The January 2020 Core Update

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“What is Google’s latest update” is a term often searched by SEOs and digital marketers alike. Thousands of algorithm updates take place on Google each year, rolling out a wave of uncertainty for search rankings — in 2018, 3,234 updates took place, which boils down to roughly nine every day. Although these were minor changes, now and again Google releases major algorithmic updates that can hugely affect search results.

And that’s what’s happened this time. Announced on 13th January 2020, the first update of this decade will be a broad core algorithm update to improve the search quality for users. Already websites are seeing huge fluctuations in their organic ranking positions. It’s important that as a webmaster, you keep on top of these updates so that your websites don’t suffer.

What is the Google Broad Core Update in a Nutshell?

A heavier focus has been placed on expertise, authority, and trustworthiness, as well as the quality of a website’s content — if your page drops in rankings, the quality of the content needs to be improved.

Unlike previous Google updates, there isn’t a fix for websites previously hurt by updates. The only remedy for falling rankings is to focus on building quality content. There’s also been a shift in concentration from keyword-centric results to topical results, providing users with informative content that they searched for rather than individual phrases.

Kev Strong, Head of Search here at Mediaworks, said: “Unlike targeted updates of days-gone-by, Google’s core updates affect many things such as freshness of content, topic authority, and anchor text signals. To complicate matters, it can often coincide with other changes such, as layout and UI changes on a Google SERP.

“We recommend paying close attention to your organic traffic and identifying specific pages and areas that may be affected. If you think you’re affected, try to identify commonality to pinpoint a reason and act accordingly.”

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