September 25, 2021

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Page Speed and Google June-July 2021 Core Algo Updates via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s John Mueller was asked if the June and July core algorithm updates were related to page speed. John Mueller offered an overview of core updates then noted how things can be related to speed.

Multiple Google Updates in June and July 2021

The June Core Algorithm Update rolled out in June 2021. But there was also a Page Experience Update that was released as well as a the June 2021 Spam Algorithm Update.

Attributing ranking fluctuations to specific website changes or links during a core algorithm update can be sketchy because some ranking drops might not have anything to do with website changes and be totally coincidental.

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Any ranking fluctuations in June 2021 will be even more difficult to attribute to any one kind of website change, given how many changes were made in the algorithm that month.

Google’s John Mueller Considers the Question

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Were the Core Algorithm Updates Related to Page Speed?

The person asking the question seemed to be seeking confirmation of observations that many people had that page speed seemed to be a common quality in sites that gained rankings during the June and July 2021 algorithm updates.

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This is the question:

“I read online that people said that they’ve seen an uplift after the June core update.

They’ve also seen one for July as well.

For us it wasn’t the same.

What could have reverted in July? Could it be related to speed?”

Speed and Core Algorithm Updates Were Separate

John Mueller first noted how page speed and the core algorithm updates were separate.

John Mueller responded:

“Speed…As far as I know, these were essentially separate and unique updates that we did.

So we call them both core updates because they affect the core of our ranking systems.

But that doesn’t mean that they affect the same core parts of the ranking system.

So from that point of view, it’s not the case that if you see a change …during one of these updates you will always see a change during the other one as well.

So from there, I wouldn’t assume that they have to be related.”

Could Page Speed Affect Ranking Changes in June and July 2021?

Mueller next affirmed that speed might be a reason for some ranking changes.

John explained the connection between ranking changes and page speed:

“…Could it be related to speed?

Things can definitely be related to speed because the whole Page Experience Update is something that I think started rolling out in June.

So in July you might still see some changes there.

But the core update itself isn’t something that I think is related to the page experience update.

That’s kind of a separate thing.”

Multiple Summer 2021 Updates

In May 2021 Google released an updated version of Keras-based TF-Ranking, a platform for researching and developing new learning to rank (LTR) models and get them into production quickly.

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That was followed in June and July with multiple spam and algorithm updates. Are they related? Google doesn’t know.

But the pace of algorithm releases has quickened to notably this summer.

Because Google released multiple updates in June and July 2021, it might be difficult to isolate specific changes and attribute ranking fluctuations to the core algorithm update.

Google’s John Mueller however emphasized that speed could definitely be related.

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Were Jun and July Core Updates Related to Page Speed?

Watch John Mueller answer the question at the 30:10 minute mark:

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