After what had been a challenging year for all of us with numerous lockdown restrictions during the pandemic, when the December 2020 broad core update began rolling out at the start of the month, we all paid very close attention to what it would mean for our clients so that we could act fast and accordingly.
So, now the rollout of the update is complete, what do we know about it, and who was impacted the most by it?
It Was A Big Update
Many data providers are saying that the December 2020 update was even bigger than May 2020. Those who were negatively or positively impacted by the update saw declines or gains of 10% to over 100% of their existing organic search traffic.
This was a global update and wasn’t specific to any language, region, or category of websites, which was released only a couple of weeks prior to the festive period and started to be rolled out after both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. For those who rely on the Christmas season to bring in a lot of their sales, this update was worrying, especially as the update’s rollout didn’t end until just a few days before Christmas.
So, what changes have webmasters seen?
The update received bad reviews due to the decrease in traffic. Despite some webmasters seeing a surge in traffic, this did drop after a day, with this update bringing both a positive and negative impact for SEO.
What guidelines have been covered in the update?
It won’t come as a surprise that Google is telling webmasters to create and provide the most relevant content possible. In addition to this, Google wants to review the search quality rater guidelines. Raters help you improve your content and provide data to Google about your site, page, and content; your content should also continue to adhere to E-A-T guidelines.
However, it has been pointed out that if you experienced a drop in rankings after the update was rolled out, then this doesn’t necessarily mean that your website or content is bad.
How To Recover
If your site or certain pages took a hit during the rollout of the December 2020 broad core update, then consider reviewing the content by looking at the following criteria:
- Quality: As previously mentioned, content should be comprehensive and complete. Ensure that your content is always original and absolutely no plagiarism! Everything on the page, including the H1 tag, meta description, and page title, should all contribute to the content’s helpfulness.
- Comparative: You should take a look and consider whether your page fits in with the other pages on your target SERP. If you want your page to sit on page one and stay there, your content must be relevant to the searcher’s intent and fill an information gap.
- Presentation: The content should be easy to look at, read, and understand. You must not have spelling mistakes on the page, as these are a huge red flag! Additionally, it would be best to avoid long page load speeds, and pages must be responsive for mobile devices.
- Expertise: Users and readers will expect the content to be accurate and trustworthy. So, the information on your site must be reputable.
What To Expect
So, what should we expect from Google in 2021?
Although Google is continuously rolling out small algorithm updates, it has already announced a major update in May 2021, which will focus on user experience. Therefore, if you’re not already considering UX for your site, now would be a good time to start in preparation for that update in only a few months.
If you experienced either a surge or a decline in rankings in December, then now you will know exactly why, and hopefully, this will help you to recover your position over the next month or so. For any help or advice, don’t hesitate to contact our digital marketing agency!