam update rolled out on 28th June. If either update has affected you, you would have probably seen it quickly; both updates had a fast roll-out.
The July Core Update
As if that wasn’t enough, Google rolled out the July Core Update straightaway on the 1st of the month. Google said it would take between one and two weeks, so it should be done (or just about done) by the time you read this.
What you should do
Unless you’ve taken a massive hit in traffic, you need to hang on for a couple of weeks after the loss. Things often sort themselves out. The number of sometimes overlapping updates has been causing a lot of decreases and increases. Don’t forget that some sites will be seeing traffic increases.
If you have a site with great content—quality content, as always, can override just about anything else in search—and your site is set up correctly for SEO, then there’s some good news. Any turbulence should pass sooner or later. And you should even start seeing KPI improvements from your site.
However, if the hit has stuck
Say you saw significant impacts on your traffic and business, and they’ve lasted more than a couple of weeks. Then, it’s time to get some professional help.
An expert will identify the likely cause of the site’s problems and show you a strategy to put things right.
Concerned about the Google Updates and your website?
Book your no-obligation 30-minute SEO consultation at a time that suits you.
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David Rosam has been working on the internet for 25 years, after a career in direct marketing copywriting for the tech and financial services industries.
Today, he specialises in Content-Focused Search Engine Optimisation—from audits, through research and strategy to implementation.
He was probably the UK’s first SEO Copywriter.