What to Do When the December 2020 Google Core Update Hit Your Site

December 2020 Google Core Update

Google continues without giving us rest. Thursday, December 3, the search engine announced on Twitter that it was releasing the December 2020 Core Update. A new update of the core of its algorithms that, of course, will affect the volume of organic traffic on websites.

This update is like the last ones: confusing and contradictory. In this post, we are not going to give you new clues about what happened in May. We’re not going to fool you. Doing a simple search allows you to find different theories about what Google has wanted to reward/punish this time.

There has been some speculation about whether Web Vitals have been applied in Google’s latest major update these weeks. Some experts say that the search engine has “awarded” fast websites with a good user experience … At least I am not sure. The Web Vitals’ announcement is after the update. After the update, we have seen upward variations in websites very slow and, on the contrary, significant drops in some web pages that loaded like lightning.

What is Core Update?

It is essential to know what these adjustments consist of to understand what this new update to the Google algorithm entails.

The Core Update is the in-depth update of Google’s search ranking systems (SERPS), websites’ organic positioning. There is no single central classification algorithm, but rather, according to the American company, there are a series of factors the algorithms take into account, such as:

  • Query words
  • Relevance
  • Usability of the pages
  • Degree of specialization of sources
  • Location
  • Setting

Although many say ‘new update of the Google algorithm’ is the same as saying ‘the coconut is coming,’ it does not affect the same. There are web pages that are significantly affected, and others reinforced.

Google continually makes small adjustments to its algorithms, and many go unnoticed. Webmasters or web page owners know when they will be significant for the Internet when they have specific names. Google uses this resource to warn the online community and pay attention to those aspects that it penalizes.

The Intention behind These Updates is to Show The Most Relevant Content for User Searches.

One more point that Google always emphasizes is that a negative impact on the ranking may not signify your website’s problem. These updates are made to improve how the internet giant evaluates content in general, showing results relevant to user searches.

So, in general, you should consider creating a quality site with great content adjusted to your theme or vertical. Much more than just overcoming this Google update, but to improve your overall positioning with valuable content that your target audience cares about.

It only remains attentive to the changes that the core update of December 2020 shows us during the coming weeks. Still, as always, there will be websites that gain or lose positions in the search results. We will then understand the factors that Google has changed in this update and if it is necessary to make any changes in our SEO strategy.

New Google Algorithm Update, New SEO Reformulation:

For many, the announcement of this significant update of Google’s central algorithm (Google Core Update 2020), the third during this 2020, has been a jug of cold water. Many websites have come across this ‘gift’ just the day before Christmas with little room for maneuver. As if everything that happened during 2020 had not been enough, Google has ended up finishing it off.

How Do I Know If The December Google Core Algorithm Update Has Affected Me?

This question is around more than one and one, and that is, as we said at the beginning of the article, it may or may not affect you. Now, if you have been the lucky ones and Google has considered penalizing some aspect of your website, do not despair. First of all, you must breathe, see your ranking in the SERPs and analyze:

  1. Daily organic traffic
  2. Clicks, impressions, and CTR
  3. Visibility in the Google ranking
  4. The volatility in the results of both your website and the competition
  5. And, above all, that the content that your website offers try:
  6. Ensure information that builds trust and gives authority to the page.
  7. Participation of experts or enthusiasts who offer quality content.
  8. Avoid duplicating content or topics so that they do not cannibalize each other.
  9. Writings without spelling or stylistic errors
  10. Offer unique, original content or with own research and analysis.
  11. Provide differential value and rigorous quality control.

Now not everything depends on the keyword and your positioning concerning them since the algorithm increasingly perfects the results it offers depending on the type of request that the user has. What does depend on you is the content you want to provide and what your website has. Suppose you ensure that you meet the quality standards and SEO technical aspects that are being readjusted with these updates. In that case, your SEO level does not have to be negatively affected.

Remember that Google promotes organic questions and creates new, natural, and quality content capable of answering them.

The Most Significant Updates before the Google Core Update 2020

On January 13 of this year, the American company released a first update (January 2020 Core Update). In it, Google made its intentions clear: to search all the web pages of its search engine for the most useful and relevant results in a fraction of a second. Of course, it was rewarding those sites that will add value to user inquiries.

Google has started, and this year, it has been readjusting its algorithms to put quality content before SPAM content. Also, websites that perform Black SEO, bad web positioning practices.

In May of this year, the company carried out a second update (May 2020 Core Update). It opted for the appearance of new modules incorporating new types of results such as images, videos, local modules, or enriched fragments. As always with Google updates, the company does not announce these recent changes. Users have to analyze the metrics and look for patterns that explain the classification and interaction with your website.

These two updates are the most recent, but the truth is that since 2011 Google has been working incessantly to offer the most useful results for each query.

Among them, we found:

Panda (2011): It analyzed the content and penalized the excessive use of the primary keyword and duplicate content or added value.

Pirate (2012): Google created a filter to fight against piracy and preserve the copyright of the content published on the web pages indexed in its search engine.

Penguin (2012): It rewarded those pages that naturally and progressively got links to their content for quality.

Venice (2012): It opted to boost local searches without searching by city (Google detected the location through the same IP). Also, it caused traffic to drop on national services’ general web pages.

Hummingbird (2013) analyzed the searches’ semantics to be more natural and had more consistent results. It has been one of the changes that have had the most impact. More than 90% of web pages were affected.

HTTP to HTTPS (2014): Google awarded those websites that migrated to the SSL certificate (HTTPS). It represented a substantial change for web pages and their positioning since those that didn’t would be relegated by the upgraded ones. Another of the disadvantages that this new algorithm contracted was the duplication of web pages and content.

Google Pigeon (2014): Focused on improving local search; this algorithm put local links before general ones.

Pirate 2.0. (2014): In this update of the Pirate (2012), Google awarded those web pages that offered legal downloads, and that complied with copyright laws such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Mobilegeddon (2015 and 2016): With this algorithm, Google promoted responsive themes so that web pages were ‘mobile-friendly.’

In 2016, Google put mobile web views before the desktop version with the new ‘mobile-first index’ algorithm. If both versions differed a lot, the search engine penalized the website.

Rankbrain (2015): Continuing with the Hummingbird algorithm, with Rankbrain, Google incorporates Artificial Intelligence and automated learning to sophisticate and adjust user queries’ responses.

Possum (2016): Modified the Venice algorithm (local searches) by expanding the results sampling radius. It was no longer limited to the specific location but also included neighboring municipalities.

Fred (2017): This algorithm focused on those web portals seeking profit through their pages with tools other than Google Ads.

YMYL (2018): This update focused on combating those websites that did not have professional support in their content. Money and health websites were the hardest hit.

Neural Matching (2019): Neural matching is an algorithm based on Artificial Intelligence to analyze and identify users’ search intentions.

What Can You Do if A Google Core Update 2020 Hit Your Website?

Let’s go into it in parts… The second thing you have to know is that the Core Updates do not apply to a specific online project.

Google has nothing “personal” against your website. Unless it discovers that you have voluntarily or mistakenly gone over to the dark side of SEO and are “cutting” down “Black Hat” trails. If you are in that situation, it could penalize you. The seeker does not like cheats.

The Google Core Algorithm Update respond to changes in their evaluation criteria and content classification (or part) of the Internet. These modifications may sometimes harm you and others, as they harm and favor many other pages in your sector.

With these significant updates to its algorithm’s core, Google tries to improve its users’ quality. This is the only thing that interests it: it cares very little about how good or bad your page does.

So, in principle…

There exists no “antidote” to recover from a Google Core Algorithm Update.

When it comes to SEO, on any website, there are always things to improve. Aspects that affect users’ experience (readers, your patients) and that make things easier for Google when establishing the quality and relevance of your content.

Because its search engine does not understand things the way, we humans do. It looks for “signals” correlated with how its users establish the “relevance” of what we find on the Internet.

These “signals” are reflected in the SEO work you can do on your website. Doing an SEO audit is the best way to discover areas for improvement on any page.

SEO is not static and does not usually offer short-term results…

It is a very dynamic process in which you compete for the first positions of the results with other pages under rules that you do not know and that Google changes frequently.

Remember that SEO is a zero-sum game.

The visits you lose after an update are won by other pages that compete with you to be at the top.

By reading this post, you already took the first step: you have to understand how Google works, what an algorithm update is, and what the search engine expects from your website.

“Self-evaluation” test on the SEO quality of your website

The document published in August raises a series of recommendations in the form of questions that you can answer yourself.

It would be ideal for you to compare yourself with your competition.

Questions about the quality of what you publish on your website

  1. Do you offer original content (information), or are you rewriting or even copying – what others have told without providing additional value?
  2. Are you publishing complete and exhaustive information on the matter you address in your post (on health)?
  3. Do you develop the subject in-depth, or do you stay on the surface? Do you do better than other pages that deal with similar issues?
  4. Do you publish exciting content (of interest) for your readers?
  5. Does your post and articles’ title respond to what you develop later in the content, or are you trying to provoke an easy click with it? Google does not like the practice of clickbait.
  6. Are you sure what you post? Is it so good that you could recommend it to your friends?
  7. Is your publication so good that it could appear published or cited in a magazine, a book …?
  8. Do you have “demonstrable” experience on the subject you are talking about?
  9. The above questions have a lot to do with EAT signals and their importance on your website pages.
  10. Does your website inspire confidence?
  11. Do you convey with her the feeling of having experience and knowledge on the subject of trafficking?
  12. Is it easy to identify yourself as an “author with recognized authority” on the issues you address?
  13. Questions about the formal quality of your website
  14. Do you take care of the edition of your post?
  15. Do you check for mistakes in spelling, expression, and style?
  16. Do you publish a large number of advertising ads on your website?
  17. Do your posts look good on mobile devices? Does your website adapt well to mobile?

In summary, compared to your competitors (other websites that try, like you, to answer the questions of Google users). Does what you publish provide real value to the people who use the search engine? Is your content aimed at responding to the Google user or exclusively seeking to improve your positioning in the SERPs?

The Importance of Quality Raters

Once again, Google once also mentions its Guidelines Guide for Search Quality Assessors. I have already told you about them. They are people hired by Google to review the algorithms’ response.

They do simple searches and value them. With their reports, they help Google engineers to “fine-tune” the classification systems. They check if the algorithm works as expected or if it can be improved.

Although it is not a ranking factor, knowing its evaluation criteria will help you understand what the search engine likes. In particular, what refers to the EAT.


SEO Fundamentals: A Complete No-Nonsense Guide to SEO Success Factors

Many entrepreneurs struggle to increase the web traffic of their businesses. It is important to apply efficient marketing strategies to achieve sales targets. Search engine optimization (SEO) improves the ranking of your website in different search engines including Google. However, it is crucial to learn and understand the basics of SEO to create a successful marketing channel. We present to you a complete no-nonsense guide to SEO success factors.

Client-friendly Content

At times, you might forget to create content that addresses the needs of your prospective clients. It is advisable to add content that suits clients, subscribers, and readers rather than creating it for search engines. Also, avoid dwelling a lot on boosting your content’s ranking. For example, Google regularly changes its algorithms.

Two major changes have a significant effect on keywords and content. Hummingbird is an update which enabled Google to understand queries for web users. It doesn’t rely on single keywords to conduct searches. The update introduced semantics, the application of various keywords from a particular topic. Many people dislike websites that are optimized for single keywords.

RankBrain is another update which Google made. It helped the search engine queries that weren’t possible to process before. Google creates associations which help in understanding the actual meaning of queries using machine learning. It is among the leading ranking factors. Do not to focus on keywords alone. Instead, create high value and clear keywords to attract huge web traffic.

Email marketing is a generic marketing strategy. It causes search engines such as Google to provide unclear results. There is a clear distinction between cross channel marketing and email marketing. You might find transactional and informational keywords on a single website. Most conversion-focused investments prefer using transactional queries. You could target long-tail keywords to optimize transactional queries. Create specific keywords to upload relevant content on your webpage thus increasing your web traffic.

Create adequate security measures to prevent bots, fraudsters, click farms and other computers from accessing your ads. You can easily set up the content for a free trial. Aim at creating keyword research and topics to have an edge over your competitors. Improve your understanding of how web users use search engines. Engaging content improves the visibility of any web page. Ensure that 60 percent of your queries comprise of more than four words and that your website has a word count of at least 1,800 words.

Some people find it hard to determine what most people search for online. Just study your audience using advanced audience tools such as Autocomplete, people also ask and related searches. They constitute the most common questions which people ask. The data offers you extra content for your website. Provide clear and detailed answers to your web visitors to understand them better.

Entrepreneurs can learn about their clients through social media platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatsApp and Twitter. Create comment sections to address customer queries and concerns. Besides, you could choose a common theme or topic to start a discussion about social media. However, it is important to control each conversation about your brand or service. Typically, clients complain about the accessibility of a business, its customer service and types of products or services it offers. You can convert the queries into the content.

Search and analyze websites that have competitive topics to determine what is right for your enterprise. You could discover content gaps through a content audit. Pick specific topics which your audience wants you to highlight. However, this type of research could be uncomfortable and complicated for some website owners.

Optimal accessibility is crucial to create great content. Ordinary mobile-first experiences load fast. It is wise to use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) if you apply organic traffic. Nice user experience includes having high content loading rates. SEO performance could decrease if your content takes longer to load. It is prudent to test and optimize it frequently. Also, you could test your web pages if you are unfamiliar with mobile search experience. Tools such as Pagespeed Insights are useful in optimizing content accessibility.

Link Building

Besides creating client-friendly content, it is important to build strong links. You can build a unique brand; nurture an audience to earn links from other websites. Quality content and links are among the top SEO ranking factors. Inbound links are HTML links which direct web users from one web page to another. Internal links connect internal pages that share a single domain. You can use them on your web page. Typically, numerous internal links which redirect to a specific website shows Google that it is genuine and important. Other search engines consider the number of links a website has to rank it.

Google has strict Quality Rater guidelines that focus on the authority, expertise, and trust a website has. It gives pages that lack those three characteristics a low rank. Search engines evaluate the user intent of all websites. An appropriate query should have a clear intent. Popular websites have hundreds or thousands of links. Use tools such as Spam Score, Domain Authority and Page Authority to assess the strength of your web links.

You can link your web page to Facebook, Twitter or Yelp to increase web traffic. An ideal site should have equally followed and no-followed backlinks. Although no-follow links are not authoritative, they could earn you more traffic and followed links. Highlight your links using MozBar to determine whether they are do-follow or no-follow links.

A link profile helps in assessing inbound links that a web page has earned. It includes the number, diversity, and quality of links. Search engines assess the state of a link profile to understand how it relates to other sites.

Voice Search Optimization

Follow up any changes in search results and behavior to understand voice search. You can research on how to improve the voice search in your investment in the future. For example, most millennial like speaking to search engines to get certain products or services. Reputable tech firms produce advanced voice-assisted gadgets that suit the old and young generations. Featured snippets influence how search engines offer results. Typically, they appear before the first search result in Google to boost your web traffic, trust, and visibility.

Most clients believe in featured snippets. They don’t rely on organic results. Google offers direct answers and pulls content from any website into the featured snippets. Naturally, voice search provides one result, position zero. It is vital to know the context and content of voice searches by identifying queries and questions an audience might have. Create relevant content which responds to their queries and questions. Google makes published content ideal for podcasts, news, and recipes.

Alexa Skills makes content appropriate for informational services and web-based services. Nevertheless, some have a murky understanding of voice search. It is tricky to access voice search data. Google shows the data in a different way from mobile and desktop search in the Search Console. In the past, mobile searches showed close search results. There is no particular equivalent to close searches. Generally, voice search comprises 10 percent of online searches. The number might drastically increase in the future.

Optimize Your Search Experience

Some investors optimize their web pages for search engines. You can optimize your content for people from different countries. It is more sophisticated compared to optimizing content for search engines. You should apply your brand experience to increase the relevance of your content. A 2006 Forrester research revealed that over 90 percent of good online experiences start with search engines. Search engines play a crucial role in promoting brands. It is necessary to increase your creativity for your website to be visible.

Organic results on mobile appear below the fold. They have a featured snippet. People who often use Google for search engine optimization have to rely on popular search features and paid ads. However, they depend on the queries clients raise. Social content and Google News can significantly increase the visibility of your website. They depend on whether a query is urgent.

Knowledge Graph powers the knowledge panels which Google use. They display basic information about a business including the operation hours, phone number and location. Some searches look for particular search result parts including knowledge panels to obtain genuine information.

People also ask pulls content that matches particular search results. They include terms which people search for. The feature helps you identify several opportunities to optimize your content or add extra content to reach your target audience. Moreover, you can apply other methodologies to a wide variety of platforms. The major optimization opportunities include social media optimization, third-party sites, Google My Business optimization and app store optimization.

You can customize search platforms to suit SEO principles and offer content optimization opportunities to improve the visibility of your brand. Search engines such as Bing and Google can pull your content during content optimization. Use different results parts to develop a thrilling search experience.

Optimizing a website is a daunting task for some people. Numerous websites offer genuine guides on search engine optimization. Factors such as on-page, off-page and technical features in your website can affect the success of your SEO strategy. An ideal strategy should cover voice search, exciting search experiences, and client-friendly content.