Google December 2020 Core Update
Google released its third Core algorithm update for 2020. The previous two went live about four months apart — in January and May 2020. This makes the December update the longest to roll out this year. Further details are scarce as the update was announced on December 3rd.
About three hours from the initial tweet, a follow-up was released, indicating the update went live.
Google did not release any specific instructions or details on what this update might affect or how webmasters should prepare, stating generic Core update guidelines are sufficient in this case. According to the official statement, it might take several weeks for this Google update to reach full capacity, so we should expect changes to take full effect around December 20th.
There are several speculations being circulated at the moment. The longer-than-usual release might indicate a wider scope, bigger impact, and more dramatic changes than the previous two updates. Or it can be connected to how the pandemic is affecting the development and deployment cycles at Google. And on a different note, rumors around the main subject of this update typically include more E-A-T restrictions.
Since day one, some websites have been reporting a lot of changes in traffic and rankings — sometimes up to 30% from pre-update metrics. No consistency or pattern is yet observed. Regarding the SEO community, the news was met with the customary post-update mild panic on Twitter.
Releasing a Core Search Algorithm update in the middle of the holiday season might not be the best timing, especially for e-commerce and media buyers out there. As noted by Marie Haynes, Matt Cutts might have made a commitment that did not age too well since 2013.