Google came up with its 2nd Core Update of 2020 amidst the coronavirus pandemic. They published the update on May 4th, terming it the ‘May 2020 Core Update’, and it seems like a truly big one.
The rollout will extend for up to two weeks from the announcement date. Google’s timing has confused many webmasters – contemplating that the corona crisis has been prompting companies to close down, plus the truth that there have been continued drops in traffic and sales across many businesses.
This article includes data and analysis of Google’s May 2020 Core Update.
Google Update amid the COVID-19 pandemic causes outrage
Some webmasters and SEOs have criticized the timing of the May 2020 Core Update. During the pandemic, supporting online businesses is very challenging, with the ongoing limitations worldwide. The prevailing restrictions have led to a drop in traffic and online purchases for many companies, leaving many with an overall sense of uncertainty about the future.
Google has been announcing major core updates – important, broad modifications to the search algorithms and practices – via Twitter.
This time, the communication of the rollout was announced on May 4th, 2020. Here, Google attempts to counter algorithm update rumours growing out of control, plus, revealing the title of the update themselves. The title Google proffers to core update announcements are intentionally kept neutral, with the “May 2020 Core Update” as no exception.
What has Google changed?
As usual, Google has not exposed definite information about what has improved in the search algorithm or which businesses or issues are of a particular focus of the Google Update. It’s unclear whether there is a link to the COVID-19 pandemic and Google users’ changing search behaviour.
According to Google, the complete rollout period takes one to two weeks until all changes are live.
Google Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller, has not disclosed aspects about the May update and points to the general Google blog post on the topic when queried.
Primary Observations – May 2020 Google Update:
1. Deficient content powered by external factors suffering
2. Local SERPs constantly changing
3. Directories and aggregators winning
4. SERP features may be in constant flux
Impact of the Google May 2020 Core Update
Some webmasters and SEOs have published on the consequences of the Google Core Update. According to the hints so far, there are many businesses and web pages that can be expected to be affected by the revisions. According to primary records from the Webmaster World Forum and Twitter, there are improvements in a wide range of businesses – from recipes to tech, finance and even health. There are also some new signs that cryptocurrency content has been affected, according to Forbes, in this article.
Many recipe website managers mentioned notable traffic declines, with the main purpose being the removal of URLs from the recipe carousel as well as the removal of rich snippets for recipe decisions. It could be the case that Google adjusted particularly for this segment, mainly because search results for recipe topics include a lot of supplementary information presented as rich snippets, such as images, ratings, cooking time and other data.
Google Updates: What Webmasters & SEOs can do
In 2019, Google announced in a post on the Google Webmaster Blog, describing in detail the algorithm modifications behind Core Updates and what webmasters and SEOs can do if a Google Core Update affects them.
Those who have observed ranking declines due to an update, “have not broken Google Webmaster Guidelines nor experienced any manual or algorithmic action.” The updates are meant to enhance the overall quality of search results. According to Google, these disagreements could see websites that ranked less swiftly rank higher and vice versa. An example comparison, explaining how a Google Core Update works, is by watching over a list of the 100 best movies. This list will be renewed a few years later and will change as new movies are added over time.
Google suggests webmasters and SEOs whose websites have been caught by a Google Update to “focus on delivering the best possible content” and recommends carrying a website audit requesting inquiries in the following four areas:
- Content & Quality: Does the website provide unique, relevant content that goes beyond copying? Are meta titles and descriptions engaging and created to match the content?
- Expertise: Is the content reliable and legitimate? Does the webpage hold mistakes?
- Presentation & Production: Does the content look well-investigated and designed, or does it look more like mass generation? Are there multiple ads? Does the website load smoothly on all devices?
- Competitive Comparison: Does the website offers added value as opposed to other opponents? Does the content match the requirements of the users?
Webmasters can get the first opinion by examining their website as opposed to opponents, particularly concerning the usefulness of the content.
The Core Update hits health sectors the most as Google proceeds to pay consideration to news relating to the pandemic. It seems this is an important call to staying committed to giving valid answers. If people are looking for trustworthy data on COVID-19, possibilities are, Google will honour highly reliable content. We are surviving in a time when invalid pieces of information can take a life, so the algorithm must be continuously developed to help victor this cause.