Google announced another algorithm update, known officially as the “May 2020 Core Update”, began rolling out on the 4thof May, 2020. As we have seen a trend earlier as well, it will take 10 to 15 days to roll out fully.
This is a second back to back Google algorithm update after January 2020. The first being rolled out in January 2020 named as January 2020 Core Update.
Although after January update Google had been criticized by the business owners because of the timings as the whole world is facing a severe financial problem during the pandemic. The speculation was google will pause the update on a temporary basis, but not only did Google not pause their existing update, but they also went on to push forward a new one!
Why Google rolled out the core algorithm update during COVID 19?
In the current scenario, the searching pattern of a user has drastically been changed. Products/services before COVID 19 are irrelevant in these days. Example, tour and travel, travel kits, hospitality, events, etc. On the other hand, searches like face masks, coronavirus, and remote services are surging.
To serve the best results per the current scenario, Google updates its core algorithm.
Quick Observations of Google’s May 2020 Update:
- Directories and Aggregators are winning.
- Local rankings are a significant hit.
- Thin content referred by external websites are affected.
- SERP features may go away.
What are all industries impacted by May Update?
Like other Google’s recent core updates, it appears that May update also affected YMYL (your money, your life) websites, which can directly impact readers’ happiness, health, safety, financial security, etc. Some example industries/categories are listed below:
- Financial advisory
- History etc.
Per the Sistrix U.S. visibility index some of the biggest losers by overall visibility decreases:
Source: Path Interactive
Biggest Winners by Overall visibility increases:
Source: Path Interactive
Is your website affected after Google May update?
If you are seeing a significant drop in organic traffic after 4th May 2020, recent Google update can be the reason.
Important checklist that you should follow after the Google May update
1. Content audit of the entire website, especially the targeted landing pages, is required.
- Content is king, and as said, the king can’t be copied. It should be original, unique, and informative. If a user comes to your website, he should quickly get the necessary information.
- There are matrices to identify quality of the content, such as bounce rate, avg. session duration, conversation rate etc. Use them to identify the low performing landing pages and create strategies to improve their matrices.
- If you have lesser number of pages, audit the content manually; however, if the pages are in a considerable amount, take the help of tools like Copyscape, Grammarly to check plagiarism. To find duplicate content, you can rely on your website’s Search console.
2. Remove low-quality/thin content.
- If the content is written to target specific keywords without providing any rich information to the user,it can be considered as low-quality content. Here is a video of Matt Cutts explaining thin content in the year 2013; however, it still founds worth sharing.
3. The content topic should be appropriately described and comprehensively.
- Remember that the user reads the complete content only if he understands the content topic/heading.
- The content topic should be short, exciting, and easy to understand. Ex: Why You should not Stop SEO efforts During Coronavirus (COVID-19)
4. Add the authoritative references if you share any stats.
- This is the most crucial part if you write something that impacts a user’s financial condition, happiness, decision making etc.
- If you are from finance, health, or industry that comes under YMYL (your money, your Life) category, then the authoritative references are essential.
- Authoritative references back your content stats and bring trust to the user. Read this blog. They have smartly used third party websites as a reference.
5. Don’t copy and paste the content from the third-party website. The content should be 100% original.
- Please make sure not to copy the content from the third party websites.
- You can take the reference, stats, etc. from the third party websites if needed but never forget to give them credit through your content. Ex: Wikipedia
6. The content should be informative enough so that it could be shared online.
- Google loves the content that is shared and referred to multiple times.
- If your content contains the information, it will undoubtedly get shared and viewed multiple times. Ex: ResultFirst has written the content on Valentine’s Day, “10 Best Valentine’s Day Marketing Campaigns Ever” in year 2016, but even after 4 years, it is ranking on Google’s first page with more than 60,000 views and 90+ shares.
7. It should be error-free content. No factual error, no grammatical mistakes.
- Content should be factually correct with no grammatical errors. There are tools like Grammarly that can help to improve the grammar of your content.
- To make sure that the content is factually correct, give the references of authentic websites.
8. The content should flow readably across the entire device without much effort to find the page.
- User experience is among one of the ranking factors on Google. Your content should be readable on every electronic device, especially on mobile, because mobile readers are increasing. Read 18 Easy Techniques to Make Your Site Mobile Friendly.
Google’s core algorithm will keep coming, and their objective is to bring the relevant result based on the current trend /user behavior. As explained above, the search pattern of the users before the pandemic outbreak and after that has changed. So the results will surely be different. Another example is maintaining a blog that provides information on mobile technologies. If the blog is not updated with the latest news despite many new mobile technologies launched, your website will be at high risk of a drop in rankings. Google will prefer to pick the websites having fresh content on mobile technologies rather than the old one.
Assume yourself as a visitor and evaluate your content on below criteria
- Does the content on the website have enough information, citation, or authority to trust?
- Is the website well known and widely recognized by the readers on a specific topic/subject?
- Does an expert write the content?
- Would you feel comfortable to take the financial or life decisions by trusting the information shared on the website?
- Does the content has an excessive amount of ads that give a bad user experience?
It is highly recommended to experience your website as an unbiased visitor.
Remember that Google is known for its best results and service to its users. Regular Google updates give an upper hand to the quality websites and filter thin content. We, as a webmaster, should only focus on the best experience by providing accurate information to the reader. If the website is relevant to the user, it will be appropriate for Google as well. We are closely monitoring the May update impact as it might take another one more week to roll out completely. stay tuned for another write up on our findings of the impact. To read more about recent SEO tips and tricks, please visit our knowledge center.
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