June was an intense month for changes in the digital world as Google finally rolled out a major core algorithm update. This had many site owners shaking in their boots. Had they done enough? Would their rankings drop overnight?
Any update is always a touch and go time, but that wasn’t the only news to contend with.
As you will read, Google and other social platforms seem to be upping the ante when it comes to wanting people to create more content and better content. And if that wasn’t enough it now appears that your branding is now playing a factor in your rankings.
Yes, there is A LOT to digest from June’s news, so we highly recommend you brace yourself for some serious strategizing, because the plans you make now, will only pay off to your success in 2021.
The biggest news to note in June 2021 is the big updates from Google. As well as a core algorithm update, we also had the Core Web Vitals roll out. With two big changes in the online landscape it’s important you understand how these changes will be affecting your rankings, and ensure you won’t be hit with a sudden dip later in the year.
Indexing – Google Reveals How Long it Really Takes
After creating a new page or an awesome piece of content, the question often in a web owner’s mind is – how long will it take for Google to look at this and place it in the results?
Well, we now have the answer thanks to Google’s John Mueller.
In an AskGoogleBot session in June, Mueller confirmed that it can take merely hours or weeks for Google to index and rank your content.
Why the big difference between hours or weeks?
Mueller revealed that there are many variants that Google has to consider, but one of the biggest is the general quality of your website.
For example, if there are technical difficulties with your site, it may take Google months to index a new page or piece of content.
Mueller said that Google finds it much easier to find and index new pieces of content when your website is already of a high quality and performing well.
Only 4% Pass Core Web Vitals Update
Google’s Core Web Vitals has been a slow burner of an update, but as it gradually gets rolled out it’s becoming a critical one to address as this is all about user experience. And if we know anything about Google by now, it’s that they love sites that make it a nice experience for the user.
In June SearchMetrics revealed that through a study and data analysis of 2 million URLs, and 20 organic Google searches, less than 4% of websites passed all the core web vitals tests. Ouch!
This means websites are still not meeting basic user experience needs and could mean a huge downturn in rankings if they don’t look to improve over the next year.
Google Limits FAQ Rich Results
An FAQ rich result is like winning a popularity test. It’s exciting and slightly addictive.
If you’re not yet clear on what an FAq Rich result is, let us simplify.
An FAQ Rich Result is where Google shows a web page that has a list of frequently asked questions which relate to a particular topic. Google then shows these FAQs in the search results.
Previously Google would show many of these frequently asked questions, which meant more web pages had the coveted chance of gaining some serious online real estate. After all, these are coveted spots on the search results as it increases traffic.
However, it was confirmed in June by Danny O’Sullivan that Google would now be limiting FAQ Rich Results to just two per search query – that’s a big change.
This means it’s going to become even more competitive to nab yourself one these FAQ spots.
The June Core Update Is Complete
Google rolled out a core algorithm update from June 2nd to June 12th. It was ten whole days of this new algorithm – which is still unnamed and unknown. All anyone knows is that Google was making changes, and if you haven’t checked your ranks, you probably should.
The key is to identify any big changes and try to understand from your general Google knowledge why this change may have occurred. Google has not revealed any information about what this core update was around, so no SEO expert can yet put an idea of what this update was attempting to improve.
Be aware that Google has also announced it will be doing another core update in July, meaning things could shift once again.
Google Begins Using MUM For Vaccine Search Results
Google is constantly pushing itself to improve the way it can answer difficult questions from users, and now it’s putting one of its innovations to the test.
MUM which stands for Multitask Unified Model, is a new technology developed by Google to answer complex search queries. Yep, we’re imagining a robot too.
MUM was revealed by Google back in May, but it has now been tested on complex search queries around the covid-19 vaccine.
In June Google confirmed that MUM is now being used in search results to identify over 800 variations of vaccine names in more than 50 languages in a matter of seconds.
Google has revealed that after the success of this test, it will now be looking to understand how it can use MUM for other search queries.
We know the news on this doesn’t end here, and we’re intrigued to see how this could shape things moving forward for SEO.
How Your Site Looks Can Impact Rankings
Do you think that how your website looks matters? – Well Google does.
In Google’s eyes, looks are important as it was revealed in June by Google’s own John Mueller.
During a Search Central Hangout on 25th June, John revealed that the presentation of company’s website may impact visibility if it doesn’t meet certain expectations for quality.
Here’s John’s full comment when a site owner asked what could be the problem with a gradual decline in rankings seeing;
“Sometimes those small differences do play a role in regards to how people perceive your website. If, for example, you have something that is on a financial topic and people come to you and say “well your information is okay but it’s presented in a way that looks very amateurish,” — then that could reflect how your website is perceived. And in the long run could reflect something that is visible in search as well.”
We should all know by now that branding and how your website is viewed by potential customers is vital in gaining trust. If they think you look amateur they’ll leave and never come back. This eventually begins to impact your rankings as Google sees this and thinks you’re no longer being useful to users.
Google Rolls Out Spam Algorithm Update
In June Google was on the hunt to remove more spam websites from the web.
If you have a site that follows Google’s guidelines than you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Google weren’t clear about why they were doing this roll out, or what it would impact.
Generally, Google’s spam updates only target those sites who are phishing for people’s data, or doing something unsolicited but trying to rank as organic, trust-worthy pages.
Each year Google publishes an annual Spam Report, as many established sites also find themselves at the mercy of hackers who obtain their website and then change or manipulate the content.
Currently Google has revealed that hacked spam is a growing problem which some site owners are not even aware of.
If your site suddenly drops in rankings following any of the updates it would be wise to check your site’s security and ensure you have not been victim to a hack attack.
When a site is hit by a spam update its either demoted in the search results or removed entirely from Google’s index.
It appears a month cannot go by without a social platform desperately trying to grab people’s attention and keep an audience.
Social media has become a competitive arena, and as more of us are increasing our time online, each platform is attempting to think of new ways to keep us plugged in and switched on.
Pinterest Bans All Weight Loss Ads
Body positivity influencers were celebrating across social media in June as Pinterest announced that it would no longer show ads for weight loss related products or services.
The change came about due to data released by the National Eating Disorders Association who revealed that during the pandemic there was a steep rise in mental ill-health and eating disorders.
As a platform that is predominantly used by women, with stats currently sitting around 80% for female users, Pinterest has taken the step to ban all ads related to weight loss imagery or language.
Facebook BETA Tests Newsletter Platform
Not another content platform – oh yes!
In June, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would launch a new newsletter platform, Bulletin.
According to Zuckerberg, the new site will be a place for writers and other creators to publish content and build a subscriber base.
At present, the new platform is still in development as Facebook test new tools and features with a small selection of creators.
So far, all we know is the Bulletin will give creators the rights to their content and subscribers list. Even though the platform will rely on Facebook’s infrastructure.
Readers won’t need to have a Facebook account to read Bulletin content but will need to use Facebook Pay for any transactions.
LinkedIn Publishes New Digital Magazine
To support businesses in returning to a ‘new normal’ LinkedIn has launched a new digital magazine that aims to support companies in getting the most out of their digital marketing on the platform.
As well as the latest studies and insights from LinkedIn’s ads team, it also has expert interviews and tips on driving growth in the post-pandemic recovery.
The 50-page magazine is free to download, and many are suspecting that this could be a regular occurrence moving forward.
As a social platform that supports b2b companies, it has stood the test of time and major competition to remain relevant to its core business audience, so these new additions further strengthen LinkedIn as the space to be to grow.
We’re intrigued to see how this magazine develops and how helpful the content truly becomes.