All You Need to Know About Google’s Jan 2020 Core Update

January 24, 2020

Kerrie Ashall

Google brings out around a thousand updates every year. Some of them, however, have more of an impact on the order of their search results than others.

Recently, a core algorithm updates, known as the January 2020 Core Update  was rolled out internationally and was ‘mostly done’ by the 16th. Known as a ‘broad update’, it’s an update that doesn’t apply specifically to any type of website, industry, region or language.

Reports have been coming in from many webmasters that saw a major impact on the rankings of their websites, and this is why here at Fibre we make it our business to fully understand Google updates and how they can affect our clients. Some of the industries which looked like they were seeing the biggest impact are arts & entertainment, finance, games and news & sports.

What Has Changed with the January 2020 Core Update?

Google’s main aim is to make it as easy as possible for its users to access the information that they are looking for and their updates to the search algorithms are mainly aligned to this. In the past few years, it has been mainly about content – following their E-A-T mantra: Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.

The January 2020 update builds on their other updates to ensure that websites that offer relevant, insightful and expert information get rewarded with higher rankings. If your website has slipped down the rankings it doesn’t necessary mean that you have done something wrong – just that someone else might be doing it better than you.

What is interesting to note is that there were fewer changes than the previous core update, which rolled out in September 2019. These decreasing fluctuations indicate that Google is becoming confident in how they assess a site’s quality and therefore, will not deviate as much from previous updates – they’re just furthering the changes they’ve been making over the past few years.


One of the most common speculations is that this update involved yet another reassessing of YMYL (Your Money Or Your Life) sites, as reports across Twitter suggest that websites belonging to this category were victimised, particularly if they had thin content. As mentioned earlier, sites operating within the finance industry were affected, along with those involved in the health sectors.

If Google was targeting sites with Trust issues, then it only makes sense for YMYL sites to be hit as hard as they were. There were mixed results across the board – some saw improvements while others did not. Either way, it’s highly likely that they’ll be impacted again by future updates that will undoubtedly occur sometime down the line.

What Can You Do to Improve your Google Ranking?

According to Google, “One way to think of how a core update operates is to imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2015. A few years later in 2019, you refresh the list. It’s going to naturally change. Some new and wonderful movies that never existed before will now be candidates for inclusion. You might also reassess some films and realize they deserved a higher place on the list than they had before. The list will change, and films previously higher on the list that move down aren’t bad. There are simply more deserving films that are coming before them.”

This means that there isn’t much that you can do that is new to ensure that your website is ranked up there near to the top of Google’s all-important search ratings. However, the same principals apply as before and making sure that your website is optimised is vital. An SEO consultant can help you to make your website effective and easily found by your customers and potential customers.


The main key to having a good google ranking in January 2020 is all about content. You need to make sure that your content is reliable, authoritative and that you know what you are talking about. To need to make sure that your content is accurate and information taken from expert sources.

You also need to make sure that your content is completely original and not a re-hash of other content that already exists. Try adding a new perspective, one which uses information taken from a range of reliable sources, with concise titles – and titles that are accurate in the description of the body of your content. It appears that those websites which have been the most affected by the algorithm changes are those with content that is lacking in quality.


You should also consider links in your content. Try linking to your ‘About Us’ page – showing that you are an authority in your field – and make sure that you ‘About Us’ page clearly states how you have grown to be experts as well as any credentials that you have.

Furthermore, if you don’t have one already, it would be a good time to implement an external link building strategy.


It is also important, of course, to ensure that your website is fully functional for those who are using mobile devices – both in its navigation and display of content.

Although these changes in algorithm might seem to be disruptive, they are just an extension of Google’s quest to give their customers the best experience that they can. With a good content strategy and attention placed on the quality of your website, you can make sure that you don’t suffer from these changes.


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