Google’s latest core update was deployed on May 4th, 2020 on a global scale. It can take weeks for a core update to fully roll out and show results, but already experts across the SEO world are calling this update significant.
The Google 2020 May update is the second major rollout this year after the 2020 January core update. September 2019 was the last major core update before 2020. Although the September update didn’t seem to have massive repercussions (January was quite a bit more significant), this May Google update is already showing signs of being one of the most impactful in recent memory.
Search Engine Land is already reporting many SEO experts reaching out to mention major changes following the update which is surprising given that the rollout started just a few days ago. RankRanger’s Mordy Oberstein called the May update “a monster” and shared a rank volatility chart you can check on Search Engine Land. SEMRush also reported significant volatility in rankings and stated that the most impacted areas were travel, real estate, animals, health, and people and society. Over at MOZ, the Mozcast tool ranked this update at 112 degrees on their chart a day after it rolled out. To put that ranking in perspective, the average “temperature” over that time frame was less than 90 degrees.
Over at MotorIllustrated.com, we definitely noticed some volatility this week. It was a positive improvement as our organic traffic increased by about 20 percent although we will have to wait and see if it holds up. We are noticing a lot more traffic coming in from past review articles.
The last time we saw such volatility in the rankings was after the March 2019 core update.
Core updates have numerous objectives, but it all boils down to removing or lowering poor quality websites and moving quality websites that can help Google users find answers to their questions up. As with any Google update, there’s very little you can do except revert back to Google basic principles if you’ve been hit negatively.
Search Engine Land already created a checklist of what to do if you’ve been hit by a core update and have seen traffic decrease. It basically all revolves around quality.
Ask yourself if your content:
- Provides information that is useful, sufficient, and accurate on a topic
- Is original
- Gives credit to its sources
- Is easy to understand
- Have the right headlines
- Avoids being overly hyped or marketing-focused
- Is worth sharing with a friend
- Free of spelling mistakes
- Easy to read
Basically, is the content worthy of showing up in Google to users who need questions answered?
There’s a lot of ways you can rank a website and using poor quality content can actually work in some cases, but it won’t work sustainably over a long period of time. Google core updates serve to weed out poor quality.
Now, if you believe your site has quality content and its SEO is on point, wait it out. Do everything you can to make sure your site is as good as it can be, but then wait a little bit. Core updates have a way of creating a lot of volatility. We won’t know the full extent of its impact until a few weeks have gone by.