Google Search Traffic Down 2021
The Google December 2020 Core Update
Have you noticed a downturn in Google search traffic lately? My traffic from Google totally disappeared for several days in January 2021. Google has just completed their December 2020 Core Update. These large (“core”) updates to Google’s algorithm occur several times per year. The last major core update was in May 2020 and the one before that was in January 2020.
If you don’t know what is happening and just see your search traffic suddenly dry up overnight it can be very scary. This happens occasionally if you run a website but it is always nerve-wracking. You never know if the drop in traffic is due to a problem with your site, a glitch or a search engine algorithm update. Apparently the reason Google search traffic is down in January 2021 (and most other times of the year) was due to yet another update to the Google algorithm from Dec. 3rd to Dec. 16th 2020. It takes time for all the changes to affect your site however so major fluctuations may occur in January 2021 as well. My website was not greatly affected until January.
What is a Core Update?
Google is constantly updating it’s search algorithms. There are updates occurring every day. Core algorithm updates only occur several times per year however. Sometimes these are mildly disruptive to site’s ranking and traffic. Other core updates are revolutionary and may destroy certain sites. Some famously disruptive core updates are the “Medic” core update in August 2018 which greatly affected sites in the health, and money fields. This is referred to as YMYL (Your Money Your Life) and is a particular focus for Google.
On the other hand, the BERT Update in fall 2019 was beneficial to many sites as it helped Google understand common language and queries to give more accurate search results. Google claims BERT was not a core update however.
Google December 2020 Core Update May Cause Both Raising and Falling Traffic and Post Ranking.
Many website owners have reported drops and/or raises in traffic through December 2020 and the first half of January 2021. There are always Google updates so it is hard to say exactly what is causing each site’s fluctuation in traffic. Sites often experience both a raise and fall in traffic. If your traffic suddenly drops to nothing, don’t panic! Your traffic will likely come back. The Google search traffic on my first website dropped to almost zero for several days. It slowly came back to normal however and now everything is fine. I noticed Google was crawling my site after the drop off and then my traffic was back. If your traffic doesn’t come back after a few weeks you may have more serious issues with your site and you need to focus on the basics of quality content, not duplicating content (don’t ever copy something from another site or even copy something from a different part of your own site) and following the steps to get ranked that are taught at Wealthy Affiliate. The worst case scenario is that you will have to make improvements to your site over time and when the next core update comes around in a few months you will see improvement.
Don’t Make Any Large Changes to Your Site In Hopes Of Fixing Traffic Decline During A Google Core Update
If your traffic suddenly drops off when Google does an update, wait a while before you make changes to your site. When these core updates occur, there is nothing you can do to bring back your traffic. You have to wait for the update to be completed. You can continue to work on your website as you normally would but don’t make any drastic changes in hopes of getting your traffic back right away.
Practice Search Engine Optimization (SEO) To Get Good Google Ranking.
If you want to rank well in the Google search results, make sure you practice good SEO tactics. Some of these include:
- Use Great Keywords-The best way to find great keywords with low competition without paying extra is to join Wealthy Affiliate and use the Jaaxy keyword tool which is included in membership. It will show you how many people are searching for your keyword and how many other websites are using it already. It has great functionality and I still just use the free version that comes with the Wealthy Affiliate membership.
- Learn where to place keywords in your post- Gone are the days where you just put the keyword in over and over. That is called keywords stuffing and will be penalized by Google! Learn how to do it correctly at Wealthy Affiliate.
- Use images but do it correctly. Don’t slap in random images, you could get penalized for illegal use of images if you don’t know where to get them. Also make sure you compress images so they don’t slow down your load time. You need to know what to name the image, where to add the description and more. It is easy once you learn the steps!
- Get quality comments on your posts but don’t allow spam comments! The Wealthy Affiliate community can give you comments from day one and greatly speed up your ranking time in the search engines.
- There are many more tips and tricks and strategies. Join Wealthy Affiliate as a free or premium member and find out more.
If you wonder why I have links to Wealthy Affiliate in this post it is because I am a member there myself and they taught me how to create my websites. I have tried many other online platforms and hosting sites and this is the only one I recommend. I don’t get paid to review or recommend random companies and I don’t recommend anything I don’t use myself. I have been a member for years and will never leave. You can sign up for free and check it out.
I hope you will take a look and see for yourself. This place has helped me create multiple websites and you could have yours up and running in no time too. Issues like Google’s Core Update in December 2020 are no problem when you have great training and support.
Onward and Upward,
Jessica’s Invitation to Wealthy Affiliate