The SEO Community Shares Experiences After July 2021 Core Update
Online businesses and publishers are using the best Google SEO methods to boost their Google SEO now that they must comply with the fully-launched July 2021 Core Algorithm update. Site owners have reported seeing various changes in their rankings due to the normal shifting of search results.
Just recently, Google SearchLiaison made an announcement on Twitter, stating that the July 2021 core update is now effectively complete. This means that Google has fully rolled out the new search index to all the data centres, and the search results should have settled.
If SEOs notice that they’ve lost rankings, they should not expect a last-minute reprieve and start investing time and effort in understanding what went wrong instead.
Short Background Of The July 2021 Core Algorithm Update
Google almost never states what they include in their core algorithm updates, but they made it clear that such updates introduce changes across different indexing and ranking processes.
They launched the July 2021 update after rolling out two spam updates, which seemed unusual. Google stated earlier this year that they were going to use a new anti-spam AI to address the spam issue. Therefore, it is safe to say that the search engine company has introduced a faster, more effective spam-fighting strategy.
Less ccTLD Domain Crowding In Search Results
Domain crowding happens when the same websites repeatedly rank on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
For some search results, websites that have multiple country code top level domains (ccTLDs) – such as .tv, .uk, and .ca domains – usually dominated.
One SEO noticed that Pinterest ccTLDs, which had significant visibility increases in the US in 2020, are now losing visibility in the search results after the July Core Algorithm Update. Moreover, they have also noticed that some product and category pages from e-commerce sites have replaced the positions that Pinterest previously had.
SEOs Speculate And Observe The July 2021 Update
Many SEOs are now sharing their speculations and observations about Google’s July 2021 Core Algorithm Update. Here are some of them:
1. Quality Links Maintain Rankings
A common observation SEOs see in many Facebook groups is that white hat on-page and off-page Google SEO methods can effectively maintain rankings in the search results. One SEO said that they stick to high-quality links but have observed minimal changes even for high search volume keywords.
2. Sudden Increase In PAA
Publishers and SEOs also exchanged their opinions and observations in the WebmasterWorld forum after the July 2021 Core Algorithm Update. Even though such discussions can be unreliable at times, finding similar comments in the forum help paint a picture of what is going on.
Many site owners agree that they have noticed a sudden increase in People Also Ask (PAA), a query refinement feature where users can read commonly asked questions and their corresponding answers.
3. Similarities In The Regular Organic SERP And Images
Another observation that sparked the interest of many SEOs is the similarity between the rankings losses in image search and the regular web search, even though the two are different search systems and separated by a week.
4. Low-Quality Sites In The Search Results
There is anecdotal evidence that spam has actually increased in the search results despite Google’s recent spam updates, and these have apparently persisted through the July 2021 Core Algorithm Update. Google is taking the right steps to avoid showing low-quality sites in the search results, but they still continue to appear in the SERPs.
For instance, someone in the SEO community recently shared a screenshot of a high-ranking PDF file from Instagram Account Hacked, sharing tips on how to hack an Instagram account. The file was seen ranked at position two in Google’s search results on 7 July shortly after the Google spam update, which is a huge concern for publishers and site owners everywhere.
Even after Google completed launching their July 2021 Core Algorithm Update, the same PDF continues to rank in Position 9.
Another SEO commented on how bad the search results are in Italy, saying that they see three-page sites without content and authority and only contain four backlinks from well-known guest posting websites.
5. Scraper spam in search results
SEOs also saw spam pages generated from scraping Google’s high-ranking featured snippets. Many websites scraped these featured snippets and combined them with other scraped websites to make new pages and rank them in the number one positions. Unfortunately, these outrank the legitimate websites where the content was scraped from.
One of the things that help such websites rank is the fact that they’ve received links from high-quality sites. These quality sites don’t look like they are selling links, but they might be doing so behind the scenes.
Many of these scraper websites appeared in January this year. An anonymous person verified this information, saying that Google indexes 50,000 newly-launched pages and ranks them higher than others despite coming from spammy websites.
Review The Search Results To Understand Ranking Changes
If a website sees a drop in rankings, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the website owners did something wrong. SEO professionals should review the search results to better understand the things that Google changed and how their websites were affected.
Oftentimes, Google’s updates change how their search engine understands web pages and user queries. Therefore, it is advisable for SEOs to take a step back and look outside of their sites to understand what may have changed from Google’s perspective and see if they can gain new insights.
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