Google Core Updates December 2020 and Impacts on Business
Google’s algorithms are a complex system to retrieve data from its search index and deliver the most relevant results within a fraction of seconds. By using a combination of algorithms and numerous ranking signals, Google can deliver the ranking of websites via its Search Engine results pages (SERPs). With more than 20 years of history as the most widely used search engine in the world and more than two trillion searches a year, Google must regularly update its system to keep up with the growing demands, improve the search experience with more relevant, useful, and trustworthy results.
The latest December 2020 Core Update
Google began to roll out this latest Core Algorithm update on 4th December 2020.
Google confirmed on the 3rd of December that they would begin rolling out their latest Google Core Algorithm Update on the 4th of December 2020.
Since the 4th December 2020 updates, businesses may notice a positive or negative effect on their websites, depending on the E-A-T quality guidelines provided by Google. The updates from Google based on such E-T-A criteria include Expertise, Authority, and Trust.
Expertise: It refers to the level of knowledge or skill of the creator on the main content on the website. Google will evaluate primarily at the content- level to see whether the contents have credentials or evidence to back- up the information provided.
“Experts” does not always mean a famous/ influential creator. Instead, the definition for expertise will be based on the topic of the page. People who have relevant life experience in a particular topic can also be considered as experts without formal training required. For example, if that person is a food lover, his/ her detailed review for a restaurant can be seen as an expert on the website.
Authoritativeness: it’s all about the reputation of the main content creator. To rank the quality of the website, Google will look into the relevant information related to the background, credibility, references of the creators and rate the authority of them, which will affect the ranking of the website. For example, the most authoritative source of information for COVID-19 in Victoria, Australia is the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria.
Trust is about the transparency, legitimacy, and accuracy of the website and its content. Google will look into the sufficient contact information provided, the citing sources, the article must provide a satisfactory amount of accurate information, and external sources supported by expert consensus.
What does that mean for businesses?
When the Google core update happens, some changes will be made to the search engine algorithm and systems. Just last year, the search engine introduced more than 3,000 changes to Google Search. Sometimes, those changes are publicly announced but more often, Google updates go completely unnoticed. However, no matter the minor or significant changes those updates are, they will definitely have an impact on the SEO efforts of the business, resulting in changes in marketing and sales performance.
Winners & Losers
The latest Google core updates in December definitely created a stir in the SEO performance of many websites. Multiple sectors are affected across mobile and desktop search.
In general, the most affected industries are Real Estate, Alternative Medicine, Law, and Government. In the mobile search, Job & Education and Pets & Animals faced loss mostly. For the desktop search, Travel and Finance have suffered the loss.
The lists of winners and losers from December Core Updates 2020 are provided by SEMRush below.
On the first day of the December 2020 core updates, 10 sites that experienced the largest position increases include LinkedIn, eBay, Vimeo, and so on.
On the other side, 10 SERP Losing domains are:
1. Content is king
Refresh the old content to make it up-to-date
Updating the contents that are already available on your website is a good way to keep the quality of your website. From the past till the December core updates 2020, Google has always supported sites with expertise and relevant content. For example, if your business sells sneakers, and you have one blog post in 2020 talking about the best sneakers of all time, then in 2021, you still can edit this post with more up-to-date sneakers styles.
Produce the new content regularly
Google algorithms love fresh, high- quality content that follows best-in-class industry practices. Businesses should maintain the frequency of blog updates with relevant knowledge of industries and insights from experts. By doing so, your website will get indexed by this search engine.
You can hire an expert in your particular industry to produce high-quality content if you don't have one.
The customers' feedbacks can also be seen as the daily- life expertise content, FYI.
Remove low word count posts
According to the A-E-T guidelines from Google, this search engine wants to ensure that the users can get the most sufficient information from their search and will not leave with unanswered questions. If your content has a low word count, you should either add more information or remove it.
One way to make up for the lack of word count is by adding more videos, pictures, gifs, or other types of content.
2. Evaluate your backlinks
Backlinks should not be paid, because Google only gives credit to your ranking with natural earning backlinks. Creating high-quality and trustable content is the best method to get referrals from the high domains, leading to an increased rank on the Google search page.
Also, the backlink from the old posts should be re-evaluated. Invalid links from the old posts, spam portals can affect your website SEO from the Core Updates.
3. Pay attention to your website's speed
People are in a hurry, so is your website. If it takes users more than 3-4 seconds to load your site, there's a higher chance that they will leave immediately.
You should consult with your web developer and remove unnecessary images, graphics, or data to reduce the server response time.
4. Fix it all
Last but not least, the December 2020 Core Updates, or any updates from Google, require significant improvement from the site's quality in the long- term. Don't just cherry-picking changes. The best advice from us is that business should once again do the audit of your site's SEO, and fix as much as you can.
The Core updates can be seen as a wake-up call for marketers and website owners to take into account the importance of relevance and high- quality content. In the future, there will be more Core Updates from this search engine, which may become a bad or good hit for them. Re-evaluate content marketing strategy of websites, and how to integrate SEO strategy into digital marketing plan should be prioritized to help you overcome any changes in algorithms from Google.
Don’t forget to follow us on Social Media channels to update and learn new tips about Digital Marketing!