Google January 2020 Core Update

As they do a few times a year, in the afternoon on January 13, 2020, the Google January 2020 Core Update began rolling out across the web. That’s right, another Core Update just a few short months after the previous one.
While rollouts for the Google January 2020 Core Update started on the 13th, update rollouts didn’t wind down until the 16th.

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

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.

Conclusions on the Google January 2020 Core Update

Well, there you have it, a brief explanation of what’s going on with the recent Google January 2020 Core Update. As usual, medical and personal finance pages took the biggest hits, while the rest of the web seemed to stagnate. To help mitigate the effects of the update, especially if you run a personal finance or medical website, make sure your site follows the Webmaster Guidelines as best as possible. And, if you’d like help after taking a big hit from a Core Update, then contact the SEO professionals here at Contractor Advertising. We’re always here to help!