Google Core Update May 2020 – How Magento Business Stay On Top

by Robin Tran

In the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, Google decides to drop the bomb and roll out the Google Core Update in May 2020.  And Suzanne Jones said it best about this whole situation:

“Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse…. thanks Google”

This announcement has taken the SEO world by storm and you can see there is a spike in search for Google algorithm update.


It’ll take one or two weeks to fully changing the ranking algorithm – said Google, and we must monitor SEO metrics to make decisions in a timely manner!

Here is what we know for sure and what more to look for in regards to Magento shop owners and SEO consultants.

Google Core Update 2020 – What Has Changed And Is Predicted To Change?

Quick recap – What is Google Core Updates?

Google Core Updates as Google put it – “…are about improving how our systems assess content overall.” I.e: Changes in the way Google’s algorithm works and rewards websites with a place on the SERP. 

These are changes that massively affect Google’s ranking and evaluation of your indexed webpage. In fact, Google must announce these updates because there’re universally notable effects during the rollout – both good and bad ways.

A confirmation from Google Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst

In responding to the direct @ from an SEO specialist, John Mueller – Google Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst has kept Google’s tradition of being ambitious while giving out the meat-and-potato of this update.


OPEN FOR MORE: Ecommerce Content Marketing– how to transform your content to a whole new level. 

Accordingly, this update is the continuation of the “for users and by users” policy of Google. Creating good content is not enough, you also need to make it easy-to-understand, accessible, and engaging.

Now, moving forward…


Traffic losses all across platforms

Google does update daily, but once it’s deemed core update – massive changes in organic traffics are expected.

A quick tour into Webmaster World Forum discussion thread on this update and you see the swing and drop for every niche of the website.

Some noticeable niches that are affected:

  • Health: Sofie77 “With this official May 2020 Core update the site is almost destroyed.with -90%.” 
  • Tech: ChokenBako  “It’s getting rough…. – 40% Traffic compared with last week. Tech-related website.” 
  • Finance & Health: HereWeGo123 “Okay, now I am seeing crazy swings. Monitoring KWs in various verticals, and so far, the volatility appears massive. Some major national brands that were rank at the top for very competitive financial KWs dropped 10+ rankings. Seeing massive swings in health as well. This looks big so far.” 
  • Dating: Dantes100 “Over 40% down so far for a relationship advice site.”

1st result page changes massively

SEMrush sensor has shown that this May update shuffled the SERP violently.


And when comparing the previous update in January, this core update is more brutal. This change is also the biggest buzz-generating update that Google ever installed!


Statistically, these changes in ranking are particularly noticeable for health, retail, travel, and finance websites. 


Google Search Console lag? Is this a possibility?

Google Search Console (GSC) is a search tool provided by Google to get a hold of keyword traffic, indexing problems, and other information.


And since then, can the core update that clearly affected raking and traffic data create a lag within the GSC report?

Surprisingly (and fortunately), no. 

GSC is purposely separated from the ranking algorithm (which the update is working on). And at the same time, there is no reasonable reason for Google to downplay the report from GSC on purpose.

Therefore, you can get precious data on traffic volume, keywords during the update and develop your coping mechanism.

Future prediction – Relevance is key, content reigns supreme, but authority remains superior

You may now look at your Google Analytics and see what has happened to your site. And there is good and bad news all over the place.

Relevant – The confusing adjective for Google-approved content 

Right at the example of movies throughout the years that Google makes in its guideline on core updates, we can clearly see the emphasis on relevancy.

While it clears as day that Google is trying its best to show the most relevant websites to the search query (or at least as they claim), what’s about the “relevance” of your content?

It seems like a wasted question but thinks about it for a second. Again, we will examine the announcement’s thread. 


So here is the problem, the user claims that because Google put the 14-years-old Tripadvisor on #1 for the keyword “Lucerne in December”, they don’t actually value “relevance” when it comes to content.

But if you actually read the content of the website, you’ll realize this is the best fit for the keyword in search. 

So what is the deal here? It is an indicator that we must consider relevance in the sense of user intent – not the date of publication. 

However, everything has exceptions. If we’re talking about trendy topics (just like Google’s core updates for example) then yes, relevance is definitely referred to the latest indexing pages.

Either your site is winning or losing – consider upgrading the content

You may now look at your Google Analytics and see what has happened to your site. And there is good and bad news all over the place.

If your site is winning during the update, congratulations, your SEO efforts have officially paid off!


If your site is losing traffic, there is no quick fix, says Google. The reason for the decline in the organic ranking is not because your website has serious SEO issues, it’s because Google unearths a better result for the keyword than your webpage.

Here is when your content needs an update for itself. Read the content of your page once again and find the area(s) you can improve and do exactly that. 

You can check on the top 3 results for the keyword you want your page to rank for and learn from their copies. From there, you can recreate the magic and gain rank with what Google considers “useful content.”

Why you should sharpen your backlink profile

User’s intent content is essential, but don’t forget to better your backlink profile aka your domain authority. Under the same Twitter thread, you can see the example of websites with better authority ranking higher than the one they have a link to. 


Another evidence of this is that Serebii (the biggest community on Pokemon that sure fits into the user’s intention criteria) is no longer on the 1st result page for Pokemon News.


Instead, they put Independent UK (a publisher with better authority) on the 1st SERP for the same keyword. 


The takeaway is that you must update your content as well as your backlink profile to ensure your place on the Googe listing page. 

Google Core Updates: What Magento Shop Owners & SEOs Can Do

Due to the Google core update and the ripple effect it creates, here are areas that Google advises you to audit as soon as possible. 

Content & Quality

As mentioned above, you want your content to fall under Google’s desire. And what are the characteristics that Google is looking for: Original, user-friendly, visual-focused, and trustworthy.


Start asking your content marketers/yourself these questions about the copies you have on your site:

  • Do your landing/product/blog pages contain original content that goes beyond copying? 
  • Are meta tags matched the content while being tasteful? 
  • Would you share this content with your friends?


This criterion is a make-or-break for your ranking. If the users don’t find your content trustworthy and come from a place of expertise, they will bounce back.

And your ranking will go down as a result.


That’s why you should consider these: 

  • Is your content trustworthy? 
  • Do errors appear on the webpage (from navigation, search, checkout, loading, etc)? 
  • Would you trust what you read if you come from the Google search result page?

Presentation & Production

Coming from a UX standpoint, you want your website as well as the content within to be vibrant, easy-to-navigate, and professional.


PRODUCT PAGES BEST EXAMPLE: How to construct a product page that sells.

And Google urges you to audit on your site with these questions:

  • Does the content look appealing and well-researched or does it seem more like mass production? 
  • Are there too many advertisements? 
  • Does the site load fast and beautifully arranged on all devices?

Competitive comparison

Last but not least, it’s a fight for the better spots on the SERP. And you want to make sure you’ve figured out your unique selling points.

So, here are questions you should ask yourself:

  • Does your website offer added value compared to other competitors? And what are those?
  • What is your UX point? Does it meet the bare minimum or exceed?

Recommended Magento SEO Assistant In Response To Google’s Core Updates

If you’re looking for a solution that can help you survive and thrive during this Google core update, you need this extension. 

Here is the list of benefits this extension can give you in dealing with Google’s algorithm update:

  • Get the inside report on your current SEO – pinpoint the lack-lusters and fix them quickly.
  • Monitor your keywords with Google Search Console to make data-driven decisions.
  • Make sure Google sees your web pages and index them with XML Sitemap.
  • Tell Google precisely what you want them to crawl with robot tags. 
  • Keep link juice for yourself with SEO external links.
  • Remain original with your content – no duplicating with the canonical tag.
  • Stay on top with rich-snippet that is engaging and appealing.
  • Maximize your search visibility with SEO-friendly images.

SEO-friendly is the key term and we’re here to excel at that!

Wrap Up

During this article, we’ve discussed the latest Google Core Update of May 2020 in detail. Now is the time to analyze whether your content is Google-approved. 

Note down any changes to your site following this update –  keep a close eye on your stats and make the change. Using a helping hand is highly recommended during this time.

And we’re here to provide you with exactly that.

READ NOW >>> SEO For Ecommerce: A Savvy, Effective And Optimized Guideline if you want to know more about SEO in Magento 2. 

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