Google Core Update 2020 (May)

21st May, 2020 | Written By Robert Wee

The previous Google update was back in March with the regular algorithm changes made, which inevitably affected some sites more than others. Of course, this is something that we should all expect and is Google’s way of improving their service for the end-user, not the owners or developers of websites. As you would imagine, the latest update which was announced on 4 May, the “May 2020 Core Update” has had the same effect.

The timing of the update has sparked a lot of criticism with names such as the “Corona Update” and “Pandemic Update” banded around and it is something that many of the leading digital marketing companies in Bangkok are inclined to agree with. As we know, many businesses have been forced to close because of the Covid-19 outbreak, and user searches have also been considerably lower than average. SERP volatility has also been unusually high, with some SEO sectors worse hit than others.

Which industries and sectors have been worst affected?

Rather predictably, the business sectors which have experienced most ranking changes have been those who have sadly been worst affected by the virus. These include:

  • The travel industry including hotels
  • Real estate
  • Healthcare and everything connected with it
  • Sites associated with pets and animals
  • Websites focused on society and people

Even if your business is outside of these very broad sectors, it is possible, in fact likely, that you have noticed some changes in the performance of your site. It is common when Google makes any algorithm changes and does not indicate that you have been targeted, nor is there a problem with your site. Google are continually making changes to improve their site and how their systems and processes assess large volumes of content holistically.

Google’s reasoning

Thankfully, Google are very good at giving explanations for the changes that they make. They have gone on to liken their Core Updates to a list of the top 100 movies in 2015 compared to a list of top movies that you would produce today. Of course, there will be differences in the two lists with many films remaining on the list, some will rank higher, and some will rank lower, while their will inevitably be some new films that now deserve inclusion. The fact that there are changes doesn’t mean that the movies are bad, just that they are perceived differently to how they were five years ago.

How do you minimise the impact on your site?

In business and other walks of life, most of us appreciate stability and continuity. Where your website is concerned, this means trying to avoid a significant drop in your rankings for keywords when the Core Updates are made. The best way to achieve this, and it is something that we continually remind our clients about is to keep producing quality new content for your site. On the face of it, this all sounds very simple. However, it does take time, a commodity which is in scarce supply.

Producing new content and performing reviews

It is common for sites to try and produce around four new and relevant articles each month – effectively, around one new piece a week. It will keep your site looking fresh and relevant and thus, tick many of Google’s boxes. Something else that is worth considering is going back and reviewing old content. Make sure that it is still relevant and perhaps most importantly, accurate, and this can have a bigger impact than you may imagine.

A well known SEO guru, Neil Patel,  can actually back up some of the ideas with statistics. He followed 641 websites, which he knew regularly reviewed their existing content. Impressively, of the 641 only 38 saw a fall in their organic search traffic and perhaps even more impressively, it was still less than 10%. However, 187 of the sites witnessed an increase in their search traffic of greater than 10%. Naturally, what this suggests is that reviewing your existing content on a regular basis, while at the same time producing new content, can be an incredibly effective way of boosting your rankings.

Having the human resources to produce and review content

Many large multinational organisations have teams that regularly produce new content and check and update what is already on their site. This is a mammoth task and sadly just a dream for most SMEs and even the majority of larger businesses. A way to get around this is by outsourcing this task to a reliable and experienced company offering specialist SEO services. Outsourcing this crucial task could be the difference between your company losing or maintaining its SERP ranking at the next Core Update. Just a few things to mull over while you are considering this:

  • Quality content is key to maintain your SERP ranking
  • The content on your site needs to be original and provide accurate and detailed information about your products or services
  • Is your content different, informative and insightful, or is it standard run of the mill content which could have been produced by one of your competitors?
  • Are the headings and page titles on your site accurate and clear? Would the user know exactly where to find the content that they want on your site?
  • Does your content deserve to be shared? Will users experience some benefit from reading the content, and will they take something away?

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If you would like more information about our outsourcing deals and how our modern and innovative service can benefit you and your business, we would be delighted to hear from you.

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