2020 Google Algorithm December Core Update Backlink News

There has been chatter on Twitter, internet forums and on the big boy’s blogs, SEMrush and Search Engine Journal in November 2020 when the first rumblings of a Google algorithm change began to ripple over social media, particularly Twitter. Charles Floate predicted the backlink focus earlier this week:

One of my long term clients was in the process of swapping out Local SEO targeted geographically to focussing on UK Nationwide search phrase ranking. This coincided with the 17th November Google core update which had a medium volatility and seemed to react well to Skyscraper content 1,000 word blog posts and articles written a relevant YouTube video embedded.

During my monthly schedule of work, I went back to 2015 and merged 3 old blogs into 1 giant skyscraper post using my 10-point Writing Winning SEO Content technique. I also created new 301 redirects to point at the new URL to keep Google rankings. The next stage, once all this work has been completed, is to head on over to Google Search Console and submit a sitemap refresh.

I then create YouTube videos and add the new blog post URL in the description so Google sees the new backlink to the new post as a measure of trust, this has been a part of my Video SEO Strategy since 2011, VSEO remains one of the few tasks in my 30 Day Booster when other tasks have been dropped over the years as Google Algorithm changes daily.

Google Search Console URL Inspection Tool Disabled

It was in the middle of October 2020 when one fine day, the Google Search Console URL Inspection Tool was disabled. Some SEO’s panicked, frantically searching online why? When will it be back? When in reality it’s not actually necessary when you have your sitemaps submitted. You can also manually use the ‘Live Test Tool’ which takes around 60 seconds.

SEO chatter gently poked fun at all the webmasters panicking, after all, the traditional method of requesting a Google crawl and index of new content was ceremoniously dumped. It was never really essential, just a quick handy feature that saved you a couple of clicks. It’s classed as a temporary change and was a strong indication of big changes in the 2020 Google Core Algorithm Update.

See the handy tool below to view today’s Sensor rating

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During our quick SEO chat you’re able to verify my identity and we can both get a feel for what it will be like to work together.

SEO Company Bristol Local Somerset Consultant Nina Payne eCommerce

All SEO Company Bristol UK Freelancer WordPress eCommerce and Local

I wrote this 1,900 word blog post in 4 hours and I was aiming for the search phrase “All SEO Company in Bristol” as I noticed for the last few months in Google Analytics that there were people searching online for those words. Before you start writing for Google search you must decide on a phrase beforehand. Go to Chrome Incognito (or Safari private browsing) and search for your phrase and note down your position. For example, before I wrote this article I searched online for “All SEO Company in Bristol” and I wasn’t ranking in the first 10 pages of SERPs.

FREE Google Analytics and Search Console Audit + Recommendations

Take a look at today’s SEMrush Google Algorithm status below, on the left hand side you will the the categories that are most affected which means volatility and SERP ranking positions will have the most potential to either drop in Google, or bump up a page to a higher position.

Send me details about your website today and I’ll conduct a simple 10-point Google Analytics and Search Console audit with a list of what needs fixing. 99/100 clients fail my audit.


    SEO Freelancer UK eCommerce Nationwide – Google Ranking Case Study 2020

    Interior design website – Lorna Syson is a freelance wallpaper designer whose products are stocked by John Lewis UK Nationwide, including Great British bird designs like the RSPB teal blue lampshade in my front room. My cat’s name is Ozzie – who is affectionally referred to as my Office Manager.

    Lorna Syson and I began to work together in early 2020 and in the space of 4 months her revenue smashed previous monthly turnover. Read my eCommerce WordPress Google Ranking Cade Study.

    My domain is 12 years old next year, and I’m turning 50 so with age comes trust and confidence. Google trusts domains more as they get older and garner trust with viewing your website through the eyes of it’s ever-changing algorithm with over 220 points which birthed the invention of my 30 Day SEO Booster with zero contract.

    Here’s a run down of some important ranking factors, both on-page with content sculpting, to off-page with my exclusive Video SEO backlink strategy.

    1. Page title: Most important keywords first. Avoid your brand name. Use your target search term at the beginning.
    2. SEO-friendly URLs: Most important keywords first. Use your target search term at the beginning.
    3. H1 and H2 headers: Use your target Google search term and most important keywords first, avoiding your brand name.
    4. Skyscraper content: Write 1,000 words or more. Read my Writing Skyscraper SEO Tips blog post and view my SEO eBook.
    5. Backlinks from other websites and internal links with keyword-focused anchor text.

    Prices and SEO Costs for Local Bristol and eCommerce Google Ranking

    Here’s a brief roadmap of your SEO journey and cost breakdown:

    1. Initial SEO audit and Google Consultation – £70
    2. 30 Day SEO Booster – £1000 flat fee 
    3. Monthly ongoing eCommerce SEO – £560 booked as 2 half days a month (2 x 4 hour sessions) – or –
    4. Local SEO geographical radius targeting (non eCommerce) villages/towns/cities from £140
    5. For all websites we can target a free Google Featured Snippet which is usually in the form of a question.

    Skyscraper SEO Content – Extra Long Blog Posts of 1,000 words or more

    How long will it take to write 1,000 Words For SEO? So you want me to tell you how many hours it takes me to write a 1,000 word article and you can magically rank your website to Google page 1. SEO does not work like that, just one skyscraper article isn’t an overnight success, you really have to take time to dedicate to creating new SEO sculpted content consistently. Let’s ask the real question: How long would it take an inexperienced person to write 1,000 words versus a professional SEO content writer with over 2 decades of online experience?
    Hiring an SEO copywriter to write search engine skyscraper content that’s 1,000 or more words, 2,000 would be awesome – but just one article won’t help your search engine rankings.

    Monthly SEO and Website Promotion – Google My Business Included – Are You In SERPs? Here’s A Workaround for FREE

    What is SERPs? SERP is an established acronym in SEO circles, quite simply, it stands for “Google Search Result Page” so when you type “SEO Lady” into Google, this search term will display results. Of course, everyone wants to be at the top of SERP on Google page 1.

    Google my Business Reliable Management – Monthly Website Marketing Added Feature

    If you’ve got a new domain under 18 months of age it’s unlikely you’ll be ranking without employing an SEO you should get yourself a verified Google My Business page and keep it updated at least monthly. if you’re not sure what a Google Business listing website is, the URL will end in business.site – Here’s mine: seolady.business.site

    The Google search results page is the top “home page” for your business and reputation. When Google detects a search is about your brand name, it provides a summary of the key information about your business, plus your profile is prominently displayed on the right-hand side of a desktop computer.

    Searches on mobile phones will simply show your Google My Business account, however, on landscape tablets and large screen devices like a laptop, will serve you with additional company information and Google blog posts. See my reviews and current blog posts by searching for “SEO LADY” and you will see something similar to this on the right hand side of your screen:

    Google my Business Promotional Posts – Free and Effective Website Marketing

    When your information is incorrect or out of date (or completely missing – you don’t have a Google my Business verified account), you make your competitors the first choice and your brand will suffer. Why? Because people unconsciously blame the business for the wrong information, not Google.

    Case Study – Google my Business 2020 – How Google Got it Wrong

    When COVID-19 hit the UK in March of 2020, it didn’t take Google long to systematically mark a vast percentage of businesses as “Temporarily Closed” which in principle is logical. If your business stayed open and Google had automatically marked you as closed, it’s easy to login to your GMB (Google My Business) account and manually override. It’s also logical that business owners who don’t have the knowledge, or the time to keep on top of their GMB listing then the people that had this knowledge would profit at the expense of your bottom line.

    GMB Examples of 2020 – My personal experience

    • A mobile beauty company unable to reopen her GMB after she missed the fact her listing had changed from “Temporarily Closed” to “Permanently Closed”
    • Swift Google action when a client’s website went offline for just 16 hours. Google automatically removed the website URL from the GMB listing
    • 2019/2020 several locally targeted companies fell off the Maps Top 3 Pack as others had garnered more Google reviews in quick succession
    • Book your free 20 minute SEO chat below:

    The solution to avoiding all of these incidences: Hire the Google Girl Nina Payne to manage your GMB as part of your monthly SEO contract

    Back in 2013 I was certified in Google Analytics and Adwords (now Google Ads) so I’ve been in the game a long time. I’m celebrating my 50th birthday in 2021. I’m one of those girls that’s always got access to the internet in my hands. I may not reply to your email at 5am, so don’t be surprised to receive a notification on your phone that the SEO Lady has been in touch. If you would like some one-on-one training then how about Zoom Video training?

    SEO Training Zoom Google Consultations and Adwords Content Writing

    I have been training people over Skype and Zoom using screen sharing for 12 years. I offer this specific service to people who want to book an SEO or Marketing training course at short notice or Google Ads landing page optimisation and content writing for maximum conversion rates.

    Zoom Google Analytics Training and Website Ranking advice

    Send me your website URL for a free audit

      Google Analytics and Ad Campaigns Optimisation by Zoom Skype or telephone

      Delivering an SEO training day recently, I had a question about Google Analytics training. I asked what the goal was, and the short answer was “I don’t know. I just don’t understand Google Analytics. I want reports to show me sources of traffic, how people buy and why people buy”

      Book a few hours with me and I will demonstrate in an easy to follow session how to understand Google Analytics, setup automatic email reporting from a custom dashboard, how to set up that dashboard in the first place with all your favourite features, and ensure you have your accounts setup correctly – including linking to the correct Google Webmaster Tools property.

      Adwords Landing Pages Paid Traffic Conversion Optimisation

      WARNING: Never set up an Adwords account for the first time DIY. Over 7 years 100% of all my clients that have tried Adwords themselves have WASTED MONEY by not following the correct procedure to target relevant traffic, paying for irrelevant clicks that do not convert.

      I offer a paid traffic content writing writing service and Google Ads account optimisation at a cost of £70/hour. One landing page for paid traffic conversions takes between 2-3 hours depending on the industry.

      Flexible Pricing, Summary, Reporting, Homework and 7 Day Support

      The hourly Zoom/Skype training rate is £70/hour and all Zoom/Skype training sessions include a 7-day follow on email Q&A support. As it’s impossible to predict how much time you will need I will invoice after the session is complete, email over a summary of our conversation, reports from Google and a list of tasks for your homework for us to work on together.

      Adwords isn’t right for every website. Research before you hand over your payment details.

      Google says out of 100 clicks that 3 people on average will convert – e.g. Pick up the phone to call, or send an email enquiry, or make a purchase.

      Therefore the services you want to advertise you should be aware of the Adwords costings per conversion. Below is a rough estimation:

      Essentially 50p per click x 100 clicks = £50 so it follows that 3% of people should convert so £50/3 = £16.70 cost per conversion (sale). Some clicks are £2 each = £50/ conversion.

      Some reasons why Adwords does not convert include:

      • The landing page is not specifically marketed and optimised for new visitors from Adwords
      • The 4 second marketing rule applies, impress or digress
      • You are not paying for [exact] match keywords, only broad match keywords
      • Low priced product (Under £50)
      • Your ads are running 24 hours a day
      • You can’t split test as you don’t have 6 adverts
      • You can’t split test as you don’t have mobile – specific adverts
      • Are Adwords and Google Analytics Linked
      • Are your conversions recording accurate data
      • Is there a contact telephone number unique to Google (if required)
      • High competition keywords / phrases
      • Low search volume
      • Irrelevant search terms
      • Tracking / ecommerce is not accurate


      Sales and Marketing experience since 1999, specific SEO skills since 2004. Owner of SEO Lady Ltd providing Internet Marketing to companies in UK and internationally in a broad range of industries. Small Business Specialist, onthly eCommerce digital marketing, and Search Engine Optimisation one-off projects such as domain migration or how to retain Google rankings when a complete website redesign is in the planning stage.

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        • What experience do I have with WordPress?
        • With eCommerce websites selling UK Nationwide do you have case studies?
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        • I know nothing! What are search phrases? Please explain
        • Google Analytics is a mystery – please explain
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        • We have been ripped off and we are wary of hiring our next SEO individual
        • Are your reviews genuine? Can I call your clients?
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        • The answers to all of these questions will take an hour to explain, which crosses over into a paid consultation
        • Every month I receive 40-50 requests for a quick chat, this would mean 40-50 hours working at no charge. I offer Zoom business mentoring sessions for website owners who need SEO explaining which takes 60-90 minutes for £70.

      Google Manual Penalty Checklist 2015-2021

      Getting hit with a Google Penalty is no fun. Whether it is a manual or algorithmic penalty, the consequences can cost time and money. While figuring out if and why you have a penalty is doable, getting out of the penalty is another story entirely.

      Google has been drastically updating its algorithms for the past few years. These updates were implemented to give users the best possible answers to their search queries and provide the best user experience (UX) possible. The resulting Google Penalties became necessary as SEO’s like myself grew more sophisticated at finding ways to leverage things like links and targeted content to boost rankings and organic traffic.

      If you have access to Google Analytics, you are in luck. There are tools that can help you. One paid tool is called Fruition Google Penalty Checker. You grant the tool access to your Google Analytics account, and it will make a graph of all the penalties, and give you a percentage of the chance that it affected your site.

      Another tool that works well (and is free!) is called Barracuda. It works the same way as Fruition does. You grant the tool access to Google Analytics and it produces a pretty graph that highlights the updates. This tool does not give you the likelihood of the update affecting your site like Fruition does. Both of these tools are great and far superior to simply looking at your traffic and checking the update list.

      Determining Update without Google Analytics is tricky

      If you do not have access to Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools, which is often the case for me, you can still get a good idea of what update caused the traffic drop using a traffic estimator tool like SEMrush. Using this tool, you can see drops in traffic and then correlate the month the traffic dropped to a penalty using MOZ’s Google Algorithm Change History.

      Escaping the penalty

      While getting out of an algorithmic penalty is much easier than a manual penalty, it is no walk in the park. By determining what update affected your site, you can find the cause, then correct it. Most of these penalties are data based, so if you can get your site below the threshold set by the search engine, you should be able to rank well again.

      2015 Flashback – Penguin or Panda?

      The major updates of Panda and Penguin drastically changed the landscape and actually penalized sites for bending the rules and not completely following Google’s Guidelines. These updates are now engrained in the ever-changing algorithm set, continuing to penalize more and more websites every day.

      There are two ways in which a site can be affected by these updates: a Manual Action or an Algorithmic Penalty. In this post, I will discuss how to tell if a site has a Manual Action or Algorithmic Penalty. But first, a bit on the topic from the head of search spam himself, Matt Cutts:

      Manual Action Penalty

      Manual Action penalties are very easy to distinguish. Google is nice enough to leave you a message in your Webmaster Tools letting you know that a page on your site, or possibly your entire site, has a penalty. These penalties are often accompanied by worse rankings or complete deindexation.

      Determining the Update that Caused the Penalty

      When you receive a manual action, the note in Webmaster Tools will tell you what is wrong. It may even give you examples of what is wrong. These penalties are very difficult to get out of. If you have received one of these messages, I wish you the best of luck. In some instances, it is best to cut bait, get a new domain and start over.

      Algorithmic Penalty

      Algorithmic penalties are much harder to identify. There is no message telling you what is wrong. At first you will see a drop in organic traffic, however that usually is not enough to tell if a penalty has taken place or not. Traffic can drop for many reasons, many of which are not due to Google penalties. It is important to know the site’s traffic patterns and if there is any cyclicality to their traffic.

      Once you have verified that the drop in traffic is not related to another issue, you should check your rankings. Algorithmic penalties often obviously alter all rankings for a distinct group of terms. Using Google Webmaster Tool’s search queries report, you can tell if any terms have dropped in the rankings. If there is a sustained traffic drop and a decrease in rankings, it is very likely the site has had an algorithmic penalty.

      Determining the Update that Caused the Penalty

      It can be much harder to figure out what penalty caused an algorithmic penalty. There are over 500 updates a year and picking which one is hampering your traffic is very difficult. Of course, this is much easier if you have access to Google Analytics. If you do not, you can get a really good idea using SEMrush.


      Sales and Marketing experience since 1999, specific SEO skills since 2004. Owner of SEO Lady Ltd providing Internet Marketing to companies in UK and internationally in a broad range of industries. Small Business Specialist, onthly eCommerce digital marketing, and Search Engine Optimisation one-off projects such as domain migration or how to retain Google rankings when a complete website redesign is in the planning stage.

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