Google announced the morning of December 3rd, that a new core algorithm was going to be released. They’re calling this new update the ‘December 2020 Core Update’ which is in line with the last few public algorithm updates. In the announcement, Google added this update is no different from any other core algorithm update released in recent years. Citing the latest update is part of several core algorithm updates made every year. Google continued by referenced their 2019 webmaster blog post covering how websites can weather and even thrive after algorithm updates. 


A Quick Recap

Just as a quick reference guide from Google’s post.

  • Hundreds of algorithms are released every year, some large and some small.
  • Core updates are designed to ensure search results are the best they can be. 
  • There is nothing “wrong” with a page if it doesn’t perform as well after an update.
  • Core updates apply to everyone, which is why they are often pre-announced.
  • They suggest focusing on content emphasizing creation and quality.
    • Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author or the site that publishes it, such as through links to an author page or a site’s About page?
    • If you researched the site producing the content, would you come away with an impression that it is well-trusted or widely-recognized as an authority on its topic?
    • Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?
    • Is the content free from easily-verified factual errors?
    • Would you feel comfortable trusting this content for issues relating to your money or your life?
  • They also suggest giving a critical eye to your content in regards to expertise. 
    • Is the content free from spelling or stylistic issues?
    • Was the content produced well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
    • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
    • Does the content have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
    • Does content display well for mobile devices when viewed on them?
  • Lastly they suggest comparing your content to your competitors and those currently ranking.
    • Does the content provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
    • Does the content seem to be serving the genuine interests of visitors to the site or does it seem to exist solely by someone attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
  • Finally they cover E-A-T and how it can affect a website’s ranking (especially after a core update).- For more on this we cover it here

In the afternoon, Google updated their tweet with another one noting the start of the core update rolling out. They also added the update would likely take about 1-2 weeks before completely finalizing. 



Who was impacted by the December 2020 Core Update

For now things are just beginning to roll out, after a few days we will begin seeing winners and losers in terms of rankings. After we and others within the industry have had a chance to see these changes and share our findings. We can begin formulating who this update will impact and the likely reasons why.  This will likely take 2-3 weeks from now at the earliest with the best picture probably 4-5 weeks away. If you are curious how algorithm updates are identified and ultimately diagnosed we cover it in depth here.

We will continue to update this post as we learn more about Google’s latest algorithm update.


Colton is the former Director of SEO Strategy at Boostability testing and defining the products and processes that make Boostability's customers successful. He was part of Boostability for over 8 years. Colton loves hanging out with his family and gaming. He runs a personal blog over at where he discusses gaming, life, and SEO.