The Winners & Losers of Google’s January 2020 Core Algorithm Update

Lily Ray Lily Ray January 31, 2020 Category Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Google rolled out a major core algorithm update beginning on January 13, 2020, as it does several times per year.

Just like with other updates, Google did not provide specifics about this update beyond what it describes in its article, “What Webmasters Should Know About Core Updates,” which provides guidance on improving content quality and E-A-T.

Working with Sistrix data, we have compiled a list of some of the biggest winners and losers of Google’s January Core Algorithm Update. The percent changes in visibility shown below are reflective of the Sistrix Visibility Index. Read more about how the Visibility Index is calculated.

Here is an important note related to how this index is calculated, and why it’s a good measure of analyzing changes related to algorithm updates:

“By actively measuring the rankings across a representative keyword set, the SISTRIX data is free from external influences such as seasonality, the weather, vacation times and other external factors and trends. This is the only way you can reliably recognise whether your SEO measures are working.”

The sites on this list saw significant changes in organic search visibility beginning on January 13, 2020, when the update was announced, and one week later, January 20, 2020.

Overall Winners & Losers: Sistrix U.S. Visibility Index (Mobile Devices)

The below sites saw the biggest changes in organic performance in the week following the January 2020 Core Algorithm Update in the Sistrix U.S. Visibility Index.

Biggest Winners:

Winning Domains - OverallChange
thehill.com49.12%
verywellhealth.com44.08%
stlyrics.com37.74%
istockphoto.com31.98%
asos.com26.76%
craigslist.org24.55%
health.com23.39%
prettylittlething.us22.06%
discogs.com21.74%
thestreet.com20.39%
cargurus.com19.99%
python.org19.88%
brainpop.com19.76%
boredpanda.com19.20%
explainthatstuff.com18.62%
studentaid.gov17.55%
healthgrades.com17.40%
marketwatch.com16.79%
har.com16.34%
familydoctor.org15.49%
tillys.com15.31%
android.com14.92%
learnersdictionary.com14.56%
ushistory.org14.46%
php.net14.42%
redbubble.com14.11%
thesaurus.com13.76%
yourdictionary.com13.67%
nydailynews.com13.56%
bigfishgames.com13.07%
diffen.com13.04%
seekingalpha.com12.93%
bls.gov12.67%
go.com12.59%
lyricsfreak.com12.57%
priceline.com12.47%
buzzfeednews.com12.34%
screenrant.com12.23%
pnas.org12.20%
houzz.com12.18%
sandiegozoo.org11.99%
marthastewart.com11.89%
sparknotes.com11.79%
colorado.edu11.76%
calculator.net11.62%
motortrend.com11.44%
researchgate.net11.33%
mlb.com11.21%
shutterstock.com11.10%
aljazeera.com11.03%

Biggest Losers:

Losing Domains - OverallChange
lexico.com-26.80%
people.com-26.74%
boxofficemojo.com-26.45%
hsn.com-24.11%
nhsinform.scot-23.32%
foxbusiness.com-22.63%
shoecarnival.com-21.83%
coolmathgames.com-21.54%
freep.com-21.02%
skysports.com-20.98%
fivethirtyeight.com-20.60%
usmagazine.com-20.20%
newworldencyclopedia.org-19.46%
tmz.com-19.43%
phys.org-19.21%
backcountry.com-18.35%
historyextra.com-17.29%
mirror.co.uk-16.64%
gizmodo.com-16.25%
thezebra.com-16.22%
miniclip.com-16.14%
aol.com-16.14%
knowyourmeme.com-16.08%
infoplease.com-15.85%
peoplefinder.com-15.69%
sfchronicle.com-15.48%
dallasnews.com-15.25%
indiatimes.com-15.24%
startribune.com-14.77%
hackernoon.com-14.17%
express.co.uk-14.11%
ballotpedia.org-14.04%
orbitz.com-13.86%
spectrum.com-13.60%
giantbomb.com-13.52%
indiatoday.in-13.45%
comenity.net-13.18%
toppr.com-12.72%
smartertravel.com-12.67%
autolist.com-12.63%
mentalfloss.com-12.63%
engadget.com-12.53%
keh.com-12.52%
sbnation.com-12.33%
nme.com-12.19%
outsideonline.com-12.09%
digitalspy.com-12.00%
etonline.com-12.00%
libretexts.org-11.98%

Performance By Category

Note: the below section contains a handpicked selection of domains and does not represent Google’s entire index of websites.

There may be websites in these categories that saw significant visibility changes as a result of the algorithm updates and are not reflected on the list.

We wanted to look at several categories that have seen volatility with recent updates. The below categories and domains are by no means the only sectors seeing fluctuations on Google, but they can help us glean some insights about what Google is looking for in terms of content quality and relevancy as a result of these updates. The below fluctuations are shown between the period of January 13, 2020, and January 31, 2020.

Winning Sites: News, Music & Entertainment

Winning Domains - News, Music & Entertainment% Change
aceshowbiz.com152.61%
rollingout.com117.15%
thehill.com90.03%
hot97.com80.87%
vagalume.com.br76.38%
justwatch.com75.00%
thecut.com72.59%
istockphoto.com68.48%
discogs.com64.72%
thedailybeast.com46.58%
msn.com45.78%
ucfalumni.com43.90%
allmusic.com42.37%
hadviser.com40.64%
tunebat.com39.26%
papermag.com38.38%
shutterstock.com37.16%
buzzfeednews.com36.24%
amp.insider.com34.71%
npr.org31.48%
screenrant.com31.03%
m.mixcloud.com28.14%
wsj.com28.12%
metrolyrics.com27.64%
change.org24.84%
theblast.com23.55%
bloomberg.com23.13%
freeform.go.com23.12%
hollywoodlife.com23.10%
highsnobiety.com22.01%
usatoday.com21.23%
tabs.ultimate-guitar.com21.17%
fandango.com20.47%
m.letras.com18.54%
kanyewest.com18.01%
popsugar.com17.22%
sohh.com17.14%
nbcnews.com16.69%
blackamericaweb.com16.47%
time.com15.77%
amp.theatlantic.com15.72%
songlyrics.com14.03%
forbes.com13.66%
nbc.com13.66%
laweekly.com13.25%
gettyimages.com13.07%
consequenceofsound.net13.05%
theverge.com11.67%
hellomagazine.com11.33%
finance.yahoo.com11.29%
mobile.reuters.com11.21%
cheatsheet.com9.68%
newsweek.com8.89%
hypebeast.com8.52%
oldies.com8.39%
vividseats.com7.72%
ticketmaster.com7.70%
urbanislandz.com7.57%
inc.com6.93%
tv.com6.28%
officialcharts.com6.01%
chrisbrownworld.com5.98%
musicnotes.com5.75%
buzzfeed.com5.11%

Losing Sites: News, Music & Entertainment

Losing Domains - News, Music & Entertainment% Change
thefader.com-55.87%
people.com-46.74%
vibe.com-41.28%
theroot.com-39.31%
refinery29.com-34.88%
capitalxtra.com-34.80%
thesource.com-32.48%
famousbirthdays.com-31.50%
etonline.com-31.47%
nypost.com-31.37%
elitedaily.com-31.14%
hotnewhiphop.com-30.81%
aljazeera.com-28.88%
xxlmag.com-28.36%
dailymail.co.uk-27.96%
en.m.wikiquote.org-27.88%
essence.com-27.14%
marieclaire.com-26.97%
listen.tidal.com-26.30%
beatport.com-26.29%
yidio.com-26.14%
goodmorningamerica.com-25.02%
marketwatch.com-24.77%
nme.com-22.88%
esquire.com-22.54%
cbsnews.com-22.22%
amp.complex.com-22.18%
amp.usatoday.com-22.00%
realclearpolitics.com-22.00%
digitalspy.com-21.96%
nickiswift.com-20.32%
cbs.com-20.30%
songkick.com-20.28%
updateland.com-20.26%
m.ranker.com-20.16%
definitions.net-19.24%
glamour.com-18.85%
intouchweekly.com-18.20%
bustle.com-17.57%
blackenterprise.com-17.12%
vanityfair.com-17.09%
fox.com-16.70%
nytimes.com-16.42%
telegraph.co.uk-16.15%
stereogum.com-15.94%
globaltv.com-15.77%
hiphopwired.com-14.61%
ambrosiaforheads.com-14.58%
seventeen.com-14.02%
hulu.com-13.72%
baltimoresun.com-13.63%
cnn.com-12.74%
tvtropes.org-12.48%
amp.miamiherald.com-11.96%
independent.co.uk-11.60%
commonsensemedia.org-11.50%
marriott.com-10.95%
slate.com-10.95%
vulture.com-10.07%
empireonline.com-9.80%
teenvogue.com-9.80%
businessinsider.com-9.31%
tubitv.com-9.13%
allthelyrics.com-9.06%
tvguide.com-8.96%
fastcompany.com-8.61%
thetrendspotter.net-8.25%
newyorker.com-7.73%
money.cnn.com-7.55%
pbs.org-7.41%
stubhub.com-7.38%
latimes.com-7.30%
naturallycurly.com-6.91%
hellobeautiful.com-6.86%
harpersbazaar.com-6.84%
mercurynews.com-6.39%
cnbc.com-6.34%
rollingstone.com-6.24%
m.barnesandnoble.com-6.19%
washingtonpost.com-5.80%

Winning Sites: Recipe Sites

Winning Domains - Recipe Sites% Change
budgetbytes.com42.07%
cookieandkate.com41.99%
addapinch.com32.31%
sallysbakingaddiction.com26.84%
damndelicious.net25.94%
marthastewart.com24.51%
gimmesomeoven.com19.96%
skinnytaste.com19.10%
kingarthurflour.com17.47%
pinchofyum.com15.95%
wellplated.com15.04%
simplyrecipes.com14.49%
diethood.com12.14%
cafedelites.com11.27%
rasamalaysia.com10.72%
aspicyperspective.com9.57%
the-girl-who-ate-everything.com9.14%
bettycrocker.com7.21%
southernliving.com7.14%
brit.co6.14%
lifeloveandsugar.com4.98%
tablespoon.com4.62%
laurenslatest.com3.76%
myfoodandfamily.com3.63%
thepioneerwoman.com3.23%
countryliving.com2.65%
mccormick.com2.28%
recipetineats.com2.00%

Losing Sites: Recipe Sites

Losing Domains - Recipe Sites% Change
sweetandsavorymeals.com-29.13%
therecipecritic.com-26.64%
food52.com-25.77%
averiecooks.com-25.50%
acouplecooks.com-24.36%
thestayathomechef.com-23.36%
epicurious.com-23.01%
cookiesandcups.com-21.27%
finecooking.com-21.19%
tasty.co-19.48%
dinnerthendessert.com-18.39%
dinneratthezoo.com-17.15%
jessicagavin.com-16.99%
joyfoodsunshine.com-15.71%
crazyforcrust.com-14.84%
natashaskitchen.com-14.07%
thereciperebel.com-12.99%
foodandwine.com-12.72%
fifteenspatulas.com-12.23%
browneyedbaker.com-11.58%
delish.com-10.53%
womansday.com-10.21%
thechunkychef.com-9.44%
thekitchn.com-8.65%
sugarspunrun.com-8.00%
tasteofhome.com-7.99%
livewellbakeoften.com-7.55%
cookingclassy.com-6.96%
tastesbetterfromscratch.com-6.89%
myrecipes.com-6.41%
pillsbury.com-6.34%
justataste.com-6.25%
foodiecrush.com-5.87%
jocooks.com-5.84%
cookinglight.com-5.81%
spendwithpennies.com-4.18%
today.com-4.15%
thespruceeats.com-3.17%
campbells.com-2.55%

Winning Sites: Health Sites

Winning Domains - Health Sites% Change
healthcentral.com183.35%
draxe.com180.65%
healthywomen.org148.30%
verywellhealth.com125.61%
patient.info73.17%
healthgrades.com67.01%
karger.com59.76%
health.com59.69%
prevention.com32.48%
popsugar.com15.74%
psychologytoday.com11.56%
medicinenet.com10.52%
wholefoodsmarket.com10.35%
mouthhealthy.org9.96%
iheart.com9.52%
everydayhealth.com8.40%
healthcare.gov7.57%
medicalnewstoday.com4.45%
helpguide.org0.78%
plannedparenthood.org0.17%

Losing Sites: Health Sites

Losing Domains - Health Sites% Change
nerdfitness.com-32.44%
runtastic.com-30.95%
elitedaily.com-29.23%
verywellmind.com-29.08%
emedicinehealth.com-24.50%
qz.com-20.14%
hopkinsmedicine.org-19.03%
webmd.com-17.47%
merckmanuals.com-16.95%
realsimple.com-16.63%
drugs.com-14.93%
my.clevelandclinic.org-14.68%
emedicine.medscape.com-14.04%
britannica.com-13.82%
redbookmag.com-13.24%
mayoclinic.org-12.43%
medlineplus.gov-11.73%
dignityhealth.org-10.46%
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov-10.16%
ods.od.nih.gov-10.16%
elle.com-9.96%
dailymail.co.uk-9.90%
tasteofhome.com-9.50%
kidshealth.org-8.56%
thespruceeats.com-8.47%
womenshealth.gov-5.38%
childmind.org-5.20%
health.harvard.edu-4.89%
byrdie.com-3.96%
raisingchildren.net.au-3.16%
healthline.com-2.03%
buybuybaby.com-0.93%
liveabout.com-0.31%

Throughout the course of the year, I will be presenting at various SEO conferences and publishing content related to these algorithm updates and what we can learn from them. Stay tuned for future analyses and don’t hesitate to contact us at Path Interactive if you have any questions about the algorithm updates and how they might impact your SEO strategy.

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