What Does the Core Update Mean for Your Search Marketing Program?


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Google’s January 2020 Core Update has rolled out recently, and the updated algorithm is expected to affect search results across the globe. What do you need to know about the changes, and how might they affect your search marketing?

The Latest Broad Core Update

The latest Google update will affect search results around the world, Google has noted. Unlike updates that target specific functions — such as the Speed Update — core updates do not provide a useful basis for web masters to make specific changes to improve search results.

Google has compared core updates to how a list of favorite movies might work — with the list changing over time as new movies are released. A specific movie might drop in rank on the list, but the movie itself has not changed.

A core update may mean that certain pages move up in the rankings, while others move down. Google rolls out so-called broad core algorithm updates several times each year.

Some SEO pros and webmasters felt that the previous core update, released in September 2019, did not impact pages as significantly as did prior updates. However, we expect Google’s newest update to cause major gains or losses for at least some pages.

What to Do if Your Rankings Drop

Bear in mind that pages that drop in rankings are not necessarily flawed. As with the movie list example, a core update simply reevaluates existing pages against content that webmasters have published since the previous update. Core updates also may compare existing pages to those that were missed in a prior update.

Although a drop in the rankings does not indicate that something has gone wrong with specific pages, we do anticipate noticeable changes in rank — which could include either gains or losses — for many pages.

In the wake of the new core update, consider keeping a close eye on your pages to determine if rankings either improve or worsen. If rankings do drop, take a look at pages that have moved ahead of your pages, and assess what steps you can take to provide thorough information for searchers.

If you notice that any of your pages lose rank in search results, you may not be able to pinpoint the exact cause. However, you can take a look at the overall quality of your content and work with your SEO/PPC team to improve body copy, headlines and other elements to ensure a thorough analysis of your topic.


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