Cincy SEO

Google's May Core Algorithm Update

On May 4th, 2020, National Star Wars day, Google announced there was a major algorithm update, the second major update of the year.

If you’ve been around algorithm updates, then you might know algorithm updates could (not always) result in lower site rankings.


However, fear not, updates to the algorithm is Google’s natural cycle of pruning out old, unfit content.  

If your website updates content regularly, and creates genuine, informative content, congratulations!  You are best poised from being affected by this algorithm and future algorithms to come.

So, how big of an update are we talking here?

Sure enough, this was quite a large algorithm update.  The largest update in 2020.

Just take a look at SEMRush’s SERP volatility sensor.

This tool helps gauge the amount of updates and changes to Google’s SERPs in real-time.

It’s the second largest Google update in 2020 since early January.

In fact, according to RankRanger, this update was actually bigger.  Particularly in the “top 10 results” had the highest rank volatility.

According to RankRanger, of the most impacted industries (those of which are Travel, Retail, Finance, and Health) these are the voltality results for each industry.

You might be reading this or seeing the news about Google algorithm updates and wondering where you stand and how you can correct any of the damage that’s been done. An easy, free way to check if your website has been penalized recently is to use this tool called Website Penalty Indicator.

You’ll need two things to assess if you’ve been affected and what you can do to help your rankings.

1. Know your Keyword Rankings.

Nowadays, there are a wide array of tools online that you can choose from.

Some favorites are:

SEMRush. Create a free account and set up a project and view your keyword rankings among many other features.

Ubersuggest. Shows you a dashboard of keyword rankings, content ideas, site audits, and plenty more.

Google Search Console. Use the Performance report, add Position to your view, and compare Last 7 days versus Last 3 months to see where your current keyword rankings compare.

2. Audit your Site's Content.

Now that you know where your site stands after the algorithm update, it’s time to look to see if you need to update any of your site’s content.

Tip #1: An easy insight you can derive from knowing your keywords, is if you had a page that ranked for a particular keyword say “best fat-free macaroon recipe” (if you know of one please share) and your rankings dropped significantly, you have a strong indication that your content may need to be updated.

Tip #2: Get your hands dirty and do a thorough audit.  Use tools such as Screaming Frog that crawl up to 500 URLs (anything more you’ll need the paid version) and provide any duplicate or missing tags and descriptions.  Once you’ve updated, then look to use one of the free tools mentioned earlier to assess your website’s content.  They call out any duplicate or thin content your website might have.   


Tips on Improving Content

Still wondering what you can do?

Google provided an article on actions you can take on your website to remedy some of the damages after an update.

You can check that article out here.

But it ultimately boils down to your website and the content your producing.

When you’re reviewing your website’s content from the past, and when you’re creating content for the future, you should be asking yourself these questions:

Closing Thoughts

Although there haven’t been any direct reports on what Google did with this algorithm to update it’s ranking factors, but we can assume that they doubled down on what they have been telling us for years.

Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust.

Better referred to as EAT, Google takes these soft ranking factors in determining its ranking of your website.

If you’re unfamiliar with EAT, you can read Google’s guidelines here.

Essentially, you should strive to be the expert in your field, your word has authority, and that people and businesses can trust you.

As always, Google looks at a multitude of signals that determine your EAT score such as ratings and reviews, relevant & trustworthy backlinks to your site, and consistent & informative content.

Thanks for reading this article, if you’ve been affected by the latest algorithm, contact us today to set up a free consultation where we’ll assess your website and determine the cause and solutions to improve rankings.

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