Updated 10. May 2021 of Thomas Bogh

Google News: April 2021

Google News: April 2021

Every month Google updates its algorithm with new initiatives that improve the user experience for the many users. Therefore you need to know the news if you are working with SEO.

We give you an overview here with the latest updates from April 2021.

Google’s Product Reviews Update

One of the big news came on April 8, when Google announced its major Product Reviews algorithm update.

The purpose of the update was to rank those product reviews that actually share in-depth surveys – rather than “thin content” that makes overly simple summaries with a lot of products.

Experience from the update is that you are forced to deliver an actual product review. If you try to influence a sale in the review, it will negatively affect your rankings.

Therefore, avoid sales language in the reviews or making lists of products without real analysis.

In this way, this Product Review update is somewhat reminiscent of core updates, in terms of how specific it is. Here, content quality and authority in general is a major focus.

The update is especially important for affiliate sites, that typically make a living by comparing many different products, where profits differ from product to product.

If you want to see a case study of winners and losers from the update, then you can read more here.

Core Web Vitals Update Moved to June

It was planned that Google would roll out its page experience update – also known as the Core Web Vitals update – in May. 

But to give webmasters more time, Google has now chosen to postpone the update to mid-June, where it will be rolled out softly. The update implies that the three Core Web Vitals will be part of Google’s ranking factors.

search signals for page experience report

The update will be rolled out in mid-June, but it will not be fully effective until the end of August.

This gives Google the ability to gradually see the impact that the update will have and from here be able to track down unexpected challenges before it is rolled out completely.

In addition, in April, Google released an update to its Cumulative Layout Score (CLS), which measures how much elements on a page ‘jump’ around. This score has been improved, which you can read more about here.

New Page Experience Report in Google

As part of the user experience focus, Google has created a new report in the Search Console, which brings together all page experience elements.

In addition to Core Web Vitals, you can find:

  • Mobile Usability
  • Security issues
  • HTTPS usage
  • Ad experience
page experience report

Google’s statement can be read on their own blog; Search Central.

Other Search Console News

April was generally a month of many updates in the Search Console. As part of the many updates, Search Console improved itself with two additions to the overall report.

The goal is, as always, to make the report more usable for webmasters who make use of the data.

Webmasters – Website owners – can now use the Search Console to filter regex data and take advantage of revamped comparison mode, which allows more than one metric to be included.

Regex Filters

Regex filters will help create more complex searches so you can capture more branded searches.

Google explains it here: “let’s say your company is called ‘cats and dogs’ but is sometimes also abbreviated as ‘cats & dogs’ or even ‘c & d’. You can use a regex filter to capture all of your branded queries by defining the regex filter: cats and dogs | cats & dogs | c & d“.

regex filters

Revamped Comparison Mode

Now it is possible to compare several metrics at one time (revamped comparison mode), which provides more insightful data with better overview side by side:

revamped comparison mode

3x Travel Updates

Google has added new features to the search results that are suitable for the many who are going to travel again.

The new ‘travel’ updates will make it easier to find necessary information about traveling in the search engine. This includes travel guides, destination ideas and road trip planning.

1. Travel Guide

When searching for travel information, including flights and hotels, Google will provide important information regarding Covid-19 and restrictions.

Now Google is adding more details that will make it easier for travelers to know if they need to be quarantined as well as information about general test data.

2. Destination Ideas

Google has updated ‘Explore’, which is a feature making it easier to find the next travel destination. An additional feature has now been added to Google.com/travel, which has been redesigned and helps users find more than just air planes.

destination ideas

This allows you to zoom in and find destinations that involve outdoor activities such as skiing.

3. Road Trip Planning Made Easy

For all users who need to plan a road trip, Google Maps can now help you choose which stops to make on the road.

When using Google Maps on desktop, add starting point and ending destination and the recommendations will be visible at the top of the folder.

WordPress Plugin for Google Web Stories is Updated

It has become easier to embed web stories on your pages with an update in Web Stories’ WordPress plugin.

Embedding Web Stories has long been challenging, but now WordPress website owners can create Web Stories and embed using the same tool. 

This update also offers the ability to embed Web Stories from other sites.

Wordpress Plugin for Google Web Stories

In addition, this plugin allows you to integrate Web Stories into theme customization and can be used in the editor version Classic Editor.

You can read about it all here.