Just when everyone was prepping up for the holiday chill, Google gave an early Christmas “present”. 3rd December marked an official roll out of Google’s core update for the year 2020. This was followed seven months after the last broad core update which was on May 4, 2020.
SearchLiaison’s tweet confirmed the same, and it is expected to reach full third core update by end of this year.
‘Danny Sullivan says that the December core update did not have anything to do directly with BERT
Why Google said it Won’t Reverse The December 2020 Core Update
John says that in today’s scenario there are numerous excellent sites that want the top positions in Google search which was not the case 10 years ago on the web. When searchers are expecting more from websites, Google’s recommendations stand accurate from algorithm update to algorithm update.
In order to meet searcher’s expectations, Google keeps improving through changes like HTTPS, core web vitals, site speed, mobile-friendly, etc.
Source: John Twitter
Industry expert’s take so far:
Source: Glenn Gabe Twitter
He further added, “This algo at a high level may include –
– Web vitals as the first step that is going to launch in May 2021
– Opportunity for every site than just legacy sites
– More focus on content and the quality guidelines
– Close tab on Site index in Google, Mobile Indexing & traditional back link audits”
What have we seen so far from various websites?
Some sites reported there is a significant loss in keyword rankings post the algo change
December Algorithm Second Wave:
Post the Dec 3rd update, many webmasters have reported saying they have started seeing positive impact on rankings and also traffic. Seen drop in the rankings but gained in 5 days and growing steadily while its not 100% recovered in their rankings.
Winners and Losers: What we know so far?
Affected sites by domain size
1 in 3 websites with visibility declines are sites with more than 10 million users a month. About 50% of the major winners and losers, so far are domains with a traffic rate of more than 1 million monthly visitors.
Search Engine Rate Pages Winning Domains
Categories like Business & Industrial, Internet and Telecom, Beauty & Fashion, more on the winning side followed by Real Estate, Travel, Reference, etc. at the losers side. Domains like zoominfo.com, whitepages.com, linkedIn.com saw a great gain in their positions, gaining 67, 55, and 47 respectively on a single day.
Search Engine Rate Pages Losing Domains
Among these domains, we can see a major drop in online communities, shopping, and news industries.
Some of the major affected sites were medical advice and vaccine sites during the December core update. In the May core update, medical advice sites lost most of the rankings and still did not appear to make a recovery with the December core update. In this core update, one site that has suffered a lot is vaccines.gov. Apart from seeing the growth in June 2020 but with the broad core updates it all came down.
What you need to do?
Just like other updates, Google’s advice remains constant:
- Create high-quality content that follows best-in-class industry practices;
- Implement structured data elements for better visibility on search and with the most relevant content
- Timely resolution of SEO issues that prevent user experience
- Follow & implement Google Webmaster Guidelines
Also, it is advised to wait until the update is fully rolled-out before making any vital modifications to your website.
Although Google insists that sites can see fluctuations and recovery in-between core updates, yet if your site has been negatively affected then focus on enhancing your content and SEO strategy after this update is complete.
Stay tuned to this space for further update on Google Algorithms, changes, and detailed analysis of Indian & International sites.