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Google’s May 2020 Core Update and COVID-19

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are using the Internet for business and for entertainment. Businesses are focusing on SEO and social media to stay in touch with their customers while companies across the country have temporarily shut down under quarantine. During all of this, Google issued an update to its core algorithm in May, earning criticism from some webmasters for putting out an update during an already difficult time.

What Is the May 2020 Core Update?

Unlike many of Google’s updates, this one doesn’t have a fun name like Panda, Penguin, Fred, or Bert. So far, it’s just the May 2020 Core Update. It was a very big update and was rolled out over the course of two weeks. Google has stated that there shouldn’t be anything on websites that will need to change as a result of this update, but some are reporting changes in their rankings.

What Did the Core Update Change?

Google’s May 2020 Core Update is connected to users’ search intent. Google searches that may have produced results with information in response to a query may now direct users to a product or service instead.  Overall, most industries negatively affected by the update were already negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as travel and real estate. Many industries have actually gone up in rankings – these include news and entertainment.

Who Was Negatively Impacted by the Update?

Other than industries that were already affected by the coronavirus pandemic, any website that still has outstanding SEO issues may see a further decline in rankings. These issues include:

  • SEO errors
  • Thin content
  • Failure to update older content

Google’s May 2020 Core Update didn’t require any changes on the part of website owners. These issues would have affected rankings with previous updates as well and are not necessarily new.

Why Was the Updated Issued During COVID-19?

Some webmasters have criticized Google for rolling out an update during an already difficult time. However, Google has said that the update didn’t require any changes to websites that weren’t already needed, such as fleshing out thin content. With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting how people are interacting with the Internet and their search intentions, Google may have found it more important to implement the update to handle the changes.

What Can You Do to Improve Your Rankings After the May 2020 Core Update?

As the update was rolled out over the course of two weeks, many saw their rankings drop briefly until the rest of the update was released, at which point many saw their rankings recover. However, for those whose rankings have not recovered, there are some steps you can take to improve those rankings.

Make sure you’re following

EAT guidelines. EAT stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. These three things are the pillars Google uses to measure the quality of content. Your content should show that you are the expert in a particular topic and should convey that to them in an informative and engaging way. Other people should find your content so good that they link back to it. And, overall, there should be a positive reception of your brand.

Need some help growing your web presence and strengthening your brand? You’ve come to the right place.

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