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Google’s May 2020 Core Update: What to Know

It doesn’t take an SEO company to know Google is an ever-evolving world of algorithms and analytical data. The web giant’s goal, as they state, is to keep SERPs as relevant as possible to those who use the search engine. Since relevancy is a term that is always changing with the tide of the times, Google’s algorithm updates determine where sites and pages get ranked.

While it is common for Google to do small updates on pretty much a daily basis, every few months they roll out what they refer to as a core update. Core updates are far more broad-scale and more likely to affect a larger number of web pages, and Moz does a good job of gauging these changes after the dust settles (winners & losers). The May 2020 Google core update is expected to be substantially comprehensive, and many SEO Agencies, marketers, and business owners are starting to see the changes.

A Note About Prior Google Core Algorithm Updates

In 2019, Google had 8 confirmed Major Google Algorithm updates and many other small updates. While the majority of the updates are smaller in stature than what we’re all facing with this May, some site owners will see significant changes. For example, the November 2019 update focused primarily on local SERPs and making those more relevant to actual local searchers, so some local-based companies ran into issues with their rankings and had to step back, reconfigure, and reboot their tactics.

What to Watch for with Google’s Latest Update

Just as it is with every other Google update, it is critical that you keep an eye on your site’s search engine rankings and analytical data. You may see major declines in your ranks and traffic to your pages. According to some of the forum posts gathered into a blog on the Search Engine Roundtable, business owners are seeing greatly varied changes in numbers. Within the first week of the rollout (which can take as long as two weeks to fully complete), some posters were claiming slight drops in site and page rankings, some saw as much as a 90 percent drop in their organic rankings, and some saw drastic fall-offs and having pages that weren’t ranking at all.

While some instability will happen as Google works behind the scenes to tweak and finalize the update is expected, anything beyond this instability after the first few weeks can pretty much be tacked down as a long-term change. While you may not have to get completely worried in the initial phases as your numbers go back and forth, it is important to keep an eye on things just the same.

News from Search Engine Land covered some of the latest numbers after the rollout of the May 2020 update gathered from Search Metrics, and some of the changes in growth were surprising. For example, music giant Spotify saw growth numbers fall by over 14 percent on May 10th, and Spotify has been on a steady incline for a long time. It is speculated that this particular update is tweaking algorithms according to things like brand data, user data, and of course content factors.

What to Do If the Core Update Has a Negative Impact On Your Website

With every new Google algorithm update, some websites come out winners on the other side and some really lose out. If you are part of the latter team, which is highly plausible, it is a good idea to get a digital marketing agency to inspect what the next steps are to increase your SEO rankings. Google has published some questions to examine if your site gets a hard hit with the latest core update, but there may not be really specific changes that will come across as obvious. Some things Google recommends examining include:

  • Does the page have original content?
  • Is the content on the site professionally written?
  • Does the provided content seem to serve the interests of the searcher well?
  • Is the content on the page free from errors?
  • Have proper titles and subtitles been used?

These generic webmaster questions are the same regardless of the core update Google rolls out, so if you feel you have already tended to everything, it can be hard to see that anything about your site is out of kilter.

Get Over the Google Core Update Hump with a Little SEO Help

If your site was hit hard by the latest Google core rollout, there could be a bigger, broader picture to examine. There is a chance that issues that caused your numbers to drop were pre-existing, and the proverbial Google bots just caught on with the latest updates. Working with an SEO agency to examine your existing pages for issues is an ideal solution to help rebuild your SEO. Most SEO companies offer free audits, if you are concerned about your website’s SEO, please reach out for a complimentary SEO audit.

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