Search engine giant Google has rolled out their official ‘May 2020 Core Update’, appropriately named in Google's now standard month/year convention.
This latest update - the second of the year - is designed to produce significant differences across all countries and languages, which may affect site rankings.
It is not unusual to see significant gains or drops in search rankings when core updates are rolled out, and these changes are usually an indication of content relevancy.
In practical terms, what this means is that if existing content produced before the last update has gained relevancy it will move up the rankings, and vice versa for content that is now less relevant or has not been updated to reflect new developments.
Content that has been produced since the last core update now needs to be reviewed against previous content, with the more relevant and up-to-date content likely to rank more highly.
Covid-19 and the Core Update
This is the first update since the Coronavirus struck, and given the plethora of information that has surfaced due to the virus, and the record search volumes relating to Covid-19, the new update could produce some very volatile results.
Relevancy is now relative - whereas content about viruses, pandemics and related issues that three months ago languished in the shadows behind more popular terms such as travel, entertainment, events and shopping, the same cannot be said for the present situation.
In essence, what this means is that Google now has to re-index and prioritise rapidly to align relevancy and rankings accordingly.
What is the net effect, or what should you do?
Well, there will be a significant need to evaluate your site copy, content marketing strategy and digital marketing efforts overall. Whoever is writing your copy is now hugely important - content is king, and SEO specialist writers are his knights!
Take time to make sure that your site content is as relevant, up-to-date and appropriate for terms that web users are most likely to use.
And try as best you can to evolve your content as the market shifts - whether that’s back to a new normalisation, or simply a long-tail on the current status quo, as long as you’re on the pulse, you’re giving yourself the best chance of achieving a good ranking.