All the info on Google’s Summer Updates

Google has announced a two-part summer update. Google’s first Core Update for 2021 is on its way, but as their developers couldn’t manage it all in one go, this Core Update will be released in two parts. The June 2021 roll-out began on June 2, with the next instalment planned for some time in July 2021. As always, the Core Updates to Google’s ranking algorithm apply to all markets and search indices. Get all the info and analysis on Google’s hot summer of Core Updates for 2021 here!

Google Core Update June/July 2021: What we know so far…

Are we set for a sizzling SEO summer? Google has announced a two-part Core Update for 2021. They made some extensive changes to their search algorithm but couldn’t finish everything in time for a June rollout. So, the first Core Update for 2021 is being rolled out in two parts. The first part – the June 2021 Core Update – began on the 2nd and is likely to take up to two weeks.

Google explained the procedure on their Google SearchLiaison Twitter feed. Their developers are currently working on the remaining changes that are yet to be completed but expected to come into effect in the July Core Update:

As always, the core updates do not target specific sites or types of content, they represent changes to Google’s core ranking algorithm.

Impact and analysis of the Google core update 2021

Both the June update and the follow-up in July will send SEO stress levels soaring; as the release of their page experience update is also expecting to roll out in June as well; integrating Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor, in effort to reduce slow-loading sites from being served in their rankings.

Searchmetrics founder and Chief Evangelist Marcus Tober has analyzed the impact of the June Core Update for’s US search results. His data foundation is naturally not yet complete, as the update is still being rolled out. Accordingly, his conclusions provide only a first impression of the changes Google has integrated into the search algorithm with the Core Update. Marcus’ initial analysis is that “many directory sites have lost out.” In addition, Marcus noticed an interesting pattern: “There are a number of fake-airport pages that look good at first glance but contain a lot of spam. Google has now hit a whole network of fake airport pages at the same time.”

“There are a number of fake airport pages that look good at first glance but contain a lot of spam. Google has now hit a whole network of fake airport pages at the same time.” Marcus Tober, Gründer and Chief Innovation Officer, Searchmetrics


Other losers from the Core Update that Marcus was able to identify in his early analysis, which does not yet include the full update, include sites with thin content and sites that lost out on brand keywords for which they previously ranked.

Google June Core Update Losers

The list of first losers of the Core Update in June 2021 for 


As a precautionary measure, Google itself has pointed out that some sites may experience changes from the June update that reverse in the second part of the update in July.

Danny Sullivan explains the update process at Google

At the same time, Google published a post by Danny Sullivan on their company blog explaining its update process. This is nothing new for SEOs and experts in this field, but Google is being far more transparent in dealing with certain updates more publicly, with major Core Updates being announced and explained in advance. As an example, the last core update caused a stir in December 2020, as did further updates on certain topics, such as the page experience update.

Danny Sullivan explains that, “Google Search is updated thousands of times a year to improve the experience and the quality of results.” In order to achieve the best results, Google has decreased the number of irrelevant results appearing in search results by over 40% over the past five years and has been able to continue growing the traffic its sends to websites every year since its founding.

Danny continues to point out that their special updates, such as the Google mobile first indexing or the product reviews update, are what make Google Search better. However, their Core Updates involve broad improvements to Search:

“We want site owners to understand these changes aren’t because of something they’ve done but rather because of how our systems have been improved to better assess content overall and better address user expectations. We also want to remind them that nothing in a Core Update (or any update) is specific to a particular site, but is rather about improving Search overall.”  Danny Sullivan, Public Liaison for Search

Google Core Updates: What webmasters and SEOs can do

In August 2019, Google published a post on its Google Search Central Blog that explained in more detail what algorithm changes are behind the core updates and what webmasters and SEOs can do if they are affected by a Google Core Update.

Sites that note drops or gains during an update have neither “violated [Google’s] webmaster guidelines nor been subjected to a manual or algorithmic action.” Instead, the changes are about improving how its systems assess content overall. According to Google, these changes may cause some pages that were previously under-rewarded to do better – and vice versa, of course. Google suggests that its Core Update can be compared to making a list of the top 100 movies in 2015. A few years later, you refresh the list – and it will naturally change, as new movies that never existed before will now be candidates for inclusion.

Google recommends that webmasters and SEOs whose websites have been affected by a Google update to “focus on offering the best content [they] can” – and offers a fresh set of questions for them to ask themselves about their content:

  • Content & quality: Does your website provide original, valuable information that is not copied? Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content? Is this the sort of content you, as a webmaster, would share with your friends?
  • Expertise: Is the content trustworthy? Does the site contain errors? As a webmaster would you trust this site if you came to it via Google?
  • Presentation & production: Does the content seem well researched and produced – or does it seem to be more mass-produced? Are there too many ads? Does the content display well on all devices?
  • Comparative questions: Does the website offer any added value compared to other competitors? Does the content meet the expectations of the user?


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