Google’s December 2020 Broad Core Update

15 Dec, 2020 Google News

Google announced on December 3rd via Twitter that they would be launching a board core algorithm update called the December 2020 Core Update. The last core update was in May of 2020, so it is surprising that Google rolled out another update in this calendar year. The rollout officially started on December 3rd, and if this rollout is anything like the May core update, it will take about two weeks to be fully implemented.

What Does it Mean when a Google Broad Core Algorithm is Updated?

When Google changes, tweaks, or updates their main search algorithm, they are altering various ranking factors by changing their importance or value. For a site to rank high on the SERP, they need to meet the updated standards. This means that a core algorithm update can change your website’s SERP rankings and traffic numbers.

Online Chatter

People immediately saw the impact of the December 2020 Core Update and were buzzing about the initial changes they were seeing.

Here is some of what people were saying initially:

  • Drops in traffic
  • Sudden traffic surges and then no traffic
  • Traffic plunged prior to Google’s announcement
  • Drop in SERP rankings
  • A few sites have reported overall gains
  • Some sites are not affected at all
  • Few positive SERP movements

It seemed like this update was launched very quickly, and users speculated that it was fully rolled out in only 48 hours. However, public liaison for search for Google Danny Sullivan refuted the rumors that the December 2020 Broad Core Update was fully rolled out. About a day after Sullivan’s announcement, users saw a “second wave” of major activity, which is garnering similar reactions.

Some online users saw huge improvements in traffic, but after a few days, that traffic dropped significantly. Other users commented that the update is causing unusual movements for them, and until it is fully rolled out, they are not sure what their numbers will look like. A majority of users are seeing overall drops in traffic and rankings, but some are seeing their traffic and ranking return to where they were before the core update dropped.

The Timing of the Rollout

The December 2020 Broad Core Update seems to be affecting people differently, but most users are seeing drops in traffic and rankings. While some people are seeing gains that are relatively uncommon as it currently stands, traffic numbers are expected to stabilize again as the rollout continues. Until the December 2020 Broad Core Update is completely rolled out, it will be difficult to predict what will happen to traffic numbers.