What You Need To Know About The May 2020 Google Core Update

Google Core Update

The May 2020 Google Core Update that began on Monday, 4 May 2020 is now completely finished. To inform SEO UK professionals and site owners alike, Google announced the news via Twitter on Monday.

Here’s the announcement from Google that was tweeted on Monday, 18 May at 12:37pm ET.


Two weeks. The rollout of the May 2020 Google Core Update took about two weeks, which is in line with Google’s original estimate that the process would take about “one to two weeks to fully roll out”. The new update began on 4 May 2020 at 3:50pm ET and was all finished by 18 May 2020 at 12:37pm ET.

This was a big update. This was a huge update according to the information obtained for this story. The data has been gathered from various companies that specialise in analysing Google search-related data.

Review your analytics. Following its complete rollout, now is the time to go through your analytics to check whether there’s been an impact on your website. You might have already started to notice changes if these have had a positive or negative effect, but now the process has been completed, it’s safe to carry out a full analysis of the entire impact this update might have had on your website.

What to do if you’re hit. If you’ve been negatively impacted by a core update in the past, Google’s previous advice on factors to consider still stand. However, at no time has the search engine given specific advice on any particular actions that will help you recover your previous ranking. It’s also worth noting that you might not automatically be notified of any negative impact if there’s something wrong on your webpages.

Why we care. Sometimes, it’s hard to know what to do if your website is faced with an algorithm hit, especially if it’s one of Google’s core updates. These core updates, like the May 2020 Google Core Update, are wide-reaching and cover many overall quality issues, as we’ve seen in the past. So, if your website is impacted by a core update, it’s often a great time to take a step back, look at the bigger picture – ie your entire website, and check what you can do to enhance it overall.

This Is How Google Handles Extra Title Tags And Meta Descriptions

John Mueller has shared a sneak glimpse of how Google handles invalid HTML and errors made by issues like extra title tags and meta descriptions that SEO companies UK and site admins often fall foul of.

A publisher asked Mueller if having two title tags and meta descriptions tags on a single page is okay. The publisher wanted to perform a temporary change to the title and meta HTML elements. Then after a particular point in time, they intended to revert to the original versions.

According to the publisher, they had to temporarily update a few of their content pages because of COVID-19. His concern was how to handle this temporary change to the title tags and meta description.

Here’s the question:

“Concerning the meta description of the page, I got the SEO tip to include a second meta description and title concerning this topic into the header.

Would this really make sense to Google”?

Mueller’s response:

“So, if you’re including a second meta description tag on a page we will treat that the same as if you just extend the existing meta tag on the page.

…there’s no kind of bonus to using a second meta description tag on a page compared to just adjusting your existing one.

With regard to the title, that’s the same thing. It’s not that there’s any kind of a bonus attached to making a second title tag.

Essentially, you might as well just write a clear new title using the existing title tag”.

It Is Fine To Use Extra Title And Meta Descriptions, Says Google

Google said that the additional title and meta descriptions tags would be combined into a single meta description and a single title tag. But while Google says it’s okay to do something different from your usual practice, that doesn’t entirely mean you should go for it right away.

As regards which of the double tags will be displayed, that’s for Google to decide.

Google will usually show precisely what is in the title element. Adding two title elements transfers the control of which shows up from the publisher to Google. That leaves an element of uncertainty as to how that title will appear.

Moreover, Mueller says that while Google can deal with extra title and meta descriptions, publishers should stick to writing a single meta description and title tag per page.

There’s one more issue to address, which involves HTML standards.

The Official HTML Standards Don’t Validate Extra Elements

Meta Description Element is the technical name of the meta description tag. This element is like one of the huge building blocks that make up an HTML web page (document).

HTML is officially defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which is an international group. All HTML specifications can be found at W3.org.

The W3C describes elements as having a function, and each of these functions has rules.

Among the rules for the meta description element is that there must only be one meta description per page.


Likewise, there should only be one title element per webpage. Adding more than one can lead to invalid HTML.

A valid HTML, or the one with the least amount of errors, helps guarantees that the web documents are showing to site visitors precisely as you would like them to.



Google’s strategy in handling invalid HTML and mistakes is by treating double elements as a single one, John Mueller says.

Furthermore, Mueller advises that while Google can handle two meta descriptions and title tags, he would still strongly advise publishers to follow the standard practice of having only one title element and meta description per page.

Lastly, publishers can guarantee a better user experience by obeying good coding practices, helping to ensure that search engines won’t make errors when crawling a webpage.

Details sourced for this blog are from https://searchengineland.com/google-may-2020-core-update-is-done-rolling-out-334826 and https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-on-how-it-handles-extra-meta-descriptions-and-title-tags/368600/.

Do you want a strong online presence and more organic traffic on your business website? Don’t stress. That’s what we aim to provide you with here at Position1SEO. Access our quality local SEO services by visiting our homepage now.

Author: Jason Ferry
Jason Ferry is an SEO specialist based in the United Kingdom. Taking pride in his many years of experience in the search engine optimisation industry, he has honed his skills in various digital marketing processes. From keyword marketing, website auditing, and link building campaigns, to social media monitoring, he is well-versed in all of them. Jason Ferry’s excellent skills in SEO, combined with his vast experience, makes him one of the best professionals to work with in the industry today. Not only does he guarantee outstanding output for everyone he works with, but also values a deep relationship with them as well.

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