Sep 13, 2021 12:00 AM
Some businesses suffered drops in their website traffic as a result of the Google July 2021 Core Update. If you are one of those website owners, you may be wondering what happened to your SEO in such a short amount of time.
You are not the only business with concerns about the effects of the July Core Update. The latest update has the search marketing community all abuzz since its rollout on July 9th. This article gives an overview of the core update and what you can expect for months to come as a result.
What is the Google July 2021 Core Algorithm Update?
What exactly is a core update? A core update is different from other updates in that it affects your whole website. It's across-the-board changes that affect sites with outdated or frowned-upon practices and content. Minor updates occur throughout the year and often leave little impact on the search community. However, core updates are more significant updates to the Google search algorithm.
The search results have settled since the new search index rolled out to all data centers in early July. Some SEOs claim their client sites suffered from the July core update, while others found little change from the update. If you experienced lower rankings, it's a good idea to grasp what happened and how you can fix it.
The changes from the core algorithm introduced changes across the spectrum of indexing and ranking processes. This update came with a few different circumstances, though. In early 2021, Google announced that it was tackling spam with a new AI specifically for anti-spam. Google introduced an anti-spam AI that was fast and efficient. Two spam updates preceded the core update.
The year 2021 was one of many Google updates. In February, there was the passage indexing update which focused on making content better. Also, in February was the featured snippet drop, and in March, the featured snippet recovery. The update in April (product reviews update) attacked spammy product reviews. Then the June 2021 Core Update appeared, which targeted thin content like non-relevant directories and YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) content. YMYL websites offer advice on sensitive topics like health and finance.
What's notable and puzzling is the continued presence of spammy results in the SERPs since the July Core Update.
Many in the search community claim in forums that they have seen little change resulting from the July Core Update. It's believed that solid on-page and off-page SEO practices have prevented many sites from being affected. So, with this in mind, stay away from low-quality links and poorly written content. To see what fellow SEOs are saying about the July Core update, visit the WebMasterWorld Forum.
Decrease in ccTLD Domain Crowding
You may be wondering what domain crowding is. It's when you have one domain that ranks several times in the SERPs. For instance, some sites have different country code domains (country code top-level domains CCTLDs) like .ca, .de,.uk, etc. These sites with multiple CCTLDs tend to rank well in Google's SERPs. Some SEO experts like Lily Ray have noticed less ccTLD domain crowding, which results in lost visibility. Pinterest is one of these that has noticed a hit to their visibility after Google's July Core Algorithm Update.
On July 12th, Lily Ray tweeted: “Here are the different Pinterest ccTLDs, which saw huge visibility increases in the U.S. throughout 2020. Those sites are taking a nosedive right now.
We have already noticed for some ecomm clients that product/category pages are replacing spots previously held by Pinterest.”
Increase in People Also Ask (PAA)
Some SEO experts have noticed an increase in People Also Ask (PAA), a query feature that helps you drill down your query to the detail. This is intended to help the user arrive at the solution or answer their question.
Some Low-Quality Sites Still Ranking High
Some in the search community notice a disturbing trend that low-quality sites are still ranking high in the SERPs regardless of the recent spam updates. Even some PDF sites are appearing in high-ranking results after the July 2021 Core Update. So, even though the Google July 2021 Core Update and the ones (June update) before it have targeted low-quality content and link spam, some questionable content (like scraped content) still seems to rise to the top regardless of these efforts.
Google Knowledge Panel Is Going Away
The Google Knowledge panel is the block of information on the right side of some search results. This block of info shows the results of Google's Knowledge Graph. If you have a local business panel or branded panel, you can influence what information Google shows in this panel. Sadly, this powerful tool is going away after the July Core Update. This does not affect Google My Business.
If your site is affected
A website's changes to comply with new updates like the July Core update can take months to be reflected in the SERPs, although the algorithm changes take no time to affect sites. So, recovery from hits to your site's SEO can take time and patience. Viviscape's team of SEO experts and web developers can help you diagnose your website's problems and determine what changes need to be made to ensure your website reaches top rankings in the SERPs.
If you feel that your website suffered drops in Search traffic, consider these top causes, including algorithmic changes:
Changes in the Algorithm
The July Core Update or previous updates could be the culprit. Have a professional SEO expert examine your site's on-page and off-page SEO and other features to find out what may be at odds with Google's algorithm. Our SEO specialists at Viviscape can help you determine what's bugging your website's SEO and keeping you from top rankings.
If your site has violated Google’s guidelines, your site may be kept out of the Google Search results altogether by Manual Action.
Errors and Technical Problems
Making your website easy for the Google bots to crawl and index is essential for good SEO. Technical errors that prevent easy crawling include robot.txt fetching and page not found to name just a few. Sometimes site-specific problems like a down page or a misplaced noindex tag can prevent easy crawling and indexing.
Change in Search Interest
People and time changes, and so do their user behavior in regards to search. Changing the demand for some queries (due to seasonality or brand new trends) can cause a drop in traffic to your website.
If your site was recently hacked or experienced a security issue, Google might issue a warning or alert to users upon reaching your location. You've most likely seen these warnings pop up asking if you still want to advance to the website after reading the warning. This understandably causes a drop in Search traffic.
Are you wondering why your company website SEO rankings and traffic cratered? Viviscape can help! Our team of SEO and marketing specialists as well as our development team can examine your website down to the bone to diagnose any problems and determine fixes that will help your site rank high in the SERPs. Let’s talk!
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