Google Search Algorithm Update: August 2021
Google rankings are again fluctuating in August 2021 with many websites experiencing changes in rankings and traffic. An unconfirmed update has been declared in the SEO industry with spikes in ranking changes being observed, especially around Wednesday the 18th August.
Unconfirmed Google Update in August 2021. What Do We Know So Far?
It is not clear whether this update is a part of the June updates which are still being rolled out, or whether this is a standalone unconfirmed update. However, it is clear that there are changes being made.
Fluctuations in organic rankings and traffic have been identified by site owners with many online tracking tools showing spikes in SERP turbulence, and businesses reporting significant increases and decreases in traffic and rankings.
It is unclear what Google are trying to do with these behind the scenes changes. It is possible something is not working the way they want, or they are preparing for another core update.
However, businesses should not be too worried as at the beginning of updates there are usually fluctuations in ranking and SEO which tend to normalise quickly.
Title and Header Update: Google Confirms Titles Did Change to not Use The Searcher’s Query.
This unconfirmed Google update is not the only thing changing at Google Search. One of the most important developments at the moment is the change in how titles are now being generated in Google Search. Recently, site owners have noticed that Google seems to show fewer titles from title tags than previously, often displaying information from elements such as H1 and H2 headings instead. This has caused an enormous amount of feedback from site owners and SEO professionals, causing Danny Sullivan from Google to officially announce improvements for this new way of generating titles over Twitter. He has suggested some of the changes may be:
- Updated algorithm to ensure snippets show the most relevant titles.
- Implementation of a mechanism which would allow site owners to communicate issues with titles to Google via Search Console.
The purpose of this change is to avoid using the searcher’s query typed by the searcher into the search box, to generate the title for search results. Sometimes the HTML title tags are not as good as they should be for describing what the user wants to find in the content of the page. This is why they have decided to pull title tag information from headers rather than from the title tag for approximately 20% of the titles in the search results. As a consequence, the content used in headings is now even more important than before.
If you had problems with Google not displaying titles from your title tags, and don’t want to wait until Google improves this new way of processing titles in search, you can try placing this same content in your H1 headings and request Google to crawl the page from Search Console.
Here at New Horizon, we have been helping businesses to improve their results from organic search for more than a decade. If you are noticing a consistent drop in traffic coming from search engines, ranking issues or if your business is not consistently delivering enough return from search engines, please feel free to contact our experts to discuss a potential change in your SEO game plan and benchmark existing suppliers.
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