Google’s Summer 2021 Core Update: Reassessing Your Content
As we anticipate the full implementation of Google’s Core Web Vitals, marketers and content creators alike are closely looking at the different updates Google has started rolling out and how these affect rankings.
In mid-June, Google released the first of many core updates, and another core update is set to be released sometime in July. Many websites have seen a change in their rankings since the June 2021 algorithm update, but the results are quite mixed: While some sites saw huge drops in rankings, some hardly saw any changes in their numbers.
For those who experienced volatility in their SEO rankings, two things stood out as the possible reasons: relevancy and authority of the content.
June/July 2021 Core Update: What It Means for Content
Google wasn’t clear about what the June 2021 Core Update entailed, as well as that of their upcoming July update. But seeing that it’s part of the Core Web Vitals ranking signal, it’s safe to assume that Google is focusing more on improving page experience, and content is at the very center of this.
As Neil Patel observed, the latest algorithm update seems to be focusing on content quality, especially with introductory paragraphs. As user behavior continually changes, Google has picked up on users’ tendency to want to get the information they need fast and easy.
This means that “word count” or “time on site” may not be as important or as detrimental as it is when it comes to ranking your content—the overall quality of your content and how it serves your target audience’s needs are what matters.
Important Caveat About Core Updates
An important thing to note here, and Google has made it clear, that a drop in rankings does not necessarily mean that your page has violated any webmaster guidelines. In a blog post, Google emphasizes that “there’s nothing in a core update that targets specific pages or sites.”
However, if you feel that your content may not be up to par, then it may be prudent to reassess your content to further improve it.
Reassessing Your Content to Improve Quality
1. Check your headlines and introductions
Your headlines should be strategically phrased to provide a clear, helpful summary of what the content is about. Steer clear from clickbait-like and keyword-laden headlines that don’t really make sense. For your introductions, keep it succinct and free of fluff.
The key here is to ask yourself whether your headlines and introductions are descriptive, accurate, and relevant to your target audience.
2. Evaluate the body of your content
A few things to ask when evaluating your content:
- Value and originality: Does it provide relevant and accurate information? Does your content provide value to your readers that they cannot find from other sources?
- Authority: Is it well-researched and backed by authoritative sources? If yes, are the sources backlinked or properly cited?
- User experience: Is your content easy to read (i.e., use of subheads, shorter paragraphs, and other visual breaks)? Are the words you use comprehensible to your readers’ knowledge level?
- Length: Is your content at the right length to convey the information and message you want to provide? While some sources cited that thin content is negatively affected by the recent algorithm update at a much higher degree, there isn’t a hard and fast rule as to the ideal word count.
3. Assess content quality
Two areas should be covered in terms of content quality: The content itself and its presentation (i.e., on-page SEO and usability).
Your content should be written and produced well, free from grammatical and spelling errors, and carefully crafted. A distinct brand voice is an important element, as it sets your content apart from others and it provides readers a sense of authenticity.
Additionally, do an SEO audit of your website. A few things to focus on:
- Mobile-friendliness: Is your site mobile-friendly? Does your content display well on different mobile devices?
- Usability: Among the key areas of Google’s Core Web Vitals algorithm is usability. Is your blog page laden with too many distracting ads and/or popups? Is it easy to navigate and find related content?
- On-page SEO: Are the title tags, H1 tags, meta descriptions, image ALT texts, and the page URLs optimized? Are there any broken links?
Optimizing Your Content for Your Audience
With all that’s been said, a simple yet tried-and-tested technique in assessing and creating content remains true: write for humans, not search engines. Evaluate the needs of your audience and how you can address them through your content.
Additionally, stay abreast with SEO updates. SEO is among the most dynamic elements of digital marketing, and it requires the right tools, professional skills and knowledge, and the time and patience to continually make improvements to your website and content.
However, if you’re pressed for time and you lack the resources, Ilfusion can help you out. We offer a suite of digital marketing services, spanning from SEO, content marketing, graphic design, video production, to web development and design, and more.content marketing, Google algorithm update, Google core update, search engine optimization, SEO
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