May Core 2020 Google Update – What Webmasters need to know?


Google announced that it rolled out there a new core update yesterday (May 4th). The first core update we saw this year was in January 2020.


Their announcement below ‘Google said “Later today, we are releasing a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. It is called the May 2020 Core Update. Our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered before.”

Key points from this update;

  • Google said it will take around one to two weeks to fully roll out.

As a webmaster make sure you keep an eye on your traffic over the next 2 weeks to see if you have been affected. If you track your keyword positions, keep an eye on this.

  • What do previous updates tell us?

If previous updates are anything to go by, then this could either make significant changes to a lot of results or it will not do a lot. The January update seemed to make significant changes, searchengineland provided some great insight to this, whereas the general feel from the September 2019 core update was that not a lot changed.

  • What to do if you are penalised

Don’t panic, a negative impact by a core update doesn’t necessarily mean you are doing anything wrong. Google gives a brief indication into what you should be looking at but essentially the core update seems to almost a ‘business as usual’ update to ensure Google results are as relevant to the user as possible. Here are the questions they provide.


Content and quality questions

  • Does the content provide original information, reporting, research or analysis?
  • Does the content provide a substantial, complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  • Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • If the content draws on other sources, does it avoid simply copying or rewriting those sources and instead provide substantial additional value and originality?
  • Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content?
  • Does the headline and/or page title avoid being exaggerating or shocking in nature?
  • Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  • Would you expect to see this content in or referenced by a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?


Expertise questions

  • Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author or the site that publishes it, such as through links to an author page or a site’s About page?
  • If you researched the site producing the content, would you come away with the impression that it is well-trusted or widely-recognized as an authority on its topic?
  • Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?
  • Is the content free from easily-verified factual errors?
  • Would you feel comfortable trusting this content for issues relating to your money or your life?


Presentation and production questions

  • Is the content free from spelling or stylistic issues?
  • Was the content produced well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
  • Does the content have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  • Does content display well for mobile devices when viewed on them?


Comparative questions

  • Does the content provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  • Does the content seem to be serving the genuine interests of visitors to the site or does it seem to exist solely by someone attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?


These questions are pretty straight forward and there are probably changes we can all make to our site to adhere to these guidelines as much as possible, in some cases, it won’t be possible to hit all sections perfectly. Essentially make sure your content is of the highest quality and is providing value to the user.


If you’re struggling to make the necessary changes to increase your organic traffic, get in touch today, I’m happy to provide an initial Free SEO audit to those looking to discuss how I can increase there traffic long term. I am also offering free Seo consultancy advice to any business in Essex who is struggling during the current pandemic.




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