When it seemed that everything could be postponed to the new year, here Google decided to surprise once again the community that operates online and to close 2020 with a new update to the basic algorithm engaged in the search system. For a few hours now, in fact, the December 2020 Core Update has started, which is already making SERPs and sites around the world dance a bit: here is what we know so far.

Here comes the December 2020 Google Core Update

As usual now, the release of the important update has been anticipated by very little on Twitter, with the now traditional chirping that serves to mentally prepare all those who are engaged in activities related to the search engine (and that usually only increases the anxiety further!).

L'annuncio su Twitter del December 2020 Core Update

And so, more or less from 13 ET on December 3 came into operation the update of the algorithm, which will need one or two weeks for completion and full throttle, helping to determine the fate of the sites and to ensure that the queries of users always get relevant answers.

What to do in the event of drops in the site’s rankings

When you experience an update to search ranking algorithms, a site can do better or worse in search results. Obviously, most SEO professionals mainly “notice” and complain about declines, which is why Google has offered some advice on interventions for a site negatively hit by a core update.

In fact, there is not much to do but study the project: there are no specific actions to take to recover – there is no fix, no correction – since a negative impact of the update on the ranking does not mean that there is “something wrong in your pages”.

Verifying the search intent and content quality

Beyond these reassuring words – which are basically repeated at each release of an update – there are of course some operations that we can begin to plan and implement, starting by verifying whether there has been a general shift in the search interest towards a particular topic or whether the search intent of one of our content that has lost ranking has changed.

Anyway, knowing that a drop is the result of an algorithmic change by Google instead of linked to other external factors allows us to better circumscribe the area on which to work to try the comeback.

Moreover, we can immediately refer to the list of questions to assess the quality of a site developed by Google’s public Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, which help us to understand if the content proposed are still valid in the light of new “expectations” of Google and users, thus offering guidance on any deficiencies to be resolved and elements to be improved.

Recovery times after a core update

On previous occasions, moreover, Google had also provided some information on the recovery times for a site affected by a core update: generally, it is believed that for a full ascent you may also need to wait for a new broad core update, but John Mueller admitted that there is also a chance to improve the ranking “in the period between the two updates”.

Obviously, much depends on the cases and the types of situation that led to the decline: if the site presented serious quality problems, probably will have to wait for a new broad core update for recovery (assuming that he really managed to solve them all), however, problems of a smaller scale may show positive results in less time.

All the Google’s 2020 updates

The December 2020 Broad Core Update is the third update of the basic algorithm of the search engine of this calendar year (the same number of 2019 broad core updates , albeit at different times of the year) and comes a long time after the previous, compared to the timing we were getting used to.

The most recent basic update was in fact the May 2020 Core Update, which was quite extensive and took a couple of weeks for the full launch; the previous one dates back to the beginning of January – the January 2020 Core Update. It is likely that the pandemic has also had an impact on the release of Google’s main updates and, given the increase in time between interventions, many observers think (and fear) that the impact of this December update may be more incisive.

Call to action