What You Need to Know About the 2020 Google Core Algorithm Update
What Google Core Updates entail
The We Are Marketing team, and the whole SEO discipline has to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, updates, and changes that arise daily in the digital world. One of these changes that can cause sweeping, vital changes for many enterprises are Google algorithm updates that are also known as Core Updates. They announced their first 2020 update on January 13th.
Every day, Google tends to publish a change or two aimed at improving our search results. We can’t see them at a simple glance, but they help us to continue to gradually boost the search results that the search engine gives users.
Google then carries out wide-sweeping changes to its algorithm and search engines a few times a year. What term does Google use to refer to these more meaningful changes?
These changes are the already famous “Google Core Updates” and are to certify that Google meets its purpose of bringing relevant, authorized content to its search engines.
Google will make an official announcement of an essential general update because they tend to produce noticeable effects in search results pretty quickly. Some websites may see increases or decreases as a result of those updates. Those webpages that view demonstrable falls in search traffic will look search for a solution. The caveat is that there may be no solution that can rectify this decline.
This is the reaction many people experience when Google announces a Core Update. Let’s take a look at the change announced on January 13th.
Google announced that it was implementing a new algorithm update that Monday morning over Twitter. The screenshot above is the tweet they sent out.
What does the Google January 2020 Core Update impact?
To find out the answer, We Are Marketing SEO Specialist Jorge Sola answered some of our questions regarding the new Google January 2020 Core Update and how it can impact your positioning strategy.
- What does this change entail?
We still don’t know the full extent of the changes in this update. Google has not given detailed information, and many markets have yet to see the effects stemming from it. Despite that, various media outlets have talked that the impact could be more widely felt, according to what they’ve seen in the US and Australia, in search results on mobile devices.
- What’re the new criteria Google is using to evaluate content?
There are new criteria since Core Updates are focused on improving the way the algorithm evaluates the content that webmasters put on servers. According to Google, they’re not targeted at any specific type of web page. Google only wants websites to create and distribute quality content to Internet users. With the size of the internet today, the amount of content produced daily is increasingly more significant, so they’re focusing on making their evaluation systems increasingly more efficient and effective.
- How is it impacting enterprises and their content strategies?
Google says that the new Core Update should not currently impact your company’s content strategies if it’s complying with its guidance and has always sought to offer the best content for its users or customers. If the entity in question is not trying to optimize nor “fool” the search engine, they shouldn’t be too concerned about these changes. However, it’s more recommendable to review their web analytics and all the information they have available regarding keyword positioning and visibility on the SERPs.
- Have we already seen the impact on page positioning?
Since it’s a global update, it will have an inevitable, gradual impact on websites. Most of the time, these updates tend to be progressive, so in the days following the update, webmasters need to pay attention to the volatility of their appearance in search results and check if it impacted them positively or negatively.
- What can organizations do to make sure this doesn’t negatively impact them? Could you give us three or four tips?
As I previously noted, the downside to these updates is that there may be nothing you can fix after Google launches the update. The best thing you can do to prevent these updates from giving your firm a fatal blow is to follow all the guidelines on https://support.google.com/. This page is where Google provides the official documentation for webmasters to comply with their directives and values they want to share on their search engine.
How can I find out if the Google Core Update has impacted me?
The first thing would be to check the average ranking, clicks, and impressions on Google Search Console. Penalizations or manual actions are more comfortable to verify with the tools that Google offers webmasters.
Google’s responses are ambiguous per usual and can be summarized in this statement: “We suggest you focus on ensuring you offer the best content possible. That’s what our algorithms look to reward.”
Google published an official list of questions you should ask to more easily determine how the Core Update impacted what factors on our website or content, such as:
- Does the content provide a substantial, complete, or exhaustive description of the topic?
- If you’re researching the site that produces the content, does it give you the impression that it’s trustworthy and widely recognized as an authority on the topic?
- Does the content show up well on mobile devices?
- Does it seem that the content serves website visitors’ genuine interests or does it only exist because someone’s trying to figure out if it could rank well on search engines?
Another interesting factor to consider about this Google Core Update
According to information from Google, this type of updates could also impact the Google Discover app.
On this canal from Google that shows us news and other new information based on our prior behavior on the search engine and the information it has about us (our interests, geolocation, visits to other websites, etc.). Some pages could see a decline in both impressions and visits on Google Discover since this channel has a much higher click-through rate (CTR) thanks to the relevance offered through studying personalized data with Machine Learning models.
Finally, the Sensor tool from Semrush confirmed that the volatility in the SERPs since the day of the Core Update launch has been over 200% higher from January 13th to January 14th on average across industries.
As we already noted, this is a large-scale update because it has a repercussion for all sectors. Despite that, some of the most highly-impacted sectors are:
- Arts and Entertainment: +123%
- Healthcare: 508%
- Science: +263%
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