Google Algorithm Update: January 2020

Google announced the latest core update to its search algorithm, pushing out to the entire globe what they’ve been testing in certain markets for months:

What new Google Updates happened to Google Search?

Google rolled out several massive changes to their search screen over the past month or so, with the final update on January 16th, 2020. (Though Google says the full update could take a few weeks.) The search leader has been testing new designs for the Search/SERPs and is finally taking it live to all users worldwide. 

The broad core update should drastically change rankings for many websites, as Google’s broad updates in the past have always been pretty substantial changes and had a serious effect on sites.

Webmasters should be monitoring their traffic or hiring a firm to monitor their analytics and audience data for them to see how, if any, changes occurred. Sites can see both negative and positive effects both large and small. 

What is a Broad Core Update?

Google updates their search algorithm thousands of times a year, but most updates are small and inconsequential improvements or tweaks and don’t shake up the entire web. A broad core update, however, is a wider scope and larger change that is expected to significantly change the rankings and positions of many sites.

Simply put, broad core updates are a much bigger deal and it’s important for webmasters and site owners to be aware of new focuses and changes to the Google algorithm that could dramatically alter their site’s organic traffic. 

The 2020 Google Update is Changing Things

As you might expect, the 2020 Broad Core Update has been showing significant changes. Many of the most trusted SEO companies on earth have noticed large-scale fluctuations on SERPs for major search terms.

Users are reporting Algoroo, Moz Cast, Rank Ranger, SEMRush and SERPMetrics have all seen changes and reported shifts in rankings that are significant enough to seriously help and/or hurt certain sites. 

So what changed in the new Google 2020 Update?

What exact changes do site owners need to make? This is less of a technical algorithm change, and Google is not giving many details on the exact alterations, but like all rollouts of broad core changes of their organic search engine, the E-A-T method is the clearest direction on how to recover from any lost traffic: Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness.

These content attributes and site user experiences come from making great, long-form content that gets links and citations from other well-known sites, that users read and users trust. 

This sounds pretty straightforward, and in many ways it is. SEO is no longer about clever tricks and blackhat methods but simply delivering great content to the user.

Google’s new update seems to backup that methodology, by focusing on and rewarding simple, great content that users engage with and want to share. Developing great content is the place to start for SEO in the 2020s.