What Is Core Update – Changes: A Complete History

This is the age of the internet and we are going to talk about something very important here. Most people wonder about the working of Google.

Nowadays, people use to read about almost everything on the internet. The way the internet provides us with the most relevant information based on our queries is quite fascinating. And people are so much satisfied by that easy availability of the information that they almost forget to check the authenticity of what they are reading there.


In this article, we are going to talk about the core algorithm of Google. If you are not aware of this algorithm, you should know that it is the main algorithm of Google that controls the way webpages are ranked and represented in front of the users. Though this algorithm is updated about 500 times a year but all those updates are minor and they don’t have a significant effect on the search results. But when Google sees that the spamming and other harmful things start prevailing in the search results, Google comes with algorithm updates like Panda, and Penguin. These updates are introduced to make some drastic changes in the search results.
If you are a person involved in SEO and other works related to this, understanding the core algorithm becomes very important for you. In this article, we are going to discuss every important aspect of the core algorithm by Google. It would help you familiarize yourself with all the important concepts involved in it.

The Core algorithm in brief

Google search engine uses the core algorithm to control the crawling and other actions and other actions. As several content farms keep on growing all the time to rank their webpages with low-quality content. Based on this behavior of SEO experts, google comes up with several updates to reduce the low-quality content from the search results.

Where does this algorithm focus on?


Whenever we talk about an algorithm update from Google, people think that the update is going to affect low-quality content appearing in the search results. But this is not the truth in most cases. The same is the case with the google core algorithm. The core algorithm does more works other than targeting the below standard content on the search engine. Reducing the low-quality content from the internet has almost no effect in bringing precision in the search results. Sometimes it becomes very important to remove such content from the search engine to clear the mess and stop fake information from spreading.


This is what the core algorithm is most concerned about. It works consistently in bringing up the most precise content in the search results to enhance the user experience. Based on data from Google, there are more than two updates in the core algorithm every day. A person from Google said that in the year 2012, Google updated this algorithm 665 times. All those updates are not major ones and they don’t affect a significant portion of the search engine.


No matter how little information is given by Google on this matter but experts never hesitate in diving deeper to know more features of Google core algorithm update. Most of those people are saying that the core algorithm is more concerned about understanding the intent of users and the content itself.

Some more information about the core update

The December 2020 update of google was expected to bring many changes in the search results. In this section of the blog, we are going to talk about the changes that took place after this algorithm was updated. We have collected opinions from the major search marketers on the web. Based on those opinions, you will get some insights into this update.


Google launched this update on December 3, 2020. But the whole of the update was not rolled out on the same day as Google revealed that it would take several weeks for the whole update to roll out. After May 2020, this seems to be one of the major core updates by Google. After studying the effects of this update, we found that it was a major update. The effects of this update were seen all across the search engine. It was not limited to some specific region(s), website(s), and content.
Though different marketers have their own opinions but we have our views about this update as well. The core algorithms have always been found to be more concerned about understanding the query rather than removing the low-quality content from the internet. With the new update, Google has tried a bit more to understand the users’ queries. Core algorithm helps google to understand content available on the internet in a much better way so that users can get precise answers to those queries.


Google comes with a new algorithm to shape the way and make more authentic content available on the internet. After that content farms guess the way the algorithm ranks the content and they work hard according to that algorithm for getting their content on top. Most of the times those time, the content farms succeed in doing it. Experts are saying that with the latest update of the core algorithm, Google is trying to make the algorithm random in nature. This way Google is trying to make it harder for the content farms and other such businesses to guess the working of the algorithm. So, all those who succeed in reverse-engineering the core algorithm will find it hard to succeed this time.


People try hard to understand the way the google algorithm ranks a website in the search results. But there are always some parts of the algorithm that remain concealed from normal people.

The timeline of Google core algorithm update

The number of core updates is quite high and not all of them are major updates. Most of those updates are about the data of the algorithm.

Discussing all of them is not possible in this single article. However, we are going to talk about every major update in this section of the article.

The September 2019 update

This update was not so strong as compared to the prior updates and the effects of this update were often termed weak.

The November 2019 update

This update was rolled out in November. This update was to affect the local searches in particular. As many SEOs are also experiencing several changes in the local ranking for the last few months. With the help of this update, Google tried to use the process of neural matching so that they can generate more accurate local search results.

The January 2020 Update

This was a major update in the core algorithm. Google came up with this update on January 13th, 2020. Based on the data that we collected at that time, we came to know that it was also a global update. This affected almost everything available on the internet throughout the world irrespective of the language and region.


Many experts agreed to the fact that this update was not limited to any topic and region. A strong movement was seen in the webpages that were involved in games & arts, entertainment, finance, and online communities.

The May 2020 core update


Google notified prior to rolling the update and they said that it would be a major update in the core algorithm of Google. This update started rolling out on May 4, 2020, and the process took about 1-2 weeks to complete.

Looking at the data


We have discussed a lot about the core algorithm and its timeline. But everything would remain unclear to you if you don’t have proper data about it. In this section, we will present data from different sources. Based on that data, you can very simply analyze the impacts of this update.


As it was a broad update, a large number of sectors were affected by it. The volatility mark for SERPs in many sectors has increased by over 9 percent.

The SERPs for these sectors used to be one of the most stable have seen such an increase in volatility. Some SERPs remained unaffected on the first day but they also faced the same level of volatility later on. There are sectors like industries and many others that are considered to be in the green zone. But these were also hit hard this time by the December update.


If you look at the sectors that were affected the most, they include Governance & Law, Health, Real Estate, Finance & Travel, Education & Jobs. The data also shows that larger domains have been affected the most by this update. In fact, every 1 of the 3 domains that have been affected is the ones having more than 10 million monthly visitors. If you study this situation further, you will find that half of the affected domains are those that have more than a million visitors a month.


First, we are going to discuss those who are on the winning side. The average ranks of the biggest winners after this update have jumped by about 67 positions on average. This effect was seen on December 3 and 4.
After all, the SERPs providing information about the pandemic is on the top. This is because the number of people looking for such information is more than any other sector on the search engine.


Several sites have lost a lot after this update. Discussing them is also equivalently important here as it would give you insights into the working of the algorithm after the update. On average all the negatively affected sites by this update have suffered a loss of 23 positions. But some sites have lost way beyond the average mark. The top losers here are newsbreak and yellowpage that have lost 83 and 94 positions respectively.

What do the SEOs and other people think about it?


Though Google keeps on rolling out the updates several times a year but many experts are not happy with the timing of this update. They are considering this time to be a bad time for such a major update to roll out. This update came into effect between cyber Monday and Black Friday. Meanwhile, the Christmas holidays were also about to begin when this update rolled out.


There are many businesses especially in the e-commerce sector that have maximum sales in the Christmas holiday season. It might not be much of a concern for Google but those businesses can suffer a lot due to this update. If a business of that category losses position due to this update, their whole effort would be ruined.

The way to recovery


Almost every aspect of this core algorithm update has been discussed in this article. What if your website has been negatively impacted by this update? In this section, we will discuss the ways that would help you to recover from this loss. As always google has provided some guidelines in this regard this time too. Keep it in your mind that if your site is seeing a decline in the beginning, it might recover automatically later on. Before taking any action, you should wait till the complete update comes into effect. And it takes a couple of weeks for a major update to roll out. When you don’t see this usual behavior on your webpage, you should look to the solutions mentioned below.

  • Focus more on enhancing the user experience. If you are trying all the means to get better ranks by any means possible, those ranks would always be volatile in the time of such updates.
  • Increase the use of structured data in your blogs and other content. Structured data brings relevance to the search engine results for the users’ queries.
  • Always try to maintain the high quality of your content. And stop any practice that you think is going to hinder the user experience on your webpage.
  • Always be aware of the SEO issues related to your website. You can use a site audit tool to detect such issues. There are several audit tools available on the internet right now.


Leave a Reply