Here is my early analysis of the Google January 2020 update.
The Google January 2020 update was a big one!
I mean, just check out these charts!
We can see that Algoroo has marked it as one of the biggest updates in the last few months, even bigger than the recently-released BERT update.
Algoroo has identified the following winners from the update over the last week.
Some of the sites we see listed are Progressive, The General, BMW, and a few schools. Wikipedia and two massive companies. Bed Bath And Beyond and Crate and Barrel, are also on the list.
Now, let’s take a look at the losers.
We see a directory website called Food and Wine, Insurance.com, Confused.com, and a few other comparison sites. We also see esurance.
At first glance, it looks like big brands websites and educational institutions won and the comparison sites lost.
Let’s take a quick look at one of each.
The Biggest Winner
According to Algoroo, so far, Progressive has seen the biggest positive impact from the latest update. Honestly, this is almost exactly the type of SEO page I am recommending right now.
It starts with a definition.
Then, it moves into another heading that covers a related topic.
If you go further down the page, it covers all the most important questions surrounding the topic. Almost as if it was made for voice search and rich results.
Now, according to SEMRush, it has 373 links and 120 referring domains. They are 100% text links and they have some very clear money anchor text.
The page has a mobile page speed score of 23/100 (ouch!) and a desktop of 73/100.
And good news, the page is 100% mobile-friendly.
Moz says the domain authority is 69 out of 100.
The Biggest Loser
The Biggest Loser Was Esurance.
Let’s go through that same process.
- It also has a domain authority of 69.
- The page has 3,700 backlinks from 147 domains.
- According to SEMRush, Progressive has a page authority score of 24 and this has a page authority score of 45.
Now, I will say the anchor text of the links is much less targeted. See below.
The mobile page speed is 59/100 and the desktop is 94/100. So, it is faster., and the mobile-friendly test says the page is indeed mobile-friendly.
But wow, take a look at the difference of the content on the page.
Progressive, who has better rankings, has much better on-page optimization, better anchor text, better user experience, was not an aggregation site and had less links. It had lower page authority and the domain authority of the sites was the same.
This would lead one to think…
- Money anchor text is better
- On-page optimization really matters
- User experience matters
- Google wants to show more brands and less aggregate
Before you jump to conclusions, let’s take a look at a few more sites that I know. We have over 150 clients, so I have the luxury of seeing a lot of data.
Here are the types who clients are seeing some very big gains:
- A very large insurance company
- An online exam company
- A large online tuxedo rental company
- A bank
Each of these sites have invested in similar content structures to Progressive and have good backlink profiles.
Before you leave, I want to note something…
After the BERT update, I have been seeing rankings that align specifically with intent.
You will see the search engines categorized by:
- How To
- What are/is
In general, it appears this update did not change that and perhaps reinforced it. If the web page has headings that are relevant to related searches, it appears to still be ranking very well.
One of the winners on our site from this update is the “What Is A Digital Marketing Consultant” page. This is just one example.
This is phase 1 of my analysis on the Google 2020 January update. It is way too early to jump to conclusions.
I’ll be updating this blog at least 3 more times. Stay tuned!
Here are a few other articles from around the web which have covered this update so far: