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Google July 2021 Core Update Is Live – What We Are Seeing



Google July 2021 Core Update Is Live - What We Are Seeing

Google announced that on July 1, 2021 it began to roll out the July 2021 core update. We knew we would soon see another core update, and Google delivered this one a month after the June 2021 core update – which launched on June 2, 2021. This one seems to have started out pretty strong and many are seeing big changes with this update.

Some think what we saw on June 30th through July 1st may be related to the release of the core update. But if I would ask Google, they would say no, because this core update just started yesterday – not two days ago.

This update does seem to have kicked off pretty quickly with a lot of chatter in the past 12 hours or so and the tools are showing changes. More of what we are seeing in the what’t were seeing section of this story. I should note, the June core update was very slow to start out, unlike this July core update.

Danny Sullivan under the Search Liaison Twitter account posted “the July 2021 Core Update, previously announced, is now rolling out.” Danny added that “these typically take 1-2 weeks to finish.” Normally they take a full two weeks but the June core update ran on June 2nd and ended on June 12th – a 10 day period.

Here is the tweet announcing this rollout:

This core update, like the other core updates, is a global update impacting all languages across all regions.

Two Part Update: June and July Core Updates

As a reminder, Google said it released a core update in June on June 2nd through June 12th and planned to push out another core update next month – called the July 2021 core update, which happened on July 1st. Why didn’t Google release both the same time? Google said not all of the pieces are ready for that, so they pushed out what is ready in June with the June 2021 core update and then released this July core update as the last parts are now ready to be released for the July 2021 core update.

What is not ready? I asked Google and Google would not say. Google did say that if your site rankings changes with the June 2021 core update, you may see a reversal or shift (or not) with the July 2021 core update. I wonder how many sites will see changes that saw changes with the June update?

Here is what Google said last month on this topic:

Many Overlapping Updates

Even if you exclude the unconfirmed updates, including the June 30th update, the confirmed updates are many.

I had this cute graphic made of the recent updates, I didn’t include all the unconfirmed updates in the graphic or the predator update since it was super specific (click to enlarge it):

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The previous core update was a month ago on June 2nd named the June 2021 core update. The one before that was 6 months before the June update, on December 3, 2020 named the December 2020 core update. Before that was 7 month gap where on May 4, 2020, the May 2020 core update. The one prior to that was on January 13, 2020, the January 2020 core update and the one before that was on September 24, 2019, the September 2019 core update. Oh, before that was on June 3, 2019, the June 2019 core update and I can go on and on.

Improve After a Core Update

Did you get hit by this update, Google did give us advice on core updates and how to improve your site overall after seeing a negative outcome after a core update. Google reiterated that in this tweet:

Google also posted a new blog post on how and why Google does these updates. Google wrote “because there are so many incremental updates, it’s not useful for us to share details about all of them. However, we try to do so when we feel there is actionable information that site owners, content producers or others might consider applying, as was the case with both of the updates mentioned above.”

SEO Chatter: What We Are Seeing

Keep in mind, there is chatter from the June 30th through July 1st update that may be unrelated to this update. But there is renewed chatter from the past 20 hours or so at both WebmasterWorld and Black Hat World.

I see interesting fluctuations / changes in my niche in last few hours as well. Let me get my ice cold mineral water and sit down and watch.

My client’s dental website got hit by this update!

Lost positions on a lot of keywords. But like previous times, hoping to recover them back as the initial dust settles down. Too early to comment right now.

Agreed, I’ve seen this type of thing before. I think it was the May 2020 update that really nuked many of my sites. But after a few weeks when the dust settled down, the algorithm seemed to be tweaked to where many of my sites recovered.

Starting to see the movements today – some big ups, some big downs across the whole world, not just EN.

I noticed that sites that had a boost from the June update got even more boost from this update. It is like amplifying the effect from the June update. This further confirms as one site that I had been tracking was tanked a little further after being hit from the June update.

Again, too early to say as we need 1-2 weeks for it to fully roll out. And I must point out that this is from my observation and humble opinion.

But from my experience, as long as you feel the positive effects or benefits from the initial start of the update, you’re very likely to have a positive outcome after the roll out is fully done… Because it just means your site has fulfilled whatever criteria the algorithm update is looking for.

I was hit during June core update with -20%. At 11:00 AM PST today my traffic is back to pre-june level. I hope whatever it is, my recovery sticks.

I am also seeing reversion of the June update insanity for the past ~10 hours, although it is too early to tell if this is a trend or just a blip before things get even worse.

June Core Update – 20% . I checked the serps this morning. Looks like another -10 -20%. Thought, surely they rolled out the July Core update and it’s true.

I saw a recovery from a previous core update in June’s update. And I’m seeing another boost in rankings now with July core update.

So far so good. Big recovery from the first part of this Core Update.

Let’s see if it’s sticks…

I also asked on Twitter what people are seeing and you can see the thread of responses on Twitter.

Search Tracking Tools:

Of the tools that are updated for this morning, they are all showing pretty big changes. I’ll update them as the day goes on. Here are what the tracking tools that have been updated this morning are showing so far:


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Advanced Web Rankings:

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Forum discussion at Twitter, WebmasterWorld & Black Hat World.



Google to pay $391.5 million settlement over location tracking, state AGs say



Google to pay $391.5 million settlement over location tracking, state AGs say

Google has agreed to pay a $391.5 million settlement to 40 states to resolve accusations that it tracked people’s locations in violation of state laws, including snooping on consumers’ whereabouts even after they told the tech behemoth to bug off.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said it is time for Big Tech to recognize state laws that limit data collection efforts.

“I have been ringing the alarm bell on big tech for years, and this is why,” Mr. Landry, a Republican, said in a statement Monday. “Citizens must be able to make informed decisions about what information they release to big tech.”

The attorneys general said the investigation resulted in the largest-ever multistate privacy settlement. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, a Democrat, said Google’s penalty is a “historic win for consumers.”

“Location data is among the most sensitive and valuable personal information Google collects, and there are so many reasons why a consumer may opt out of tracking,” Mr. Tong said. “Our investigation found that Google continued to collect this personal information even after consumers told them not to. That is an unacceptable invasion of consumer privacy, and a violation of state law.”

Location tracking can help tech companies sell digital ads to marketers looking to connect with consumers within their vicinity. It’s another tool in a data-gathering toolkit that generates more than $200 billion in annual ad revenue for Google, accounting for most of the profits pouring into the coffers of its corporate parent, Alphabet, which has a market value of $1.2 trillion.

The settlement is part of a series of legal challenges to Big Tech in the U.S. and around the world, which include consumer protection and antitrust lawsuits.

Though Google, based in Mountain View, California, said it fixed the problems several years ago, the company’s critics remained skeptical. State attorneys general who also have tussled with Google have questioned whether the tech company will follow through on its commitments.

The states aren’t dialing back their scrutiny of Google’s empire.

Last month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he was filing a lawsuit over reports that Google unlawfully collected millions of Texans’ biometric data such as “voiceprints and records of face geometry.”

The states began investigating Google’s location tracking after The Associated Press reported in 2018 that Android devices and iPhones were storing location data despite the activation of privacy settings intended to prevent the company from following along.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich went after the company in May 2020. The state’s lawsuit charged that the company had defrauded its users by misleading them into believing they could keep their whereabouts private by turning off location tracking in the settings of their software.

Arizona settled its case with Google for $85 million last month. By then, attorneys general in several other states and the District of Columbia had pounced with their own lawsuits seeking to hold Google accountable.

Along with the hefty penalty, the state attorneys general said, Google must not hide key information about location tracking, must give users detailed information about the types of location tracking information Google collects, and must show additional information to people when users turn location-related account settings to “off.”

States will receive differing sums from the settlement. Mr. Landry’s office said Louisiana would receive more than $12.7 million, and Mr. Tong’s office said Connecticut would collect more than $6.5 million.

The financial penalty will not cripple Google’s business. The company raked in $69 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2022, according to reports, yielding about $13.9 billion in profit.

Google downplayed its location-tracking tools Monday and said it changed the products at issue long ago.

“Consistent with improvements we’ve made in recent years, we have settled this investigation which was based on outdated product policies that we changed years ago,” Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said in a statement.

Google product managers Marlo McGriff and David Monsees defended their company’s Search and Maps products’ usage of location information.

“Location information lets us offer you a more helpful experience when you use our products,” the two men wrote on Google’s blog. “From Google Maps’ driving directions that show you how to avoid traffic to Google Search surfacing local restaurants and letting you know how busy they are, location information helps connect experiences across Google to what’s most relevant and useful.”

The blog post touted transparency tools and auto-delete controls that Google has developed in recent years and said the private browsing Incognito mode prevents Google Maps from saving an account’s search history.

Mr. McGriff and Mr. Monsees said Google would make changes to its products as part of the settlement. The changes include simplifying the process for deleting location data, updating the method to set up an account and revamping information hubs.

“We’ll provide a new control that allows users to easily turn off their Location History and Web & App Activity settings and delete their past data in one simple flow,” Mr. McGriff and Mr. Monsees wrote. “We’ll also continue deleting Location History data for users who have not recently contributed new Location History data to their account.”

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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5 Tips to Boost Your Holiday Search Strategy



Student writing on computer

With the global economic downturn, inflation, ongoing supply chain challenges, and uncertainty due to the Ukraine war, this year’s holiday shopping season promises to be very challenging. Will people be in the mood to spend despite the gloom? Or will they rein in their enthusiasm and save for the year ahead?

With these issues in mind, here are five considerations to support your search engine optimization strategy this holiday shopping season:

1. Start early.

Rising prices are likely to mean shoppers will start researching their holiday spending earlier than ever to nab the best bargains. Therefore, retailers must roll out their holiday product and category pages — and launch any promotions — sooner to ensure their pages get crawled and indexed by search engines in good time.

Some e-commerce stores manage to get their pages ranking early by updating and reusing the same section of the website for holiday content and promotions, rotating between content for Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine gifts, Fourth of July sales, etc. This approach can help you retain the momentum, links and authority you build up with Google and get your holiday pages visible and ranking quickly.

2. Make research an even bigger priority.

With all the uncertainty this year, it’s vital to use SEO research to identify the trending seasonal keywords and search phrases in your retail vertical — and then optimize content accordingly.

With tools such as Google Trends you can extract helpful insights based on the types of searches people are making. For example, with many fashion retailers now charging for product returns, will prioritizing keywords such as “free returns” get more search traction? And with money being tighter, will consumers stick with brands they trust rather than anything new — meaning brand searches might be higher?

3. Make greater use of Google Shopping.

To get the most out of their holiday spending, consumers are more likely to turn to online marketplaces such as Google Shopping as they make it easier to compare products, features and prices, as well as to identify the best deals both online and in nearby stores.

Therefore, take a combined approach which includes listing in Google Shopping and at the same time optimizing product detail pages on your e-commerce site to ensure they’re unique and provide more value than competitors’ pages. Be precise with product names on Google Shopping (e.g., do the names contain the words people are searching for?); ensure you provide all the must-have information Google requires; and set a price that’s not too far from the competition. 

4. Give other search sources the attention they deserve.

Earlier this year Google itself acknowledged that consumers — especially younger consumers — are starting to use TikTok, Instagram and other social media sites for search. In fact, research suggests 11 percent of product searches now start on TikTok and 15 percent on Instagram. Younger consumers in particular are more engaged by visual content, which may explain why they’re embracing visually focused social sites for search. So, as part of your search strategy, create and share content on popular social media sites that your target customers visit.

Similarly, with people starting their shopping searches on marketplaces such as, optimizing any listings you have on the site should be part of your strategy. And thankfully, the better optimized your product detail pages are for Amazon (with unique, useful content), the better they will rank on Google as well!

5. Hold paid budget for late opportunities.

The greater uncertainty and volatility this holiday season mean you must keep a close eye on shopper behavior and be ready to embrace opportunities that emerge later on. Getting high organic rankings for late promotions is always more challenging, so hold some paid search budget back to help drive traffic to those pages — via Google Ads, for example. Important keywords to include in late season search ad campaigns include “delivery before Christmas” and “same-day-delivery.” For locally targeted search ads, consider “pick up any time before Christmas.”

The prospect of a tough, unpredictable holiday shopping season means search teams must roll out seasonal SEO plans early, closely track shoppers’ behavior, and be ready to adapt as things change.

Marcus Pentzek is chief SEO consultant at Searchmetrics, the global provider of search data, software and consulting solutions.

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Google Home App Gets an Overhaul, Rolling Out Soon



Google Home app

Google refreshes its Home app with a slew of new features after launching a new Nest gear. This makes it faster and easier to pair smart devices with Matter, adds customization and personalization options, an enhanced Nest camera experience, and better intercommunication between devices.

This revamped Home app utilizes Google’s Matter smart home standard – launching later this year – especially the Fast Pair functionality. On an Android phone, it will instantly recognize a Matter device and allow you to easily set it up, bypassing the current procedure that is often slow and difficult. Google is also updating its Nest speakers, displays, and routers – to control Matter devices better.

Google Home App New Features

  • Spaces: This feature allows you to control multiple devices in different rooms. Google has listed a few things by room: kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc., although it’s pretty limited right now. Spaces let you organize devices how you see fit. For instance, you can set up a baby monitor in one room and set a different room’s camera to focus on an area the baby often plays. With Spaces, you can categorize these two devices into one Space category called ‘Baby.’

Google Home app Spaces

  • Favorites: This one is pretty self-explanatory. It allows you to make certain gears as a favorite that you frequently use. Doing so will bring those devices into the limelight within the Google Home app for easier access. 

Google Home app

  • Media: Google adds a new media widget at the bottom of your Home feed. This will automatically determine what media is playing in your home and provide you with the appropriate controls as and when needed. There will be song controls if you listen to music on your speakers. There will be television remote controls if you’re watching TV. 

Google probably won’t roll out this Home app makeover anytime soon. But you can try it for yourself in the coming week by enrolling in the public preview, available in select areas.

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