May 4th, 2020 brought a surprise for all digital marketers around the world and it was Google’s May Core Update. The update surely is a big one as it came amidst the Pandemic, where most businesses were already experiencing a big dip due to the impact of COVID-19; people never expected this jerk at this point.
The last time Google made such a huge change in its algorithms was back in January and since then the digital sphere has been experiencing something new now and then.
On May 4, Google’s Danny Sullivan made an important announcement. This year Google is rolling out the second core search algorithm update, also called the “May 2020 Core Update” as promised.
https://twitter.com/searchliaison/status/1257376879172038656 (Try to Embed this tweet)
To understand how this update is, just take look at the SERP volatility from April 29 to May 27 by SEMrush Sensor
Right from the day of its release, webmasters have been confronting the extremities of changing algorithms. However, this blog is here to make you learn about the impacts of Google Core Update and what are the takeaways that you can now include in your SEO or digital marketing plan.
Many SEO experts have named this update as “Pandemic Update” because of obvious reasons that it came up during the time of Coronavirus and most people aren’t quite happy with it.
Changes brought by Google
The changes in Google algorithms have impacted a large portion of sites. Whether its the traffic on-site, organic reach, or content policies. Everything has been updated on a large scale, which in turn has affected the people who got their businesses running online.
Impact of the Google Core Update
However, Google never revealed 100% information on the update but according to SEO experts, this update has bifurcated the people in two categories, that is, winners and losers. As the names indicate, winners have experienced better results on their websites since the time of update and losers, they are quite disappointed with its advent.
Industries like Travel, Food, Real Estate, Health were the ones that got impacted on a large scale and received most fluctuations in their rankings. and these industries are also those that are impacted the most since the Pandemic and multiple Lockdowns.
Here are some important stats and figures showing industries that are affected positively and those which face the negative impact of the change. Source neilpatel.com
Its clearly from above that News Sector get least affected from this update Even the sites with high domain scores like Spotify.com and LinkedIn experienced a good dip in their rankings after the update. Therefore, it wouldn’t be justifiable to say that local businesses and sites with already less traffic have been affected by the Core Update.
It was interesting to see certain PR networks like Businesswire, PR Newswire and Global Newswire gained significant ranking positions in SERP.
Below is a statistical representation of the improved position gained by Indian Express following the update.
Although, even after almost a month of Google Core Update, there are no fixed answers that experts have found out to make their site rank better there are some observations that can help in making your site rich, relevant, and rank better.
What We learn from this Update!
Quality counts is more an important factor than authority
Despite showing high quality data, verified information and weaker ‘Authority’ (less backlinks), smaller websites failed to feature in the search engine following really competitive keywords before this Update. According to a few SEO Experts, Google has again started working on weighting content factors together with brand factors, which included user data such as click through rates.
“Anyone who has tried to bring everything about a topic onto one page and thus does not have a clear focus, obviously sends such unclear signals to the algorithm that these kinds pages have lost rankings in this update. So, it doesn’t help if you put SEO text at the bottom of a product page to answer the most important questions.”
Niels Dahnke, Head of SEO at Suxeedo
Pages without a strong enough link profile and brand are among the losers
It is true that brands and sites with strong linked profiles are among the winners, especially when the quality is right. “Domains with strong trust signals, such as domains with many high quality backlinks, seem to be among the winners here,”
On the other hand, affiliate sites are among the big losers following the May 2020 Core Google Update. This is because such sites do not have particularly high quality, or relevant content, and lack high quality profile links that can award them with the identity of a strong brand. The age of a domain does not seem to play a role here.
E-A-T (Expertise, Authority and Trust), as an important factor
There are three aspects that speak in favor of this update: Preferred expertise (update losers do not have particularly high quality and relevant content), authority (high-quality backlink profile) and trust (strong brand, domain age).
Dominant players or websites are not assured top results anymore especially when the quality is not right such as websites with a good E-A-T fundamental base have high quality content.
Here is the list of Top 20 Websites, affected by Google Update, and their ranks: Source Moz.com
Outcomes and what experts can do to beat Google algorithms?
Google has already advised digital marketers to focus on rich and improved content if their sites have experienced a backlash due to the Core Update.
Here are a few things that you can do to make your site rank better amidst the update:
Are you concerned with your poor site ranking? Does the latest Google Update confuse your strategy? Take help from a SEO consultant and get your queries resolved in no time.
1. Improve Your Content
We all have heard about the term- “Content is King.”
It’s been observed that sites that are publishing the content constantly and updating the old content regularly performed better during and after the Core Update.
According to some blog reports, sites that were refreshing their old content daily experienced traffic growth of 10%
Keep your content original, updated, and relevant to your target audience. Make sure that you don’t plagiarise or rely on copying content from other sites.
Meta Titles, Keywords, etc must be put up after thorough research so that it can be unique and relevant at the same time.
To make your content look richer; add infographics, share relevant pictures with the readers, and you can also go for video content.
Add useful links to the videos that you think will interest your audiences.
Sites who had thin content, that means pages in sites with very less word counts were also impacted the most after Core Update.
2. Compare your site with competitors
Take a good look at your website and then your competitor’s website. Examine every aspect and then question yourself; what value does your website is adding to the audience’s lives if your competitor didn’t exist?
Compare the content, keyword search, Adwords, etc and then you’ll be able to see clearly where your website is lagging.
3. Take care of your SEO
Google updates algorithms are going to hurt you badly if you are not going to fix the SEO errors. Each page of your website requires quality SEO. If you are new to the business, make sure you hire a Professional SEO Agency to do it for you.
One prominent SEO error which is a big No is duplicate Meta Descriptions and Title Tags.
Make sure that you don’t have repeated tags on multiple pages of your website. This helps a lot in hampering your website’s traffic.
As discussed above, Google never revealed full information about this May Core Update and even if you follow these tips religiously there isn’t a 100% guarantee that you will make through Google rankings. All these tricks will only help you in gaining a better user experience, which must always be your top priority. But, you can always cite the help of an experienced Digital Marketing Consultant and improve your site ranking in Google in sync with the latest May Core Update.
The outcome of this update will vary for different businesses but with proper study and value-adding content, one can ace Google algorithms.