Google January 2020 Core Update: What publishers need to know about it

On the 13th of Jan, Google announced that it’s rolling out a core algorithm update. By the end of the week, the update will settle and SEOs and webmasters will be able to fully understand if and how their web properties have been affected.

Google January 2020 Core Update

Google’s official statement: 

 “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.”

Google Core updates now happen a few times per year, and if we have to be honest, not all of them have been announced. Not to mention that Google applies algorithm changes pretty much every day. In a previous article, we have discussed the most recent ones. Here, we will review the January 2020 core update.

What the January Core Update is all about?

The January Update rolled out earlier this week and it is expected to settle down by the end of this week. So far what some of the webmasters have noticed is that their rankings have been affected. Some of them haven’t been hit at all, yet a few other publishers out there have confirmed that their organic traffic has dropped. Like any other core update, widely noticeable effects are to be expected. Keep an eye on the SERPs, as a result of the update, some publishers may notice the following: 

  • Dropping keywords 
  • Losing rich snippets even if they were previously visible in the SERPs 
  • Dropping rank positions even for fresh and expert-written content
  • Overall changes in the organic traffic

Our advice is to pay extra attention to your rankings in the days and weeks to come and look for drops or gains in search rankings. If you are experiencing some rankings drops, take a closer look at what is now ranking ahead. Look throughout your competitors’ content in comparison to yours and consider if you need to readjust it to match better searchers’ queries. After all, this is what Google’s algorithm is all about.

How to recover if you got hit?

As usual, Google has given very little away. After every core update, their advice on what steps to take if you are negatively impacted is to check their Webmaster Central Blog. However, the result of a negative ranking is not necessarily a sign that there is something wrong with your web pages. So, don’t panic and don’t start changing your website just yet. First of all, make sure you understand what is going on, is it your website as a whole that the update has affected or its just a few of your webpages that struggle at the moment. Be considerate when you take action. If you haven’t been hit by the core algorithm update, then simply sit back, relax and keep on doing what you have been doing so far. Obviously, it works.

What’s next

Very little is yet known about the repercussions of Google’s January 2020 Core Update, so it’s too early to say what the industry’s response will be. If you’d like to dig a little bit deeper, John Lincoln’s early analysis of the Google January 2020 update is a fantastic source for some additional information. Stay tuned over the following weeks and we’ll share more information on the subject as it becomes available.