What the May Google Update Means for SEOs
On May 4th, it was confirmed by Danny Sullivan that a new update to the Google search algorithm was coming down the pipe.
The update took some webmasters by surprise because so many updates have been released recently. With the difficulties of Covid-19, some thought (mistakenly) that Google would lay off SEOs and webmasters. But alas, much like with Amazon lowering affiliate commission rates, and ad rates falling for content publishers, that wasn’t to be the case.
So what does the May Google update means for SEOs?
Core Updates: Myths vs. Reality
Whilst the May 2020 update was the second core update of the year that affected the ranking position of many search queries, it did impact some industries a little more than others.
We consulted with a search optimisation agency in Manchester to find out if these SEO myths were relevant in 2020 and beyond. Gorilla Marketing is a leading Google-approved SEO agency in Manchester. They focus on white-hat approaches to digital marketing that don’t raise the ire of the search giant (they’re also certified by Bing).
Here is what they felt SEOs needed to know about the May Google Update.
Core Updates Aren’t Directly Fixable
This is a key point to understand, especially for new SEOs. A core update represents a fundamental change in the way that Google ranks websites. It simply looks at them differently than it did in the past.
Unlike with some previous non-core updates, the ranking changes don’t necessarily indicate that a website did nothing wrong. This causes many SEOs to scratch their heads trying to find something wrong with their content or backlink profile. Ultimately, they must think bigger.
A Refinement of E-A-T
A previous E-A-T update focused squarely on websites that demonstrated Expertise, Authority, and Trust to give them a preference with ranking. The latest core update takes a deeper dive into this area.
It’s now necessary to provide reliable sources for statements made about something to back it up. Demonstrating expertise through the copy is needed for Google to assess what content is worthier than others.
Quality is now assessed on a per page, not per-domain basis. Of course, if a website is bad all over, it might get a bad grade for the domain overall. However, a piece of content sits on a single page on a website, and this is what’s assessed.
Structured schema data is useful to Google to better understand what’s on the page. Use the schema.org site to figure out the correct structured data to use on your site. Also, provide information on the author, so Google knows who they are and can relate it to other works in that industry.
User Signals Get More Attention
It’s believed that with the availability of better user data from the Google search engine, Chrome browser, Chrome OS, and Android OS, the largest search engine is paying more attention to user signals. Therefore, how the user clicks-through to a site, the time-on-site, whether the searcher returns to the search result, and tries again all plays a part. The CTR on the listing in the SERPs also matters; listings ranked lower, but getting more clicks is likely to see positional adjustments. Work to extend how long people spend on the website by removing impediments like slow-loading pages.
For SEOs, the Google May update was possibly a wakeup call to pay attention to specifics. The search giant is getting more sophisticated in its analytical capabilities, and SEOs must do the same now.