On Wednesday, June 2nd, Google's June 2021 Core Update began to roll out. The first of a two-part process, the June update affected all websites irrespective of geographic location, language, or industry.
The second part of the update, officially known as the July 2021 Core Update, has now arrived, as of Thursday, 1st July.
The effects of the July rollout
We're still waiting to see exactly what the changes that will continue to come as part of the July 2021 Core Update are, but for website owners, the changes may be entirely unique to them.
The team at the SEO agency John Cabot have put together this guide about navigating July's Core Update to help worried business owners, marketing teams and bloggers about ranking fluctuations.
Steve Paine from SEO software providers Sistrix has said that there are "indications that Google is using new metrics/algorithms and is therefore proceeding cautiously with the first rollout." This could mean that the updates to come from this latest core update may result in more volatility than those that were rolled out in June.
Although many details are still unknown regarding the recent July 2021 Core Update, Sistrix said, "it can be assumed that there will be major shifts."
In addition to the July 2021 Core Update, Google's Page Experience Update began to roll out on June 16 2021. Unrelated to the June and July Core Updates, the Page Experience Update is due to conclude in August 2021 and may also play a part in subsequent gains and losses.
Background: the June 2021 update
The initial rollout of the June 2021 Update began taking effect some days after it commenced on June 2. Despite Google maintaining that all core updates roll out over a period of approximately two weeks, the June 2021 Update seemed to take noticeably longer to be felt.
Most core updates take effect within a short period of time-usually within a day of the official announcement. But this time, site owners began noticing gains and losses a few days after the June 2021 update began to roll out.
Google releases broad core updates consistently, usually waiting months in between. The previous update, the December 2020 Core Update, happened on December 3rd 2020 and its effects were felt soon after.
An official tweet from Google SearchLiaison confirmed that the June 2021 Core Update rollout was complete as of June 12, 2021.
The delay in the rollout
While broad core updates usually take place several months apart, Google has released a subsequent Update, following the June 2021 Update, in July 2021. Rather than being entirely unrelated, this is simply the second part of the June 2021 Core Update.
Why the delay? Google revealed to Search Engine Land that not all of the changes planned for the June 2021 Core Update were ready for release on June 2. Rather than postponing the entire update, the company decided to release the parts of it that were ready in June and release the rest in July.
The changes from June
A few days after the June 2021 Core Update was announced, site owners began to notice changes in their rankings and traffic. Semrush found that the bulk of the changes were felt on Friday June 4 and Saturday June 5, 2021.
The website categories that experienced the most volatility following the update were health, autos, pets, animals, science, and travel. Both desktop and search results experienced similar changes.
Because the June and July 2021 Core Updates were rolled out so closely together, it's possible that any changes felt in June may reverse in July now that more updates have rolled out.