The State of Search: Additional December 2020 Update Tweaks

January was a quieter month for SEO following the rollout of the December 2020 Update. Our sensors reported volatility the first week of January, which may have been a result of additional tweaks to the core algorithm update. Current events that dominate the news--like the presidential inauguration--may have also played a role in SERP fluctuations.

January 2021 SERP Volatility

While core updates rarely center around a single issue or factor, we are confident that Google’s ability to understand user intent improved with the December 2020 Update, based on the changes experienced by our clients’  sites and those of competitors. As Google better understands what users are searching for, it serves better results that more accurately answer user queries.

Google News & Tips

Google News Performance Report

Google has introduced a new report in Search Console to help news publishers better understand user behavior on Google News on mobile and desktop. 

Determining Quality

Google considers all of a site’s pages to determine quality. Noindex, remove, or update pages with thin content to improve the overall quality of the site and pages indexed by Google.

Differentiating Similar Content

Sites with the same or similar content need to do whatever they can to differentiate themselves as Google is unlikely to highlight the same content in the SERPs. Add unique and valuable information that goes beyond what has already been published online about a given topic.

User Feedback

Google frequently encourages webmasters to run user tests to gain insight into how users perceive your site and content.

What this means for you

At REQ, we plan to closely review any changes in your keyword rankings since the December 2020 update and analyze the content that outranks your site. We’ll also be looking for ways to differentiate your content from competitors in a way that’s unique, valuable, and compelling. A quiet month for Google is also the perfect time to closely review your site content, page by page, and analyze organic performance. Ensure the functionality of links, videos, images, etc. that would directly impact UX if they do not work as expected.

Let’s talk.