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Well, 2020 is over – phew, right? December was a wild wild month in terms of what SEOs and webmasters need to be concerned with around Google Search. We had the December 2020 core update and some unconfirmed updates. We learned more about the page experience update, passage indexing and more. So let me give you a quick recap on what happened in the past 30-days, in case you took the month off.
The December 2020 core update started to roll out on December 3rd but we really did not notice it until December 4th. The second wave of that update was around December 10th. There was debate on if Google should have released an update when it did. But hey, those that got hit with the May core update and recovered, like us, were happy.
We also saw a couple unconfirmed updates on December 17th and Christmas weekend.
Passage indexing and the core updates are unrelated and so are core updates and BERT. But passage indexing was not rolled out before the end of the year, we are expecting it soon. But when it does go live, it won’t look different. Google also tested the page experience visual icon in the search results.
Google Search Console got some upgrades including fresh data in the API, a news filter and more, also a news showcase filter. Google launched the question hub in the US, which is awesome. Google fixed the request indexing tool after 69 days and decided not to kill the structured data testing tool.
Google has been busy testing UI changes including practice problems in the search results, dynamic expandable images and expandable descriptions. Google also launched short video carousels and 3D cars and so much more.
If you want to catch up on the prior month, check our the December Google webmaster report.
Here is a break down of the more important stories you may want to catch up on:
Google Algorithm Updates
Google Passage Indexing
Google Search Console
Google Local, Maps & My Business
Google User Interface
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.