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Google December 2020 Core Update is Live- Here Is What We See Now

Google December 2020 Core Update is Live- Here Is What We See Now

Seven months ago, in May 2020, Google had announced its last core updates. Ever since the pandemic broke out and things got rough for many worldwide, professionals in the digital marketing realm thought that this was probably the final core update for this year. With only a few days left for the year to end, it was obvious for everyone to think that the next core update from Google would come now in 2021.

The surprise Christmas gift was announced and rolled out by Google on 3rd December 2020. The broad core algorithm update is named the December 2020 Core Update. The official handle of Google took to Twitter to announce the rollout. The handle mentioned that though the rollout had started on 3rd December, it would take about one to two weeks for the complete rollout to happen. Truly a Xmas gift, the rollout would finish off by the time the final week of the year is here.

  • Early signs

It is the third core update announced this year. Before the official announcement came through, there were signs that this update could be substantially more impactful than the earlier one.

  • Start of rollout

The rollout was live from 1300 hours on 3rd December 2020.

  • Impact of the last rollout

Websites felt the effects of the last update in May all across the domain within the first 24-hours. It took about two weeks approximately for the full-blown impacts to be felt by almost every site.

  • First core update

The first core update for this year was launched in January 2020 and was aptly called the January 2020 core update.

Key takeaways

Any Google core update remains the talk of the town for a long time to come. The bad timing of the December Core Update is also being viewed quite agitatedly amongst the SEO community. The timing is not so right, for sure! Christmas is around the corner. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed. To top it all, this is 2020, which has seen many upheavals already. The last thing website owners and the SEO community wanted was an upheaval in their site rankings!

Before we move onto understanding the effects being felt by the top websites due to the updates, here are the key takeaways:

  • Google comes with its advice that it always gives out after the release of every core update.
  • Google says that site owners need to invest their time and money in the generation of quality content. Content remains the core of all activities, and Google wants websites and SEOs to follow industry best practices and stay focused on creating good-quality content.
  • Use structured data responsibly and relevantly so that the search engine can identify the right content for every search query.
  • Keep monitoring the SEO activities and ensure that all issues are handled and rectified at the site, there and then.

Google says that different sites will face a different type of issues. Some of the sites will experience recovery as the core updates get fully implemented. However, suppose the site is experiencing negative effects due to the December Core Update rollout. In that case, SEOs and site owners must keep working on the content and SEO practices to enhance the content.

Towards this end, Google says that such site owners and their SEO advisors need to:

  • Run a full site audit so that any existing issues, be it major or minor issues, are addressed effectively.
  • You also need to monitor the ranking of your site online closely. Use a smart ranking tool to ensure that the site’s visibility is not affected adversely due to the Core Updates.

Effects on Rankings felt in the short-term ever since the updates were announced.

  1. Most sites on 4th December registered higher volatility, even sites, and categories like Books & Literature as well as Real Estate that were otherwise unaffected the next day of the rollout.
  2. Industries that usually are not susceptible or experience volatility due to such core updates also reported a few adverse effects.
  3. Websites that belong to industries like Real Estate, Health, Law & Government were the most badly affected. It was seen across mobile and desktop platforms.
  4. Travel and Finance were two other verticals that registered higher volatility rates on the first day in desktop-related searches.
  5. In mobile-related searches, Jobs & Education as well as Pets & Animals, were adversely affected.
  6. It has also been seen that bigger domains have been the worst hit. About 33% of the worst-hit are sites that have more than 10 million visitors every month.
  7. Sectors doing good and have registered positive impact are sectors like – Internet, Telecom, Business & Industrial, Beauty & Fitness; of which Business & Industrial domain is doing the best. Some examples are – LinkedIn, eBay, and Yahoo.
  8. Amongst the losers are Online Communities, Shopping, News, People & Society, Arts & Entertainment, Health, and Games. Jobs & Education and Law & Government are the worst affected. Examples of sites that have lost SERP are – yellow pages and urban dictionary.

Google Core Updates – what website owners need to know

Google algorithm updates are done almost daily. Most of these changes are barely conspicuous. Sometimes, however, the changes are much more than noticeable – they are announced by Google so that concerned stakeholders like webmasters and owners can act or respond relevantly.

As the December 2020 Update, core updates contain a substantial amount of broad changes in the algorithms. The purpose of the core updates is to enable Google to remain synced and aligned to its mission to offer authoritative and relevant content to users. Such updates impact sites notably. Core updates are about improving the overall system of assessing content and is not targeted at any particular site or page. Sites that are negatively affected by such updates should not conclude that there is anything wrong with their site, or, there are any issue needs to be fixed. Many a time, there is nothing to fix at all.

How TikTok and Spotify could win through location based marketing

A huge amount of Generation Z and the millennial population are active users of digital music and entertainment apps. These audiences can only be appealed through creative branding concepts and smart yet subtle advertising. Location Based Marketing (LBM) is the perfect strategy for upcoming brands like TikTok and Spotify to target their audience and increase their reach. The marrying of digital experiences with the physical world of entertainment and monetizing this phenomenon in exchange of personalization is the key takeaway of these brands. Thus LBM would exponentially expand the market with its innovative potential of technology.
Spotify, Swedish award-winning digital music platform that provides access to more than 40 million tracks with more than 207 active monthly users and 96 million paid subscribers. Operating under a ‘freemium’ based model, heavy advertising is necessary to sell premium streaming subscriptions to users. Spotify going local to market itself to people on a much more personal level is a great strategy. For example, partnering up with Starbucks to create playlists of music by people at different locations of Starbucks around the world is a great opportunity to promote their app.

Many music festivals are also targeted to enhance traffic and subscriptions. Another instance of location-based marketing would be the advertisement where Spotify mentions the number of people killed in New York while wearing headphones the previous year. The term “Safety” was used in order to popularise the app and increase brand affinity while addressing social concerns through the listener’s perspective.
TikTok, an app owned by ByteDance, allows users to lip-sync popular audio clips, songs and dialogues. Many attractive features like personalizing videos though filters and live challenges through hashtags contribute to the achievement of one billion downloads in the stores. A very dynamic marketing strategy is needed to promote TikTok to all kinds of audiences.

Location-based marketing proves to be an ally here due to a large number of users in every part of the world. Using local artists and celebrities to promote the brand and selling localized merchandise are creative examples of marketing. Another innovative mass idea was to create contests in various parts of the world through hashtags promoting brands and identities on a local and global level.
A user’s whereabouts, routine, lifestyle through location sensitive technology and partnerships of brands combined is the perfect recipe for an immensely effective, personal advertisement that can appeal to millions together.

Google rolling out more features for responsive search ads, adding 10 languages

Responsive search ads are a dynamic combination of descriptions and headlines which help reach out to target consumers and Google has added new features to the same. RSA is important for every advertiser and the addition of new features show that Google lays prominent importance on the same. Google has rolled out four reporting as well as new feedback tools for responsive search ads. These features will make a strong impact on your ad searches. Details about the new features are listed below.

  • There will be suggested descriptions and headlines which will create new responsive search ads and it will roll out in English at the beginning followed by other languages.
  • In order to make it easier to create responsive ad searches, Google will also start importing the headlines as well as descriptions from the existing texts ads in an ad group and it will be rolled out in the coming months.
  • You will be able to add beyond the minimal descriptions and headlines in order to increase your score. The ad strength dial will update in real time.
  • You can view the ad strength updates in your Status column under the UI so as to see if the ads are disapproved or whether you are losing impressions.

The features show that responsive search ads are here to stay and will continue to make an impact in your marketing plan. Google will continue to make investment in this format and the tools, which shows that advertisers should embrace the same at the earliest. If you move early, you will be able to see the best results by experimenting with different features. Responsive search ads are available in Turkish, Danish, Norwegian, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Japanese, Polish and Russian.

Google redesigns the Assistant for touch and digital transactions

Google Assistant made its debut a few years back and since then most of the interactions with the Assistant include touch and voice. Google has given a makeover to its assistant on phones and it has made it easier to get things done for the users regardless of their preference to use their hands or voice or a combination of both.

The new Google Assistant design merges the text and talk on the phone while providing the most relevant information when you need it. All you need to do is ask Google Assistant for something and then use the images, buttons and sliders to interact. This will help you find results within a few minutes.

Their new phone design includes wider visuals that are easy to glance at, it has new sliders and controls that can easily handle the smart home devices and you can use these sliders to control the volume of the smart speaker or the dials which can help regulate the lights to the right brightness. Additionally, it has an interactive messaging interface which allows you to use your fingers in order to change a word or add a comma and make any other quick edits while you compose messages.

Incase of Android phones, it is also easier to access an overview of the day. All you need to do is open the Google Assistant and swipe up in order to get organized data which is based on the time of the day and your interactions with the Assistant. For those who own a Google Home device but have not used the Google Assistant on their phones, you can now use the device and find out how the touch and voice work together. You can ask the assistant to help you look up at your work and you will notice that it is much easier to do it now.

 

 

Google’s August 1st core algorithm update: Who was impacted and to what extent?

Google updated its search algorithm on 1st of August and here is everything you need to know about it. This broad core update by Google focuses on medical and health sites. But many sites apart from them are also impacted by the update. There is basically nothing you can do to fix your site but you can offer great content and a unique experience to the users. The update is known as Medic Update because it focuses on the health and medical space. Google has stated that this is a broad, core update and it does similar updates many times each year.

There is no particular method you can use to fix the pages. Instead, remain focused on building great content for the users. Google stated that some sites could notice drops or gains. The changes introduced into the system are benefitting the pages which were previously under-rewarded. This rollout will impact all Google search results across different regions and languages. 

Who was impacted?

This is a global update which means every type of site has been impacted. However, it has been noted that there is a focus on medical and health sites in addition to entertainment and gaming niches. It has also impacted ‘Your Money, Your Life’ sites. These sites are focused on money and life.

What can you do?

Now that you know there is a change in the Google’s algorithm, there is nothing you can do to fix it. There is no solution to the same but Google suggests that you improve your website, create better content and make it a unique experience for your users. This could lead to a better ranking of your site on the next update.

 

YouTube Offers New Ways for Creators to Make Money

The online video sharing platform YouTube has always been criticized for not compensating the creators. The platform will now allow the creators to set up their paid channel memberships. Majority revenue at YouTube comes from advertising which will still remain a focus. But the company is thinking beyond ads now. The creators will be able to make money through different ways and opportunities.

The viewers will be paying $4.99 every month for the membership of a channel. It will provide them access to the exclusive content which includes live streams, shoutouts on channels which have more than 100,000 subscribers and extra videos. Creators can sell merchandise like apparel on their channels as well. The merchandise will appear on a shelf below the video with up to 12 products available at a point of time. This will not cost anything to the creator and every sale will help them generate income. With regard to channel memberships, a channel needs a minimum of 10,000 subscribers for it to be eligible.

Currently YouTube returns a small part of the revenue generated from advertising to content creators who have constantly accused the platform for not paying them enough. The site has stiff competition from other platforms that use more and more video. With more than 1.9 billion users, YouTube is one of the top online video sharing platforms in the world. This move will give an opportunity to artists and influencers to make money through their video channels. One of its biggest competitors is Instagram that has recently introduced IGTV. The increasing number of users on Instagram could be a threat to the popularity of YouTube. With an opportunity to make money, YouTube has offered a reason to the creators to continue sharing their videos on the portal.

WhatsApp business could help product listings through catalogue feature

A feature on WhatsApp Business will allow businesses to showcase their products in an online catalogue. A screenshot that shows this upcoming catalogue feature was leaked online and first spotted by WABetaInfo. Businesses will be able to enter particular product information in the product page. The details include a title, description, stock keeping unit number, link and the image of the product. However, it will not allow direct transactions for the buyers and sellers on WhatsApp but will enable the business owners to improve the sales options and allow expansion of their consumer base. WhatsApp could earn from each listing and it could help the businesses reach out to the consumers in a unique manner.

The possibility of this feature could also be expanded to regular WhatsApp which has more than 1.3 billion users across the globe. WhatsApp will soon release a big update for the Business app which might include the catalogue feature. Businesses will be able to show their products to the consumers on the online catalogue and the same will also be visible on the normal WhatsApp application. Launched this January, WhatsApp Business caters to business owners across six countries including India, Mexico, UK, US, Indonesia, and Italy. The app has more than 3 million users across the globe. WhatsApp Business is currently restricted to the Android platform but they are working on an iOS version as well.

If the product catalogue feature is added to the application, it will work as a boon to business owners. Most consumers use WhatsApp and would prefer browsing through products on the app. Business owners will also be able to immediately handle any queries from the consumers and it will help boost sales in a cost-efficient manner.

Will the New $156 Million ‘Project Insight’ Launched by the Government Affect your Taxes?

Starting from next month, prime minister Narendra Modi’s government will begin gathering virtual information not just from traditional sources like banks but also from various social media sites such as facebook, Instagram etc. to compare individual’s spending patterns with their income declarations. This will help officials to spot those who pay too little tax without raiding offices and homes as they are doing nowadays.

Built over seven years at a cost of approximately Rs 1,000 crore, Project Insight will complement the world’s largest biometric identity database and India’s most ambitious tax overhaul as policy makers try to get more people to pay up. While the Indian economy is among the fastest growing in the world, revenues are not keeping pace, bloating PM Modi’s budget deficit and generating anxiety over tax sleuths.

Data analytics is way ahead for tax administrations across the world. This will put an end to aggravation by tax officials, as there will be no interface from the public. Countries like Belgium, Canada, and Australia are already using data to unearth tax evasion that may have otherwise gone undetected without technology.  The efforts made by India somewhat resembles that of the UK which was estimated to have cost somewhere around 100 million pounds. Since its setting up in 2010, it has prevented the loss of 4.1 billion pounds in revenue.

Last year, the government contracted Larsen & Toubro, an arm of India’s largest engineering conglomerate to help build up the network and boost voluntary agreement. Project Insight is a long-term project for L & T Infotech without any specific timeline. The company has agreed to build own operate transfer model which means that while it will be running the project and earning revenues during the contract period, it will ultimately transfer all the network to the government once the contract runs out. Compliance will rise 30 to 40 percent during the first phase of the project. During this time, all the existing data including credit cards, property and stock investments, cash purchases and deposits will be migrated to the new system and a central team will push people to file tax declarations. The second phase will be rolled out by December during which the data analytics will mine, clean, and process the information. In the last phase which will go live around May 2018, advanced systems will be used to predict future defaults and flag risks.

It is seen that government uses its tools for tax forecasting. This data will show how much business has slumped in a certain town, which would help authorities better assess aid requirements and forecast local revenues. The scope of the project has also led to concerns in a country where the government has repeatedly told the Supreme Court it does not consider privacy to be an absolute right. Safeguards are a must, as stated by Rahul Garg, head of direct tax at PwC India. Now, it should be seen how effectively the data that has become invaluable is used for governance.

Google Officially kills off the Link Command

As per the latest updates to find a sampling of links to any site, you can perform a Google search using the link: Operator. Google’s link operator in the first place was never an efficient way to examine backlinks. Google’s famous personality Matt Cutts stated that admitting the link operator was only designed to return a small sampling of backlinks to prevent SEOs from reverse engineering another site’s rankings. Link Management is often considered to be an important aspect of one’s SEO services and in the earlier times, SEOs used a special search operator from Google to find these links.

Google officially requests all webmasters and SEOs to stop using the link command, that is at present dead and not working properly. Sources from Google have recently announced that the Link command is not functioning any longer. Google says that the link is completely dead for now and if one is interested to see the link to their sites, then there are plenty of third-party tools that can be used to get the appropriate results and Google has always suggested using the links to your site report in Search Console underneath which helps you in providing an accurate report.

With time, the link operator has become less and less useful for SEOs and webmasters. The webmasters are suggested to use the Google Search Console link report for a better link discovery because the link operator only shows a sample of a site’s links. In the past, there was only a little space for a very small percentage of backlinks because web search was the main part and there were not many servers for link colon queries and so, therefore, Google had to double or increase the amount of backlinks that we show over time for link colon, but all this is just a sub-sample.

On Page SEO

Everything one Needs to Know about the Latest Google Update

Google launched its Penguin Update in April 2012 to better catch sites deemed to be spamming its search results. This is primarily designed to boost Google rankings. When a new Google update is released, the sites that have taken action to remove bad links or who make every effort to remove spam have some effect on their rankings. Penguin update is now running in real time as a part of Google’s core algorithm. This update is already in effect and is available in a number of languages.

A comprehensive Guide To On- Page SEO

If you want to make your online presence felt, then it is important for you to ensure that you are up to date on on-page SEO basics. This is helpful in providing high performance for your site and visibility for your targeted audience. Over the past few years, the rules of this type of Search Engine has drastically changed making sure that Google is able to deliver some of the best results. On-Page SEO is the method of optimizing individual web pages to ensure that your company attains a higher rank and is able to earn more relevant traffic in search engines. It refers to both the content and the HTML source code of a page that can be optimized. The longer the users stay on your site, the better it will be for your website, providing an enhanced experience to the users.

  • Implement Proper Tags: Another important aspect of your on-page SEO is the implementation of tags. Make sure that the tags are written and utilized optimally as this will be useful in improving traffic. These Meta tags are used as they provide search engines some information about your page. Including Meta tags on our site will increase your click rate.
  • Title Tags: Title tag is also another important element that proves out to be helpful in your rankings. This title tag outlines what the particular page is about. To improve search results, Google looks at the title tag and compares it to the rest of the content that is available on the page. Keep your title tags descriptive and short. Make sure proper keywords and pertinent information are included.
  • Use of Meta Description: Meta description is also a crucial aspect of increasing search results. In a way, the Meta description communicates what users will find on the particular page. The search engine sites read the Meta descriptions to determine the page’s topic. The length of Meta descriptions that will be visible on desktop and mobile devices will differ.
  • Proper headings: To achieve excellent results the headings should not be overlooked, as they hold more weight on the page than a standard paragraph. The audience should be kept in mind while writing the headings and particular tags.
  • Appropriate URL: Make sure to keep the URL short. The shorter the URL, the easier it is to share. Utilize the primary keywords in your URL, but make sure too much keyword stuffing is not there.
  • Quality Content: Make sure your web page contains a well-written content that is available without any spelling or grammatical errors.

The goal of every business is to bring in maximum traffic to your website and generate conversions. A perfectly fabricated page creates an outstanding user experience and strengthens your brand. This will increase the traffic on your site and improve your search engine rankings.