If in the past week or so, you have noticed a sudden change in your rankings, it could be due to Google’s latest update.
The search giant announced that a January 2020 Core Update would start to roll out across the globe on Monday 13th January. By Thursday 16th January, the rollout was almost complete.
That was almost a week ago. By now, enough data has been gathered to give us a better idea of how this core update has affected websites. Spoiler alert – the core update was pretty big!
Search Engine Land, the SEO-specific blog website gathered data from numerous data providers to provide an insight into the latest Google core update. (Side note – we love Search Engine Land!).
What Does The Data Show?
- Data gathered by RankRanger showed a huge shift at the top end of the SERPs, which affected many websites. For example, health and finance related websites climbed the rankings following the core update.
- Similarly, SEMRush’s data showed that the update was bigger than expected and affected most categories. Aside from Sports and News, other categories that saw major changes include Online communities, Games, Arts & Entertainments, and Finance.
- Websites that have been positively impacted by the core update include Dictionary.com, Royal.UK, onhealth.com and verywellhealth.com. Websites that have been negatively impacted by the core update include CarBuyer.co.uk, ArnoldClark.com and TripSavvy.com.
- Websites relating to YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) topics appear to have been evaluated by Google’s search algorithms, leading to various changes.
As with every Google Core Update, the data demonstrates that websites lacking in quality content are most affected. If your website has been affected by a previous Google core update, such as the September 2019 update, it’s likely to have been affected again following the January update.
What Do We Think?
GrowTraffic Director Simon Dalley noticed that the January 2020 Core Update is yet another update which sees Google penalise websites that are missing quality content:
“If your website has been affected by this update, or a previous Google update, I advise you to have a quick read over Google’s Quality Guidelines. These guidelines can help shed light on what exactly it is that Google is looking for. The aim here is to create quality, authoritative content and lots of it.”
What Can You Do If Your Website Has Been Affected?
Google has stated many times in the past that its algorithms reward great content. If your website has slipped down the rankings following the Google update, you may want to rethink your SEO strategy – starting with your content or lack thereof.
First, you should re-evaluate your website:
- Is your website regularly updated with industry-relevant content that’s useful to readers?
- Is it optimised for your keywords and phrases?
- Does your content demonstrate that you’re an expert in your industry?
- Are you presenting the content in a way that makes people want to trust it?
- Does your website have signals that let people know it’s trustworthy – such as reviews and case studies?
- Does it have links to important landing pages?
- Does your website, and its content, display well on both mobile and desktop devices?
These are just a handful of the questions you should be asking yourself when improving your website for search engines.
We Can Help
If your website has taken a hit following the Google core update, and you’d like some help with your SEO and content marketing strategy, get in touch with GrowTraffic. Creating content for the web is what we do best!