2021 – Google Algorithms Explained

Google’s algorithms are an extremely complex algorithm that helps retrieve data from its search index and instantly display the best results on the search page. For its search engine result pages (SERPs), Google uses algorithms that rank pages based on relevance and various ranking factors. There were few updates to Google’s algorithms in its early days. Google now makes thousands of changes per year.
Depending on the importance and impact of the update, Google rolls out algorithm updates in an outright way or in passing. We can’t overlook the biggest update of 2021, the change to the page experience, so let’s explore what else has changed before that.

      • February 2021 (Passage Ranking Update)
        Now that Google uses artificial intelligence, it is able to index web pages and individual passages (paragraphs, sentences) from those pages. Thus, specific passages can be selected as featured snippets. Rather than requiring the user to comb through the relevant web pages to find the answer, we aim to respond quickly to particular questions.
      • February 2021 (“About this result” update)
        Users can now determine which search results are most helpful to them by using new Google context tools. A description is pulled from Wikipedia (not from the meta tags) if it has a Wikipedia reference. Users can determine the trustworthiness of a source by learning about it before they open the results. In particular, it would make it easier for users to find unpopular but authoritative sites.
      • March 2021 (100% mobile-first indexing update)
        Google introduced mobile-first indexing a year later, which refers to crawling – and ranking – your webpages according to their mobile versions. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool and Search Console both allow measurement of site-wide mobile performance, but mobile friendliness works on a page-by-page basis.
      • April 2021 (Product reviews update)
        The purpose of Google’s April 2021 product review update was to encourage in-depth product reviews that provide insightful analysis and original content rather than merely summarizing products.
      • May 2021 (MUM update)
        The MUM update from May 2021 marked Google’s latest advancement in artificial intelligence. With MUM’s goal being to provide comprehensive answers to complex questions based on contextual information, MUM is designed to help when there is not a simple answer.
      • July 2021 (Google Link Spam Algorithm Update)
        It was announced that Google was launching a new algorithm update aimed at identifying and eliminating link spam. Link spam tactics can result in ranking changes for any site using them. Sponsored, guest, and affiliate content will probably be most impacted. The company says the update will be rolled out in multiple languages within the next two weeks.
      • Page experience update (June 2021)
        The Google Page Experience update includes a new set of metrics called Core Web Vitals that allows Google to index mobile versions of websites. A person’s experience of a webpage can be quantified in a few ways. These metrics are not new, but they have been prioritized differently.
      • Page title update (August 2021)
        From August 16, people started noticing drastic changes in Google page titles, many of which were detrimental. In the following week, Google announced its new program, which, instead of adjusting the title of each page according to the query, is designed to better represent the whole page.

    As long as you stay focused on EAT and best practices, changes to SEO shouldn’t affect your rankings too much. You must be vigilant about monitoring updates and reporting on your performance as a marketer, a webmaster, or a business owner.