SEO News: Google’s June 2021 Core Update and Future Updates

  • June 8, 2021
  • Jessica Rangel

Google has announced three updates to be released throughout June and July 2021.

There’s been plenty of talk — and plenty of confusion — about the core updates, so we’re here to help clarify what is happening and the expected timeline. Here is an overview of the announced core updates:

  • June 2021 Core Update
  • July 2021 Core Update
  • Core Web Vitals - Page Experience Update

It’s important to note that these are three separate updates — the page experience update rollout is unrelated to the June/July 2021 core updates despite the overlapping timeline.

What are the core updates and when will they be released?

June 2021 Core Update: Rolling out now

Google released the June 2021 Core Update on June 2nd.

As with any core update, you can expect rankings to go up and down and the full extent of the update won’t be known until the roll out is complete. Google says this typically takes one to two weeks.

This update will be followed by the July 2021 Core Update — Google said they had planned improvements but some were not ready so they split the update in two. There aren't tons of details about what the update includes, aside from generally improving how Google assesses content and addresses user search intent. However, Google did note that some of the changes from the June update could be reversed with the July update.

Rule out that site changes caused ranking drops

Monitor your site for changes and issues so when your rankings drop, you know it's not due to anything your team did!

July 2021 Core Update: July

Google announced plans for the next core update for July 2021.

There isn’t a set date for the rollout. And much like the June 2021 Core Update, there aren't many details about what the update will look like — just that it will include the parts that weren’t ready to be released in the previous month’s update.

But as we mentioned above, it’s possible for changes in June to be reversed by the July 2021 Core Update.

Page Experience Update: Mid-June

And finally, Google slated the page experience update for mid-June 2021 with the gradual rollout expected to be completed by the end of August.

This has been a long awaited update, with the initial rollout date of May 2021 being postponed. But it seems that it is almost here.

The page experience update will combine Core Web Vitals and existing User Experience ranking factors — such as Mobile Friendliness, HTTPS — into a new ranking factor category called "Search signals for page experience" as illustrated below:

Visualization of Google's Page Experience ranking factors

In short, Google will reward sites who provide a good user experience in its SERP. Not quite sure how your vitals are looking? Then check out our ultimate guide to Core Web Vitals!

Does your site pass the Core Web Vitals assessment?

Do a quick check now, and be alerted when your Core Web Vitals go into orange or red!

What to Expect from Core Updates and What You Can Do

As these core updates are rolled out, expect some drops and gains and for your numbers to change frequently. But don’t freak out (or celebrate) too soon. As we said before, it could be a few weeks before we know the full extent of any of the updates, and even then, your outcomes may be reversed with the July update.

Don’t panic and keep following best practices

Don’t panic — everyone’s rankings are fluctuating.

Keep following SEO best practices, and don’t make any drastic changes to counter some of the trends you’re seeing. Making changes now is risky, and likely a waste of time because more often than not big ranking drops turn into big winners a few days later, and vice versa.

If you want to make sure that the fluctuations you’re seeing aren’t caused by any technical mishaps, changes that were made or any other issues — go through our 13-step checklist.

Google Analytics: how is your site’s SEO affected

One of the ways to keep up with core updates is to do a comparison of your organic traffic numbers in Google Analytics. Look at the data per hour so you can see when the update started affecting your site. Then zoom in on a relative timeframe to compare, like the week prior to the update compared to the current week, to better visualize how the update is impacting your traffic, if at all.

Visualization of traffic number comparision in Google Analytics

Existing user experience ranking factors

Make sure you’ve already got the existing user experience ranking factors taken care of — especially for the page experience update. You can learn more about what to cover here.

Google also provides guidance to performing well during search and core updates here (opens in a new tab).

Stay up to date with everything SEO

There’s plenty of changes coming from Google and there’s plenty of SEO news to keep up with. But don’t worry, we’re here to help make it easier for you to stay in the loop.

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Jessica is a content marketer for ContentKing. Her days are spent writing marketing content, cycling around canals in Amsterdam and attempting to master the Dutch language.