Google Algorithm Updates: What Is It?


Google Algorithm Updates: What Is It?

Google Algorithm Updates

The changes made in the Google algorithm since 2002, have been quite explicit. Moreover, when there were penalty charges put on the Penguin and First Panda updates, it was clear that Google was very serious regarding the creation of an environment that was ethical for the users.

As a matter of fact, the core algorithm update keeps changing every day but generally goes unnoticed. The company says that just the broad core algorithm update that will affect the search results and the rankings dramatically is confirmed. In order to help you with the Google algorithm update that has taken place recently and affected search results and rankings here is a cheat sheet. This article will help you know about the important updates as well as the penalties, with hazards and tips for prevention.

Before starting, let us get a quick look at any update that has had an impact on the traffic of your own site. SEO PowerSuite Tracker can be very helpful, as this tool automatically matches updates of every major core algorithm update with your ranking graphs and traffic.

1) Launch Rank Tracker (in case you do not have the software installed, you can get the free version of SEO PowerSuite) will help you in creating a project for the site, you just need to enter the URL and specify the target keywords.

2) Click on the button of Update visits in the top menu of the Rank Tracker, then enter the credentials of Google Analytics for syncing the account to the tool.

3) In the Rank Tracker dashboard’s lower part, you have to switch to the tab of Organic Traffic.

Link Spam Update

Link Spam Update

This is an algorithm update that was updated on 26th July. Google has reported that in the past few years the effectiveness and importance that link schemes have comparatively decreased. However, search engineers have been observing that there are sites that purposely build spam links for manipulating rankings.

This update was made for fighting link spam as well as reward sites along with a better user experience and good-quality content.

This update was created for fighting link spam as well as reward sites with a good user experience and good-quality content. As a part of Google’s ongoing effort for fighting link spam, it generally hands out both manual and algorithmic actions if any site gets caught on link schemes red-handed. This is the reason why we are suggesting these steps for securing the site against any link penalty.

The Hazards

  • Outgoing links or paid incoming
  • Schemes for Link exchange
  • Links that may look suspicious (usually built from the same site, due to low-quality or irrelevant content)

Staying Safe With The Link Spam Update

1. With the SpyGlass backlink analyzer, you can verify the site’s link profile regarding low-quality links. When you discover a large number of low-quality backlinks, contact the webmasters of a connecting domain and request that they are removed.

2. By using the disavow tool to inform Google to not consider these links if the linking site owners remain silent and do not delete the bad backlinks. Your rankings will not be harmed by disavowed links.

3. Only employ white-hat link-building techniques. Consult our in-depth tutorial on using SEO PowerSuite to do SEO link-building. And here are some link-building methods and tactics which are still legal and effective.

4. Also, keep an eye on the outbound links. If the site has sponsored material or affiliate links, use the rel=”sponsored” element to identify them.

Spam Update

spam update

Google announced the introduction of the spam update on June 24 as part of their ongoing efforts for improving search results.

According to sources, Google’s AI algorithms are continuously being improved in order to keep internet scams out of the top results. Every day, computers find 40 billion spam pages. Such pages can infect users’ computers with malware and even steal their personal information, posing a security risk. Over the course of several years, Google claims to have reduced the amount of mechanically created or pirated content by about 80%. Other than this, it thwarts and identifies, such black-SEO tactics like:

  • Link schemes
  • Sneaky redirects
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Cloaking
  • Thin content
  • Doorway pages

Staying Safe From This Spam Update

To be on the safer side, practice webmaster rules to ensure that your pages are secure and credible. To keep an eye on the security situation, use Search Console. If your site’s security is breached, you may receive a notification in the Console.

Also, remember that preventing hacking is easier than recovering from it. So, to preserve your site’s security, follow the best practices.

Page Experience Update

Page Experience Update

The update was to be rolled in overtime to avoid any major unforeseen consequences. The update takes into account a number of factors, which includes the 3 Core Web Vitals measurements of loading speed, visual stability, and interaction.

Furthermore, the Google Search Top Stories carousel includes all news items that match the Google News standards criterion. It indicates that having AMP pages, as well as having the highest score on Core Web Vitals, will no longer be essential to appear in Google News. In addition to that, the badge of AMP will also be eliminated from the AMP content.

Staying Safe From This Page Experience Update

The Page Experience Update is not expected to have a significant impact on rankings, according to Google. It did, however, introduce a new tool to protect sites’ rankings by performing page experience tests. In Search Console’s new Page Experience Report, the following factors were considered:

  • Mobile usability of pages
  • Core Web Vitals score
  • Security issues
  • HTTPS status

And here’s another WebSite Auditor how-to.

The team of WebSite Auditors implemented the checking function for Core Web Vitals measurements in consideration of the Page Experience Update.

Step 1: Begin the WebSite Auditor process with your website project.

Step 2: Download the PageSpeed Insights API, which is free and allows you to test up to 25,000 pages each day.

Step 3: Begin the procedure of doing a CWV check. Examine this.

The Page Speed Insights report includes both Lab (stats that show the performance of the site)and Field data (interaction of the users with the page). While the Page Speed Insights tool requires you to insert the same page and verify it page by page, WebSite Auditor allows you to assess the pages in large volume, selecting all pages according to factors and values.

June 2021 Broad Core Algorithm Update

June 2021 Broad Core Algorithm Update

It is a routine Core update that occurs multiple times a year, according to Google. This is the first half of a two-part update; the second version will be released in July. As the 10-day update came to a close, there were varied reports on how the SERPs and ranks had changed. The impact of the June adjustments may be reversed in the second portion of the update.

Staying Safe From The 2021 Core Update

These Google algorithm updates are not site-specific. Google usually refers to the general guidance for the core updates.

Product Reviews Update

Product Reviews Update

Google announced an upgrade to the ranking systems that aimed at better rewarding product reviews on April 8, 2021, primarily for the English language. The issue underlying this update is an overabundance of product reviews having thin content that offers the users very little value. Product reviews with rich content are projected to rank higher as a result of this enhancement.

Staying Safe From The Product Reviews Update

Following general quality rules is a defense against the Product Reviews Update: reviews should be based on insightful analysis and original research from enthusiasts or professionals who are well-versed in the subject. Google provides a list of questions to assist you in writing a good-quality review that will not be affected by this ranking boost. 

An excellent review, for instance, discusses the product’s advantages and disadvantages, provides detailed samples and measurements, and covers problems that influence customer decisions. In a nutshell, don’t cut corners; write in-depth and detailed reviews.

Passage Ranking Update

Passage Ranking Update

The English language version of the Passage Ranking upgrade was revealed in November 2020 and introduced on 10th February 10, 2021, with full setups coming soon. Google claimed that the changes will only affect 7% of all searches.

Passage Ranking is created with the goal of assisting long-form pages in ranking some of their content. Google did not provide any particular instructions on how to optimize the upgrade. The only piece of advice given was to keep focused on outstanding content. SEOs reported only minor fluctuations in SERPs, claiming that the impact was negligible.

There was a modification in the ranking algorithm but there was no new feature introduced for search results. With this version, you may prefer to focus more on paragraphs and headings, as well as the semantics and structures of addressing subtopics inside a larger theme. However, this update is expected to do the job well in almost any case.

December 2020 Core Update

December 2020 Core Update

Google released a broad core algorithm upgrade on December 3, 2020, like it does multiple times a year. Many SEOs observed fluctuations in SERPs on 1st December, though there are possibilities of it being unconnected. The biggest concern raised in the aftermath was: why Google released such a significant update so close to the season of holiday shopping?

So far, the impact has been ambiguous, with several domains reporting approximately equal gains or losses. Google’s advice on such changes remains the same as previously (please check the quality guidelines of E-A-T ).

Core Algorithm Update

Core Algorithm Update

Staying Safe From Core Algorithm Updates

In fact, Google improves its search algorithm on a regular basis and only discloses substantial changes that could have a large impact on SERPs (which happens a lot of times in a year). On 13th January 2020, Google revealed its big core algorithm upgrade, and one of its most recent updates was released on May 4.

As a brief tip, the term fluctuation graph in the SERP Analysis’ Rank Tracker suggests that something has changed.

Switch to the Graph view by going to Target Keywords > Rank Tracking and clicking on the SERP Analysis tab in the lower screen. To see the SERP fluctuation graph, you must click the Record SERP data button for each project.

Featured Snippet Deduplication


  • There might be a change in the traffic due to moving positions of search ranking.

Staying Safe From Featured Snippet Updates

Google implemented this adjustment on 22nd January 2020, causing some confusion among SEOs, which has now been resolved.

In search engine results, what used to be known as position zero is currently known as the first position. It entirely depends upon you whether you’d like to appear in the featured snippet or somewhere between 2 and 10 results. This ranking algorithm change happened only once, and it impacted 100% of the results.

It’s still a good idea to keep track of which pages have better snippets and for which keywords. You could use the Rank Tracker tool to keep track of your SERP rankings and receive notifications when your site appears in a highlighted snippet for a specific term. All you need to do is, go to the Target Keyword module> Ranking Keywords, to go Ranking Progress, and turn to your Rank Progress and then the Rank History tab.

Mobile-First Indexing

Mobile-First Indexing

Mobile-first indexing has been set automatically for every new website since July 1, 2019. Google continues monitoring and assessing pages for older or existing websites; since 1st September full mobile indexing has started.


  • Mobile and desktop versions of the site are inconsistent
  • The mobile version performs poorly.

Staying Safe From Mobile-First Indexing

Mobile-first indexing means that the majority of the crawls are done by a user-agent of a mobile smartphone, however, the regular desktop Googlebot may also crawl sites.

This suggests that the majority of the results in search originate from the mobile versions of websites. One of the suggested options is to employ responsive design instead of a distinct mobile version for freshly launched websites. If you’d like to provide different site versions, always ensure that the information is the same on a desktop as well as on mobile, including content, graphics, and links; metadata ( meta descriptions, titles, and robots text); also structured data.



The Google algorithm is set to parse natural language and grasp context based on pre-training from a body of the content on the web, and BERT is a deep-learning technique created for natural language processing. The growth of voice recognition assistants necessitated this strategy within the ranking system. BERT is known to be “a core update and one of the most significant advances in the previous five years” by Google.

Hazards In The Update

  • Keywords that are short-tailed and an exact match.
  • A language that is formal and unnatural.

Staying Safe From BERT

Actually, there’s nothing to be concerned about with BERT because the precautions are the same as with RankBrain and Hummingbird. Simply produce good-quality content that responds to user inquiries in the most effective way possible.

Panda Update

Panda Update

Google Panda is a core Google algorithm that assigns the score of content to web pages and ranks sites that have low-quality, spam, or poor content lower in the search results. The Panda update was initially a search filter and not a component of the core algorithm of Google, but it was officially incorporated into the ranking algorithm in January 2016. While this does not imply that Panda is currently applied in real-time to search results, it is a step in the right direction. It also signifies that getting filtered and at the same time being recovered from Google Panda both happen a lot faster now.

Hazards Of The Update

  • Plagiarism
  • Duplicate content
  • User-generated spam
  • Thin content
  • Poor user experience
  • Keyword stuffing

Google Algorithm Updates 2021: Concluding Thoughts

Those are the most recent important updates of the Google algorithm, as well as some simple auditing and preventive recommendations to help the site remain afloat (and, perhaps, flourish) in Google search.

We skipped a few well-known Google algorithm updates that had an impact on Google rankings at some time, and there was no way to recover. For instance, Google rolled out a filter in 2012 that degraded exact-match sites with low-quality content. For a limited time, such domains flourished when the exact match of keywords would be enough to rank well, as part of manipulating ranking strategies. Back in 2015, there was nothing to say about unwanted interstitials, because the Mobile-Friendly Update made all the mobile techniques much more complicated. As a result, our list of major Google algorithm updates 2021 is anything but comprehensive; rather, it focuses on the aspects of the search engine that can be discovered using SEO tools.

FAQs: What Is Google Algorithm And What Are There Updates?

1. What are the major Google updates?

The major Google algorithm updates are:
  • June/July 2021 core update
  • Google page experience update
  • December 2020 core update
  • Panda Update
  • Penguin update
  • 2. What was the January 2020 core update?

    This is a broad core algorithm update that will impact search results on a large and worldwide scale. However, the guidance on this update is similar to the previous update.

    3. What are the Google algorithm updates in SEO?

    The recent update in SEO is the Google core web vitals update, which introduces 3 new metrics that will rank and measure sites on the basis of the user experience.

    4. What is the December 2020 core update?

    This update can be called the website owners’ and marketer’s wake-up call for taking the relevancy and quality of the content to the next level.

    5. What is the penguin update?

    It is a core algorithm update that focuses on Google ranking, and the update aims at fighting webspam. In recent times, this update is in the category of core algorithm update of search engines.

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