Each year, Google Search algorithms are updated thousands of times to ensure the most relevant, reliable results are listed most prominently.
This ongoing commitment to searcher experience and the quality of results has helped Google decrease the number of irrelevant results appearing on a search results page by over 40% over the past five years, the search engine says.
While the vast majority of these updates go unnoticed, every so often one comes along that really rocks the SEO boat.
In this column, we’ll take a look back at the updates that shaped SEO over this past year and how they may impact your plans going forward.
Here are five of the most impactful Google Search updates from 2021.
1. The Page Experience Update
Google began rolling out its long-awaited Page Experience update in June 2021 and announced its completion on September 2.
SEO professionals and marketers of all stripes had anxiously awaited this one since it was first revealed back in November 2020.
With this update came a Page Experience score marketers can see in a new report in Google Search Console.
Page Experience is pretty self-explanatory; it was designed to improve the experience searchers have on each website. The score takes into account:
- Core Web Vitals: A set of metrics that measure page performance from a UX perspective.
- Mobile usability: A page must have no mobile usability errors.
- Security issues: Any security issues for a site disqualify all pages on the site from a Good status.
- HTTPS usage: A page must be served over HTTPS to be eligible for Good page experience status.
- Ad Experience: A site must not use advertising techniques that are distracting, interruptive, or otherwise not conducive to a good user experience.