Google is constantly riding the tidal wave of improvements. As the new year came around, the tech giant announced one of its major algorithm updates. The update comes with a simple title “January 2020 Core Update”. It started on January 13, 2020. Now two months into the update, we can start seeing some results and changes.
The broad core update had an impact on all search results worldwide. This update lacks a specific target. That’s why webmasters can’t improve upon it by tweaking a part of their strategy. Google issued a blog post that can help website owners understand what it entails.
“One way to think of how a core update operates is to imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2015. A few years later in 2019, you refresh the list. It’s going to naturally change. Some new and wonderful movies that never existed before will now be candidates for inclusion. You might also reassess some films and realize they deserved a higher place on the list than they had before.”
What Google is trying to say is that if you keep your content fresh and valuable, the algorithm update shouldn’t impact your rankings. As usual, the update is aimed at making the search more convenient for the user. The aftermath leaves SEO specialists struggling to keep the rankings high.
Google Algorithm Update – What Does It Mean?
What does a Google algorithm update mean? When Google changes algorithms, the criteria that it uses for ranking your website may change as well. If your traffic has plummeted or risen significantly in the past few months, most likely, you are seeing the new algorithm at work.
When it comes to Google algorithms, they are rarely straightforward. You can’t just change one approach to account for the new developments. Google is working hard to keep SEO at bay and make SEO specialists struggle. It seems as if it’s trying to make it impossible to improve rankings by using tricks, even if these tricks are 100% white hat and organic.
With each new update, SEO experts work hard to adjust their strategy. Depending on their experience and creativity, they have all the chances of succeeding.
What is the update all about? It’s about making the search more convenient for users and harder to hack by the companies. The details are a mystery. All you can do right now is adjust to the new ranking algorithm.
What is the Google Algorithm’s Timeline in 2020?
Back on August 1, 2019, the abovementioned blog post was published to help webmasters prepare for the new algorithm. It didn’t have too much useful information except to keep improving websites. The post also advised to prepare for a drop in rankings. Content that plummeted due to the update may take months to recover (unless the next update doesn’t drop it further).
On January 13, 2020, the new update rolled out. The rollout was mostly done by January 16, 2020. This global update affected websites all over the world rather than being location-specific.
The same month, many companies have started seeing major movements on top of the SERP. It affected such niches as sports, news, games, arts & entertainment, and health the most.
In March, it’s still hard to understand what the global impact is. However, each company has noticed changes. SEO specialists all over the world are struggling to return high rankings or maintain what they managed to achieve.
Google’s January 2020 Broad Core Algorithm Update: What Can You Do?
If you’ve seen rankings drop or rise in January, most likely, it happened due to the update. The changes were aimed at content quality improvement. According to Google, websites that were unfairly overlooked in the past got a new chance at higher rankings. Meanwhile, websites with low or medium-quality content plummeted.
What can you do? Focus on improving your content. No matter what Google does to tweak the search, the content is still king. If you keep it valuable and evergreen, you are likely to reach the top of the rankings or at least avoid severe drops.
Google and SEO experts suggest doing the following:
1. Recheck Content Quality
To ensure high rankings, you need to review your website and check the content on all pages. Is it original? Is the metadata optimized? Does the content answer important questions? Is it valuable for the visitors? While you may have done all of the above already, if the ranking drops, you still need to review.
2. Recheck the Content Value
Is the content you are offering trustworthy? Do you have links to respectable websites available? Can a visitor take advantage of the content to solve a problem or receive valuable information?
3. Recheck the Presentation
How is your content presented? Is it easy to read? Does it appear unique and well researched? Does the page load quickly on all types of devices?
You can also check how your website compares to the competition. Find out what the higher-ranked websites have done with their content. Follow their lead.
Google Algorithm Updates: What to Expect?
Google rolls out updates on a regular basis. Since you know what the goal of them is, you can prepare your website by adding value. There isn’t a magic trick that can help you counter the measures taken by Google to improve the searcher’s experience.
Most likely, if you’ve been investing sufficient effort in your SEO strategy, you haven’t been affected by the update. If you see a drop in the rankings, you have the work cut out for you.
Thin content gets penalized. Make sure you don’t have any on your website.
If you have any issues with your content, you’ll see a drop in rankings. So before the next update rolls around, make sure your content and website structure are in top shape.