Google’s December 2020 Core Algorithm Update

On Dec 3rd, 2020, Google began rolling out a new core algorithm update, and as always, it made some people happy while others weren’t as pleased about it.

Google makes smaller modifications to its ranking formulas almost every day, but the big changes are made only about three times annually. This is also the reason why the recent change was anxiously anticipated since May 2020, when the last one took place.

Like always, Google responded to queries and comments by referring to their boilerplate recommendations of the past, like what webmasters should know about Google’s core updates and the 175-page general guidelines for search quality evaluators.

Simply put, Google reflected their casual, “don’t worry if you lost rankings attitude” by saying…

“pages that drop after a core update don’t have anything wrong to fix.”

But, if you still feel you need to do something, try “focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can”. The same old line that they use whenever they are asked about getting your page ranked.

 

What Can Be Done

Even if your rankings have tanked as a result of the last core update, there are no specific actions that you can take to recover, says Google. They also went on to say that negative rankings do not mean there is anything wrong with your pages. That said, we haven’t noticed any rank drop for our clients due to this update.

Google does suggest a list of questions to consider, based on different categories.

 

Content and Quality Questions

  • 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 from those sources, and instead provide substantial additional value and originality?

 

Expertise Questions

  • Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it? For example, does it include clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author, or a reference to the site that publishes it?

Presentation and Production Questions

  • Does content display well for mobile devices when viewed on them?

You might also want to go through this article comparing rank volatility and average position change. It also lists winners and losers!

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