January 2020

What happened?

This update seemed to affect everyone but mainly the health and finance industries the most. This has happened before and will happen again — these industries are highly sensitive as any websites with less than stellar information will affect people more than they will in other industries. Retail and travel may have also seen a reasonable difference in their rankings.

Those affected by Google’s previous Core Updates are likely to have been impacted here too. The fluctuations seem to be decreasing slightly with each major update as Google becomes more and more certain about the sites that should be near the top.

Action needed

Concentrate on great content

Great content is what searchers are looking for, and therefore, why Google cares. To back this up, sites that were hit hardest by this update usually had lower quality content — and less of it — than those whose ranking increased.

This is going to come up time and time again, so researching content marketing and really looking into what your visitors want to see. Search Google for the same products or services that you offer and see what those websites are doing for content (mainly on their blog) to give you ideas. The sites on the first page of Google are there for a reason, so learn from them.

Ranking factors

Well crafted, unique(ish) content

Content is king. It’s a well-known saying in the marketing world, and it’s been true for some time now. Great content will draw people in and keep them there. Google is interested in this because it shows that the site is popular for certain keywords and those pages should be shown before competitors.

I say “unique(ish)” because usually no matter what you write about, someone else already has. So you’d need to do some pretty damn good research and analysis of your own to be truly unique. Even then, it won’t be for long before others catch on and copy your idea.

So, for the rest of us who don’t have the luxury of the time needed for this, you’ll have to find some good ideas by taking a look at competitors on the first page of Google to see what they’re saying and then write your own take on the subject.

This is a fairly difficult topic, but certainly doable, and you can learn a lot more about it in my DIY videos.

A great brand

Investing in your website will mean that more people see the name, remember it, and search for it. This tells Google to pay more attention to your site if users are visiting yours over a competitor’s.




Mainly large websites (winners): Some large websites also lost out but it’s part of the winners because they’re more likely to have a solid brand that people revisit. They’re also more likely to create content regularly.

Trustworthy sites (winners): Trustworthy in a sense that you feel like they take security seriously so you’re not going to contract any digital viruses, and you think they’ll have the information or products that you need, as they usually do.

Those with great content (winners): Fresh, original content keeps people coming back, and these winners know that, so they have a solid content strategy for creating new posts and updating old ones.

A mix of all size websites (losers): Seeing as this update was mainly about content and a trusted brand, websites of all sizes were affected.

Largely not destination sites (losers): By that, I mean a website where you visit directly because you know they’ll give you what you need. Making sure you have a destination site will tell Google that you’re more important that your competitors. To do this, you’ll need to invest heavily in time and money to ensure it provides the right information, products, or services for your desired keywords.

Thin content and without a plan (losers): Creating a website and then leaving it without updating for a long time tells Google that it’s not as important as someone else’s who constantly update their blog and add other useful pages such as whitepaper/ebook downloads and new products or services etc.


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