Google December 2020 Core Update Rolling Out Now

On Friday, 4 December 2020, Google announced a the first major Core Update since May 2020. This could be a game-changer for many websites. If you notice a change in your traffic, this is what you need to do.

In the early hours of the 4 December 2020, AEST, Google announced via their Google Search Liaison Twitter page the start of a December 2020 Core Update rollout. The update will allegedly take several weeks to fully rollout, so the impacts may not be felt on your website immediately.

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash.

What is the December 2020 Core Update?

The December 2020 Core Update is the first algorithm update since the controversial update in May 2020. Google says this update is, as normal, aimed to improve search results for users and website owners should focus on:

  1. Content and question quality.
  2. Demonstrating expertise.
  3. Showcasing authority.
  4. Asserting trust.
  5. Mobile and tablet friendliness.
  6. Attention paid to individual pages.

And more.

As always, Google has not revealed specifics of the December 2020 Core Update. However, the assumption can always be to focus on providing the very best user experience.

What to do if you’re hit by the December 2020 Core Update.

In the coming weeks, if you notice a decline in your website traffic or the quality of the traffic (i.e. irrelevant locations, high bounce rates, etc.) you may have been hit by the December 2020 Core Update. Google provided still-relevant advice to website owners in 2011 for what to do if you’ve been affected by an algorithm update.

However, if you are unsure of what you specifically need to do, contact an SEO Specialist, like Localsearch.

Google’s recommendations for if you’ve been affected by a core update:

  • Ensure the information on the page or article is trustworthy, i.e. original, thorough content from an authoritative figure.
  • Remove duplicate content from your website. Every page and article should be as unique as possible.
  • Is your website secure with quality hosting and a current SSL certificate?
  • Keep your content free of errors, including spelling, grammar and factually.
  • Write content relevant to what your audience will be looking for and answer their queries or questions in said content.
  • When writing content, ensure your article or page is the most informative when compared to other search results.
  • The content you publish should be relevant to the service or product you provide.
  • Content should be unbiased and cover all angles of a topic.
  • Focus on optimising all pages and ensuring their quality before scaling.
  • For topics like medical, finance, legal, i.e. Your Money or Your Life industries, ensure you’re publishing content from authoritative authors and sources.
  • Users should not be distracted by design, ads or any other elements than your content.

7 top tips for future-proofing your website:

  1. Design your website with your user in mind, including mobile and tablet users.
  2. Keep your website platform and plug-ins up-to-date.
  3. Use quality hosting with a SSL certificate.
  4. Write thorough, authoritative content and publish regularly.
  5. Code should be kept at a minimum, with an easy-to-crawl website backend.
  6. Utilise off-page optimisation, including backlinks via quality online directories.
  7. Focus on long-term optimisation, not short-term fixes, like keyword stuffing.

How do you know if your website is impacted by a core update?

If you are utilising Localsearch Search Engine Optimisation services, you do not need to be concerned by the update in the slightest. Our SEO specialists monitor the websites in their care every day, regardless of if there is an update or not.

For everyone else, signs to look for if you’ve been impacted negatively by the core update over the coming weeks include:

  • Decrease in website new users or total sessions.
  • Losing positioning in search results.
  • Higher bounce rates than normal.
  • Losing search result snippets.
  • Reduced leads via your website with no changes to paid advertising.

Of course, if you notice any of these signs or other fluctuations, Localsearch can help. Contact us now.

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