Insights

6th May 2020

Google announces May 2020 Core Algorithm Update: What does it mean for your site and how can you monitor its impact?

On May 4th, Google took to Twitter to announce the roll-out of a broad core algorithm update, named the May 2020 Core Update. As they mention in the tweet below, these updates occur every couple of months, with the last update being released in January of this year.

The January algorithm update appeared to mainly hit ‘Your Money or Your Life’ sites which include sites about Health and Finance. However, it also impacted sites across a range of industries.

As with all broad algorithm updates rolled out by Google, the aim is to review the rankings of sites across the entire web, generating changes across search results across the globe. During these updates, the majority of sites will experience some fluctuation in rankings, with each update affecting different industries at different scales.

In general, Google’s Core Updates take around two weeks to fully roll out, and sites should expect to see fluctuations in their ranking for a couple of weeks following this announcement. After this time, rankings tend to settle. However, it is worth noting that this is the first Core Update since the Covid-19 pandemic, which in itself has changed search volumes and results significantly. Therefore, there is potential for this update to be more volatile than previous updates, due to the current global situation.

What can I do if my rankings drop due to the update?

Google has repeatedly emphasised that there is no ‘fix’ if rankings drop due to an algorithm update. However, it has recommended that site owners should regularly review their site content to ensure it is relevant and useful to a user’s search query as this is the type of content that their algorithms seek to reward.

In August 2019, Google posted a blog offering advice on how to self-assess the quality of the content on your site. This blog was specifically written to explain Google Core Algorithm Updates to webmasters, and to outline the type of content that is favoured during these updates. In the post, Google provides a list of questions webmasters can use to review the quality of their content, looking at the content from several perspectives including expertise, quality and presentation. The article clearly indicates that Google’s algorithm favours content that is original, insightful, comprehensive and trustworthy. Where possible the expertise of the author should be presented, and the content should be easy to read and well displayed. Furthermore, Google notes the importance of comparing your content to that of your competitors in search in order to ensure that it provides substantial value and is written in the interest of your site visitors.

At a time when for many businesses their website is their only channel of revenue and interaction with customers, it is more important than ever to monitor your website analytics and rankings. This monitoring is imperative during the next couple of weeks to assess the impact of the May 2020 update on your site. Webmasters should also audit the pages that drop or improve in the rankings, as well as identifying the types of search queries these pages rank for. This will help to identify any patterns in site ranking changes, therefore providing an insight into how your site can be improved going forwards.

For more information on how to ensure your content is high quality and that your site is optimised for search, contact the experts at Varn.

Article by: Katie, Technical SEO Expert More articles by Katie

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