Google decided to give us a shocking surprise in May, like an unexpected knock out from behind….. Yes, I can hear you saying – Ouch, it hurts Unfortunately, this is the present scenario of Webmasters and SEO guys.
On May 4th, Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed in his tweet that Google started to roll out its second Core Algorithm Update of 2020 which is officially called as the ‘May 2020 Core Update.’ – just a name to signify the facts, No fancy names like Mordy Oberstein’s one who called the Google May 2020 Core Update as “an absolute monster“, but, I love his naming!
Later today, we are releasing a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. It is called the May 2020 Core Update. Our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered before. Please see this blog post for more about that:https://t.co/e5ZQUAlt0G
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) May 4, 2020
Have a look at what experts like Danny Sullivan and John Mueller saying about the new Google May 2020 Core Update release. Really, this May 2020 Update is being successful in grabbing the attention towards it from the COVID-19.
As the post explains, we're constantly working to improve our systems. The basic things we're looking for to assess great content don't change. We just might improve better ways to model finding that content.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) May 6, 2020
There's more about these updates at the link in the original tweet: https://t.co/qCuy5OdRvZ — in short, we work hard to improve our search results for users, and to highlight the fantastic content you work on.
John (@JohnMu) May 5, 2020
Although, this May 2020 core update is causing major SERP volatility that’s not certainly a bad thing, and through this post, I will explain to you why. So, stay tuned with me till the end!
1) Google’s Core Updates Purpose
Google regularly releases broad core updates to advance its search results as these broad core updates are created to provide significantly observable changes in Google’s SERP results across all countries in all languages. When a broad core update rolls out, websites will notice drops or gains in their search rankings.
Changes in Websites’ search rankings are basically a reflection of the website’s content relevancy that means if the website content has become more relevant since the previous core update it will get a rise in search rankings. And if the content loses its relevancy then it will get a drop in search rankings.
Google releases these core updates with the aim to provide the best search experience possible for the Searchers as we all know how much Google loves its searchers!
2) Google May 2020 Core Update Amid COVID-19
On May 4th, Google started to roll out its second Core Algorithm Update of 2020, which strongly answers our queries about whether Google will hold back its broad core updates during the COVID-19 Pandemic. It’s a clear No. The first core update was launched in January 2020, at that time, we barely bothered about COVID-19. But, now, it’s a different story. Hence, the timing of Google to release this May 2020 update has shocked many webmasters, because of the fact that the COVID-19 crisis has been causing many businesses to shutdown; moreover, there have been drops in sales and traffic across various industries.
In nutshell, there are many things that gaining relevancy among the searchers during the COVID-19 that weren’t as relevant before. Equally, things that were once highly relevant are now lost their importance and having fewer searches. For instance, searches related to travel, tourism and entertainment are not being searched much nowadays.
It’s clearly evident that with the Google May 2020 Core Update, now, Google is facing a unique challenge of syncing up with the current searching trends of users. We will need to wait and see whether people are finding it easier to get the information they are searching on Google.
3) Disruption of Google May 2020 Core Update
For a few minutes, you guys need to be nerdy, because I’m going to bore you all with some stats and graphs. Hey, I heard you saying “let’s exit from here.” Before you decide to leave, give it a try buddy, you won’t be disappointed!
“Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.” The same way Google May 2020 Core Update seems normal until you know it’s impact. So, here are some stats to enlighten your knowledge.
The Google May 2020 Core Update is now done rolling out. It’s a big and broad update that caused major volatility, means SERP rankings have been moved around quite a bit.
The May 2020 Core Update rollout is complete.
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) May 18, 2020
To get an idea of how big the Google May 2020 Core Update is, just have a look at the below image from SEMrush Sensor, which monitors the movement of SERP results on Google. The graph tracks Google’s SERP results on a daily basis, the green and blue colour indicate that there aren’t much changes on Google’s SERP. But, when the colour turns to red, it’s a clear indication that the SERP rankings are volatile.
RankRanger site also published the following graph based on RankRanger’s data set that demonstrates the impact of May 2020 core update in terms of Google’s SERP rankings volatility. The graph shows the Google SERP rankings volatility in the last 30 days where you can see significant changes in the SERP rankings.
Hope the above graphs give you an idea about the volatility happening on Google’s SERPs. Now, let’s have a look at the industries that are most affected by this Google May 2020 Core Update. According to the SEMRush data, real estate, health, travel, people & society, and pets & animals are the industries that most impacted by the update. Here is a graph from SEMRush that shows the breakdown volatility by industry.
Moz also released a top 20 winners list with the before-and-after percentage changes within the 7 days’ periods from the date of the update release. The winners list is based on the insights from the MozCast’s temperature report on Google May 2020 Core Update. Don’t scratch your head thinking about MozCast’s temperature report, it’s a weather report showing turbulence in the Google algorithm update, the hotter the temperature the more Google’s SERP rankings changed.
Now I’m feeling like a school mathematics teacher who is talking about graphs and stats. Hope I’m not that bored. Okay, let’s jump into the next topic!
4) What’s the Status of Your Website Traffic?
Hope you already checked your website traffic, if you haven’t, you should go and check your website traffic & rankings to see if they have gone up or down, you can use Google Analytics to check your traffic and there are many free tools available to track your keywords rankings.
If you noticed a traffic drop, don’t panic. I will give some of my practical tips to help you out.
Let’s first start with clearing some misconception about traffic. People new to SEO have this big misconception that if your website has a high domain authority, your website won’t be affected by these core updates and you’ll constantly gets more traffic for your website. That’s absolutely false.
In fact, this Google May 2020 Core Update focus more on content, and based on the analysis it seems like the sites that have thin content, means pages with low-words counts are most affected by the update. Even Spotify also hit by the update. For your clear understanding, here I’ve mentioned the charts from Search Metrics that shows how the May 2020 Core Update affected the popular domains. Have a look at them below.
5) What to do if you are hit by Google May 2020 Core Update?
So, finally, we arrived at the main topic! Let’s find the answer to your question – What to do if my site is hit by the core update? When it comes to core updates, it’s often harder to find out what you need to do to reverse any hit your site may have seen. Google’s Core Updates are intended to improve its overall quality of search results and to provide the best possible results to the searchers. Google’s guidelines on this Google May 2020 Core Update seems exactly the same as the guidelines for all other core updates in the past. Google’s all-time mantra is that there’s nothing to “fix” if websites rankings drop after a broad core update. But, it recommends webmasters and SEOs to make their website content the best it can be.
So, keeping Google’s advice in mind, today, I’m going to provide you with three effective ways to improve your website overall, they are:
- Improve your website content
- Improve your website SEO
- Improve your website’s Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T)
Let’s checklist the things that we need to do in each of the above three sections. You guys will find it easy!
1. Guidance on Improve Your Website Content
We always need to provide authoritative content in our websites that the users find helpful to them. So, here is some guidance to make your content more authoritative.
- If your old content is no longer relevant to readers, either you can update the content and do 301 redirect to the most relevant content page in your website or you can delete the old content page.
- Make your content more attractive and useful by adding images, videos, infographics and step-by-step instructions.
- Fix the dead links in your content if there are any.
- If your website has translated articles, makesure the images and videos in the article make sense to the readers who are reading the content in that language.
- Avoid using complex words in your content that only a few people can understand, this will help to increase the readability of your content.
- If your content discusses topics that come in a specific time frame or year, see the possibilities to make the content evergreen by removing the dates and time frames.
- If your article trying to solve a specific problem of people, makesure to research and provide the best answers possible that make sense of what people are actually looking for.
- If your article covering the exact same topic as another article on your website, consider to merging them, you can 301 redirect one article to the other.
- Provide new content based on current trends to attract readers’ attention.
2. Guidance on Improve Your Website SEO
If you’re mainly relying on people to find you through a Google search, SEO should be at your top priority checklist. Below I’ve listed down some effective ways to improve your website SEO. Have a look at them.
- Increase your website’s page loading speed.
- Increase your website’s readability.
- Post relevant content on your website – Start blogging.
- Add images, video on your website to give a multimedia experience in your site.
- Use infographics to generate more traffic and backlinks to your website
- Use keywords to improve your website’s SEO ranking.
- Makesure to write engaging page titles and meta descriptions in your website
- Find and fix the SEO errors in your website
- Provide accurate contact details on your website
- Create a Google Business Page for your website.
3. Guidance on Improve Your Website’s Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T)
Improving your website’s expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) increase your chances of ranking at a good position in Google’s search results. So, here are some ways you can start doing right now to improve your Website E-A-T.
- Have good bylines for your website content by putting author name, date and more.
- Create good author pages in your website articles.
- Have a strong and well-written about page on your website.
- Provide clear and accessible contact information.
- Add all the important legal pages on your website.
- Get backlinks from relevant and high-authority domains.
- Make your website content written or reviewed by credentialed experts.
- If you are writing about scientific topics, then you should add cite authoritative references.
- Makesure your scientific-related content represents the scientific consensus.
- Maintain a good online reputation.
Now, you guys know what you need to do to tackle this Google May 2020 Core Update. But, before you guys get into a false impression and started to make any larger changes on your website, I’d like to let you know that even if you do everything I discussed above, there is no guarantee that your website won’t be affected by the May 2020 Core Update or your rankings get drastically improve. Each website is different, and the main goal of these Core Updates is to provide the best experience for searchers.
If you look at the above guidelines carefully, you’ll realize that improving those factors on your website will create a better user experience on your website for the visitors and that should be your ultimate goal.
If you provide the best user experience on your website, you’ll do better than your competitors, when it comes to Google’s broad core algorithm updates.
So, have you spotted any changes in your rankings during the Google May 2020 Core Update? Let’s share your experience with the core update in the comments below!