Google May 2020 Algo Update

Affected by Google’s May Core Algorithm Update? Read this.

On May 4th Google announced a core algo update code named May2020 (not original we know).

In a nutshell … the algorithm was big and took about two weeks to completely roll out.

According to Google “there’s nothing in a core update that targets specific pages or sites”. Instead, the changes are about improving how our systems assess content overall. These changes may cause some pages that were previously under-rewarded to do better.

At Sandstorm, we work with our clients to ensure that long term their websites are immune to such core changes in algorithms, and this is because we follow the broad guidelines that have always been recommended by Google and we recommend that SEO should always be regarded as a marathon, not a sprint.

Analysis of SEO factors addressed in this Update

From early pundit analysis, it appears to be focused around content relevancy, authority and some say, link factor changes in relation to how nofollow attribute is now addressed by Google.

Recommendations to safeguard against this and future updates

Review your analytics

The first thing to do if you haven’t already is review your analytics to see if this update had an impact on your site.

Check improvements or decreases in your organic search traffic and dig deeper into which pages saw the increased or decreases in traffic. This will provide you with a better picture of why some pages may have improved or declined.

Is your website a YMYL Niche?

YMYL stands for Your Money, Your Life and if your site is within this niche then you need to consider E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness)

If E-A-T was considered as a factor in this update (and we think it was), then the requirements seem to have increased here, especially for YMYL topics and as such we encourage you to focus on your content depth, breadth and authority.

For other websites affected by this core algorithm update…

As it relates to core guidelines Google provided advice which can be found here and summarised as follows:

  • Focus on content – depth and breadth
  • Ensure that your backlink profile is diverse, with a mixture of generic and branded backlinks and miseducating with follow and nofollow backlinks
  • If you are a well known brand, make sure you are found on Wikipedia and that there is a link back to your brand website. Although this is a nofollow backlink, we believe Google is now (and may have always) considered it as a vote of authority.
  • Check usability factors of your website including (but not limited to)
    • Website speed
    • Mobile Experience
    • Bounce rates (both within your website and from the SERPs (POGO effect)
    • If you are within the YMYL niche, check your page views to make sure people are viewing more of your content, this is a sure sign to Google of the breadth and depth of your content.

Have you been affected by Google’s latest core alogo update? Contact us for a free top line SEO audit.

About Omar Kattan
Omar is MD & Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.
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