Google Update December 2020

google update logo

Google confirmed a couple of days ago via its Twitter account that the algorithm update initiated in early December is now fully deployed.

When the update started?

Google’s algorithm update known as “December 2020” started to go into production on 3 December, with noticeable drops in traffic and volatility on the results page throughout the day.

This was not a regional update targeted at a specific country, market or language, but was launched globally. It is therefore one of Google’s updates classified as a “broad core update” or “general update”, such as those that usually occur several times a year.

Affected sectors

While in other updates there have been sectors and web niches affected in a very noticeable way (such as the famous and devastating Medical Update of August 2018), in the case of this latest major update of the algorithm there have been no niches or sectors clearly more affected than others.

Traffic drops

captura de grafico de trafico search console
In this graphic from Google Search Console you can see the traffic drop

The winners and losers of this update have been quite heterogeneous, with websites losing close to 100% of their organic traffic in a matter of days, others seeing drops of 10% or less and others being unaffected.

According to the Semrush blog, the sectors most affected by this update have been the following:

  • Health and wellness
  • Real Estate
  • Legal
  • Government sites
  • Travel
  • Employment and education

Traffic gains

However, web traffic is neither created nor destroyed, which means that all those sectors that have lost visibility have done so at the expense of the gain of others.

The sectors that have benefited the most from this update are the following:

  • Business and industry
  • Internet and telecommunications
  • Beauty and fitness
  • Arts and entertainment
  • Online communities

What to do if the update has affected your website

In the past Google has given some advice on what to do if your website has been affected by an algorithm update, however on this occasion it has not commented much on what actions to take on your site.

According to Google itself, “just because your website has been affected doesn’t mean there is something wrong with it”.

However, Google has already given some advice in the past on what to consider if an update has penalised your online visibility:

  • Work on providing original content and cite your sources.
  • Try to make the content provide an understandable description of what you want to give to the user.
  • If the content is based on other sources, have you focused only on copying or rewriting those sources or are you really bringing something new to the table?
  • Is your content about that page that you would send to a friend or bookmark because it is so interesting?

In addition to the content itself, we recommend that you pay attention to SEO basics, such as:

  • Load Speed and Web-Core-Vitals
  • Keep your website up to date
  • Here you have the new features of WordPress 5.5 and WordPress 5.6, so if you haven’t updated your WP, do it now.
  • E-A-T