Later today, we are releasing a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. It is called the January 2020 Core Update. Our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered before. Please see this blog post for more about that:https://t.co/e5ZQUA3RC6— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) January 13, 2020
For those who have asked, the update is mostly done, though as with any core update, it may take to two weeks to fully complete.— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) January 16, 2020
What Are Google Core Updates?As we’ve discussed before, core updates are typically large, broad updates that affect the functionality of Google’s search algorithm. While it’s true that Google updates search often with small tweaks, they don’t make significant changes to the algorithm itself outside of the Broad Core Update system.
What Did The Google January 2020 Core Update Change?Since the update just finished its rollout phase, there isn’t much data out there on what Google changed with the January 2020 Core Update. However, from initial research, we see the typical rank and traffic changes expected of Core Updates. The personal finance and medical spaces saw the biggest negative impact, and several SEOs reported drops in their traffic and overall ranking. However, several other SEOs reported significant gains as early as January 13. We’ll know more about the impact of this update once the rollout dust settles a little more. To see what other SEOs are reporting about this update, check out the forums over at Webmasterworld.com.
Can You Do Anything To Minimize The Effect Of The Google January 2020 Core Update?
Most of the time, there isn’t much you can do to mitigate (or prepare for) the effects of a broad core update. The entire purpose of the updates is to change the algorithm to understand user queries, wants, and needs better. In fact, as we’ve quoted before, Danny Sullivan of Google stated (way back in March 2019): “There’s nothing to ‘fix’ for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content.”
Unfortunately, Google almost always responds to update concerns in the same manner. We believe they use such broad and muddy language to prevent SEO professionals from gaming their search engine. After all, the whole point of Google is to match user needs better, not help websites get more business.
So, as usual, follow the Webmaster Guidelines from Google, and, if you’ve taken a hit from the update, remember to be patient. These updates tend to have a significant impact at the beginning, and then trail off as Google continues to make tweaks here and there.