ANOTHER GOOGLE UPDATE
On May 4th, Google began rolling out the May 2020 Core Update. We know it can take up to a couple of weeks to fully roll out, but based on everything I’ve seen and read so far this update is a very big and very broad. This is the second update of 2020, with the first being in January.
This was a global update and was not specific to any region, language or category of websites. It is what is referred to as the classic “broad core update” that Google releases every few months or so. Mordy Oberstein from RankRanger called the May update “an absolute monster.” “The January update was a very big update yet this one slightly edges it out,” he added.
PANDEMICS WON’T STOP GOOGLE
I’m quite surprised that they have rolled out us a big update during a pandemic but it’s Google. They do what they need to do. It interesting to see some of the public backlash against this update considering the fact that we are in the midst of a global crisis. However, the goal behind updates like these are to try and improve the quality of results that users get when they enter a search query into the site.
While Google does make changes throughout the year, the Core Updates, however, can be a huge change for domains that are hit. Rankings don’t just change for individual keywords, they can fundamentally change the shape of SERPs and move many rankings simultaneously.
(You can read more about past Google updates over here. I like the Search Engine Land summaries of the updates.)
So what do we know about this update so far:
- It’s broad and appears uniform across a majority of niche sectors.
- Big players were hit including LinkedIn.com, Huffpost.com, spotify.com and nytimes.com.
- In the UK it appears that music sites were the ones that were badly hit.
- The initial trends are not indicating a reversal of anything we’ve seen in the past.
- Several people shared that while it is yet early, they are seeing changes across many industries, notably in the health related topics.
- COVID-19 may have affected some parts of Google’s algorithm that determines what it is that people want to see when they make a search query.
- There appears to changes in local search:
WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU ARE HIT?
Google has previously given advice on what to consider if there is a negative impact on your site by a core update. There aren’t specific actions to take to recover, and in fact, a negative rankings impact may not signal anything is wrong with your pages. Google gave a list of questions to consider if your site is hit by a core update.