Recently, Google confirmed rolling out their page experience update “slowly” to desktop search results. First rolled out only to mobile search results, this ranking algorithm’s major goal is to ensure an improved web-browsing experience – both on mobile and desktop – because page experience remains one of the many factors Google’s systems take into account. While rolling out this update to mobile search results, the company in advance noted that the same update will also be applied to desktop search by February 2022. As expected, the page experience update was rolled out on February 22, 2022, and finished rolling out on March 3, 2022. Our search engine optimization companykeeps track of new Google updates and trends and understands how it can impact our clients’ digital marketing campaigns.
According to Google, “the page experience signal measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page”. It is made up of several existing Google search ranking factors, including:
Page Speed Update
The HTTPS ranking boost
The intrusive interstitials penalty
Safe Browsing Penalty
These refinements – which are under what Google calls Core Web Vitals – when optimized make the web more user-friendly and delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces. It will also help websites evolve towards user expectations on mobile. Google believes that all these factors will contribute to the success of a business, as users grow more engaged and can transact with less friction.
The Page Experience Update for Desktop
The Page Experience update, which was thought to only impact mobile search, has now rolled out to desktop and this information was revealed during a session on preparing for the Page Experience update from Google I/O on May 2021.
According to Google, this ranking launch will be based on the same page experience signals that were rolled out for mobile in 2021. But then, there would be some key differences between how Page Experience is applied to mobile compared to desktop search results.
For instance, all of the page experience factors for mobile search results will be included with the exception of the mobile-friendliness requirement. That is, the same three Core Web Vitals metrics (LCP, FID, and CLS), their associated thresholds, other aspects of page experience signals (such as HTTPS security and absence of intrusive interstitials) will apply for the desktop ranking. While the mobile-friendliness signals– which continue to be a part of mobile ranking – won’t be a factor for this update with desktop search results.
The desktop signal is based on the URLs that desktop users seem a site has a separate desktop and mobile URLs with an appropriate configuration.
What we have to understand with this update is that factors that weren’t previously evaluated for a website in desktop search results will now be taken into consideration by Google. In fact, if a website scores well for these factors on mobile, it’s likely to perform similarly as well on desktop too.
Even if it isn’t optimized for mobile – because mobile-friendliness isn’t a factor for the Page Experience desktop update – your website could potentially benefit from a ranking boost in desktop search if other criteria are met.
Similar to Core Web Vitals metrics and other attributes, intrusive interstitials will apply to the desktop version as well. Also, remember that the page experience update no longer considers safe browsing – so for mobile and desktop, it looks like this:
Google released updated page experience reports for desktop a few months ago as a way to support the upcoming rollout of page experience ranking to desktop. However, Search Console now has a dedicated desktop section in its Page Experience report as it helps site owners understand Google’s ‘good page experience’ criteria.
For page experience update rollout to mobile search results, Google says not to expect drastic changes, because the update was designed to highlight pages that provide a great user experience. According to searchengineland, the same is expected for the desktop rollout too.
As the update is now rolled out completely, Google will be now planning to help site owners understand how their desktop pages are performing with regard to page experience using a Search Console report which will be launched before desktop becomes a ranking signal. Local SEO companies providing search engine optimization services keep track of these updates and can help you prepare for them.
As a reliable search engine optimization company, we keep track of all search engine algorithmic updates and can help you prepare for them. We believe in getting you results through a full spectrum of services from SEO, content writing, to conversion rate optimization.
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In the last week of December 2021, Google confirmed its November 2021 update to local search and map pack results. The update, which was officially referred to as the November 2021 local search update, began on November 30, 2021, and was completed rolling out on December 8, 2021. Reliable organic SEO companies keep track of Google’s algorithm updates and trends to understand how it can impact their clients’ digital marketing campaign.
The November 2021 local search update involved a rebalancing of various factors that Google considers in generating local search results. The news about this update was confirmed through Google Search Central’s Twitter handle:
Many local businesses witnessed huge fluctuations in their local search rankings during the rollout period. According to BrightLocal, this is the largest change to the local algorithm since Possum in 2016 and has caused widespread ranking disruption.
As the tweet indicates, Google has recommended following its guidelines to improve ranking in local search. As per Google, we should keep in mind that the weight of each ranking element indicated in Google’s help guide has been rebalanced.
What Changed with the November 2021 Local Update
To better understand the impact of this update, let’s take a look at what changed. The ranking factors for Google’s local search results are based primarily on three factors:
Relevance: This ranking factor refers to how well a local Business Profile matches what someone is searching for. To help Google better understand your business and match your profile to relevant searches, add complete and detailed business information.
Distance: This factor considers how far each potential search result is from the location term used in a search. For instance, if a user doesn’t specify a location in their search, Google will calculate distance based on what it knows about their location.
Prominence: This relates to how well known a business is. Search results try to reflect the details of a business – such as places that are more prominent in the offline world (famous museums, landmark hotels, or well-known store brands) –in local ranking. This ranking factor is also based on information that Google has about a business, from across the web – such as links, articles, and directories. Along with this, position in web results and Google review count and review score also factor into local search ranking — more reviews and positive ratings can improve your business’s local ranking.
Impact on Businesses
Both large and small businesses are experiencing changes in their rankings following the November 2021 update. As the algorithm reduced the weight of keywords in business names, companies that didn’t have keywords in their name saw a higher ranking than brands that had.
Companies that have added their location in their profile and are closer to or in the vicinity of the person performing the search are also seeing better web results.
As Google never reveals the actual weighting of any ranking element, rebalancing your efforts may be the best method to respond to this upgrade. With a lot of Google algorithm shakeups in 2021 November, it was an active and eventful month in SEO. If you were impacted by the November 2021 local search update specifically, then it should be fairly easy to determine. The local ranking changes in the Google Maps and local pack results, along with the new local interface update, may have resulted in traffic changes to your business.
As a company offering organic SEO services, we keep track of all search engine algorithmic updates or core updates and can help you prepare for them. We can help you apply best practices to improve your ranking in local search results.
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Do you know that 46% of Google searches are for a local business or local service? Nearly half of all Google searches comprises people searching for local information or businesses in their area or within a specific service area. The search results are often modified to geo-specific searches. Using its algorithm, Google determines which local businesses are relevant to the user and worthy of ranking high in the results. So, to increase your chances of ranking, driving traffic, and attracting customers through search results, consider implementing local search engine optimization (SEO). Local SEO companies implement strategies to ensure websites are optimized for local search so that potential customers can find them easily.
If you are looking to improve your local ranking, make sure you choose a search engine optimization company that up to date on the latest local search tactics. This is all the more important as Google recently launched new features for local search, as well as new tools to assist journalists with producing locally-relevant stories.
Google’s New Local Search Features
Due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, different communities had different needs and were impacted in different ways. People started looking for local information and continue to do so. They are searching for local news on Google more than ever before using queries like “News near me”.
Image Source: https://blog.google/
The graph shows that “news near me” queries tripled over the past five years, reaching an all time high during the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020.
As more searchers are using “news near me” than ever before, the tech giant recently announced a rollout of new features to help readers better connect with publishers through locally relevant stories. Google is also helping publishers more efficiently and creatively by rolling out new tools to produce quality journalism their readers want. This is similar to Journalist Studio, a collection of new tools that Google launched a year ago to help reporters in their daily jobs.
Let’s take a look at the features of Google’s new local search optimization tools:
New Product Features for Google News Carousel
Carousel for Local News Stories: Initially launched for COVID searches, this feature is now getting expanded. With the new changes, readers can now see a local news carousel when Google finds local news coverage relevant to their query. Available globally in all languages, the carousel helps readers easily find stories near them from local news publishers. It also helps local publishers by adding another way for their essential reporting to reach the community that needs it most.
Top Stories: To help both the brand and the content of news publishers reach more people, Google is improving their systems and top stories carousel. Typically reserved for stories from national publications, authoritative local news sources will now appear more often in the Top Stories carousel.
Topics beyond just broad areas: Along with the carousel for local news stories and top stories, Google had also improved the local news experience by refining the ability to understand topics beyond just broad areas to narrower subtopics – such as sports, specifically football and high school football. When paired with Google’s location signals, this feature helps readers get more relevant material for the topics they are searching.
For instance, when a user in Long Island searches for football, Google will now show them results for local high school and college teams, rather than just showing the user results for, say, the professional team.
Image Source: https://blog.google/
People often look to social media for additional information about local issues. Local SEO companies help local business leverage social media to build their presence. To help people find local information on the topics they’re searching for, Google now surfaces tweets by local, authoritative sources and authors, including tweets from news organizations.
Image Source: https://blog.google/
New Data Tools for Journalists
Along with Google’s new features for searchers, the tech giant is also launching new tools for journalists, aiming to help them cover stories by providing them with locally relevant data.
Census Mapper Project: With layers and layers of important data, the U.S. Census is one of the largest data sets journalists can access. But then the challenge is sorting through that data and visualizing it in a way that helps readers understand trends and the bigger picture. To help journalists dig through all that data to find stories and embed visualizations on their sites, Google launched a new tool, Census Mapper project. This embeddable map displays Census data at the national, state and county level, as well as census tracts.
Image Source: https://blog.google/
Common Knowledge Project: As part of Google’s investment in data journalism, few improvements are made to the company’s Common Knowledge Project. This new version data explorer and visual journalism project – which is built with journalists for journalists – allows US journalists to explore local data and integrates journalist feedback with new features including geographic comparisons, new charts and visuals.
Image Source: https://blog.google/
From helping find, collect and visualize data, to searching through the data for stories, Google will continue to invest in developing new tools to assist local news publishers with producing more engaging stories.
If you are a local news publisher or a reporter trying to grab attention, then this is your big chance to be seen and build the reputation you deserve. These latest local search updates can help many types of businesses reach more people. Companies providing organic search engine optimization services stay on top these updates and help their clients make the most of these new features and tools.
Google, undoubtedly the most popular search engine, is always evolving its algorithms. This is done to ensure that the platform is surfacing the most accurate, relevant, and secure pages for its users. Google introduces updates every year and 2021 has seen quite a lot confirmed and unconfirmed updates. For instance, aside from the pre-announced page experience update and the usual core updates expected every year, this year, Google hit users with several unexpected changes, most of which made their appearance in the summer. Our digital marketing services company keeps track of new Google updates and trends, and understands how it can impact our clients’ digital marketing campaigns.
Let’s take a look at the Google algorithm updates that mattered in 2021:
December 2021 Product Reviews Update:
Google rolled out the “December 2021 Product Reviews Update” on December 1, 2021 at about 12:30pm ET. This update is rolling out for English-language pages and will take only about three weeks to complete. Being the second product reviews update of this calendar year, the December 2021 Product Reviews Update is expected to make changes to how your product reviews rank in search results.
According to Search Engine Land, RankRanger’s data shows that the December fluctuations and volatility were substantially higher in the top three and top five positions. Semrush data showed that, overlall, the December fluctuations and volatility peaked at much higher rates than the April product reviews update. According to the Semrush team, the volatility highs seen during the December update are far greater than what was recorded in the April update.
November 2021 Core Update
Google rolled out “The November 2021 Core Update” on November 17, 2021 at around 11am ET. This broad core update hit hard within the first 24 hours of the announcement and then slowed.
Data providers like Semrush, RankRanger, SISTRIX, and SEO Clarity confirmed that the November 2021 core update hit hard and then slowed very quickly in terms of their volatility tracker. Semrush noted that the health sector was often more impacted by core updates than other sectors and experienced 41% more volatility on both desktop and mobile in the November 2021 core update than it did back in the July 2021 core update.
November Anti-Spam Update
As part of Google’s regular work to improve results, the company released the “November 2021 Spam Update” on November 3, 2021. This update was aimed at fighting spam. Google had already launched three spam updates earlier this calendar year and this update was the fourth one. These updates helped Google’s automated systems to keep more than 99% of visits from search results spam-free.
Google Title Rewrite Update
For over a decade, Google has been tweaking page titles in the SERP according to the query. On August 16, Google made a tweak that resulted in a complete rewrite of page titles. After this update was released, people began noticing that Google was drastically changing their page titles, often in a detrimental way. The new system no longer adjusts titles according to queries, but better represents the page as a whole.
Link Spam Update
On July 26, 2021, Google rolled out an algorithm update aimed at identifying and nullifying link spam. With high-quality content and a good user experience, the update is aimed at fighting link spam and reward sites.
Google rolled out their July 2021 core update a month after the June 2021 Core Update. The second and final part of June 2021 Core Update, the July update started rolling out on July 1, 2021 and took 1-2 weeks to finish.
Google conducts periodic updates every few months, but this two-part update was quite surprising for many webmasters. The reason why two core updates were released just two months apart is that the company’s planned improvements for the June 2021 update were not ready to be released in June. So this was a staggered release of one, large core update.
Page Experience Update
Soon after the roll out of the May 2020 broad core update, on May 28, 2020, Google announced the Page Experience Update. Though initially set to release in May 2021, the update has been then rescheduled from May to mid-June 2021.
The Page Experience report in Search Console offers publishers and website owners a quick way to understand how their websites fare against the page experience signals. The report summarizes the experience of website visitors, which helps website owners and publishers create pages that provide a better user experience. Google evaluates the page experience metrics for individual URLs on a website and uses them as a ranking signal for a URL in Google Search results on mobile devices.
June 2021 Core Update
Google officially released the June 2021 Core Update on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at about 6:30pm ET. Google’s search liaison Danny Sullivan announced the release of the update on Twitter, adding a note that some of their planned improvements aren’t ready yet, and so, they are moving forward with the parts that are ready, and that the rest would follow in the July 2021 update.
Product Reviews Update
Google released a new search engine algorithm update known as the product reviews update on April 8, 2021. This was not a core update, but a standalone update whose goal was to encourage product reviews that don’t just summarize a list of products, but rather provide in-depth research, insightful analysis, and original content. The update was designed to promote in-depth reviews in search results over superficial ones.
Google Passage Ranking Update
Google’s Public Liaison for Search, Danny Sullivan, announced via Twitter that Passage Ranking update is officially live for English-language queries in the United States. While the update was originally announced in October 2020, Google confirmed that the passage ranking update was rolled out on February 10th, 2021 for queries in the US in English and that it would soon roll out for more countries and more languages.
With the passage ranking update, Google can now use artificial intelligence to index not only web pages, but individual passages (paragraphs, sentences) from those pages, which helps means that specific passages can show up as the featured snippet. Instead of making the user go through the relevant web page to find it, with this update, a user can quickly get answers to very specific queries.
Knowing what sort of Google Algorithm updates has taken place will help you to stay in line with SEO best practices, improve your rankings, and also understand the reasons behind any performance shifts.
As a company offering organic search engine optimization services, we keep track of all search engine algorithmic updates and can help you prepare for them. We believe in getting you results through a full spectrum of services from SEO, content writing, to conversion rate optimization.
A strong SEO strategy with a strong execution team is what we provide.
Followed by an early November Spam Update and a Core Algorithm Update that finished rolling out at the end of November, Google recently rolled out another update named “December 2021 Product Reviews Update”. Released by Google Search Central’s Twitter handle on December 1, 2021 at about 12:30pm ET, this update that is now rolling out for English-language pages will take only about three weeks to complete. Our search engine optimization company keeps track of new Google updates and trends, and understands how it can impact our clients’ digital marketing campaigns.
April Product Review Update and December Product Review Update
Back in April 2021, a similar Search algorithm update – product reviews update – was launched by Google. The update was designed to better reward product review content. Rather than the thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products, people appreciated in-depth researched content. It is expected that this update will help writers generating rich content in the product reviews area. According to Google, “the overall focus of this update – which is not a core update – is on providing users with content that provides insightful analysis and original research, and is written by experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well”.
However, the December product review update may change how your product reviews rank in search results. In particular, websites that have made positive changes to their content since the last product review update, may see that improvement reflected in this latest release.
NOTE: Changes can happen at any time for various reasons because, Google’s automated assessment of product review content is only one of many factors used in ranking content.
After rolling out the April update, Google received more feedback from users on what type of review content is considered as trustworthy and useful – that is, users trust reviews with evidence of products actually being tested, and prefer to have more options to purchase the product. It is based on such user feedback that Google works to provide additional product review guidance. They introduced two new best practices for product reviews that include:
Product evidence including audio, visuals, or other links demonstrating the user’s experience with a particular product. This helps to support user’s expertise and reinforce the authenticity of their review, rather than the low-quality reviews that are clearly affiliate sites posting bogus reviews which are quite similar to rewritten versions of the product specifications.
Offer multiple buying options by including links for multiple sellers. This practice will give the reader the option to purchase from their merchant of choice.
Though Google hasn’t mentioned that these best practices are their “ranking factors,” they do say that these best practices can potentially become ranking factors in the future.
The April Product Review Update also introduced some best practices when it rolled out, which have now been merged into a single documentation page named “Write high quality product reviews.”
The rollout of this update has upset some webmasters because they think that it is untimely for Google to apply algorithm updates during the busiest shopping season, even though subjectively these updates have not been too disruptive. However, considering the unpredictable behavior of algorithm updates, it would be most unfortunate if legitimate product review sites unintentionally lose rankings during this critical time of the year.
Technically, according to Google, the latest update is not a penalty against a website’s content. They are just rewarding sites with more insightful review content with rankings, which means that this latest update should only impact product review content and not other types of content.
Does your website offer product review content? If you want to find out if your rankings have been impacted by this new update, we can help you. As a company offering organic SEO services, we keep track of all search engine algorithmic updates or core updates and can help you prepare for them.Call (800) 941-5527
On November 3, 2021 Google released a new search ranking algorithm update called the “November 2021 spam update” that targets spam fighting. The company notes that this update, which should take about a week to fully roll out and be noticed in the search results, is a part of their regular work to improve and maintain the quality of its search results. Reliable search engine optimization company will be keeping track of all search engine algorithmic updates or core updates and can help their clients prepare for them.
This year, Google launched three spam updates:
The June 2021 Spam Update on June 23, 2021 started and got completed on a single day
Spam Update Part 2 rolled out on June 28, 2021 and got completed on a single day.
The Google Link Spam Algorithm Update began rolling out on July 26, 2021 and was done on the August 24.
Unlike the June 2021 Spam Update and Spam Update Part 2 which didn’t provide any exact details about the updates, the Google Link Spam Algorithm Update aimed at identifying and nullifying link spam.
This link spam update focused on links with sponsored, paid, and affiliate content, and Google warned that any site using links that are manipulative and unnatural would see ranking changes in search. The update got fully rolled out in four weeks and impacted multiple languages. Google’s algorithmic and manual action gets to work when it detects sites engaging in either publishing or acquiring links with excessive sponsored and guest posting without proper link tags. To make things more transparent, Google clarified their guidelines on how to tag links that are paid.
After three months, Google rolled out the “November 2021 Spam Update”.
November Spam Update 2021
This is the fourth Google algorithm update targeting spam this calendar year. Announcing the update, Google tweeted: “As part of our regular work to improve results, we’ve released a spam update to our systems. This November 2021 spam update should be fully rolled out within a week. We encourage sites to follow our best practices for Search.”
Generally, spam updates target specific guideline violations, but Google did not give any clarification on this, such as whether it was links, content or other forms of spam. It is linked to its general spam prevention notices.
Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed that the November update is a spam-fighting algorithm update. A Twitter user asked Sullivan, “How does a spam update differ from a core update in terms of what a small business needs to keep an eye on to know if we are affected?” He replied that spam updates deal with content that doesn’t follow Google’s guidelines, whereas Core updates are simply an adjustment to how Google assess the content overall.
For Google, ‘Spam’ has a separate definition, which primarily includes:
Low quality sites that trap users into providing their personal information or installing malware.
Websites masquerading themselves as other reputable sites.
Sometimes, websites that follow Google’s guidelines could also be guilty of spam and they might not even know it. For instance, a website that is not effectively secured is vulnerable to being hacked, which can result in the website serving spam and/or malware to users without the webmaster knowing about it. When it comes to spam updates, whether its hacked spam or intentional spam, it’s all the same to Google. According to Google, hacked websites aren’t treated any different because it’s the responsibility of the site owner to keep it secure.
Websites following Google’s webmaster guidelines may not need to worry about this spam updates. But still if your website shows large ranking or traffic changes in your organic Google search results, then you may have been hit by this spam update and you may have to check your site’s security and look for signs of a possible attack.
Be it first or fourth spam update, all these updates help Google’s automated systems to keep more than 99% of visits from search results spam-free. Last year alone, Google’s automated systems blocked 25 billion spammy pages from being indexed in search results every day (searchenginejournal.com).
We may have to wait till next year that is when Google publishes its annual spam fighting report to learn more about the impact this November 2021 spam update had made.
When a new Google update rolls out, understanding the key ranking factors is important to maintain your position and stay ahead of the competition.
As a SEO outsourcing company, we keep track of all search engine algorithm updates and can help you prepare for them. We believe in getting you results through a full spectrum of services from SEO, content writing, to conversion rate optimization.A strong SEO strategy with a strong execution team is what we provide.