Google changes its algorithm at least 3000 times a year.
Some of these updates are so slight that you don’t notice them. Then there are core updates, which happen a few times a year. These are major updates to the core algorithm that put many webmasters on edge. Google’s May 2020 core update was one of these major rollouts.
This update has completely rolled out and we have the lowdown as to how it can impact your website and what you can do about it. Read on to find out what you need to know about this major SEO update.
What Was Google’s May 2020 Core Update?
On May 4, 2020, a tweet was sent out by the Google Search Liaison account warning webmasters that the company was releasing a broad core update. Star Wars fans took delight in renaming the update the May the Forth Update.
The rollout started on May 4 and finished on May 18. The impact of the search update is more clear as to who the winners and losers are. In previous core updates, the biggest impacts were on YMYL (Your Money and Your Life) industries, such as financial and health.
These two industries are problematic for searchers because there is so much misinformation out there, like in the fitness industry. Previous updates were Google’s attempts to ensure that trustworthy and relevant information would be presented in search results.
What this would do is to push well-known sites like WebMD towards the top, while pushing smaller sites with quality content further down search results.
It appears that Google is downplaying the power of well-known brands and giving smaller sites with quality content a boost. Relevancy and quality are clearly becoming the two main factors in search.
Search During Extraordinary Times
We also have to remember that we are living in extraordinary times and that has affected how people search online. This must be taken into account when analyzing the impact of this new Google update.
For example, searches relating to COVID-19 have become so frequent, Google commented that they never saw so many searches for one topic over a sustained period of time.
News sites have seen their traffic increase through organic search exponentially. This could be because news organisations benefited from the core update or they are just getting more searches as people try to find information about coronavirus.
Another example is with local searches. Local searches have experienced a lot of volatility with this recent update. It could be due to core algorithm changes, or it could be because so many local businesses are temporarily closed because of lockdown orders.
Relevancy & E-A-T
One thing that is clear with this new Google update is that relevancy and E-A-T are the focus. What exactly are these terms? They refer to the quality of content on your site and how it relates to what people are really trying to find through search.
Relevancy is a term that describes how well your content matches what the user is looking for. For example, if you look up “solicitors in Ipswich,” and your search showed fitness centres, that would not be relevant.
It used to be that a site could prove relevancy by picking a keyword and stuffing that keyword on the website as much as possible. The algorithm has become more sophisticated and will use more than one keyword that is related, such as, “best solicitor in Ipswich.” That’s because Google understands that people have more than one way to search for the same thing.
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust. This refers to how Google measures the quality of a website. It’s not seen as a direct ranking factor. Rather it’s a way for Google’s quality raters to tell if a website is credible or not.
E-A-T will matter more for some industries than others. If your site is a humour blog, then E-A-T wouldn’t matter much. However, if you have expertise in a particular field such as law or medicine, that will matter.
Authoritativeness is your reputation, and trustworthiness is about the accuracy and transparency of your site’s content.
The big takeaway from Google’s May 2020 Core update is that how E-A-T appears to be measured. Previous updates have shown that brand power mattered. What matters more with this update are backlinks and quality content.
If you have a website that offers high-quality content that people read and share, you’ll have just as much power as brands with much larger marketing budgets.
What Can You Do About The Latest Google Update?
Google’s position is that there isn’t anything you can do to improve your search rankings. Your job is to provide quality content that’s relevant to your site’s visitors.
That’s a very generic response that is another way of saying that there’s nothing you can do. We believe that there’s always something you can do to improve your search results. Here are some steps that you can take to improve your website’s organic search results.
The number one thing you can do is to learn about quality content. This is going to matter a lot in SEO now and in the future. Google uses people to evaluate the quality of a website using Quality Rater Guidelines.
These guidelines detail was E-A-T is and what people look for in the quality of your site. You should read these guidelines and learn what a quality website is.
Perform a Site Audit
Focus on Quality Content
The good news about this Google core update is that it presents an opportunity to evaluate your content and improve it. You may need to go back to older blog posts and make a few changes. Going forward, you can focus on creating quality content as opposed to quantity.
Google Update 2020 and SEO
Google’s May 2020 core update reminded many businesses that they’re at the mercy of search engines to generate leads and businesses. Many businesses saw steep drops in rankings and revenue.
Google is always going to make adjustments to its algorithm. The most important thing you can do is to learn what a quality site is and deliver high-quality content.
Contact us today to discover how we can help your business gain visibility in organic search results.
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