1,000+ Winners and Losers of the December 2020 Google Core Algorithm Update Lily Ray Sr. Director, SEO & Head of Organic Research Published: December 7, 2020 3 min read Categories: SEO Updated December 15, 2020 Jump to: Methodology | Winning Categories | Losing Categories | Winning Domains | Losing Domains | View & Download All Data | Analysis On December 3rd, 2020, Google rolled out the long-awaited December 2020 Core Update somewhat unexpectedly, after months of anticipation among the digital marketing community. The most recent core update prior to this one was launched on May 4, 2020, creating a 7-month gap for website owners who were negatively impacted to attempt to make changes to their sites and get back in Google’s good graces. 2020 was a unique year for SEO professionals not only because of Google’s core updates, but also because of significant shifts that took place in the search results as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. For site owners who have felt the impacts of Google’s recent core updates, it has become abundantly clear that recovering traffic and rankings is usually not possible until the next core update rolls out. While small, incremental gains may be obtainable during the interim period, it’s generally not until the next core update that full recoveries or partial recoveries are possible. Below is a list of over 1,000 winners and losers of the December 2020 Core Update. The full list of analyzed sites is included at the bottom of the article. Methodology The “VI” metric shown below is pulled from the Sistrix U.S. Visibility Index, which represents organic visibility at any point in time. As a reminder, Sistrix’s Visibility Index is not intended to be an SEO traffic index. It reflects how visible a domain is against their core set of 1 million keywords in their visibility index. Learn more about Sistrix’s visibility index methodology. We analyzed 1,067 sites for this article. Updated: the analyzed dates are December 1st vs. December 14th, 2020. The algorithm update began rolling out on December 3. (The original version of this article showed December 1 through December 3rd data.) The categories displayed alongside each domain are pulled from Similarweb’s list of website categories, with some modifications. We analyzed 38 categories: Accounting & TaxesAddictionsArts & EntertainmentBusiness ServicesCars & Car RentalChildren’s HealthDatingEcommerce & ShoppingFinanceFood & DrinkGroceriesHealthHealth ConditionsHome & GardenInsuranceLaw & GovernmentMental HealthMovies & StreamingMusicNatural & Alternative MedicineNews & MediaNutrition & FitnessPerforming ArtsPublic Safety & HealthReal EstateRecipesReligionRelocation & MovingRestaurants & DeliveryScience & EducationSenior CareSocial MediaSportsTelecommunicationsTravel & TourismVideo Games Winning Categories Below is a summary of the 29 categories (out of the 38 we analyzed) that saw the greatest percentage increase in SEO visibility as a result of the December 2020 core update: Losing Categories Below is a summary of the 9 categories (out of the 38 we analyzed) that saw the greatest percentage decrease in SEO visibility as a result of the December 2020 core update: Winning Domains: Top 50 Winning Domains (Total Gain in Visibility Index) Below are the 50 domains that saw the greatest total visibility index increase. Top 50 Winning Domains (% Change in Visibility Index) Below are the 50 domains that saw the greatest percent gain in visibility. (Filtered by domains with .1 VI score or higher.) Losing Domains: Top 50 Losing Domains (Total Decline in Visibility Index) Below are the 50 domains that saw the greatest total visibility index decrease. Top 50 Losing Domains (% Change in Visibility Index) Below are the 50 domains that saw the greatest percent decline in visibility. (Filtered by domains with .1 VI score or higher.) All Data: Download an export of all data: Download PDF Make a copy in Google Sheets Below is a full list of all 1,021 analyzed sites and their respective categories: Analysis & Speculation: The most striking aspect of this update is the dramatic reversal in visibility among several of the sites that were the biggest winners of 2020 in the days prior to the update, such as Amazon, Pinterest, CDC, Overstock, CNN, New York Times, and other sites that greatly benefitted due to the coronavirus pandemic, mandatory quarantines, and other breaking news in 2020. Maybe Google decided it was time to give some of the smaller players a chance to compete against the big guys – an unexpected holiday gift, perhaps? Pinterest: Pinterest decline in visibility after the December 2020 Core Update Amazon decline in visibility after the December 2020 Core Update New York Times decline in visibility after the December 2020 Core Update On the flipside, sites that have seen significant declines in visibility, many of which have been working hard on improving E-A-T, may be seeing early signs of recovery: Dr. Axe sees a slight uptick as a result of the December 2020 Core Update Verywell Health sees a significant uptick as a result of the December 2020 Core Update Prevention.com, which appears to have been investing heavily in improving E-A-T, is seeing an uptick in visibility after the December 2020 core update. Our SEO team knows what’s next. Knowledgeable and dedicated, we support our clients and help lead the industry. Read more of our latest insights or reach out to us for the best SEO strategies to grow your business.