Google January 2020 Core Update, a preliminary assessment

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Strong fluctuations among italian SERPs, mostly on the pages following the first one, and big volatility in Top10 for UK SERPs: 10 days after the announcement, the Google January 2020 Core Update keeps on leaving big footsteps in its trail and, thanks to the SEOZoom’s Observatory and to the news gathered from other sources, we can start to draw an initial balance – totally temporary and in progress – on this new search engine algorithm’s update.

Google’s update on January 2020

But let’s take a quick walk down memory lane: the 13th January 2020, around 9 o’clock in the morning back in California, the @searchliaison official account informed us all that the January 2020 Core Update has been launched, a new Google update and, of course, the absolute first of the year. e ovviamente primo dell’anno. Already a few days earlier than that, to be frank, we noticed some movements inside the SERPs, that intensified right after the release of the update.
Analisi SERP Italia e UK dopo update

SEOZoom’s photograph of the actual effects

With SEOZoom we were able to take a picture of the effects of this update on search results pages both in Italy and the UK: for now it only is an overview, that does not deepen which are the actual industries affected nor the sites affected by the ranking variations, but anyway it could be an interesting compass in order to understand the real magnitude of the broad core update.

Effetti Google update in Italia

The fluctuations on Google Italy

Apparently, here in Italy the variations have been really mild in the days directly following the announcement, to then starting to increase their intensity from the 20th of January on, reaching their peak on the 21st when our Observatory registered an activity of big variations close to the 30%. This could mean that the Google update just started to “make some noise” in our SERPs, hence confirming the initial feeling of quite the “big” update.

Come cambiano le SERP UK

Strong movements on Google UK

A week up on rollercoasters for Google UK, instead: SEOZoom’s data show quite a high level of movements both among first page‘s fluctuations and within big variations, in this case too with a following increase of activity. If for us here in Italy though – for now – the frenzy mainly influenced the pages from second on, in the United Kingdom the first Google page too was affected, with ranking changes in the Top10 a lot higher than the standard.

The analysis of international observers

The analysis of other data providers as well, reported by Search Engine Land, come to conclusions fairly similar to our own ones: the Google January 2020 core update has been intense, affected a big number of websites and has still not finished to impact the SERPs.

The update was global and surely not a matter of a single sector, but some observers also noticed movements focused in the YMYL niche, that is constantly under Google’s microscope (and at the center of the September 2019 update of guidelines for quality raters): in particular, substantial movements are reported among the SERP’s TOP positions for the health and finance areas as well as significant changes for lots of other topics.

Was your site affected by the Google update too? Here is what to do

In short, here we go again as after any Google update ever. some sites shoot up – perhaps retrieving traffic they had previously lost – others seems to notice some droppings, some other fields again seems to be more affected than others. During these initial phases there is not much we can do: other than follow the classic Big G’s indications on how to react to algorithmic updates, is good to take a “step back” from all interventions, to try and have a wider view of the site (without only focusing on keywords and dropping pages), to study those competitors who have been rewarded and try to figure out what we can practically do to improve the site in general, which are the areas to optimize and which aspects to begin with.

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