Google’s Danny Sullivan has confirmed that a core algorithm update is rolling out today – May 4, 2020. The update will officially be known as the “May 2020 Core Update.”
Google has been one step ahead of the SEO community when it comes to naming these updates, as the company now defaults to a generic Month/Year naming pattern. Otherwise, I would wager we’d all be tempted to refer to this as the “May the Fourth” update – or something to that effect.
Second Core Update in 2020
This is Google’s second confirmed update of 2020 so far, with the first one launching back in January. Feels like a lifetime ago considering how the world has changed between then and now. With that said, this effectively answers any questions about whether Google will pause core updates amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The answer is: no.
Although that’s not necessarily a bad thing, and throughout this post I will explain why.
The Purpose of Core Updates
Broad core updates are designed to produce widely noticeable effects across search results in all countries in all languages. Sites will inevitably notice drops or gains in search rankings when a core update rolls out.
Changes in search rankings are generally a reflection of content relevancy. Meaning if content has gained relevancy since the last update it will be moved higher up in rankings. The opposite is also true. Then there’s newly published content that didn’t exist at the time of the last update. That all has to be reassessed against previously existing content.
First Core Update Since COVID-19
The last core update was launched in the second week of January 2020. At the time, coronavirus and COVID-19 were hardly on anyone’s radar. Now that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The world quickly changed when coronavirus was declared a pandemic, which came with significant shifts in users’ search behavior. Earlier today Google said there has never been so many searches for a single topic as there have been for COVID-19.
What Mean Google’s algorithms
Google’s algorithms mean a complex arrangement used to retrieve data from its search index and directly deliver the best conceivable results for a question.
The search engine uses a mixture of algorithms and numerous ranking signs to release webpages sorted by relevance on its search engine results surfaces (SERPs).