Every few months, Google will launch core search ranking algorithm updates and May’s is the second this year.
Google aims to keep their algorithms fresh, with updates making sure that relevant content is moved up higher in the rankings.
As the updates haven’t paused during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear that the updates will instead reflect the changes in users’ search behaviours over the last months by helping move content up the rankings that relate to topics now being searched.
For example, we’re reading up about the virus itself and how to do things at home.
Just a quick look on Google Trends confirms this too, with a special section dedicated to our global Coronavirus searches.
This also means that “less relevant” content can be negatively affected by an update too – moving down the rankings to make way for the good stuff.
Think about the things we’re not currently searching for in the same way:
- Holidays and travel
- Gigs and shows
- Local venues
Google Search has never seen as many searches for a single topic continue over a sustained period as is happening now with COVID-19. Many searches are for news about what’s happening in local areas, such as sheltering updates or the latest on testing. Here’s how we’re helping….— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) May 4, 2020
What can you do if your rankings are lowered?
Keep an eye on your content over the next few weeks and identify opportunities to tweak. Make sure your info about COVID-19, if relevant, is easy to find on your website.
And remember, you might find your content “goes back to normal” when the world begins to…
Here are some resources if you want to read more about the latest update: