Google Core Update May 2020: Everything you need to know

May 18,2020 by Anushka Agarwal

On May 4th, Google rolled out a major algorithmic update. They called it, Google Core Update May 2020 because of the gigantic changes to its algorithm, which definitely affects and impacts a lot of sites.

Google searchLiason tweet for update

Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed that Google is making ‘May the 4th’ a little more happening with their second core search algorithm update this year. Named as the May 2020 Core Update, this was the second update for Google this year, the first one was released back in January 2020.

Even then, the search market saw some drastic changes and this Google Core Update May 2020, seems to follow into the same steps. This update seems to bring an unprecedented search engine result pages’ volatility as well.

SERP volatility last 30 days

The above image is from a popular website, SEMrush, that tracks Google on a daily basis. The days it shows green or blue, this means there isn’t much movement, but when it shows red, it means that there is going to be a volatile impact on rankings and traffic.

So, how does the Google May 2020 Core Update impact your ranking and website traffic?

Before you start calculating and intercepting its impact on your website, we’ll educate you about the same in the later sections of this blog.

Google Core Update May 2020 Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic Has Surprised Many Webmasters

Considering the rollout time of the Google algorithm update 2020 in May, has left may webmasters shocked and bewildering. Businesses and companies are suffering from desperate times, and this new update by Google has left many such brands in a complete awry. Online website owners are worried about concerns like a decrease in their traffic and sales.

The current scenario has led to a widespread decline in online traffic and sales for many businesses leaving many such companies in a sense of uncertainty about their future. Many people have already termed it as Google’s Force Update or Pandemic Update.

However, apart from these resentments, the major question is what has Google changed in this major update?

What Industries Are Affected By Google Core Update May 2020?

Google, before rolling out any new update, keeps in mind the current world picture, across all the countries and languages. Although the drop in the rankings of some domains is inevitable, there are some clear winners too. Considering the pandemic situations, user queries related to travel, tourism, live events, etc. will certainly decrease.

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Before you start speculating and worrying about your business and the impact this update has on it, the following is the list of all the industries affected by the Google algorithm Update 2020 in May.

industries affected by Google algorithm Update 2020 May
Image Credits: Ubersuggest

As you can assess, travel, real estate, health, pet and animals, and people and society are some domains that saw major fluctuations with their rankings. Several other industries have also been affected, however, those at the bottom of the list like sports and news rendered the least impacts with this May 2020 update. This change is applicable to both desktop and mobile searches.

The SERP Winners For Google Core Update May 2020

Considering the humongous number of businesses dependent on Google, there might be some impact of this major update.

The news domain is a clear winner in the latest algorithmic update by Google. Perhaps the news sector has gained tremendous momentum and user reception in these tough times. Everybody is looking for the latest updates on Coronavirus pandemic online and the different news companies are doing a commendable job in educating the general public with authentic information. For the same reason, Google is rewarding the media outlets with this algorithmic update 2020.

SERP Winners For Google Core Update May 2020

Other sites related to food and drinks, sports, music, books and literature, real estate, travel, and auto and vehicles have been affected worst by the Google algorithm Update 2020 released in May.

How Do I Know If I Was Affected By Google May 2020 Core Update?

Unlike the previous latest Google update 2020, your site’s performance in search engines wasn’t affected the same way. Therefore, uncovering how it has affected your website can be a tricky business.

The Google May 2020 Core update is not punitive, like in the past when an entire section or site was penalized for duplicate content, leaving them untraceable in the search results. 

Core updates from Google are about queries/content and providing relevant answers to them. So, if your website was serving solutions to specific queries and was under-rewarded before, it might now rank better. However, it also means that some of the pages previously ranking well for queries that really weren’t entailing the right answer, Google has now given your page a lower position.

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Thus, a lot of pages have moved up and down due to this Google algorithm update 2020 rolled in May.

However, if you want to know how the Google Core Update May 2020 improved or declined your site’s position, we recommend two methods.

  1. Segment all your pages and queries

Before you step into SEO analysis, you need to segment all your pages and queries.

Through segmentation, you can group your pages or group your keywords into logical buckets. You can either create a group of all the blog posts on your site or you can create a group of all the intent keywords. When you look at thousands of keywords and blogs, at the same time, you can crack similarities and root problems more easily. you can check the ranking of several pages online, by entering the URL. Find those keywords/blogposts/URL performing worse after the update.

  1. Check for seasonality

If you use Analytical Tools for tracking different aspects of your website, it might show you the average impact of Google Core Update May 2020 through a rise or a dip. If there is a rise in your site traffic, that you haven’t experienced before, then you know it’s because of the Google May 2020 Core Update.

However, if there is a dip in your site ranking, that wasn’t experienced in May 2019, then you know that your website has been hit on the negative side of the update.

What Should I Do If My Site Is Affected By The Google Algorithm Update 2020 made public in May?

If the May 2020 Core Update from Google has affected your site negatively, then we recommend the following approaches.

  1. Content is king, in every Google Update

When we say content is everything that can make or break a website, its true until the time Google lasts. Every latest Google update 2020 specifically focusses on content and its importance. If your URL suffered a dip in the latest Google Core Update, then that is because the tech-giant found someone better to answer the same question.

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Content is not only limited to adding new blog posts, but it’s also always about refreshing your old content. For all those sites that regularly update their old content, only a small fraction of them saw a dip in their ranking. Most of such sites increased their search traffic by 10% or more. Even Google recommended webmasters and SEOs whose websites have been impacted by Google Core Update May 2020 to deliver the best possible content. It also suggests conducting a website audit for the same.

  1. SEO is important

The Google May 2020 Core Update is talking about digital marketing to the basics. For all the people who own a website, they know how important SEO is. Many sites have duplicated meta tags, but when this number increases, it can have a disastrous effect on your website. In this update, the majority of such sites saw a decline in their traffic and ranking by 10% or more.

This brings us back to the golden rule of SEO, organic SEO always has lasting results. Take time for performing SEO, but do it the right way. Also, avoid having duplicate meta descriptions and title tags.


Despite the fact that these steps will help you, there is no guarantee that it will reverse the impact of Google May 2020 Core Update. Since each update is different, the central idea is to create the best experience for visitors on Google.

If you have experienced a rise in your traffic and ranking, Bravo! You deserve this applaud for your original and pragmatic content.

For those hit hard with the Google Core Update May 2020, well, its time you create a batter and more rejuvenating user experience for your visitors.

Remember, Google algorithms are dynamic, so should your SEO strategies. That’s your core focus. You never know when your steps might step you ahead of your competitors in the upcoming Google algorithm update in 2020.

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Alice Jenifferze

Good Share, worth reading