After a seven-month break from core updates, Google started rolling out a new core algorithm update on the 3rd December.
Duly named the ‘December 2020 Core Update’, the update is the third core algorithm update of 2020, proceeded by the ‘May 2020 Core Update’ and ‘January 2020 Core Update.’ Google usually rolls out these kinds of updates every couple of months or so but, likely due to the ongoing pandemic, the release of the latest update was delayed to the end of the year.
What does the update mean for us?
In the coming weeks, as is always the case following a core update, Google will reassess content and adjust rankings to ensure that they are delivering on their mission “to present relevant and authoritative content to searchers.”
Although we don’t yet know the exact impact the algorithm update will have on rankings and visibility on SERPs, as the rollout process can take weeks, we can be certain that it will produce notable effects across the board, whether these be negative or positive.
Do we need to take action?
In the official announcement of the update release, Google highlighted that “our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered before.”
If you see a positive change in search rankings, there is no need to change course, just keep doing what you are doing in terms of content production and optimisation.
On the other hand, drastic drops in rankings and visibility may indicate that Google no longer considers your content as highly relevant to particular queries or topics. If you notice rankings have been negatively impacted by the update, you may want to carry out a full content audit on your site, to ensure that you are offering the best possible content you can, from a relevance, quality and value standpoint.
The next couple of weeks are likely going to be a roller-coaster ride in terms of rankings and visibility but, once the dust settles, the narrative will have remain unchanged… useful, valuable and relevant content created with people in mind, rather than search engines, will always end up winning the battle for the coveted top organic search positions.