Until now, the SEO community is still speculating about the broad core algorithm update rolled out by Google on the 3rd of December last year. The search giant called it the December 2020 Core Update. I wrote an article about it over two weeks ago and talked about AI and Google BERT. But what does Google do when they roll out a core update?
Why Google Keeps Rolling Out Core Updates?
Google rolls out core updates several times a year when they implement significant changes to their search algorithms and systems. They do this to ensure that what they returned to their users' search queries is relevant and authoritative content.
According to the search giant, unlike other algorithm updates, they always confirm if they roll out broad core updates because these changes usually brought widely notable effects such as drop or rise in website traffic.
Impact of the December 2020 Core Update
Search Engine Land reported that this recent broad core update had significantly impacted affected sites based on RankRanger, SEMRush, SearchMetrics, and Sistrix data. The report mentioned some big websites got a spike increase in traffic, and there are those with significant losses. Check out this comparison between May 2020 Google Core Update and December 2020 Core Update by SearchMetrics.
Credit: Search Engine Land
On the other hand, an independent publisher reported that the December 2020 Core Update doesn't affect much of his fellow independent publishers and bloggers' website traffic. He even concluded that those large sites that were badly hit are those with content that lacks life and personality. I guess what he meant by this is that those websites are too robotic, have no personal touch, and give the impression that their content is mass-produced somewhere.
Putting all the data and experts' observations together, one can conclude that the December 2020 Core Update negatively impacted some big websites with content that lacks relevance and authority.
If you are among those websites that got hit by the December 2020 Core Update, here are some quick tips on how to recover your traffic.
Top Ways to Recover If Your Website Got Hit by the December 2020 Core Update
When a broad core update gets rolled out, there are indeed some winners and losers. For those websites that lose traffic, here are practical tips to help you bounce back.
1. Update your old web pages
Broad core updates are mainly about Google updating their system on how they assess content. If you see a significant drop in your traffic, especially on your web pages that haven't been updated for a year or two, then it's time you evaluate your content and update them.
For example, you own a law firm website with pages about a particular law amendment and haven't revamped those pages with the latest updates about the topic. For sure, your traffic will take a nosedive when a broad core update gets rolled out.
2. Keep on producing new content regularly
This is where blogging and regular press release distribution come in. Google loves fresh content. Maintaining a blog about your business or industry’s relevant topics keeps your website getting indexed by search engines.
Regular press release publication on high authority news websites is also another way of getting your content out there. This also helps you reach other target audiences your website cannot reach.
3. Keep on improving your content
There are many ways to improve your website content aside from writing long-form articles and comprehensive analysis about a particular topic. Putting videos, infographics, and even snippets of your social media posts can humanize your content and make it more relevant.
Live videos and even uploading TikTok on some of your blog posts tell search engine bots that your web page is managed by real human beings and is not mass-produced.
4. Evaluate your link profile
This is probably a piece of redundant advice, but this doesn't get old as links are still part of Google Page Rank factors. If a core update negatively impacts your website, evaluate the webpages you link back to and those that link back to you. Remove everything that comes from spammy portals or those with shady content.
Applying all these practical tips can help you recover your traffic the next time Google will roll out another broad core update.
The December 2020 Core Update is a wake-up call for marketers and website owners to take content quality and relevance to the next level. It's high time for those that got hit badly to re-evaluate their content marketing strategy and how they incorporate SEO into their overall digital marketing plan from now on.
With Google keeping on innovating its algorithm to assess content quality, it is logical that we should also keep on leveling up the quality of content we publish. Blogging, press release distribution, infographics, live videos, long-form articles, and podcasts, for example, can help search engines distinguish which content is crappy and which ones are authentic.
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Source: Qamar Zaman
Release ID: 16421