Google Algorithm Update May 2020
Google does a core update about every few months. We saw the 2020’s core update in January. Then the second update was announced on 4 May 2020. It was a big and broad update. It took about two weeks to roll, which is quite normal considering the fact that Google takes a while to completely roll out their algorithms. It was a major update since the Covid-19 situation.
What’s new with the update?
There have been multiple mini-updates since January that were meant to provide more relevant and accurate content about the current pandemic, rank better than others especially in regards to local news publishers. The May 2020 core update has increased rank volatility and highly affects the top 10 results in travel, retail, finance, and health. The May core update seems to be in response to the ways that pandemic is affecting search trends since nearly every search has something to do with the Coronavirus these days. Search trends have never been so polarized before and all at one especially globally.
What is the effect of the update?
There are four different direct impacts of this new update:
- Thin content on pages causing 32% loss of traffic across websites: One of the biggest changes we have seen with the recent Google update is Google penalizing sites with thin content. This means that there are not enough words on the page against what Google now thinks there should be. It could be that you have more graphics, pictures, and features on your site than you have readable text or there could ben’t much text, to begin with. Presently, Google is favoring pages where someone has taken the time and effort to write relevant long-form content. Search engines are getting smarter and picking up more on what’s related to a topic. If you write long-form content about not only the subject at hand but topics around them too, you will be rewarded.
- Regular updates to old and new content helping Websites to gain 20% traffic:Google is also rewarding for editing older content that’s been sitting on your website for a while. All blog posts, pages, and other informational content that are being updated with fresh content and links are getting around a 20% increase in visibility in search results. This doesn’t even need a full rewrite just adding in some additional information and a link or changing some info that’s now outdated could show positive results for your traffic.
- Author links on blog posts are resulting in 10% traffic gain:This is a smaller change than the other two, Google is rewarding pages that have cited an author with a link to an author page. Google is treating this as a trust factor and is handling about 10% more visibility to pages where this is properly marked. Just marking who the author is on a blog post with a link to a page about the author or a bio is quite enough to make a difference.
- Low Bounce rates and high traffic helps rankings: It is found that Google is paying more attention to raw traffic numbers to your site and how long people are staying there. A bounce rate is a ratio of how many visitors to your site leave immediately within a few seconds or how many people stay on your page for a length of time. You should have a bounce rate under 70%. Website traffic is counted from any source; paid ads, social media, organic SEO, affiliate programs, etc. You need to get as many people as possible to visit your site to get an increase in rankings. If you are able to properly engage your audience for at least a minute, Google will realize that your site is more relevant and give it some better organic rankings in search. This isn’t a new concept though, but it is currently holding more weight than before. By simply adding a video to your homepage, you can keep visitors on the site longer and lower your bounce rate.
What to do next?
Google’s opinion about your site’s relevance can take a bit of time to build up but there are some quick changes you can make to engage more with your site’s visitors. You can compel them to stay just a little bit longer. Try to notice if your traffic and impressions have been affected or stabilized after this core update. Like always Google is recommending people to create relevant content. Lastly, if you cover local news on your site, then this core update could be an added benefit to your reach.
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