Google Dropped Another Massive Algorithm Update This Month
How will the pages impact sites’ page rankings?
Google has made clear that 2021 is going to be a year of big changes for its core Search product.
The company said earlier this year that its Core Web Vitals will officially become ranking signals, beginning in May of 2021. The Web Vitals have been described as “a set of real-world, user-centered metrics that quantify key aspects of the user experience,” with considerations including “Largest Contentful Paint,” “First Input Delay,” and “Cumulative Layout Shift.”
Updates have arrived throughout 2020, with the idea that the company’s search algorithm will undergo a big change in the new year.
In early December, Google rolled out its latest Core Update.
Google’s Search Liason Twitter account announced December 3 that the “broad core algorithm update” had been released, but that it would take a couple of weeks to roll out. The account tweeted December 16 that the update was complete.
So what does the update mean? According to Search Engine Land, the update was “big,” much more than the previous update in May, data providers told the site.
That site also ranked the “winners and losers” of the update, citing data from SEMRush.
“The winners were zoominfo.com, whitepages.com, linkedin.com, ebay.com, vimeo.com, loginbrain.com yahoo.com, foursquare.com, and businesswire.com. The losers were yellowpages.com, newsbreak.com, gettyimages.com, wish.com, echovita.com, urbandictionary.com, local.com, dnb.com, and aliexpress.com.”
Another blog post, by Search Engine Roundtable, on December 23, quoted Google executive John Mueller, as answering “Nah, sorry” to someone on Twitter asking him whether the company will consider reversing the update.
“I suspect there are very few real spammers, a bunch of lazy and/or completely lost folks, and a lot of well-meaning folks. The problem is there are significantly more than 10 reasonable sites/folks per topic, so even without awesome sites, they’re never all on page 1,” Mueller added. “This is quite different than 5-10 years ago, when the big names weren’t all online, and when users were happy to find anything that has the words on the page. Expectations, and competition, are much higher now, and they continue to evolve.”
The next update will not be the only reason Google Search is in the spotlight in 2021. Multiple lawsuits have been filed against Google alleging antitrust violations by its search business, including a federal one by the Department of Justice that was joined by eleven state attorneys general.
That suit alleges that “Google has entered into a series of exclusionary agreements that collectively lock up the primary avenues through which users access search engines, and thus the internet, by requiring that Google be set as the preset default general search engine on billions of mobile devices and computers worldwide and, in many cases, prohibiting preinstallation of a competitor.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.