The May 2020 Google Update is Here!


After a break of a couple of months, Google is back with yet another algorithm update. The Google Search Liaison official account made an announcement recently. According to it, the update has been implemented already across various data centers. 

Google's Tweet


Just like any other broad core algorithm update, the rollout will take about a week or two to complete. The impact on rankings will also take a while to reflect. 

The broad core algorithms have a significant effect on rankings as opposed to the daily updates. With an announcement of an update amidst all the Coronavirus chaos, SEO consultants and companies are wondering what awaits them. More so because broad core updates can end up shaking up the organic results and fluctuate the organic rankings of the websites. 

As per Google, the change in ranking due to an algorithm update doesn’t mean that you are doing SEO wrong. It is just that Google is mapping the best results with a search query. A good way to recover the website ranking loss is by enhancing the quality of content as well as its authority. 

The Google update has come at a time where the whole world is dealing with Coronavirus. This makes me think of how it will impact the businesses. Staying abreast of the latest updates has become crucial now, especially when everyone is taking their business online. This is in favor of digital marketers and SEOs who can provide services to those who need it. 

However, the core update has also left the search industry perplexed in such uncertain times. 


What does the May 2020 Core Update Include?

Google hasn’t specified the changes that will happen with its May 2020 core update and it is quite natural because core updates affect the algorithm as a whole. It is best to check Google’s guidelines on what to know about the core updates. 

Here is what can happen once the latest core updates fully rolls out: 

  • Your site rankings and traffic witness a boost. 
  • Your site rankings and traffic get hampered. 
  • Your traffic and site rankings don’t change that much. 

If you are in the third category then there isn’t much to worry about. You can continue with your SEO endeavours. But if you are in the first two categories then things can get confusing. 

Looks like we will have to wait and see how the update spans out. The last core update was made in January this year and the May update might seem far too quick. But it makes sense because the search behavior has evolved due to the coronavirus pandemic. Owing to it, there has to be an update that accommodates it. At least that’s what I think. 😉


Why are Core Updates made after all? 

The broad core updates are released to create a significant impact on the search results around the world in different languages. 

Sites often notice major drops or gains in the search rankings when a core update is in effect. Such changes happen because Google constantly tries to show the most relevant content for a search query. And in this game, if your website doesn’t match the user intent then its ranking can reduce. Likewise, if the relevance of your content has increased for the keyword after the last update then your rankings will also increase. 


It is also important to factor in newly added content on websites that didn’t exist before. Such content is now measured against the existing pieces. After this reassessment, the rankings are changed. 

So whenever there is a Google update you can expect rankings to escalate or drop drastically! That being said, this update seems quite volatile taken the current situation we are in. 


Introducing COVID-19 in the equation 

Taken the fact that this is the first-ever core update after the Coronavirus pandemic, it seems intriguing. The pandemic has affected everything right from the economy of the country to the health of businesses. No wonder it has got us all typing in various Covid-19 related questions on Google. 

Google also declared that there haven’t been this many searches for a single topic for a prolonged period of time. Needless to say, people are seeking an all-new array of information during these testing times. Be it the details of the pandemic itself or searching for remote services and online shopping. The user needs have surely evolved! 

Business vs Corona


It is safe to say that the information which wasn’t relevant before is now shining. Likewise, things that seemed to be trending are now taking a back seat. People are no longer looking for places to hang out, dine in or concerts to attend. Nor are they checking out the top 10 places they must visit in 2020. 

Instead, they are looking for ways to find happiness and contentment at home. Ways to cope with the quarantine anxiety and surviving the pandemic with sanity. So much has changed within the past few months that it is fascinating. 


A new challenge for Google

With the overwhelming twists and the changed user behavior, Google has many amends to make. As the days pass, we will be able to see if the latest update helps people in finding what they are looking for. Bringing forth apt content as per user query is a challenge for Google. 


The Scary Reign of Uncertainty 

While the search results are highly pandemic centric right now. We don’t know how long it will stay. If things go back to normal, there could also be a shift in user behavior again. So, with the introduction of the new algorithm, things can be dicey! The local businesses are shut and there are also various changes in local rankings. However, we hope that everythings goes back to normal (both online and offline). 

Safety has become a major concern and Google is also ensuring that no fake news floats on the SERP. Due to this, various health and wellness websites have also seen fluctuations. To display genuine information, Google is probably displaying high authority sites. This is the need of the hour when the right information can actually save a life. Google hasn’t made any announcement as such but these changes are apparent. As far as algorithm trackers are concerned there is a high fluctuation every day. The unpredictable circumstances have taken a toll on rankings also. 

Needless to say, such drastic user behavior hasn’t been seen in the internet era. The current changes will have to be studied now as well as a few weeks later. This will help us in understanding the astonishing SERP changes. You might be seeing the traffic dropping or your keyword ranking decreasing. Hold on tight as such changes might be on the radar. Keep up with the best practices and keep your content game strong. 


On the brighter side of May 2020 Core Update



Let’s say that the new update works well (it looks promising!), then it would be great for SEOs. It is no news that among all the Covid-19 havoc, companies are laying off staff and even service providers have paused their work. 

With the changed user behavior and increased emphasis on remote work, businesses are going online. And when they go online they need the SEO to rank well. 

This means that Seo consultants and digital marketing companies would be highly in demand. Service providers will make their offerings available online. This will create a thriving environment for digital marketers to grow their business. 


May 2020 Core Update: What Next?

Google’s guidelines for this update are just the same as its other core updates rolled out in the past.  

Thus far, Google has advised to not care about fixing the rankings if they drop. Instead, the webmasters should try and improve their content. 

A content piece that provides comprehensive information to the user is often considered good. Since there are so many competitors out there, one has to take a holistic approach. Moreover, as far as you follow the content guidelines, your site won’t be penalized. 


Final Take

Thus, the SERP volatility tools are showing high volatility post the core update. However, we can’t make any declaration as it can change in the days to come once the update has fully rolled out. 

SERP Volatility

The waiting game has started and the coming weeks are going to be decisive. Keep a tab on your rankings and be as adaptive as possible. We recommend not falling prey to SEO activities that can get your site penalized. 

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