google core update featured

Google Core Update – Here are the new changes in Google Algorithm Update [May 2020]

On the 4th of May, Google announced its second Core Update and named it as May 2020 Core Update. Generally, people are calling it ‘Google Core Update’. It has already become a hot topic since then. What is Google algorithm, how exactly does it work and why does Google core update matter this much? Let us know all these points in detail.

First, we would focus on what is Google Algorithm and how it works.

Google Algorithms are the algorithms to sort information through billions of web pages to find the most relevant result of a search in fractions of second and display them to the user. They use so many factors for this such words, relevance, device location, and many more.

The topic of how Google Algorithm works is very vast actually. But the basic idea about it is-

  • Google Algorithm uses the keywords from your query to search the web pages. 
  • After that, it assigns the ranking to the sorted web pages based on different factors, for instance, the number of times that keyword appeared on the page, etc.
  • Now the Google Algorithm handles the order of these web pages based on their ranking in SERP (Google’s Search Engine Results Page). 

Of course, there is much more about it such as Google crawling, spiders, and much more. But we are not going that deep here. You can refer to this Google webpage to know about it in detail.

Coming back to our main discussion about the Google Core Update. Let us start with what are the major changes/updates that have happened in the Google Algorithms to date and the significance of the current update.

Google Algorithm Updates History

google core update history

Google makes hundreds of changes in its algorithm every year, to improve the quality of its search. Most of these changes are minor and generally go unnoticed, but occasionally Google rolls out some major algorithmic updates that have a significant effect on the SERPs. 

These updates help in improving the content quality and at the same time cause penalizing those who don’t follow Google’s policies. Because of these changes SEO analysts, Online marketers, etc find it difficult to follow the algorithm pattern.  

Some Major Google Algorithm Updates

google core update year updatr

Panda (2011):

Targeted over spam and weak content and the keywords. Also duplicate content, thin/plagiarized content, or content with too many ads was penalized. It permanently changed the way of SEO.

Penguin (2012):

Targeted over spam contents and irrelevant backlinks. Rewarded quality content with organic/ genuine backlinks while penalized the contents with artificial backlinks. It permanently changed building irrelevant links.

Hummingbird (2013):

Helped Google to better understand the quality(intent and context) of the contents. It also focused on long keywords and using more keywords than a single one. It also enforced the feature like making SEO copy readable, using Natural Language, etc.

Pigeon (2014):

Focused on local SEO, aiming at the rank results based on a User’s location. Hence it affected web pages along with Google Maps. It made local results, more relevant.

Mobile (2015):

Targeted over web sites to make them mobile-friendly since, at that time, almost half of the search queries came from mobile phons. The pages which were mobile-friendly ranked at the top in the mobile search, and others with no mobile-based pages, were ranked down. 

RankBrain (2015):

Introduced Artificial Intelligence(Machine learning to be specific). It could learn from user behavior and responses to queries from the past. It has become Google’s 3rd most important ranking signal now.

Possum (2016):

Supposed to be the second most significant update after pigeon update. It was applied over Google’s local ranking and targeted over giving search results based on the searcher’s physical location.

Fred (2017):

Mainly targeted over those websites that do not follow the Google guidelines.

Mobile Speed Update (2018):

As the name suggests, it targeted over page speed making it a ranking factor for the searches, especially on mobiles. So it affected the websites with a slow mobile version.

Maverick Update (2019)

It was not officially confirmed by Google but during July 2019, some significant fluctuation was noticed. The name “Maverick Update” came from the SEO industry.

Besides these major updates, there are some Google Core Updates that happen only a few times in a year and have more significant effects. They do not target any specific pages, sites, or anything. They are done to improve the overall working of the system by adjusting its core search ranking algorithm.

Some Major Google Core Updates:

“Medic” Core Update (2019)

A Broad Core Algorithm update had a large impact on high-quality articles based on major life issues such as health, finance, etc. 

June 2019 Core Update (2019)

The first time Google announced the major roll out in advance. It eas the second major update of 2019, caused altering of the core algorithm.

BERT Update (2019)

Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers(BERT)- a neural network-based technique for NLP. It was the biggest change in the last 5 years and they had to buy more powerful hardware for it.

January 2020 Core Update (2020)

First core update of 2020, focused on EAT(Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) of the contents for their ranking.

May 2020 Core Update (2020)

It was the second core update of 2020, announced on 4th May and supposed to take 2 weeks to completely roll out, causing a heavy flux in rankings. We will know about it in detail.

Refer to the Link for the brief about the complete history of Google updates.

Google Core May 2020 Update

Google has announced the second core update of 2020 on 4th May. It says that it would take around 1-2 weeks to fully roll out. Whenever such updates happen it has some major impacts on the web sites with the changed ranking algorithm. The impact may be positive or negative also.

Talking about the impacts, the major impacts have been seen in travels, real estate, and health, etc related content and their rankings whereas “News” is the least affected industry overall.

Although Google did not reveal precisely what exactly has changed in the search algorithm, it has given the advice to refer to the official Google blog post as guidance.

What Actually Changed – Impacts Caused by The Google Update

google core update what changed

Following the tradition, Google announced the change in its algorithm in advance via Twitter, but it did not specify anything about which industry or topic is kept in focus for this algorithm update. It did not even choose any specific name which could be a way to find the base of this update. Rather it chose a very generic naming format.

Moreover, the timing for this Google Update in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis is being criticized by SEOs and the online business community worldwide.

 According to the impacts so far- Many websites are noticing significant fluctuation in their rankings causing traffic and sales loss such as travel, health, tech, and finance related sites leading many companies to get closed. 

This time the impact of the Update is expected to be worse than the 2018 Update and can be seen by the change of the traffic and sales day-by-day and hour-by-hour worldwide.

The reason behind this havoc is that this time is already inconvenient for the businesses to run and coming to this Update with this much impact has hit the e-businesses hard. 

How to overcome it?

According to the Google Webmaster Blog, the SEOs and webmasters should focus on giving the best possible content and also to keep four areas into consideration-    

Quality of the Content- Websites must try to deliver quality and organic content which is useful for the end-user.

Expertise- Content should be authentic, trustworthy, and error-free.

Competitivity- Content must be something that could satisfy the user’s needs and it must have some competitive values.

Presentation- Content must look well researched and well-produced rather like simply produced on a mass level.

Besides this, there are some tips which I could consider in order to make a safe place.

Frequently Update your content- Try updating your content frequently such as adding new info, removing irrelevant points, checking links, etc to keep it up to date.

Fixing thin content- Try avoiding low word counts in your content (blogs) and give a detailed description. 

Fixing SEO errors- Try checking and fixing SEO errors frequently to avoid such problems.

How new Bloggers can gain benefits at this time?

google core update newbie

These updates can affect mostly the pre-existing or newly added websites, but what if someone wants to start a new website after this? Here are some tips for the newbies to give a good start and for going into the long run-

  • Quality:-
    Always deliver quality content to the user that can satisfy the end-user and are of good value.
  • Quantity:-
    The density of the content also matters in Google ranking. Content with low word counts is considered thin content and does not acquire a good rank.
  • Integrity:-
    The most important point to keep in mind is the integrity of your content. Never ever compromise with it. Always give fresh, organic, or research-based content and don’t simply copy from anywhere else.
  • Keywords:-
    Keywords play a really important role while ranking your page. Many updates show how Google keep it into consideration while ranking. Better to use pieces of keywords that are more in numbers.
  • Frequent Update:-
    This is really crucial practice after we post our content. We must update the blogs with time in order to make to up to date. Remove irrelevant topics, add important paragraphs, check if the links are working, and so on.

These tips will become a helping hand for you to establish a good website even after this massive update.


Google algorithms are the algorithms that are used for serving the best possible results to the end-users by sorting the websites based on various factors and give them ranking. These webpages appear in the SERPs in order of these rankings given by the Google Algorithm.

To provide the best results, Google changes its algorithm time to time which is called Google Algorithm Updates These updates are not revealed in details but the SEO analysts and other online marketers analyze it and work accordingly to get good rankings.

Some important updates are done previously such as-

Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Pigeon, Mobile, RankBrain, Possum, Fred, Mobile Speed, Maverick

These are based on specific reasons but there are some updates that are not based on anything specifically, known as the Google Core Update. Some major Google Core Updates are-

  • “Medic” Core Update(2019)
  • June 2019 Core Update
  • BERT Update(2019)
  • January 2020 Core Update
  • May 2020 Core Update

The most recent update is Google Core May 2020 Update, announced on the 4th of May, 2020. According to Google, it will take around two weeks to fully roll out. It is expected to have a very severe impact on online businesses.

Although Google advised referring to the Google Update blog in case any website ranking goes down. The important measures can be taken to overcome it such as-

  • Quality of the Content
  • Apply Good Social Media Marketing Ideas
  • Expertise
  • Competitivity
  • Presentation
  • Frequently Update
  • Fixing thin content
  • Fixing SEO errors

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Hey, I'm Neha Raj - a Software Developer by profession and a writer by passion. I write about different kinda stuffs from technologies to Reviews to Updates. I'm currently pursuing MCA from SASTRA University and in some free time, I write blogs. You can find me on different social media platforms mentioned here. :)