Google Core Update December 2020

Google Core Update December 2020

After seven months, Google finally rolled out another Core Update in December 2020. Somewhat surprisingly, Google is rolling out a Core Update towards the end of the year. What are the first effects and who are the biggest winners and losers this time?

The Update was officially announced on Twitter on 3rd December 2020:

Google Core Update announced on Twitter

Recently, Google has more or less kept the Updates in a frequency of 4 months. But since May 2020, we had to wait half a year to see the next Broad Update. The Update took around two to three weeks to fully take effect all over the world. We have compiled the first information about the Update for You.

Table of Contents

  1. What is a Google Core Update?
  2. How do Google Core Updates affect my website’s traffic?
  3. How do I check if my site is experiencing changes?
  4. The winners of the December Core Update
  5. The losers of the December Core Update

What is a Google Core Update?

Google constantly runs Updates on its algorithm. But just around every 4 months, Google makes bigger changes that usually have a stronger effect on the visibility of websites.

Every Update results in winners and losers. Either an industry as a whole can be strongly affected or websites may show certain characteristics which are now valued differently.

Google Core Updates should not be underestimated since traffic can deflate or on the other hand soar significantly. It is essential for every online business to keep up-to-date about major changes in the Google algorithm.

If You would like to learn more about the history of major Google Updates, I recommend this article.

How do Google Core Updates affect my website's traffic?

As mentioned above, Google Core Updates are major changes in the algorithm. As a result, Your website’s rankings might increase or decrease drastically. This doesn’t necessarily change traffic or revenue. But if the Core Update negatively impacts Your 1st Page rankings, You might as well loose a lot of Your visitors.

It is thus a must for every online marketer to check the website’s visibility and rankings after each Broad Google Update and if affected, to take counter measures.

How do I check if my site is experiencing changes?

The easiest way to assess the impact of a Google Core Update is to check Your Visibility Index. The Index gives You an overview of Your rankings on Google compared to Your competitors.

Further, log in to Your Google Search Console and check if the number of impressions and clicks for any major keywords have changed and how Your overall traffic looks after the Update. You can also check the Google Analytics Data and compare before and after performance.

The third indicator is Your Top 10 rankings. Check if the number of keywords on the first page has decreased. Are the lost keywords relevant to Your business and do they show high search volumes?

The winners of the December Core Update

The first data on the Google Core Update December 2020 has shown that the winners cannot be categorized into specific industries or business areas. Competitors within industries have experienced positive as well as negative impacts.

One example is LinkedIn versus Xing. Both domains belong to the same business area. LinkedIn increased in visibility whereas Xing has lost in rankings.

Results Google Core Update December 2020

The blue indicator (27) signifies the December Update. The above diagram shows how the visibility of both domains are showing major changes.

The losers of the December Core Update

One of the losers have been dictionaries and encyclopedias.

Going back to October where Google updated its Search Quality Rater Guidelines, Google has significantly changed how it treats dictionaries and lexicons in the SERPs.

The details can be found under “Rating Dictionary and Encyclopedia Results for Different Queries”. The changes made in October are now to a great extent shown in the loss of visibility of domains in this area.

Losers of the December Core Update