What you need to know about the January 2020 Core Google Update

Core Updates are often accompanied by a flurry of activity but it is always important to know what they are and what to do after them so that you avoid taking the wrong actions. Below we discuss Core Updates and what they could mean for your business and website’s SEO strategy.

What is a Core Update?

Google is constantly making small changes to the way that their search engine functions but every so often they will make a larger change, called a Core Update. These are generally far more noticeable than the small tweaks that they are making in the background and can have a bigger impact on your website.

What effect does a Core Update have?

After a Core Update, some websites will notice significant gains or losses that are not just part of the usual fluctuations that occur in the search results. You may notice after a Core Update that your website has gained or lost a few positions for some or all of your keywords. It is nearly impossible to predict which websites will be affected by an update but generally as long as your website is following Google’s Best Practice Guidelines, your site is unlikely to incur any major damage.

What was the January 2020 Core Update for?

It is not always entirely clear what a Google Core Update was for but they are normally aimed at making the search results show the most relevant, informative and trustworthy results show. Occasionally you may notice that a site that is objectively worse (be that less informative, lacking in content or just generally worse) will slip through the cracks and receive a better position so you will have to compare your site to theirs to see why. There has been a subsequent update to featured snippets that have affected the number of results shown on the page.

What to do after a Google Core Update

What should you do after a Core Update?

If you lost rankings

The first thing is not to assume that there is anything necessarily wrong with your website if it went down in the rankings. It is normally the case that a site that wasn’t getting a higher position has now been re-evaluated and believed to deserve a better position. If you had a manual action placed upon your website, you should take a look at the reasons why and then address these issues so that you can improve the website and submit it for checking by Google. If you have not had a manual action but you have lost rankings, take the opportunity to review those sites and see what it is that they have been doing better – and then do it even better than them. You could also take a look at Google Ads campaigns to see how this could benefit your business.

If you gained rankings

Going up in the search results is fantastic news but the results can fluctuate and normalise over time so by all means be happy and celebrate but don’t let it make you complacent. There will still be work to do to keep your rankings, especially as other websites might then be working to regain the rankings they lost and take them back. Don’t forget to keep monitoring your rankings and traffic so that you will be aware of any changes that occur down the line.

Speak to the experts

The world of Google updates and changes can be daunting so if you’re struggling to understand what the January 2020 Core Update will mean for you, get in touch with our expert team at boxChilli and as an SEO agency, we will be able to help you improve and maintain your rankings, with a strategy that encompasses all areas of SEO that are relevant to your website’s needs.

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