Just when you think you have your search optimization handled, Google launches another update. Most updates cause minimal disruption to SEO operations, but some, like the January 2020 Google update, require a closer look. Affecting the core algorithm, the update could spell major changes for businesses. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is the January 2020 Core Update?
As the name implies, the January 2020 Google core algorithm update affects all search results across the globe. As a sweeping update to search engine results, it does not involve anything specific that a webmaster can immediately improve upon (for example, prioritizing fast loading or mobile indexed pages).
One of the best ways to define the update is to view the guidance from the search engine itself. Google illuminates the effect of this update by comparing it to an evolving list of top favorite movies. Say, for example, that you made a list of favorite movies back in 2017. Today, you decided to refresh your list, so some of your titles will naturally change. You have been exposed to new movies that are now worthy of inclusion in your list, and you also realize that some titles deserve a higher place than before.
In other words, “The Godfather” may have been one of your favorite movies, but “The Irishman” came out in 2019 and you think it deserves a spot on the roster. It doesn’t mean that “The Godfather” isn’t still a good movie, but at this moment in time, you think that “The Irishman” commands a higher slot on your list.
How Will the Update Impact Search Results?
Now, let’s apply this analogy to your search engine rankings. If some of your pages dropped in ranking after the algorithm update, that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with them or you are being penalized. Rather, your content is being reevaluated against content that has been published since the last update.
There will naturally be some give and take between pages as the algorithm updates rolls out. It’s important to pay attention to how your rankings perform in the coming days and weeks. If you notice ranking drops, consider how you can work to provide more comprehensive solutions to your website visitors.
What Should I Do If My Ranking Dropped?
First, don’t panic. Core algorithm updates cause widespread fluctuations in SERP rankings across all organizations and business types. In general, Google recommends that webmasters consider each page in terms of its EAT potential: expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. In other words, quality content that solves customer problems will always be the best way to rank well. When analyzing your pages following the January 2020 Google update, consider:
- Does this content provide something useful and relevant to the user? Is there something
we can do to make it more comprehensive?
- Does the page convey authority through well-targeted keywords?
- Is the information on our site trustworthy, backlinking to authoritative sources?
Above all, focusing on quality content will be the best way to weather this and any subsequent Google core algorithm update. Don’t be surprised by rankings drops and do not overhaul your entire content strategy as a result. Providing comprehensive customer solutions in your content will naturally readjust your pages in the SERPs.
Image Credit: MOZ
The original version of this article was first published on V3Broadsuite.
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