Google’s Holiday Gift: A Broad Core Update

Will Your Site Be on Google’s Naughty or Nice List?

Google December 2020 core updateOn the morning of December 3, Google announced on Twitter it would roll out a core algorithm update later that day.

This was a major surprise to many digital marketers as they did not expect a core update until early next year. With the nearness of the holiday season and the pandemic still underway, the assumption was Google would not be looking to cause any major disruptions.

Industry Reaction

Representatives of Google in the past have stated that they “try to minimize updates right before holidays,” but as marketer Marie Haynes noted on Twitter that statement did not age well.

And according to a poll from Rusty Brick, owner of SERoundtable, 41.9% of 620 responders thought the update had bad timing:

The Impact So Far

Given that it has only been a few days since the release of the update, and such updates can take about two weeks to take full effect, there is not much to note on what has come of the change so far.

However, Glenn Gabe, an SEO consultant and notable figure in the community, has shared some of what he is seeing so far on Twitter:

One thing that was noticed quickly was the arrival of new icons on mobile search results that allude to page experience and core web vitals:

page experience icon

(Source: SERoundtable)

Originally, this addition was slated to be included in the upcoming May 2021 core update, but it seems that testing has started sooner.

What You Should Focus On

While it is understandable to get caught up in how core updates can have negative effects on your website, here are five things that Areej AbuAli, founder of Women in Tech SEO and in-house SEO manager, shared to remind marketers of what they are in control of.

  1. Communication with your clients, teams, and business partners
  2. Reporting and monitoring of important metrics of yourself and competitors
  3. Keeping theories at bay and viewing your site as a whole
  4. Sharing your findings and interacting with the marketing community to help each other
  5. Evaluating and planning effective strategies for the future, whether your site is impacted or not

On top of this great advice, we also advise you to just keep a close eye on your rankings for the remainder of the month, and continue to practice good SEO techniques on-page, off-page, locally, and technically. This will ensure your website is consistently at its best from every standpoint.

Need Help Recovering?

If you find that your business has been impacted from the core update and you want to regain SEO traffic and leads, we can help. Reach out today.

Sarah Blocksidge

About the Author

Sarah Blocksidge

Sarah is the Marketing Director at Sixth City Marketing and has been with the company since 2016. Her main role is to attract more B2B clients for the company via various SEO, web design, and PPC strategies. Over the years, she has been mentioned on HubSpot, Search Engine Land, GoDaddy, Content Marketing Institute, Fast Company, and Mashable.

Our Partners & Awards