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Google’s January 2020 Core Update

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6th February 2020 in

It didn’t take long for Google to release its first confirmed core algorithm update of the year, announcing the release of its January 2020 Core Update on January 14.

Here is Google’s announcement:

Right from the get-go, all signs pointed to this update being larger and more impactful to the SEO industry, with a lot of discussion in chatrooms and blogs like Search Engine Roundtable. However, now that the dust has settled, let’s look at the real impact.

Rather than page-specific ranking adjustments, we have witnessed Google changing its approach to evaluating entire domains with the recent core update. It seems Google has placed greater emphasis on ranking factors influenced by expertise, authority, trust and credibility. Moz discuss the changes from the core update in more detail here.

Being a broad core update, the January 2020 update will impact all search results on a worldwide scale. It’s not an update that targets a specific ranking factor that SEO’s can simply improve upon, like the Speed Update. If your rankings have dropped, look at the sites that are now ranking ahead of your content, and consider how you can enhance your content for searchers.

Google says that its core updates are more focused on improving the evaluation of content. Google’s recommendations for SEO’s, whose websites have been affected by a Google update, are to focus on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. When auditing a website, Google suggests considering the following questions:

1.  Content & Quality: Does the website offer original, high-quality content that isn’t just copied from somewhere? Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content?

2. Expertise: Is the content trustworthy? Does the page contain errors? Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?

3. Presentation & Production: Is the content free from spelling or stylistic issues? Does the content seem to be well researched and well produced? Are there too many ads? Does the page load appropriately on all devices?

4. Competitive comparison: Does the website offer added value when compared with its competitors? Does the content fulfil the user’s expectations?

If your site was hit by the core update, we recommend you step back from it all, take a lateral view of your overall website and see what you can do to improve the site overall.

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