Most important Google Search update in 12 months
It has become usual for Google to run ‘core updates’ to its search algorithm every few months. These are in addition to the hundreds of tweaks it makes daily.
This quarter’s update “May 2020 Core Update” started on 4 May and took a fortnight to complete its roll out.
Expertise, Authority, Trust
Our experience at equimedia is that recent core updates have not usually made notable impact on clients who have strong web presences. At the heart of a strong web presence is content that delivers Expertise, Authority and Trust (EAT) to the intended audience. Google has been advocating and rewarding high EAT sites for years.
Initial analysis has shown that the May 2020 Core Update changed rankings more strongly than usual. We have observed sites with richer, more focused content being rewarded. It appears to have dialled up the ranking value of the relevancy of EAT. We surmise that Google is getting better at understanding usefulness to an audience. So, whilst a 1000-word high quality blog post might display excellent EAT, it might not be relevant to someone looking for a quick answer.
It seems that the update has also acknowledged changes in ‘search intent’ brought on by COVID-19, particularly in the travel and hospitality sectors. For example, we may be more likely to visit an airline’s website looking for a refund rather than to book a flight.
Core Web Vitals
The day after the update, Google announced the introduction of Core web Vitals.
What are Core Web Vitals?
In recent years, Google has led initiatives to make websites secure (‘https’), mobile-friendly and faster to load. Core Web Vitals take these to the next level and seeks to improve the user experience. Important elements of a website with a good user experience are that it loads cleanly in a browser - without the page jumping around - and allows a user to start to interact with it with minimal delay.
Image: Google Webmaster Blog
Advanced warning of new ranking signals
One 28 May, Google promised to start using these as ranking signals from 2021.
Image : Twitter
Aim to create the most useful content on the web for your customers. Write in your customers’ language about things which they care about and for which your business is an expert.
We live in a fast-paced world, so if the main pages on your website haven’t been updated in a year, Google may think your competitors’ content is more up to date and trustworthy.
- Look at your competitors and industry leaders and note what they are doing well
- Every month or two, refresh your main web pages. Small changes can make a big difference: reference an industry update, improve an explanation, add a new graphic, or link to a new blog post.
- Think whether your customers might prefer to watch a simply-made 90 second video rather than reading a block of text.
- Ask your web developer or SEO agency to audit the Core Web Vitals of your site and prioritise what technical elements need to be improved before the end of 2020.
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