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2020 Review: Google Updates & Communication


Episode Overview:

Join host Ben as he kicks off 2020 Year in Review week with Searchmetrics’ Director of Services Tyson Stockton and SEO Strategist Jordan Koene to talk about Google’s communication updates throughout the year. Together they go into detail reviewing how they launched, and managed, update throughout 2020.

Despite a tumultuous year, Google rolled out core updates in its usual, cyclical pattern. The majority of published updates this year concerned Google’s natural language processing capabilities and understanding how human speech behavior works. May’s update gave greater insights into Google’s interpretation of search query intent from a landing page perspective.

Google’s BERT update began affecting up to 10% of queries at the beginning of 2020, and within a few months into the year it was applied to almost every English language query. As the year closes BERT is now being applied to other languages and categories. The efforts placed into BERT was to ensure more high quality results populated in SERPs.

Google’s communication efforts regarding algorithm announcements significantly improved from 2019. Their communications team provided more insight and notice of upcoming updates like web vitals in the new year. They were also more transparent about their system’s indexation bug that occurred in Q3, notifying users how it impacted search results and what to do moving forward regarding rankings.

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