What We Know About The May 2020 Google Algorithm Update

May 2020 Core Update

SEO companies UK wide may find themselves in demand today following the latest Google algorithm update that was launched on the 4th of May after an announcement from Danny Sullivan.

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Google has been quick to announce such updates, which impact national and local SEO companies, now using a generic Month/Year naming pattern.

The May 2020 Core Update was rolled out around 3:52 pm yesterday.Google Search Liaison 3

Second Core Update in 2020

So far, this is the second confirmed update made by Google in 2020. The first one was launched in January.

It may feel like it was a long time since the last update, given the coronavirus situation.

However, Google has no plans for pausing core updates amid the pandemic.

If you want to know why this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, read the following paragraphs.

What is the purpose of Core Algorithm Updates?

Core updates have widely noticeable effects across search results worldwide, in all kinds of languages.

Such updates can give sites either a drop or gain in their search rankings.

These search ranking changes are usually related to the relevance of the published contents.

In other words, content that has achieved more relevancy since the last update will more likely have a higher ranking. This means the opposite of this is also true.

Meanwhile, when it comes to the recently published contents that weren’t live when the last update took place, this will be reassessed against the previous content.

All in all, this means that search rankings will change quite a bit.

The May 2020 Core Update is more likely to be unpredictable since it’s the first update during the pandemic.

May 2020 Core Update: The First Core Update Since COVID-19

The first core update of 2020 was launched in the second week of January.

It was at the time when COVID-19 wasn’t declared a pandemic yet. Since then, the world has changed rapidly following the pandemic announcement, which triggered significant shifts in the search behavior of users.

Google said yesterday that search queries have only been focused on one topic, which is, unsurprisingly, COVID-19.

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Hence, this pandemic has shifted what the users want to see in the Google search results. This includes looking for businesses offering remote services, where to buy much-needed products online, and information about the virus itself.

A lot of things are gaining relevancy now that weren’t as relevant to users before.

Meanwhile, the things that were extremely relevant before aren’t now being searched for as much, including live entertainment, travel, in-person events, and tourism, to name a few.

Because of this, Google is now faced with the unique challenge of keeping up with the change in search queries worldwide, resulting in the May 2020 Google algorithm update.

It is going to take time to see if people are finding it simpler to get the information they need through Google Search.

Is it beneficial to the SEO Job Market?

The May 2020 Core Update could be a great advantage for SEO if it ends up being powerful as it has the possibility to be.

The downside of the pandemic is the economic downturn, pushing companies to reduce their labor force as well as clients pausing services.

Whenever a core algorithm update occurs, SEO services are highly valuable to get. This is because the more unpredictable the update is, the more needed SEO services are.

Hence, with this update newly rolled out, SEOs may find their services in demand.

Most companies will be more likely to invest now in SEO services following the May 2020 Core Update.

What to do in light of the May 2020 Core Update?

There have been no changes in the guidance from Google about this update, as with all the core updates in the past.

Google has been consistent by saying that there’s no solution if rankings drop after such an update, but site admins can always make their content the best it can be.

In other words, just like every Google algorithm update in the past, making content as relevant as possible for a user’s specific query should be a priority.

This Is Why Local News About COVID-19 Appears More In Google

Local news publishers continue to struggle in monetising the spike in consumer interest. Danny Sullivan, the search liaison of Google, said on Monday that the search engine “has never seen as many searches” as it currently has for results related to COVID-19. Most of these are local news about COVID-19.

How Google defines local news. According to Sullivan, Google defines “local news content” as material produced by a publisher, such as newspapers, or those beyond the geographic area if relevant. He adds that Google “made a change to help local content surface better within our Top Stories box” to better surface high-demand local news content and added a new “Local news box” to show local content relating to coronavirus searches.

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Top Stories on Google’s coronavirus SERP

Corona Virus California

Non-AMP COVID content in Top Stories. When it comes to Top stories for COVID-19 queries, both the AMP and non-AMP stories will appear. Though, the AMP-content is still needed for non-coronavirus news to be included in Top Stories.

Sullivan is also appointed to Google’s Journalism Emergency Relief Fund, which is made to offer support to local news publishers worldwide. Since 2008, local newsrooms have cut 50% of their staff as per Pew Research Center. With the pandemic situation today, significant job cuts and furloughs, even closures, by local news publications.

Why we care. During such public health crisis, local news and a trusted communication channel is crucial. But due to the blockage of ads from appearing in addition to the virus-related articles and/or advertisers pausing campaigns, local publishers referred to the coronavirus as an extinction-level event”.

There are some challenges that are brought by this crisis, specifically the ones that local publishers are facing. This includes monetising latest traffic since many advertisers are resting due to brand safety. Brand safety technologies and content exclusions usually lack the nuance to be able to determine article tone and result in content blockage, such as positive content that refer to the virus. This is a disadvantage for publishers and an opportunity for advertisers.

Now, local publications are supported by the government as well as private companies, such as Google, to help them produce continuous local news and avoid having “local news deserts”. Though, the prognosis isn’t great, unfortunately, without advertisers’ commitment.

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