After Google changed its algorithm in May 2020, it has announced yet another update for December 2020. Nearly after a gap of seven months on December 3rd, Google rolled out a core algorithm update. So, what does this core algorithm update hint to the users?
It indicates that Google has recalculated or changed its algorithm in some relevant way. While we still need to understand its full-length impact, some certain industries and sectors have been affected.
It has created substantial impacts on the search ranking algorithm. The result is that the site will either perform better or fall from its previous position. The SERP volatility data on December 4th showed a similar score of 9.4 to that of May 2020. December 2020’s core update can have a bigger impact than the one in May.
Expert Opinion on Google’s Core Algorithm Update and its Impacts
Initially, when Google announced the core updates on December 3rd, 2020, many SEO experts felt it to be different from May’s previous updates. However, after December 10th, there have been vital movements in SERP volatility observed by SEMrush and Rank Ranger that contradicted the initial assumptions.
Many experts have associated this volatility with the spike of the second wave. Others feel that this change was driven to enhance the SEO experience and promote better gains. Overall, it can have a substantial impact on the SEO algorithms from the former updates in May.
Impacts on the Industry
All across the desktops and mobiles, the updates can have significant changes in certain industries and domains. It includes real estate, health, pharmaceuticals, and law & government.
On desktop search, websites related to travel and finance groups have witnessed high fluctuating rates after the first day of the announcement. Referring to the mobile search, sites such as education, career & job, and animals & pet sectors are also affected by the algorithm updates.
Impacts on Websites by Domain Size
The consequential effects were mainly observed in the larger domains. Almost around 50% of affected sites are either the biggest winners or losers. Most of these sites have traffic surpassing 1 million monthly visitors.
1 out of 3 domains is experiencing traffic drops in their sites that usually surpasses 10 million visitors per month.
Impacts on Websites by Category
This is a widespread algorithm update, so it has a serious impact across several industries. Some of them turned out to be clear winners, while others were losing domains based on industry. There were websites concerning the business & industrial, beauty & fitness and telecom & internet in the winning team.
The biggest SERP winners achieved almost 20 positions observing a jump from their previous ranking. The professional site of LinkedIn was a big winner gaining up 47 positions on average a day.
Among the losing domains whose visibility dripped included news, e-commerce, and online communities. The average position loss reported in these sites with the worst-hit domains was about 23 positions drop. Sites like newsbreak.com and yellowpages.com were hit by drastic fall, losing 83 and 94 positions in a single day.
Steps to Navigate through December 2020 Update
We cannot neglect that December 2020 updates have brought consequential drift in digital marketing. With all the core updates, Google’s recommendations remain the same.
- Learn About the Updated Algorithm
Before you begin to plan your next big step for December 2020 update:
- Review your organic traffic metrics.
- Start with the basic SEO strategies and see whether they are working.
- Evaluate the last month’s organic traffic and check how much you can generate this month.
Learn the latest algorithm updates that will help in getting better visibility to your sites. This will help in staying ahead of the competition and surviving the changes.
- Best Keyword Practices
The SEO keywords hold an important parameter when it comes to search engine rankings. It is needless to say that higher SERPs have a consequential impact on attracting website traffic. So give full focus to your SEO keyword campaign.
With the right keyword strategy, compare the difference in ranking pre and post update scenario. Don’t wait too long to realize that the algorithm updates have impacts on the rankings.
- Creating High-Quality Content
Investing in high-quality content for the website contributes to the search engine’s success. When you run an SEO campaign, content should be on the top priority list. If you are willing to improve your site’s visibility, focus on curating authentic and valuable content for your audience.
Whether it’s a blog post, product description, testimonials, or videos, good content serves as a foundation for all your SEO efforts. Do the research properly so that your site’s content attracts the maximum audience.
- Get Benefits from Structure Data
An SEO-friendly site builds a standardized format that helps search engines understand your web page’s content. It includes the use of structured data in rich snippets that offers better visibility to a website.
This is most relevant in content per search query to analyze the page in a better way.
- Fix the SEO Issues and Track the KPIs
Lastly, to keep pace with the existing algorithm updates, fix all the SEO issues that trouble your website’s health. To keep the website performance to the maximum, your SEO strategy must address both on-page and off-page SEO.
Once you re-tune everything properly, don’t forget to check the KPIs. It will reveal which tactics performed well and which didn’t.
Google states that sites will see quick recovery after the core updates get completed. However, there are no new actions that can be implemented to subside the effects of negative rankings. The key to improved rankings is by working on SEO strategies and content experience.
There is a little sigh of relief as Google offers a set of questionnaires for sites that are badly hit by the core impacts. The major changes will be seen after another core update takes place. A full site audit and constant monitoring of rankings will help in troubleshooting the problems.