How Will Google’s December Core Updates Affect You?


Google unveiled its latest set of updates on December 4

Google will be rolling out its new core update later this month. This update is Google’s third for 2020, with the first one announced in January 2020 and the second one following in May 2020.

Later today, we are releasing a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. It is called the December 2020 Core Update. Our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered before. Please see this blog post for more about that:

— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) December 3, 2020Opens a new window

While Google mentions in its latest blogpost that webmasters can expect to see a drop in rankings as the company takes a more content and value-led approach to SERPs, we are yet to confirm if there are new penalties or significant changes to the algorithm that will affect or has already affected website rankings.

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The May 2020 update was by far the most comprehensive update this year, which also took a couple of weeks to roll out. Many experts noted that the rank volatility in the May update was a lot higher, and it appeared to be a lot more uniform across niches.

2020 Cant get any worse!
Google: a new window

— Manuela Zadig (@madeinargentina) December 3, 2020Opens a new window

How Does the December Update Affect Marketers?

Google has listed a comprehensive set of reasons why pages could be negatively affected by the latest core update. There are no specific actions to recover rankings the company recommends, but it did say that marketers can expect to see a bit of recovery between core updates. However, it is likely that marketers could see more significant changes after the next update.

Whenever Google rolls out a new update to its algorithm, websites are affected – and understanding website performance after new updates can tell a lot about what the search engine views favorably or unfavorably.

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Marketers who have been diligently working towards improving their rankings will be in a better position to understand how the new update has impacted their online presence.

How Can Marketers Improve Their Rankings Consistently?

Experts are of the opinion that publishing content regularly can help as well as updating or re-purposing previously published content. In its December update blog, Google lists the following factors that could help webmasters improve their website ranking:

  • Does the content provide original information, reporting, research, or analysis?
  • Does the content provide a substantial, complete, or comprehensive description of the topic?
  • Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • If the content draws on other sources, does it avoid simply copying or rewriting those sources and instead provide substantial additional value and originality?
  • Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content?
  • Does the headline and/or page title avoid being exaggerating or shocking in nature?
  • Is this the sort of page you would want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  • Would you expect to see this content in or referenced by a printed magazine, encyclopedia, or book?

So far so good 🥰 Let’s keep it like this please 🙌#GoogleCoreUpdateOpens a new window a new window

— Aleyda Solis (@aleyda) December 4, 2020Opens a new window

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Google has reiterated the importance of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness while cautioning marketers that SERPs will remain a moving target as the algorithm is updated periodically. “It’s important to understand that search raters have no control over how pages rank. Rater data is not used directly in our ranking algorithms. Rather, we use them as a restaurant might get feedback cards from diners. The feedback helps us know if our systems seem to be working,” said Google in its latest blog.