Gemini Insights

Google December 2020 Core Algorithm Update: Content & SEO are the Recipe for Success

Content Marketing | Digital Marketing News | SEO

Of course, Google is ending 2020 with a bang. On December 3rd, Google announced that they released a core algorithm update. Like any other algorithm change, this one has the ability to shake things up… and we wouldn’t want it any other way. We love a challenge.

Google normally releases a core algorithm update every few months. However, this one took longer to roll out, as the last broad core update happened  in May of 2020. But, just when we thought the holidays would be algorithm update-free, Google gifts us with a broad core update to enjoy as we sip hot cocoa, sit by the fire, and research tirelessly to figure out if our websites are going to make it out alive. You know, all the normal holiday activities! 

Results from Google algorithm updates can be perplexing. Some sites thrive when others take a dive. But, we promise, these results aren’t arbitrary; there’s rhyme and reason, and we’re here to clear the air. The answer to increasing site traffic and visibility and thriving during an algorithm update might just be as simple as peanut butter and jelly, wine and cheese, pencil and paper… the ultimate dream team: content and seo, and here’s why. 

How the Algorithm Update Impacted SERP Volatility & Keyword Visibility and Why it Matters 

With the December core algorithm update, many sites across all industries experienced high SERP volatility

SERP volatility measures the changes of website rankings in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). The higher volatility, the more fluctuation there is in website rankings. It’s not surprising that we’re seeing an uptick in SERP volatility this month; it’s quite common to have higher volatility when there is a Google algorithm update.  

However, due to the current volatility of keyword positions, keyword visibility is a more accurate representation of the overall state of a keyword. The keyword visibility percentage provides a birds-eye-view into a website’s progress in Google’s top 100 positions for a group of keywords. 

This means, the higher a website’s keyword visibility percentage is, the more likely they are to bring new visitors to the website. This is where the incomparable combination of SEO and content come into play. 

Patience—With Content & SEO—is a Virtue

If this algorithm update has proven anything to us, it’s that if you want your website to roll with the punches, you need a strategic content and SEO plan in place. When it comes to creating quality content backed by a solid SEO strategy, results are often a slow burn. This is very different from something like PPC, for example, which commonly provides quicker results. 

However, in this case, quicker doesn’t mean better. From the results we’ve seen, the December 2020 algorithm update has impacted sites differently depending on what their content and SEO practices were before it rolled out. We found that the December update impacted our clients’ sites positively. This is because we work hard to ensure that our SEO and content strategies work together to produce exceptional results. 

Not all content is created equal, however. If content is being produced quickly, lazily, and without strategy, there’s a good chance that it will see negative results during an algorithm update. Quality content does not include: 

  • Keyword stuffing. Packing your content with keywords without thinking of the quality of the piece as a whole won’t fly. 
  • Unsupported backlinking. Including backlinking in content just for the sake of including it will not benefit you in the long run. The piece of content needs to match the quality of the backlinks. 
  • Typos or incorrect information. Content that is outdated, duplicated, or riddled with mistakes will not thrive after the most recent algorithm update and will not increase site traffic. 

The moral of the story is that when it comes to content, it’s about quality not quantity. Each piece of content needs to appeal to both Google’s algorithm updates as well as to the human reader. The days of keyword stuffing, unnecessary backlinking, and quick and dirty blog posts, are over. 

Content & SEO: The Gift That Keeps on Giving 

At Gemini, we don’t stay on top of the latest trends, we stay ahead. That’s why our clients continued to thrive despite the Google December algorithm update. By creating and executing content and SEO strategies that work together, our clients’ sites were able to come out on top. Don’t take our word for it, check out the results below: 

B2C Client Results 

Average Position

With the client represented in this chart above, the results were almost immediate. The average keyword position increased from 66.82 to 53.09 within the first day of the algorithm update being released! This means that more users are seeing the client’s website higher in their search results

Visibility

Not only did the keyword position improve for this client, keyword visibility spiked from 3.79% to 4.68% within the first day. With the average position and overall visibility increase, searchers are more likely to see and visit the website. 

B2B Client Results

Average Position 

It can take up to 1 to 2 weeks to see the full effects of an algorithm update. This particular client saw the most change within 3 days of the update being released. The average position increased from 93.17 to 86.30. Most notably, the website started ranking for 22 new keywords after the algorithm update that they were previously not ranking for in the first 100 Google results. 

Visibility

Because this client had a big increase in keyword positions, we were not surprised to see that their keyword visibility increased as well. Their keyword visibility percentage increased from 2.09% to 2.87% within the first three days of the algorithm update. 

Interested in seeing results like this for your website? Get in touch with Gemini to give your SEO and content plan a boost! We can help set your site up for success… no matter what Google throws your way.  

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