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What Are The 2021 Google Updates and How Do They Affect Search Results in 2022?

 Google is known for the multiple shifts in its algorithm over the years. It rolls out more than a dozen updates each year. The rationale behind this is extremely sound- Google doesn’t encourage stagnancy.

Google Updates

Initially, Google had only a handful of markers to choose which pages would rank at the top of the SERP. This primarily included keywords. However, soon Google realized that it was entirely too easy for some pages to reach the top of the SERP by creating directories of keywords and nothing more. This is when Google introduced the criterion of gathering backlinks to get a high ranking. Even then, sites simply started competing over the number of backlinks they generated, instead of the quality of their content.

To combat this, Google started focusing on the relevance and the trustworthiness of the content next. After all, the primary purpose of Google is to provide the best possible search results to its users. Therefore, they continue changing up the ranking algorithm each year to prevent sites from getting too complacent.

This constant change in algorithm also ensures that big players like Amazon do not monopolize the top positions in the SERP. The new players in the market also have a fair playing field because of these Google updates.

So, keep reading this article if you are a digital marketing company in Dallas or are looking for a digital marketing company for your e-commerce business. We are going to list out the Google Updates that were introduced and implemented in 2021. Through this, you can get an idea of how to best optimize your site for 2022 to increase traffic and retain site visitors.

The Most Important Google Updates of 2021

“About this Result”

Google came up with this idea very early on in February 2021. You might have noticed a vertical line of three little dots at the end of your search URLs. If you click on this, Google will provide you with information regarding the website that this particular page belongs to.

This information is primarily sourced from Wikipedia. Therefore, if you are looking for a Dallas digital marketing company, make sure you get your website information updated on Wikipedia. This makes your website look more trustworthy and professional.

This feature is still in the BETA phase of its testing. Google is waiting to see whether this feature positively affects the user experience before making further changes.

Google Individual Passage Ranking

Google no longer simply provides rankings to entire pages. This is because pages contain passages of varying significance and relevance. Even if your entire page content cannot compete with the page of a larger company with a bigger marketing budget, you can still get to the top of the SERP page by having 1-2 extremely important passages.

This individual passage indexing also helps to provide its users with a more direct result. You might have noticed how you get direct one-line or one-paragraph answers to a question typed in the search bar. You don’t even have to read the entire page. This is the result of Google’s individual passage ranking or indexing.

How to utilize this feature to push your content to the top of the SERP? Have an FAQ section at the end of each long-form article that directly answers some frequently asked questions. You can gather these questions from the “People also ask” section of the Google SERP page itself after entering your keyword. Or, you can even use free Google tools like “Answer the Public.”

This feature encourages content creators and marketers to focus on long-tail question keywords – which have a better chance of allowing you to earn a top spot in the SERP.

Priority on Mobile Site Optimization

According to data gathered by Statista, 90% of the world’s internet users use their mobile phones to go online. Mobile phones are not just more portable, they are also more affordable. Therefore, a huge part of our population can afford to go online through their mobile phones even if they cannot afford a laptop.

Google justifiably had to make the shift towards a mobile-oriented indexing format. This means that the more optimized your site is for mobile usage, the greater your chances of reaching the top of the SERP.

Therefore, if you are an e-commerce site and are looking for a digital marketing agency in Dallas, you must first ask them to optimize your website for seamless mobile usage.

There are various free Google tools to check if your site can run properly on a mobile phone. PageSpeed Insights, which had previously only tested the speed of websites on PCs and laptops, now also provides detailed reports on the speed of websites on mobile phones.

You can use the feedback from these Google tools to decrease the load time. The lower the load time of your page, the more likely it is that visitors will stick around and browse your site. You don’t want them to get irritated with the amount of time it takes for each page to load, which can negatively affect your website traffic.

Google is ready to prioritize mobile-oriented indexing over PC-oriented indexing, and you have to get used to that.

Only Detailed Reviews Considered

From 2021, Google started prioritizing detailed reviews over what it deemed to be thin reviews. And this turned the ranking system upside down. Even enormous e-commerce sites like Amazon had to suffer because of this change.

Thin reviews are those which barely have 1-3 lines of subjective views. As valuable as these are, Google prefers reviews with actual data on the performance, price comparisons with other brands, comparisons with earlier models by the same brand, etc. In short, only expert opinions are up for consideration.

Though companies rushed to abide by Google’s review update, they soon fell short of reaching this insanely high standard. Therefore, Google changed its update again. Now, Google prioritizes reviews that are in a multimedia format or provide links to other sites.

This is why most trustworthy Dallas digital marketing agencies try to get the users to submit photos and videos of the product rather than just text-only reviews.

Google MUM

MUM stands for Multitask Unified Model. This is one of the most revolutionary updates that Google rolled out last year. Most of us use our regional dialects to make search queries on Google. And most often these questions are not structured like the “People Also Ask” questions that people type in.

This is even more valid for voice searches where colloquialisms are frequent. In order to keep up with the times, Google needed to set up a modern language search model which could answer complex search inputs.

For this, Google intends to pull contextual information from various sources rather than simply searching for matching keywords. Google MUM is supposed to understand the content of images and over 75 different languages.

The knowledge of this pool of languages and the multifaceted contextual understanding provided by this newest Google algorithm can truly revolutionize how we make our searches at all

Google Spam Update

This one is a bit tricky and more than a bit concerning. Google has rolled out not one, but three spam updates in 2021. And while this should be good news, it’s not quite clear what Google considers spam to be.

This did cause fluctuations in the rankings but not as much as those caused by the earlier updates mentioned. One thing can be ascertained based on how these spam updates have been functioning till now- they aren’t meant to target the SEO rankings but rather cancel out the spam from image searches.

Also, it is possible that Google is going to use these spam updates to verify the validity of searches in languages other than English since these types of content have escaped Google scrutiny till now.

Google Core Update

This is the most important update that you should be aware of. Every year Google comes up with one or two core updates that force businesses to completely reevaluate their method of marketing.

For the last few years, Google has been dedicated to improving the quality of its content. 2021’s core update stays on the same track. It focuses on verifying the YMYL content that is currently listed on Google.

YMYL is an abbreviation for Your Money Your Life. Basically, this refers to the sites offering information on diseases, medication, investments, legal concerns, etc. All of these are considered sensitive content, and therefore Google does not want to promote falsities on its platform.

Google has therefore imposed its E-A-T guidelines heavily on this sort of content. E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness. It ensures that only people with expertise can provide information on these sensitive topics. Also, the relevance of the information is a very important factor. Even high-ranking existing articles need to be constantly updated with regard to new scientific discoveries and current affairs to continue occupying their top spot in the SERP.

In Conclusion

Google intends to keep content creators, digital marketers, and e-commerce companies to stay on their toes to prevent them from getting complacent. These frequent updates are why Google continues to rule as the leading search engine. If you want to stay at the top of your game, keep a keen eye on the updates that have started being implemented from 2022 as well.

Author Bio:

Author Bio

Sudeep Banerjee is the Founder & President of B3NET Inc. which is a web design & Development Company in Orange County, California. With his 26 years of expertise in Digital Marketing Agency in Dallas, SEO & Paid Marketing, he is looking forward to reaching new heights of success. Find him on Twitter, LinkedIn

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