Google January 2020 Core Update Is Live & It's Big

Jan 14, 2020 - 8:11 am 203 by
Filed Under Google Updates

Google January 2020 Core Update

Yesterday, Google announced that it is releasing a core broad update named the January 2020 Core Update. It started to roll out around noon New York time yesterday. Google just echoed its previous advice around core updates. But this Google algorithm update does seem substantial and big based on some of the early chatter and signals.

The previous core update, the September 2019 update was slow to roll out and wasn't a shockingly upsetting one. This January 2020 core update does seem a lot bigger than the September core update, at least based on early signals and chatter within the SEO industry.

Here is Google's announcement:

Again, it is less than 24-hours, so it is early and things need to settle down over the next few days with this update - but here is some of the chatter.

WebmasterWorld has two threads:

Brett Tabke wants to name this one "Update Picard" but I don't think that will stick, since Google has named it January 2020 Core Update. Anyway, here are some of the comments from SEOs in those two threads:

If Google's oppressive updates continue, I think I'll have a bald head as well from all the stress. No razor needed.

SERP trackers are on fire. Strap yourselves in and enjoy the ride...

Haven't had a single google visitor since the evening of january 13th. This comes in the backdrop of improving visits and sales that my site had between mid december and now. Ouch.

Two hours After the update went live, we began dropping for dozens of keywords one after the other. The effects from our end/datacenters were visible quite fast. We are also losing rich snippets stars for every phrase, after years of having them being visible in the SERPs. We are religiously dropping for everything across the board, including for fresh and expert written content. But I guess if a site has issues that would drag it down, it’s a site wide effect during an update. We’re definitely experiencing that right now. I guess we didn’t do enough work to improve our site and user experience. If I’m being honest and objective with respect to our site, in theory, I can see why it’s dropping. Unpleasant but it’s the reality. Need to work harder.

Massive changes for some of our most stable keywords this morning. I hope this doesnt stick.

We are bleeding now , the initial trends were good and super impressive though .

This is sad .

Another keyword drop. Yay.

Last two years have been one hit after another. Well, a slight boost at the end of 2018,'s all frustrating. Yeah, let's add some more "Also Asked" and a couple more featured snippets at the top of pages while we're at it. I don't know what Google wants, anymore.

BlackHat World has multiple threads as well, here is the early chatter from there:

11 December - 60% drop seo traffic

Today - 30% drop seo traffic

WTF I have the same issue on my sites which got hit !! :O And I use also AMP pages, it's the same s*** they also decreased badly without any explanation.

I went from 48 pages to 15 pages.

Serps are going mad at the moment.

I'm quite surprised, my site started getting around 30% more visitors right after this update. I hope it ain't just a fluke or a mistake.

Yeah. The last update was done on Jan 13. "January 2020 core update". I hope it gets better. 17th December updated killed up to 75% of my traffic. I guess this "core update" will just be a rollback. I don't think it can get any worse.

Here are some folks on Twitter:

Here are the tracking tools that were updated thus far (will add more as they get updated):

SERP Metrics:

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Cognitive SEO:

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So far this seems like this update is going to be a big one! Keep an eye on things, do not panic, and share what you find with the community!

Forum discussion at Twitter, WebmasterWorld and BlackHat World.


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