3 min read
Michael Ryan
Michael Ryan

What the June 2021 Core Update Means For SEO

Tablet with Google on it and a keyboard

Google has been fairly quiet since its last core update in December. But just like buses, none come for ages and then two come at once.

Google has been fairly quiet since its last core update in December. But just like buses, none come for ages and then two come at once. On Wednesday 2 June, Google us SEOs the usual few hours of notice that it was time for a new core algorithm update. This meant we braced for keyword rankings ending up looking like cardiographs and we held our fingers crossed in anticipation.

However, as the rollout of Google’s June 2021 Core Algorithm began, we quickly learned this particular update wasn’t what it seemed. It was quickly confirmed that a July Core Algorithm update was to follow closely behind, sending another shockwave through SEO offices around the world. The second part of the update duly arrived on Thursday 1 July and is expected to take up to two weeks to finish its implementation.

How Might This Algorithm Affect My Rankings?

Although Google is well known for rolling out algorithm updates fairly regularly, they don’t always acknowledge them as a big deal. A main, announced core update is always worth looking in to if you’re worried about rankings. This is the first all-singing, all-dancing update that the search giant has confirmed since December 2020, which saw some concern at the time for SEO professionals just a week before Christmas.

With the second algorithm update having begun rolling out earlier this week, we can’t really expect to see the full impact of the June update until the end of July. However, there will be telltale signs of whether the sites we care about are going to be effected or not.

As this was a double update, SEOs need to be mindful that any ranking performance decreases or improvements that they saw during the initial June rollout may well be reversed come the end of July. Part two of the update may well contain changes to Google’s SERPs, which are notoriously tricky to judge.

Why is Google Issuing this Update?

Google’s official reasoning for a two-part update is that some ‘planned improvements’ for this update were not quite ready for the initial June rollout. That indicates we initially received half of the update in June and the rest is rolling out now. This once again highlights the fact that any changes you think are out of your control in June may well be a thing of the past come the end of July.

Is This Update Google’s Page Experience Update?

Within the world of SEO, the dreaded Page Experience Update has been on the horizon, creeping up silently ready to strike. Widely considered the next big thing in SEO, thankfully Google has stated that the implementation of the June and July 2021 core algorithms are not related to the Page Experience Update. That long-promised update will trigger a shift in the parameters the search engine uses when judging what makes a favourable page and a favourable website. This update however, will be going on behind the scenes over a longer period of time, rather than over the course of a couple of weeks.

Page Experience will finally see Core Web Vitals put into action as official ranking metrics for the first time, placing a much higher responsibility on usability and page speed, something that took a back seat when it came to ranking.

So, if this update wasn’t for the page experience, what was it for?

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

This is the time it takes for the largest above-the-fold element, whether that be an image, a text block or a conversion form, to render on the user’s screen.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

This is simply the amount of things that move across and position themselves on the screen that aren’t there on the initial load. In simpler terms, just how busy the screen is.

First Input Delay (FID)

The time taken between a user trying to click something, scroll through something or interact with something on a page and it actually becoming interactive and accessible.

Measuring The Impact

We’ll have to wait and see exactly how much damage or positive enhancement the twin roll-outs will have going forward. With the page experience update still on the way, Google seem determined to change SEO forever before the year is out.

If you would like expert opinion and guidance through this update, the Page Experience Update or future updates, speak to one of our SEO gurus today at MR SEO, the SEO Agency in Essex.

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