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The January 2020 Google Core Update

Google updates its search algorithm with what they call Broad Core Updates a few times a year. With 2020 off to a rough start with potential war, a virus outbreak, and other world events, it’s only fitting that Google decided January would be a great time to start rolling out a new one. Titled the January 2020 Google Core Update, rollouts began on January 13, 2020. Here’s the Twitter announcement from Google itself:
While rollouts began the 13th, they didn’t start winding down until January 16, 2020. Here’s the official announcement from Google’s official Twitter feed:

What Is A Google Broad Core Update?

Core updates are large, broad updates that Google makes to its search algorithm directly. Google also makes smaller updates and tweaks randomly throughout the year, but those small adjustments are nothing compared to a broad core update. For more information on broad core updates, check out our article on the subject here.

What Was The Impact Of The January 2020 Google Core Update?

The update only recently finished rollouts, so the changes aren’t entirely transparent yet. However, so far, we’ve seen the typical rank and traffic changes expected by Core Updates. As usual, the personal-finance and medical fields took the biggest hit, but several SEOs from other fields have also reported drops in traffic. Yet, some SEOs have even reported significant gains since the rollout of the January 2020 Google Core Update. To see what other SEOs are saying about this recent update, check out the forums over at webmasterworld.com

Can You Do Anything To Mitigate The Negative Impact Of A Core Update?

The short answer here is “no.” There is nothing you can really do to prepare for or mitigate the effects of a Core Update. Remember, Google wants to cater to its users, presenting the content that fits their needs best. It doesn’t care about how well your business does online. In fact, as we’ve quoted before, Danny Sulivan from Google has said:
“There’s nothing to ‘fix’ for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content.” – Danny Sulivan of Google
So, as usual, our best advice for you after a Core Update is to make sure your site strictly follows the Webmaster Guidelines from Google. Also, remember, if you’ve taken a hit from a Core Update, be patient. Sometimes things work themselves out a couple of weeks after a rollout as Google continues to make adjustments to the algorithm.

Our January 2020 Google Core Update Conclusions

After this update, as usual, medical and personal finance sites reportedly took the biggest hits. The rest of the web seemed to stagnate, with similar numbers of SEOs reporting gains as losses. To help mitigate the effects of the update, especially if you run a personal finance or medical website, make sure your site follows the Webmaster Guidelines as best as possible. And, if you’d like help after taking a big hit from a Core Update, then contact the SEO professionals here at Goldstein Brossard. We’re always here to help!