What You Should Know About Google’s Algorithm Updates In 2020

Figuring out how Google ranks websites is guesswork at best. The search engine frequently tweaks its algorithms and it’s unlikely that we’ll ever learn exactly how to rank at the top.

However, every so often, Google makes significant updates to its core that are so impactful that businesses experience significant changes in rankings.

In these cases, we do get announcements from Google. Otherwise, we learn how to improve our chances of higher rankings through keyword research, trial and error, and with good old-fashioned, high-quality blog posts.

But it never hurts to understand what’s new in SEO. In this post, we’ll look at everything we know so far that will help you improve your SEO efforts.

Let’s get started and check out what you should know about Google’s algorithm updates and how to work with them in 2020.

E-A-T matters more than ever

Google works with ‘raters’, people who manually evaluate whether the search algorithm is working as well as it should. According to guidelines issued by Google to these raters, a website must showcase high E-A-T to be considered a high-quality source for information.

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust. The search engine takes providing accurate and good quality information very seriously.

People often look for information that can have a significant impact on their wellbeing. They look for health and finance information and even use search engines for emergency situations.

This is why E-A-T matters. If your business is providing information that can affect the mental, financial, and physical wellbeing of your audience, then you have to be a top-authority site to get a favorable rating by Google.

It gets fuzzy when we look at other types of content that don’t have as significant an impact as medical posts. It’s safe to assume that even where the topic is not strictly one that impacts a person’s physical wellbeing, you still need to show high E-A-T signals.

One issue is that it will be harder for smaller businesses to showcase authority and expertise when compared to larger and established businesses. However, it is possible if you can consistently and authentically provide content that’s written by knowledgable people with experience.

Rethink your content

We already know that content is the most important contributor to boosting your visibility online. 72% of content marketers claim that building high-quality content is their most important SEO tactic.

When we take E-A-T into consideration, here’s what you need to do to ensure that create content that boosts your SEO.

  • Make sure that any topic you write on is well-researched and built on quality studies
  • Focus on original content. If you are drawing on existing work you have to provide a great analysis, a unique perspective, or some other way to add value
  • Avoid reworking or churning your blog posts from other content
  • Create original research by featuring case studies on your website. You can also use your form tools to conduct surveys, ask for testimonials and feedback to offer new data

Another important way to get your content to show up for a search result is to answer a question clearly and succinctly.
You may have noticed that when you look up a question on Google and click on a link for the answer, the page jumps right to the section that contains the information you want. It’s also highlighted for easy reading.

Google automatically highlights the answer in a page

This is a positive change that indicates how you should build your content. Think of a question a user may ask and create a few phrases or a paragraph that answers that question as completely as possible. You may find your content being featured on the search results page.

Mobile-first strategies are a priority

Now, another significant update is that Google is officially going to start showing search results based on your mobile page over your desktop site. This means that no matter how great your desktop site is if your mobile site is inadequate, you’re going to see a drop in your SEO.

Here’s a brief rundown of what Google will look for when ranking your website content:

  • Make sure that your mobile website is responsive
  • Keep the content on your mobile site and desktop site the same
  • Use schema markup on mobile and desktop versions of your website to help Google make sense of data
  • Keep your markups the same on both versions of your site
  • Make your mobile content easy to read with shorter paragraphs, headlines, bullet points, and also use casual language

You cannot underestimate the importance of your mobile website any longer. Pay more attention to your mobile site to make sure that you can sustain your current rankings or even grow during the upcoming updates.

Featured Snippet Update

Before Google would feature the featured snippet and repeat the link that was used in the snippet in the search results that followed. Now, if Google features your content in a snippet, it won’t repeat your URL in the organic links that appear in the first page.

Featured snippets typically get fewer clicks than URLs that appear in the search results after it. Meaning that getting a snippet position for your content may not be altogether desirable.

You can disable this by using a nosnippet tag but risk having your competitors’ content appear above yours.

It’s important to consider what matters to your business and whether you think being featured in a snippet is better than getting an organic ranking position.

Back to you

We’ve looked at some important updates by Google that will impact your blog and website in 2020. These updates will create changes and also offer opportunities for you to grow your SEO ranking.

Here’s hoping that you can use the suggestions given here and make helpful changes that grow your business.

Syed Balkhi is an award-winning entrepreneur and online marketing expert. He is the co-founder of OptinMonster, WPBeginner, MonsterInsights, and WPForms.