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Google announces December 2020 Core Update of its search ranking algorithm
06 December 2020 (Edited )
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Google December 2020 Core Update

Google announced on Thursday in a tweet the release of a core algorithm update:

"Later today [1 pm ET], we are releasing a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. It is called the December 2020 Core Update. Our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered before..."

Here in a nutshell is the guidance "as covered before" in a Search Central Blog post from August 2019:

"Several times a year, we make significant, broad changes to our search algorithms and systems. We refer to these as "core updates." They’re designed to ensure that overall, we’re delivering on our mission to present relevant and authoritative content to searchers...

"...Some sites may note drops or gains during them. We know those with sites that experience drops will be looking for a fix, and we want to ensure they don’t try to fix the wrong things...

"...there’s nothing in a core update that targets specific pages or sites. Instead, the changes are about improving how our systems assess content overall...

"...we understand those who do less well after a core update change may still feel they need to do something. We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can...

"A starting point is to revisit the advice we’ve offered in the past on how to self-assess if you believe you’re offering quality content. We’ve updated that advice with a fresh set of questions to ask yourself about your content...

[See the blog post for the long list of questions.]

"...A common question after a core update is how long does it take for a site to recover, if it improves content? Broad core updates tend to happen every few months. Content that was impacted by one might not recover - assuming improvements have been made - until the next broad core update is released...

"Do keep in mind that improvements made by site owners aren’t a guarantee of recovery, nor do pages have any static or guaranteed position in our search results. If there’s more deserving content, that will continue to rank well with our systems..."

Less than a day after Google announced the update, Search Engine Roundtable reported that some sites are experiencing "huge wins or losses" with metrics changes of 30% or more.

Full rollout is expected to take 1 to 2 weeks.

This is the third 2020 Core Update - previous versions occurred in January and May.

The timing of the current Update - 3 weeks before the Holidays - could be bad news for some businesses that depend heavily on holiday-related online sales.

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