Most of the January core update from Google, which began its rollout this Monday (13th January) at midday, has been completed, the search giant has confirmed.
In an announcement on the @searchliaison account, Google said: “For those who have asked, the update is mostly done, though as with any core update, it may take to two weeks to fully complete.”
Core updates such as this tend to have worldwide reach and affect all of Google’s search regions and languages.
Although the statement indicates that the bulk of the January update rollout is complete, you may continue to see changes over the coming fortnight, so it’s worth keeping a close eye on your analytics.
So far, data providers such as MozCast, SERPmetrics, Algoroo, Advanced Web Ranking, cognitiveSEO and SEMrush have all revealed significant fluctuations via their tracking tools in the immediate aftermath of the rollout.
The evidence, then, supports the views of those in the SEO community who consider the update a major one.
One SEO on Webmaster World, for example, said: “If Google’s oppressive updates continue, I think I’ll have a bald head as well from all the stress. No razor needed.”
Another said: “Massive changes for some of our most stable keywords this morning. I hope this doesn’t stick.”
Such comments were fairly representative of the overall opinion that January’s update is a big one.
While Google is sticking to its generic advice to webmasters who see negative changes to their traffic, it remains useful to know when Google confirms an update, as it allows you to watch out for any notable ranking changes for your website or your client sites.
At least you’ll be able to attribute this to a Google algorithm change rather than to any inherent consumer cooling-off from your content, products or services.
As to what you can do to remedy the changes if they’re negative, Google’s general advice of 1st August last year on its Webmaster Central Blog remains the only official guide, and it still stands.
There are a series of useful questions that Google poses about your content and whether it meets the search engine’s quality standards on that blog, so it remains well worth a read – have a look through here.