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Google Core Algorithm Updates In 2020: A Summary

Core Algorithm Update

Google Core Algorithm changes don’t adversely affect websites that are properly search optimized

It’s common knowledge among SEO professionals that Google rolls out a core algorithm update now and then. Its latest algorithm update was rolled out on December 3. As expected, drastic changes have happened across various industries. Some websites witnessed a surge in traffic while some experienced a drop in their traffic. It’s important to look closely identify the possible outcomes of this update on different businesses. Here is what you need to know about Google’s latest core algorithm update and what you can do to make the most out of these recent changes.

Let’s take a look back at previous algorithm updates

To fully understand what core algorithm updates and what they’ve meant to businesses, we need to take a look at past updates.

January 2020 Core Algorithm Update

Google released its first core algorithm update for 2020 last January 13.  Many businesses shared stories on how they were affected by it. Many of the sites that were adversely affected were Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) sites. YMYL websites adversely affected were financial sites, health related websites, financial services sites, etc. The sites that saw their rankings tank had a lot of pages with thin content. Given Google’s guidelines about content, that result makes a lot of sense.

May 2020 Update

Google rolled out this core update on the 4th of May. Experts and different forums’ reactions all boil down to one conclusion: this update is huge for everyone. This was when many businesses were struggling and closing down due to the pandemic’s effects, and you might wonder if it was necessary for Google to release a core update during that time. Travel, real estate, and health are some of the industries that took the hardest hit.

On the other hand, sectors such as news, sports, arts & entertainment received the least fluctuations with traffic and rankings.

December 2020 Core Algorithm Update

Google released its latest core update last December 3. Although it may take a few weeks to see its effects completely, data providers state that it could also be a big one. Even bigger than the May 2020 core update? Yes, this is a major one.

Before you go into full panic mode, let’s learn more about this update first. Different companies have come up with various data. SEMRush stated that desktop search changes were mostly seen in health, real estate, travel, finance, and law and government. For the mobile search, health, law and government, jobs and education, pets and animals, and real estate are the industries that mostly felt the changes.

The team from Searchmetrics also has interesting insights. Their data showed that music, health, finance, news, and e-commerce were the most affected by this core update. Big companies such as Spotify and Twitch still have no recovery signs even after this new update, considering that they have experienced significant losses from the previous one.

There is a lot more information that needs to be gathered. We won’t know the true winners and losers until the new year.

How to Adapt to These Changes

Some businesses gained ranking and traffic from this update. But for the others who took a hit from the changes, it isn’t easy to look at things positively.However, it’s essential to know what Google said about core updates, “They’re designed to ensure that overall, we’re delivering on our mission to present relevant and authoritative content to searchers.” From this statement, you’ll see what you have to do next.

Shift your attention to producing high-quality content.

Before you redo your whole content strategy, think about whether your content is valuable to your readers first. Is it comprehensive enough? Are you demonstrating expertise with every post you create? Are you using keywords that are relatable to your potential customers? Do you have a link building strategy?

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is the content on my website original? Does it convey a complete description or analysis of the topic?
  2. Does the site provide interesting or compelling information beyond what the reader would expect?
  3. If the information is linked to another source, does it add new information or analysis to the source rather then simply rewriting the information contained in the source?
  4. Are the headings and subheadings organized in a logical order for the reader to understand what the information is about to tell them?
  5. Are the links to the page complementary to the article or offer additional information to the reader if needed?
  6. Can the reader trust the information you are giving?

Nothing to fix

Sometimes Google will release a update and a site will suffer in the ranking through no fault of the business. When that happens, be prudent. You don’t want to put yourself in a bigger whole by fixing the wrong thing of fixing what’s not broken. There are times sites drop in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Page) despite doing everything right. Further, Google will always tweak a core update a couple weeks after an update is completed. Sometimes after a couple weeks an effected website will return to its previous position on the SERP without doing anything at all.

Core updates can help or hurt a business. Follow the guidelines Google has in place and it’s likely your business is one that will be helped.





2 thoughts on “Google Core Algorithm Updates In 2020: A Summary”

  1. Google made a number of fundamental algorithm changes in 2020 that affected user experience and search rankings. The purpose of these improvements was to promote customer pleasure by giving preference to authoritative, high-quality material, improve search results, and enhance content relevance. Owners of websites and SEO experts have to modify their approaches to conform to Google’s changing ranking standards.

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