Skip to main content

Be Better Blog

Strategy & Insights

May 2020 Google Algorithm Update

May 7, 2020

may 2020 google algorithm update

What is the Latest Google Algorithm Update?

The May 2020 Google Core Algorithm update started on Monday, May 4th, 2020, in the U.S., and began to hit other countries on May 5. It is anticipated that it will take about two weeks to be propagated to all SERPs.

google announces algorithm update

Google had multiple algorithm updates in the 1st Quarter of 2020. After the COVID-19 outbreak shut down many parts of organizations, many thought Google would hold out on a new update until society was back to a genuinely new normal.

Do realize that Google makes over 1,000 updates to the Google algorithm, but it usually only makes 3-4 core changes per year, and one is usually a major update.  So far, we have seen quite a bit of change across all of the main categories that we track, and it appears that this core update is touching almost all SERPs.

So let’s take a look at the latest Google algorithm update, and see what has happened since the launch of the latest core algorithm update.

Changes in the Google Search Algorithm

Over the last few days, every category across the internet has been affected by the Google search algorithm core update.

At Noble Studios, we are continuously reviewing the deviation changes that hit specific categories and how our clients in those categories are doing with the new Google search algorithm changes.

google algorithm chart

Deviations like the one above help to show us the difference between the keyword volatility for a specific day versus the monthly average. By doing this, it helps us better understand which categories and clients were relatively more unstable on a given day. For example, financial companies are usually an extremely volatile category overall. Still, by comparing Noble Studios clients in that category to the category as a whole, it allows us to see if our clients’ sites are being seen as more or less stable than the competitive set.

Google Algorithm Changes to The SERPs

Mobile has seen 22% more volatility in the SERPs in the last few days, compared to desktop SERPs. Remember, volatility does not always mean things are moving in the wrong direction.  For many of our clients where we have been doing additional tracking, we have seen a net positive movement for the SERPs of 2.57% since Google changed its core algorithm.  One client, which we started a new engagement with in the last 6 months, has seen an 11% growth in its keyword visibility score since Google changed the algorithm.

May 2020 Google algorithm update

Most considerable Mobile SERP feature changes we have seen so far:

  • Top of Page ads on 11.6% of SERPs increased 32% in the last month
  • Bottom of Page ads on 2.8% of SERP results down 24% in last month
  • Top Stories on 9% of SERPs, up 22% in the last 30 days
  • People Also Ask in 39% of SERP results, down .25% in the last month
  • Sitelinks in 71% of SERPs, up 3% in the last 4 weeks

We also came across the information that for those top 20 SERPs, and an average of 14.39% of the pages on the SERPS, contains AMP pages, just showing that Google is rewarding pages with better page speed for this part of the Google algorithm.


For desktop searches, the most significant changes we see in the SERP feature are:

  • Top of Page ads on 7.8% of SERPs up 105% in the last month
  • Bottom of Page ads on 5.6% of SERP results down 337% in last month
  • Top Stories on 9% of SERPs, up 22% in the last 30 days
  • People Also Ask in 37.3% of SERP results, increased 5% in the last month, plus significant movement higher in the SERPs
  • Sitelinks in 69.7% of SERPs, up 3% in the last 4 weeks

Google SERP Update

What to do About the May 2020 Core Algorithm Update?

So, what do you do if the May 2020 core algorithm update affects your search ranking negatively? Many SEO experts will say to do nothing. This is partially correct, in that you do not need to make large major changes to your site necessarily. If you lose more than 50% of your site’s organic traffic, or if you have a significant project that needs to be accomplished quickly, contact Noble Studios and we can help you through this process.

For all others, look at what pages have seen the losses, and look for ways to focus on optimizing existing pages or creating new pages with excellent content that addresses a user’s search intent.

It is common for specific pages for specific keywords to see drops in traffic when Google makes changes to their core algorithm level — some websites face declines in organic traffic, while the other ones see gains. There isn’t any hard and fast rule to fix such impacts once an update starts rolling out. But we are seeing clients who follow the subsequent SEO tactics are the ones with the greatest growth.

Top Tactics for the May 2020 Google Algorithm Update

  1. Create content in clusters, and do proper siloing of the content.
  2. Make sure that all foundational and technical corrections are done on your website. Do not cut corners in this area, as it is the foundation your site’s SEO is built on.
  3. Optimize your site for speed; this can simply be looking at what is weighing your pages down and finding solutions to lighten the load, or even delve into proper AMP implementation for your site.
  4. Make sure that Google sees you as an authority for those topics you hold dear; we have even seen a client build over 300 pages around a specific high valued and highly competitive keyword cluster.
  5. Do gap analysis against competitive sites to see what they are ranking for that you don’t. This could provide you with new areas of content on your site that you looked over.
  6. Make sure that you are using structured data, and more specifically structured data that Google uses for SERPs. Schema can be a game-changer to be seen and getting the clicks for your site.






Up Next