In keeping up with the unexpectedness and overall unpleasantness of 2020; on May 4th, Google rolled out its second core update on search algorithm of the year. Within two weeks of its release, the volatility in SERPs has increased in ways some in websites have not anticipated. Here is all you need to know about the May Google Core Algorithm Update: First Data.

The Impact in Numbers

The May update is the second core update this year. The first one in January caused an average volatility of 8 points. The May update caused every category to reach volatility rates of at least 9 points. This means that the May update is so much stronger and would likely have bigger implications as the weeks go by.

First Things First: Do an SEO Status Check

The first obvious thing to do after an update is to check your ranking. Check if it has improved or not. Check your website’s traffic to see if there are any changes.

There are a number of ways to do this. You can log into Google Analytics to see what the update has done to your site’s traffic.

As with any major roll outs, there would be noticeable changes in search results across the board. As a result, some will be affected positively; while others will experience negative effects.

Here is a short summary of who won and lost during the May core update.
Google Core Algorithm Update


May Google Core Algorithm Update: Big Wins and Big Losses

As with every algorithm update, some industries will gain some and others will lose some. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not surprising that searches related to the following have gone down:

  • travel and tours,
  • socialising
  • live events
  • other social activities

The biggest impact of the May update has been on desktop and mobile searches of the following industries:

  • Travel
  • Real Estate
  • Health
  • Pets and Animals
  • People and Society

Those Who Won

After the May update rollout, industries that gained search engine results page popularity include the following:

  1. News
  2. Business and Industrial
  3. Online Communities
  4. Arts and Entertainment
  5. Health
  6. People and Society
  7. Shopping
  8. Internet and Telecom
  9. Beauty and Fitness
  10. Pets and Animals

Google Search Update - ShtudioThose That Lost

With COVID-19 in full bloom and everyone on stay at home orders; in-person entertainment industries have seen massive losses. Take Eventbrite, a website for event management and ticketing has lost a lot of ground. Here are the industries that were negatively impacted by the May google core algorithm update:

  1. Arts and Entertainment
  2. Online Communities
  3. Business and Industrial
  4. Games
  5. News
  6. Shopping
  7. Pets and Animals
  8. Computer and Electronics
  9. People and Society
  10. Internet and Telecom

What to Do?

Here are some things you could do to get through this update.

  1. Content is key. Make sure to provide original, fresh, insightful and interesting information, facts, or analysis. Additionally, ensure that your content is extensive, accurate, complete, and comprehensive. Top it off with aa headline or title that is descriptive, interesting, and provides a preview of the content. Do everything you can to make your content something that users will want to bookmark, share or recommend to friends and other people.
  2. Keep your content relevant. Check and update your content every few weeks and every few days, if possible. Add new information, delete outdated information, and rewrite entire articles whenever necessary. Do what you need to keep your content up to date and relevant for the users.
  3. Fatten up thin content. Thin content is content that has no value, for instance pages with very little or no content whatsoever. Websites that have thin content on any of its pages are more likely to be negatively impacted by the update. What should you do? Fatten it up to make sure each page in your site is useful and engaging to your users. Don’t just add a bunch of meaningless words, make the content coherent and interesting.
  4. Fix search engine optimization According to initial analysis, the more SEO optimisation errors as site has, the bigger the impact. The type of error also matters. For instance, duplicate meta descriptions and title tags are detrimental.
  5. Expertise, Authority, Trust; three words that is fast becoming a catchphrase. With the vast amount of information available online, search engines are prioritising sites that offer factual, trustworthy information given by renowned subject matter experts and other persons with authority on the topic.
  6. Beat the competition. Compared to your competition, your site and content must provide substantial value and benefit for the users and visitors. In other words, keep your users happy so your competition does not have to.

Any major update, especially one as big as the May Google core algorithm update: first data, is bound to bring about a lot of changes. Some might benefit from the change; while others will not. The key thing to remember is that to beat the system; different manipulative tactics just won’t work. To win, your core focus must be better than everyone else in catering to the interest and needs of the users. Do that and you will win in any algorithm update.

Shtudio — graphic design & web development, Sydney Australia