Google releases new updates to its algorithms every month. Each update impacts search results in its own way. That’s why you have to stay updated if you work with SEO in any kind of way.
We’ve collected the largest updates that were released in August 2021. It’s definitely a thin month compared to the large updates we’ve seen in June and July.
Link Spam update is finally rolled out
After several weeks of the roll-out, Google’s latest large link update is finally out. Google started out by announcing it would be done in two weeks’ time, but it ended up taking about a month.
This new update focuses on cleaning up links from pages that engage in paid links and sponsored guest posting. The goal is that these links shouldn’t be of equal value to “natural” links.
If you try to skirt the boundaries of Google’s guidelines, this update will make it easier for you to get punished. And if you do get punished, you might lose several of your valuable rankings on Google.
You can read our full explanation of the update right here.
Google changes how they generate page titles
Google has announced a change in the way they generate page titles in the SERPs.
Page titles are the headlines shown in Google’s search results above the meta description. You can see an example right here:
Before this update, these titles would often be based on the HTML <title> tag and be changed based on the specific search query entered by the user.
From now on, Google will focus more on what the user sees. This means the SERP title will more often be based on large visual elements like the H1-heading.
To work around this, make sure that your page headings – especially the H1 – is optimized for clicks and generating interest. If you don’t you risk losing clicks due to poor page titles.
A simpler page experience report
“Page experience” is the name of one of Google’s most important technical focus areas. Modern SEO is about delivering the best possible user experience with content that matches search intent in every way.
That’s why Google developed a page experience report in Search Console. It’s a helping hand for webmasters in optimizing their pages.
The report has now been simplified and made more usable for anyone working with SEO.
- Ad experience has been removed
- A bug has been fixed that showed “Failing HTTPS” if there was insufficient data
Data loss in Google Search Console
Google reported they suffered from a data loss in their Search Console reports from the 23rd to the 24th of August.
This means there’s a likelihood that there’ll be a loss of data points for clicks and impressions for this period.
Make sure to note this in your tracking of monthly numbers
However, this of course only affects the reporting and not the actual traffic. You should be able to confirm this by checking in Google Analytics.
Google redesigns “How Search Works”
Google is trying to be more transparent about their practices.
As a step towards this, they recently redesigned their explainer page for how the search engine works.
It’s called “How Search Works”
How Search Works is a hub that explains how Google indexes, categorises, and ranks billions of pages on the internet.
The changes look to be mostly cosmetic – but it’s important to know anyway.
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What is the Link Spam Update and how do you recover from Google updates?
Uh oh, a new Google update has come along. This is a time of fear and glee for SEOs worldwide as they either scramble to recover from their malpractices or open up champagne to greet their new large influx of organic traffic. Recently, we’ve had both two core updates in June and July, as well …