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A Review of Google's Algorithm Updates in 2021
Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Google made several changes to search in 2021, following an eventful schedule of updates in 2020. The updates in 2021 included updates to product reviews, page experience, spam and image search updates.

Read on for a breakdown of the 2021 updates:

June, July and November Core Updates from Google

Google’s first core update came out in June 2021.  It started on June 2nd and concluded on June 12th. This first update was a quality update on content and relevance, and included changes to Google’s core ranking algorithm.  Google also released two spam updates on June 23rd and 28th. 

Google announced both the June and July 2021 core updates at the same time. The second core update rolled out on July 1st, and concluded on July 12th. Additionally, Google released a spam link update that took place between July 1 and July 28. 

The next update was released in mid-November, and lasted through major shopping events such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday, and finished on November 30th 2021.  This update had huge implications for businesses that might no longer be showing up in Google search results as the holiday shopping season began to pick up.  

For businesses that find their Google ranking decrease after an algorithm update, Google recommends that they follow its guidelines for search. These include not relying on keyword stuffing, focusing on original, well written content and keeping your site’s expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (EAT) in mind.

Apart from the three significant updates that Google introduced in 2021, Google also made two other product review updates. 

April and December 2021 Google Reviews Update

On April 8th 2021, Google came out with its initial update for product reviews. According to analysis, this update rewards more in depth reviews that don’t focus on a sales pitch for the product, as well as the user experience on the page.

Google released another reviews update on December 1st, 2021. Like the previous, update, this one was also intended to better serve users by promoting high quality product reviews, instead of those that push affiliate links. 

Other Google Algorithm Updates from 2020, 2021 and 2022 

Google confirmed it released over 4.500 changes to search in 2020. The updates continued into February 2021 with an update to image search that reduced duplicate images in search results. Google also made some changes to page experience in June 2021, and title tags in August 2021. 

According to a report from SEMrush, Google search rankings in 2021 were more volatile than in 2020, with daily page ranking varying greatly.  Specifically, the data show that Google searches were 68 percent more volatile on desktop and 85 percent more volatile on mobile.

There was an update to reviews in March 2022, but Google has yet to confirm any core search algorithm updates for 2022. Search continues to be volatile however, and it remains to be seen how Google will update its algorithm next. 

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