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Google’s May 2020 Core Algorithm Update: What You Need to Know and How It Affects Your Small Business Website

Google May 2020 Core Algorithm Update

If you thought a global pandemic could keep Google from its planned core algorithm update, we have news for you. The update began rolling out on May 4 and was expected to take one to two weeks to complete. So depending on when you read this, it’s either already a done deal or nearly so.

Core algorithm updates can noticeably affect your small business website’s rankings — sometimes favorably, sometimes unfavorably.

That’s because Google is testing your website on its relevancy.

What Changed

The eagle-eyed among you may have already spotted how a broad core update targeting relevancy could be problematic in the midst of the COVID-19 panic. But we’ll summarize anyway: What was relevant pre-COVID might not be as relevant now.

Think of the searches people are performing today compared to the same time last year, or even just back in January when the last core update rolled out.

  • We’re not searching for concert tickets or information on the next blockbuster movie. We’re trying to find out if our favorite restaurant is open for curbside pickup.
  • We’re not searching for last night’s sports scores. We’re trying to find a grocery store that both offers delivery and has what we need in stock.
  • We’re certainly not planning a cruise or booking a hotel room for our summer vacation. We just want to know how many new people have been diagnosed with the virus in our area.

The world has changed, and the way people are using the internet has changed with it. “Google Search has never seen as many searches for a single topic continue over a sustained period as is happening now with COVID-19,” Google SearchLiaison tweeted on May 4.

Simply put, COVID-19 is “trending” in a way nothing has ever trended before and we’ll have to wait and see how things shake out once Google’s core update begins to show results.

What Can Your Small Business Do About It?

If your rankings have fallen significantly due to the algorithm update, you’re probably wondering what you can do to fix it.

The simple answer is “nothing.” Google doesn’t have an appeals process, and all decisions are final.

The more complicated answer is “be the best you can be starting today.” Google rolls out several core updates each year. Some will be fantastic for your small business; others won’t be as wonderful. But a new update will come, and you must be ready when it does.

Understand what your user is searching for and do your best to meet their needs. Focus on quality over quantity. Provide content that is relevant to your target audience. In short, keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll be rewarded for it — both in Google’s search rankings and in the eyes of your current (and future) customers!

Need help making sure the next core algorithm update doesn’t send you to the bottom of the search rankings? Give Mischa Communications a call. We’ll work with your small business to devise a content strategy that’s Google-approved!