Google’s December 2020 Core Update Confirmed

According to Search Engine Land, Google has confirmed that its core update has gone live on 3rd December, 2020. This update is the third core algorithm update that has happened so far for this year. Google’s suggestion for guidance to webmasters remains the same, and their Twitter account will continue to offer updates as the rollout progresses. Core updates tend to take a long time, and the level of impact that they bring may vary. If they’re such a common occurrence, why are so many webmasters in a panic about the new update? When Google updates its core algorithm, it means that the things that webmasters had previously understood are liable to change. Even if your website has the best local SEO services behind it, it could drop out of the first page of results.

The Looming Fear of Updates

Webmasters aren’t unfounded in their fear of updates from Google. CNBC mentions how the company’s “Mobilegeddon” update in 2015 cost a website 22% of its traffic because of a single change. Massive algorithm updates are par for the course for Google, with most website owners aware that the change may lead to a significant difference in their SERP ranking. The truth is that while webmasters assume the worst when it comes to their websites, core updates don’t really change a whole lot of the functionality of what makes SEO work. A lot of Google’s core updates are designed to reinforce acceptable SEO practices and punish bad ones.

Noticeable Updates Incoming

However, just because the updates that Google rolls out are minor doesn’t mean they won’t cause a significant ripple in search results. Despite conforming to guidelines, websites that are continually working on updating their SEO ranking may find their sites being pushed down the order. Other sites might see tan uptick or downtick, not truly reflective of their efforts. However, Google’s algorithm learns, and eventually, the results will update to reflect changes. Content remains the most relevant part of a website, and the newest core updates will focus on that relevance.

What Does This Mean for Websites?

The update, scheduled to roll out on 3rd December, will change many things in the short term. However, if you’re a webmaster, your best bet would be to keep trying to maintain your SEO. Once you’re working with first-principles for your optimization, the core algorithm shouldn’t change how your site ranks on the results in a significant way. Over time you will retain your position and possibly improve. The short-term impact may be dire, especially for websites that rely on search engines’ traffic as their most significant source of income.

One of the best ways to deal with the situation is to add more current content. Content added since the last update will count towards the website’s freshness score and might get it to rank a little higher. If there’s a shift in interest towards a topic or hashtag, this change will also affect whether Google’s new algorithm sees your website as current. Over the next few weeks, rankings will be all over the place, but it’s not time to panic just yet. This change is just another SEO storm you’ll have to ride out.

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