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Google’s Core Update May 2020

May 20, 2020 | Northwoods Team, Your Trusted Digital Trail Guides

4 Minute Read

On Monday, May 4, 2020, Google finished rolling out its May 2020 Core Update, and it took about two weeks afterward for users to fully see the effects. This update was a big one and could impact your Google rankings. Here’s an overview of what the update is and what to do if you’re impacted.

What Is Google’s May 2020 Core Update?

Google’s main mission is to provide relevant content and improve search results. In order to do that, Google continuously makes updates that are big or small. The May 2020 update was a larger one, impacting search ranking algorithms and resulting in individual sites performing better or worse.

The update was not specific to any location or region. What is special about this update is that it’s much more uniform than a standard Google core update. So, various industries no matter the region were affected, including these key industries:

  • Travel
  • Real Estate
  • Health
  • Pets & Animals
  • People & Society

What Did the Google Core Search Ranking Algorithm Change?

Google announced that its May 2020 update changed how it analyzes content overall, with the intent of weeding out content that appeared to no longer be useful or relevant. That is why many industries across the board saw a change in their rankings after the core update. 

Google always aims to provide users with relevant information based on the goal of their searches, which is known as search intent. 

Search intent is the reason why a user performs a search on a search engine. Do they want information? Are they looking to purchase a service or product? Or maybe they want to find a restaurant near them for dinner? Because search intent differs,  Google aims to give users the most relevant results based on that intent.

Visual image of the four i-want search styles of Google Search

(Image Credit: Google)

What to Do if Your Site Was Impacted

Google provides a list of what to consider if your site was impacted by its core update. 

If you want your website to maintain rank or even increase ranking, the most important thing you can do is to keep your content relevant and useful. 

Here are a few tips to ensure your content is valuable:

  • Regularly edit your content
  • Create content that matches search intent
  • Monitor and update keywords
  • Establish authority
  • Establish trust 
  • Make sure your headline and page title are a descriptive summary of your content
  • Include content written by an expert or enthusiast
  • Ensure your content is free of spelling or grammar issues
  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly

View more information on search quality guidelines.

To achieve the best results, always make sure your content is user-focused. Here are three questions to ask to ensure relevancy:

  • Does my website offer something of value that searchers cannot get elsewhere?
  • Does the content on my website provide a positive user experience?
  • Does my content compel users to take action?

If you notice your website has been impacted by the May 2020 algorithm update, review your content as a first step and don’t panic. It takes a few days for any changes you make to take effect. So, if you recently updated your content, wait 2-3 days before analyzing your results.

If you’re unsure how best to move forward, please contact us. We’re here to help.