Understanding the May 2020 Google Core Algorithm Update

 In Industry

May 2020 Google Algorithm Update

Earlier this month, Google rolled out a new core algorithm update. This is the second major update to be implemented this year, following the one released in January. (Though it is worth noting that Google also rolls out hundreds – if not thousands – of small updates each year in addition to these major ones.)

Like all major Google algorithm updates, it will take time to understand its full effect. The current Covid-19 lockdown complicates things even further, with that already causing significant shifts in how well websites are performing organically. As a result, while it may be tempting to chalk up any significant shifts in traffic to your site to the algorithm update, it’s worth bearing in mind that there are many other factors that are likely to be playing a part.

Now that we’re through what’s likely to be the most volatile period of the update, it’s a good time to look back on the results we’ve gathered. There are still many questions floating around about the update, such as which industries were affected and why certain keyword rankings have increased or decreased. The more time that passes, the firmer the answers to these questions will become.

What changes have we seen?

At Noble, we’ve been constantly monitoring how the algorithm update has affected our clients across all industries and sizes. Unlike some past updates, it seems as though just about every industry has experienced some volatility from the May 2020 one.

But it’s important to bear in mind that volatility as a term that slices both ways; while some businesses have seen slight dips in traffic, many others have seen increases. And while this volatility was at a high level during the first couple of weeks after the algorithm update rollout, these have more or less evened out now.

Another key shift we have noticed is the difference between how mobile SERPs and desktop SERPs have been affected by the update. While both have experienced volatility, mobile SERPs appear to have been affected to a greater degree; SERP features such as ‘People Also Asked’ and ‘Top Stories’ have seen significant shifts in the weeks following the update. Again, this is also true for desktop, but to a lower degree.

What actions should businesses take?

Following a Google algorithm update, the same advice is normally handed out by SEO experts: do nothing. While there is some truth to this, it’s not really a full answer.

Instead of doing nothing, you should instead not make any hasty actions. If you see a slight drop in your traffic following the algorithm update, don’t take it as a sign to completely redo the content on your website or rebuild it from the ground-up. Algorithm updates have a habit of evening out over time and reacting too strongly is likely to have a detrimental effect on your organic rankings.

As long as you’re adhering to Google’s best practices for SEO, you should be fine. It’s important to remember that these algorithm updates are implemented to help Google do a better job of aggregating content – separating the good from the bad. As a result, businesses that are following the guidelines shouldn’t expect any significant negative changes to their rankings.

However, if your website has seen a huge drop in organic traffic following the update – over 50% – then you should seek support. Noble Performs are here to guide you through the process of improving your site’s organic health and rankings. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us with any questions you may have.

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