Google Launches January 2020 Core Update… and More


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Google Launches January 2020 Core Update

The beginning of the new decade and the new year saw another major core update from Google known as the “January 2020 Core Update.” This core update began on 13th January and continued to roll out till a few weeks later. Google shared the update via Twitter, in a fashion similar to what we have seen for all the previous Core Updates.

Google also included a link in their tweet to an August 2019 blog post that gives a better understanding of their Core Updates.

A simple example would be, the top results for “Best Movies to watch” in 2018 may or may not be the same in 2020. This does not mean that the top movies in 2018 weren’t good, it just means that newer or more relevant,
resonating content features higher on the list.

Actionable Strategy

Evaluate your website content to see if your site has taken a toll following the core update. FYI, we didn’t see any negative impact on our client websites.

Some things to keep in mind before evaluating your website:

Content and Quality

  • The content must provide original information, reporting, research, and analysis.
  • It must also provide a considerable, complete, and thorough description of the topic.
  • It must include any insightful analysis or interesting information beyond the ordinary.
  • In case the content is drawn from an external source, avoid copying and rewriting. Always make sure the content you post has ample additional value and originality.
  • The headline and/or page title must provide an in-detail, helpful summary of the content.
  • Avoid exaggerating and trying to sound shocking when it comes to your headlines and/or page titles.
  • Ask yourself whether the page is worth bookmarking, or even sharing/recommending it to a friend.


  • Always make sure your content has clear sourcing, highlights evidence of the expertise involved, and gives the background of the site that publishes the content or about the author.
  • Make sure to get your content written from an expert or enthusiast who is well-versed with the topic.
  • Also, make sure that your content is free from factual errors.
  • The content you publish must resonate with others, leading them to trust your content.

Presentation and Production

  • Never publish or produce content that appears mediocre or content that has been created in a hurry.
  • A basic but essential tip is to always keep your content free from spelling or stylistic issues.
  • Make sure that the ads published on your page do not exceed and cover the content as that would lead to distraction.
  • Your content must be mobile optimized!

Comparative Value

  • Your content must provide substantial value if/when compared to the other pages that appear in search results.
  • Never play the guessing game, the ranking comes when your website visitors can resonate with you. Hence, produce content that serves the interest of your clients.

Survey Reveals Meta Descriptions & Branding Impact Search Click-through the Most

Recently, Ignite Visibility conducted a survey to find out what searchers generally look for in search results and what are the factors that influence their decision to click. They analyzed over 500 searchers, aged 25-60 years, and found that meta description, brand name and page title have the most influence on whether or not users click-through on a search result.

Meta Descriptions Emerge Clear Winners

The study showed that 62.9% of the participants claimed that it was the meta descriptions that had the largest influence on their decision to click. 24.2% of the respondents admitted that the brand name is more important to them, whereas 13% said it is the page title that acts as the deciding factor. Ironically, 55.1% of the searchers admitted to clicking only on the brands that they had heard of.

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Turns out, ads in the search results are not really appreciated

66.7%, i.e. two-thirds of the respondents, said that the increasing number of ads in Google’s search results makes them want to use the search engine less. These findings contradict the studies that were conducted in December
2018, which showed that 75% of the searchers claimed the ads made it easier for them to find the information they needed.

Majority of the users agreed that the search results have improved

Around 58.5% of the participants said that they prefer Google search results as they are now as compared to how they were in January 2019. Similarly, about 55.5% of the respondents said that by including featured snippets and other SERP features Google has improved its search results.

Final Takeaway

This survey has shed a light on why it is so important to write powerful meta descriptions. Especially, since Google now holds the right to decide whether your description is apt enough or a more accurate one can be taken directly from the page’s content.

Also, as per this study, even though brand recognition takes the second place, when it comes to influencing the clickthroughs, building brand awareness is essential to gain and capitalize on organic visibility.

Furthermore, considering that the searchers prefer the modern search result pages and features, brands must adapt to regain visibility. One way to do so is by designing content keeping in mind rich results.

New Tool Launched by Google

A new tool named the removals tool has been launched by Google within the new Google Search Console. It helps you out with several things, including, temporarily blocking search results from your site and managing SafeSearch filtering.

You can access the tool here –

This Google help document should help you in case you have any further queries.

Temporary Removal of URLs

With the help of this tool, you can request temporary removal of specific URLs, on verified sites. There are two types of removal requests available.

  1. Temporarily Remove URL – This request will hide the URL from Google Search results for about 6 months
    and clear the cached copy of the page.
  2. Clear Cached URL – With this request, the cached page of the URL will be cleared and the page description snippet in Search results will be wiped out, till the time the page is crawled again.

Here are a couple of screenshots to help you understand better:

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Outdated Content Section

All the information regarding the removal requests made using the public ‘Remove Outdated Content’ tool can be viewed in the Outdated content section.

Anybody will be able to use the provided information to update search results showing information no longer available on the page.

Have a look at this screenshot:

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SafeSearch Filtering

To debug SafeSearch is often a task for SEOs and Webmasters. This tool will quickly help you see whether your content got blocked as a result of being tagged as adult.

“The SafeSearch filtering section in Search Console shows a history of pages on your site that were reported by Google users as adult content using the SafeSearch Suggestion tool. URLs submitted using this tool are reviewed, and if Google feels that this content should be filtered from SafeSearch results, these URLs are tagged as adult content.” Google said.

Here’s a screenshot:

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Yelp Strikes Back at Fake Reviews by Introducing “Badge of Shame.”

Fake reviews are not new and have been around for quite a while, causing various businesses and online marketers to suffer. It also makes it difficult for customers to trust reviews that influence their buying decisions.

As times have progressed, businesses seem to have found new ways for bending the rules to rank high and drive sales on Google Search. The New York Times first brought this to light in 2016 with a report on a plethora of fake locksmith listings. Recently, the same locksmith review problems were reported by the CBC in Canada. The downside is that the fake review problem has made its way to almost all types of businesses.

In order to curb and put an end to fake reviews, Yelp recently started labeling some of the offending businesses with the following “Badge of Shame”.

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This move from Yelp comes at the right time as more and more instances of fake reviews have come to the surface, compromising the very foundation of genuine customer reviews. For example, a simple Google search for “Where can I buy Yelp five star reviews?” lists down multiple results that provide these fake review services for a price.

Actionable Strategy

Note that Yelp is doing its best to fight back fake reviews and if your business is dependent on a good listing in Yelp (or even if it is not), always avoid using fake reviews because failing to do so considerably raises the risk of being given a “Badge of Shame” from Yelp.

If you want to get genuine reviews on Yelp, do consider our review widget – which gives you a chance to get positive reviews on Google and Yelp from real customers. Positive reviews get featured on your website too. Get in touch with us for more info.

Pay-per-Click (PPC) Updates for February 2020

Here’s a collection of what’s happened in the Pay Per Click world in the last month.

  • In a new move, Google introduces four new major life events & expands it to display ads.
  • Andrew Lolk, a PPC expert, brings to you the pros & cons of automated bid management for Google Ads.
  • Microsoft Advertising introduces two new Microsoft solutions to empower retailers: Microsoft PromoteIQ & Microsoft Bing for Commerce.
  • Track offline conversion data in Microsoft Advertising & get the whole picture of how people are engaging with your business from ads.
  • Now advertisers can create Responsive Search Ads through Microsoft Advertising, online, using Microsoft Advertising Editor or with the Microsoft Advertising API.
  • Google Ads is adding bid simulator support for the Target ROAS bid strategy & a new budget simulator to help businesses maximize conversion & conversion value too.
  • Google Ads releases a new beta called Custom Dimensions & here’s how to use it.
  • PPC expert Aaron Levy shares insights on how to structure accounts to use automation effectively.
  • Google Ads collaborates with Zapier. Now advertisers can automate Google Ads conversion imports with Zapier.
  • Tinuiti releases Amazon Ads Benchmark Report Q4 2019.
  • From May 2020, accelerated delivery will no longer be available for Display, Video, App, and Hotel campaigns. All Google Ads campaigns will now be using improved standard delivery.

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