Google Updates 19th December 2020

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As of 19th December 2020, when I am writing this post, there have been some substantial movements and chatter regarding the Google search results. It can’t be confirmed if this is just some tweaks to the Google December 2020 Core Update released earlier this month. There is talk on Black Hat World that traffic has been decreasing in the past few days.

Well it sure has been a busy few weeks in SEO and watching Google’s algorithm updates.

Top SEO’s have been closely monitoring the Google December 2020 Core Update to see the impact and what may have been changed in the algorithm. Danny Sullivan (Google) stated that when it comes to Google Core Update “goes out to the entire index, page by page”. He also said it “is core to all the content in our index”. This is why it takes a few weeks to fully roll out. That is a lot of pages that need to be shuffled and re-indexed!

It is thought that a core update will affect an entire website. You don’t usually see just a few pages impacted but rather an entire site. So this is really an update that takes into affect, how the site performs overall. You need to consider the overall quality of a website, rather than just if one particular page has great on page SEO.

There have been 2 large algorithm updates this month, December 3 was the first and December 10 saw a second wave. So the Google December 2020 Core Update should nearly be complete within the next week.

So what does a core update really mean?

Google updates and makes changes to the algorithm pretty much on a daily basis. Most of these changes are not significant and won’t make a huge difference to your website.

However, a few times a year, Google makes significant updates. And this month we have experienced that with the Google December 2020 Core Update. But what does Google mean by ‘Core Update’?

What is a Core Update?

Unlike the many small updates made to the algorithm, a Core Update makes significant and broad changes. Core Updates get significant attention as sites may feel a really bit hit or lift in the traffic and search results.

When are Core Updates released?

Usually we have very little warning that a Core Update is being released. It was assumed that the final Core Update for 2020 was to be in December, simply because time was running out. We have had major updates in January & May 2020, so it was expected there would be another.

Core Updates in 2021

Google has kindly announced that there will be a significant update in May 2021. Giving us a clear 6 months to make some changes and prepare. The upcoming algorithm change will be based on Page Experience. There has never been a better time to learn SEO and get your site ready for the upcoming changes.

Why does Google make Core Updates?

Google doesn’t just want to hurt websites. Rather the whole reason to make the updates is to reward and promote websites that offer a great experience and follow the rules. If you use Black Hat SEO methods, you will be found out and punished. There is no such thing as a quick fix in SEO. It is all about slow and steady, but the results last. If you have followed SEO best practices and have good results, you will keep your SERP results. However, if you think the scammers that say they can have your website on page 1 in weeks, you are kidding yourself.

These unscrupulous ‘SEO businesses’ will damage your online reputation with Google. They use toxic websites as backlinks and buy links from dodgy websites that may show an increase in rankings in the short term. However as the Google spiders crawl these sites, they will see that they are simply very sketchy websites with fake reviews that have been duplicated on numerous different domains.

These are considered purely spam and you can expect to be de-ranked once Google has indexed these sites and the backlinks.

The reason Google has become the powerhouse it is, is because it gives the best user experience. That is what keeps people using Google to search. The more users Google has searching and the longer they stay, means Google has more real estate to sell as advertising space.

Take Aways

Simple, do the right thing by Google, and Google will do the right thing by you and promote your site. If you try to cheat the system, use dodgy backlinks, steal images etc you will be punished.

If you’d like to learn more about White Hat SEO, read our regular posts and consider signing up for our SEO Course.

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