What You Need To Know About Google's 2020 Core Updates

What You Need To Know About Google’s 2020 Core Updates

Google updated its algorithms twice in 2020, and those updates could mean big changes to your company’s rankings on search engines. To respond to these changes, update your internet marketing strategy. A new focus on content creation is the best response to the rollout.

What Are Google Core Updates and Why Should You Care?

As you know, your search engine ranking (SERP or SEO) is the primary way to ensure your company’s website ranks high when customers look for your product or service. It takes a lot of hard work to get your site high on those search results. You have probably spent time figuring out how to work with Google’s algorithms and use the right keywords to keep you high on the list. Now, a sudden change to the way those algorithms work can upend your entire internet marketing strategy. Some sites saw big drops in their SERP rankings after the last updates, which occurred in January and May 2020.

Reasons for the Update

Why did this happen? Google does this periodically to ensure websites maintain useful, high quality content. In Google’s own words, “Several times a year, we make significant, broad changes to our search algorithms and systems. We refer to these as ‘core updates.’ They’re designed to ensure that we’re delivering on our mission to present relevant, authoritative content to searchers. These core updates may also affect Google Discover.” Do these rollouts help or harm? That depends on what you’re doing with your site. The rollouts are a way to clear out websites that aren’t providing outstanding content. They can also push deserving sites to the top.

What This Means for Your Website and SEO Strategy

We think the rollouts are good for everyone. In our consulting work, we focus on improving user signals and creating authoritative content. In our experience, these updates allow our clients to see where they need to focus their marketing and content creation approaches. For instance, some sites dropped dramatically in search result rankings. That doesn’t mean they’re poor quality sites. It means they have some problems with their content, indexing or advertising that they need to address. For these sites, the drop is a wake up call that means they need to focus more attention on their websites. The rollouts are an excellent opportunity to adapt and evolve. Other sites moved up in rank. Those sites adjusted their content creation and internet marketing strategy in the right way at the right time. That’s not a matter of luck. It comes from a relentless focus on delivering excellent content and increasing user signals.

How To Respond To Google’s Updates

Are you concerned about these updates? They can have a serious effect on your SERP rankings. The best response is to create unstoppably great content that’s irresistible to Google’s algorithms.

Learn to EAT

Fortunately, Google has spelled out exactly what to do if you want to improve or maintain your ranking. Your content must be match the acronym EAT, which means it’s expert, authoritative and trustworthy. How do you know if your content matches up? Google suggests several questions you should ask to ensure it meets those criteria.

Is It Expert?

  • Do you provide original reporting, information or analysis?
  • Is your coverage of a topic substantial and comprehensive?
  • Does your content provide analysis or information beyond the obvious?
  • Does the headline or title provide a helpful description of the content?
  • Is this a page you would bookmark or share with a friend?

Is It Authoritative?

  • Does the content invite trust with clear sourcing or evidence of the author’s expertise?
  • Is it written by someone who clearly knows and enjoys the topic?
  • Is it factually accurate?
  • Would you feel comfortable using this information to make a decision about your health or your money?

Is It Trustworthy?

  • Does the content use proper spelling and grammar?
  • Does it seem to be written sloppily or in a hurry?
  • Does the content display well on mobile layouts?
  • Does it seem geared to be genuinely useful to its users, or does it seem to be an obvious attempt to rank well in search engines?
To sum it up, content must be genuinely useful to your readers. It must also be regularly updated with new information. Are you having trouble coming up with a consistent amount of expert, trustworthy and regularly updated content? Consider outsourcing your content creation to a consulting company that specializes in SEO marketing strategies.

Other Factors That Can Affect Your Ranking

While your internet marketing efforts should focus on producing outstanding content, other elements of your website might need a makeover.

An Overly Competitive Niche

If there are a lot of sites that cover the same material you do, you must find a way to stand out. One way is to narrow down your niche audience to a small, specific but loyal subset. Your content must be relevant to those customers.

Aggressive Advertising

Advertising that takes up a lot of room or flashes across the page when people are trying to read will turn users off. They’ll go to another site that’s easier to read. The algorithms are good at spotting websites that are half covered by ads, and will downgrade them in the rankings.

Low User Signals

User behavior can have a powerful effect on your site’s rankings. Spend time improving your user signals, especially your click-through rate and bounce rate.

Obnoxious Affiliate Linking

Like aggressive advertising, affiliate links can clutter up a site. They can also make a site look untrustworthy. Many people use affiliate links to make money on their site. There are ways to do this that are not obnoxious. Seamlessly introducing affiliate links into well-written, informative content is the best way to make money and maintain a high SERP ranking.

Get Help To Stay at the Top

If you want to push your website’s rankings to the top where they belong, talk to the experts at McCrossen Marketing and Consulting. Our San Antonio agency specializes in online marketing for companies of all sizes. We can clean up your website, improve its performance and produce a consistent stream of expert, authoritative content. Contact us today to get started.  
Matt McCrossen
Matt McCrossen

Matt McCrossen is the founder and President of McCrossen Consulting LLC, an award winning San Antonio based marketing company. Matt is the Internet Marketing Association's 2015 Distinguished Graduate and is a Certified Internet Marketer (CIM). He serves on the board of directors as the vice president for two San Antonio nonprofits, is the former City Council's Small Business Advocacy board chairman, honors graduate of the Bill Greehey School of Business, St. Mary's University, and decorated US Army Military Intelligence Veteran.

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