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Google’s December 2020 Core Algorithm Update

December 16, 2020 - Fifteen

On December 3rd, via Twitter,  we received the big announcement we’ve all been waiting for… Google’s December 2020 Core Update. 

This core update has become the third of the year with the first being released January 2020 and the following in May 2020. Normally core updates roll out every few months, however with the previous one taking place May 4th 2020, there has been a 7 month wait.

Google began rolling out the core update at 1pm ET and stated 

“the December 2020 Core Update is now rolling out live. As is typical with these updates, it will typically take about one to two weeks to fully roll out.”

Will I Be Affected By The December 2020 Core Update?

Although a huge percentage of sites will continue unaffected by the new core update, those that are affected may see significant changes. It’s important to regularly check your visibility and analytics to monitor whether your website is seeing any change post update. However here’s some important things to note:

  • If there are changes to your rankings there’s a variety of variables to consider such as changes in closely related competitors’ domains and local change. It may not be a direct result of the algorithm update.
  • In smaller domain sites it may be harder to spot changes due to the core Update as they often fluctuate more in the regular course of SERPs.

What If My Site Rankings Drop?

Unfortunately there are no specific actions to take. In the past Google has given advice and a list of questions to consider to consider if your site had been negatively affected by the Core Update. This is mainly because a negatively impacted site following the update doesn’t always mean the page is wrong.

Recovering From The Core Update

Google’s have provided information on the recovery time for sites negatively affected for previous updates. As a general rule, sites don’t make a full recovery till the release of a new core update. Google says that you’ll see the most recovery after a new Core Update is rolled out and you may see slight recovery between updates. However John Mueller, Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, has said there’s a chance for improvement and recovery between the updates. 

This is completely dependent on the severity of the problems on your site that led to the decline. Serious problems are more likely than less going to have to wait for a new Core Update to recover, granted that they are all successfully fixed. Small scale problems will likely show positive results in less time.

Predicted Algorithm Changes

It would be impossible to know the full depths to this algorithm update and instead is something that will take weeks of data aback tracking. However following trends and the SERPs predictions can begin to be made. 

  • Even more attention placed on demoting and penalizing thin content. 
  • Authority content: Even more importance on high-quality and in-depth industry knowledge content.
  • Unsupported backlinking won’t work
  • Directory Listings may become more important

It’s important to know when Google is making these updates as it could either make your site do better or worse in the SERPs. By knowing when it’s going ahead you have a point of reference to better understand changes in your data. Over the upcoming weeks you should be keeping a keen eye on your analytics and rankings.

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