Google recently launched its May 2020 update. It was a significant update and has affected many ongoing trends on the internet. This update changed the rankings of many popular websites. Many web experts have claimed a massive loss in organic traffic after the release of the update.

Google announced a major update to its current algorithm. This update is known as the “CORE” update because there are huge changes made to the algorithm which means many of the websites would be affected by the changes.

Go and check, how has your website traffic being affected?

Don’t think that nothing has changed to your website traffic. Hurry up and check if your ranking has reduced or increased. You should also go and login to your Google Analytics account to see whether your traffic has increased or reduced.

The reviews of this update are mainly negative due to the problems it contains. Sources also claim that Google can even rollback this update.

Check which industries are hugely impacted?

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There are a few industries that have shown immense changes in their rankings after the changes have made to the algorithm. These industries are travel, health, real estate, people, society, pets & animals, and foods & drinks. They have seen the biggest fluctuation in their website rankings.

Looking at a Few Trends:

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  • 127 of the total websites with thin word count saw a decline in website traffic by a minimum of 10%. This accounts for a whopping 31.75% of the total websites with thin word count. Fixing your thin word count would also help you stay strong during this latest core update to the algorithm. Thin word count means web pages with less number of word counts. There are many websites on the internet having to think word count for at least one page of their site. And can you imagine these sites have also got badly affected by the algorithm changes?
  • This doesn’t mean that you keep on adding words when a few hundred words and images are enough to answer user’s questions. But you need to write in-depth answers to the topics that need extra effort.
  • Websites that update their content on a regular basis saw the least decline in traffic after the latest update to the algorithm. Only 5.92% of the total websites that update their content regularly saw a decline in their traffic which is just 38 websites in total.

187 of the websites saw an increase in website traffic by at least 10%. So updating the content of the website on a regular basis would help you stay ahead of your competition. Because Google wants to be the most efficient for its searchers and if you present the best of knowledge and content to the users, you are already leading the race!

Looking at the SERPs affected

This update also affected the occurrence of SERP features which we have discussed below. You should use these features to regain your traffic back. By working on these features, you can rank your website organically.

SERP Features Occurrence

The results that appear on Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) part from traditional organic results are known as SERP features. The latest Google May 2020 Update has made a considerable difference in the occurrence of various SERP features on the search page in the top 20 results.

The changes are as follows-

  • Featured Snippet– When you ask any question in Google, and the result you see in an outlined box is featured snippet. The featured snippets are used by Google to answer specific questions. The Click Through Rate (CTR) of featured snippets is very high because of their ranking in SERP.
  • Changes in Featured Snippet Occurrence after update- The occurrence of featured snippet after the May 2020 update has decreased by -0.05% and the appearance is 8.45%. This hit mainly affected the FAQ and websites that deal with a detailed article on a particular topic.
  • Local Pack- Whenever you search on Google something like “Restaurant nearby” or “Doctor near me”, a map appears on the SERP with a pin locating the thing you need. It usually contains three most suitable locations to your search results which are known as a local pack.
  • Changes in Local Pack occurrence after update- Before the update, this SERP feature used to dominate the search results and helped a lot of local businesses to get noticed. But after the major update, its occurrence has decreased by 0.20% and is now only 18.24%.
  • Shopping Results- Google shows organic as well as sponsored shopping results on the top of the SERP. These redirects you to the vendor website, helping you to find the product quickly. It is similar to AdWords.
  • Changes in Shopping Results occurrence after update- This is one of the few features that have increased occurrence after the update. The occurrence percentage has increased by 0.61% and is now 3.19%. Shopping Results Feature has led to an increase in E-commerce activities.
  • Knowledge Panel– These cards are a combination of data taken from various trustworthy sources like WikiData and data extracted from Google Index. It appears whenever you search a particular noun.
  • Changes in Knowledge Panel occurrence after update- These features appear on the right-hand side of organic results. After the update, its appearance is decreased by -0.24% and is now 27.33%. This will help organic search results to gain traffic.
  • Top Stories- It is also known as News Box and covers half of the SERP. It contains 3 top articles from the news related to the topic with publisher’s names and dates.
  • Changes in Top Storie’s occurrence after update- The appearance of top stories have been hit severely after the update and has fallen by -1.33%. The current percentage of occurrence is only 5.23%. This has led to a considerable impact on the news sector. And a huge decrease is reported in the traffic of many news websites.
  • Instant Answers- This feature can be seen on the SERP whenever you ask any question to Google to which it can give specific answers. For example, “weather today” or “date”.
  • Changes in Instant Answers occurrence after update- There is no significant change in the occurrence of this feature. And it also does not affect a vast amount of organic results.
  • Top Ads- Adwords that show on top of the SERP is known as top ads. These ads contain a colored ad label to distinguish it from organic search results. These ads affect the CTR of organic search results due to which their traffic is decreased.
  • Changes in Top Ads occurrence after update- The appearance of ads has taken a massive dip after the may 2020 update. Its percentage is now only 13.42% after a significant decrease in -2.69%. The traffic of organic results has increased.
  • Bottom Ads- The only difference between the top and bottom ads on SERP is their position. These ads are placed below the organic search results according to their significance.
  • Changes in Bottom Ads occurrence after update- The highest which was recorded in the occurrence of any feature is the bottom ads. The bottom ads now consist of 4.33% SERP after an increase of 2.44%.
  • Carousel- The images displayed in the SERP as in a horizontal scrollable manner form the Carousel feature. The images shown here are from Google Images search. The carousel can appear at any position on the SERP.
  • Changes in Carousel occurrence after update- The carousel can help in generating traffic to the websites because there are chances that the user can redirect to the website after seeing the image. This feature has seen a decrease of -0.25% and now holds a place in 2.22% SERPs.
  • Video Snippets- Video results that show up on Google SERP are mainly from Youtube. To enhance this feature, Google cut-shorts the important timestamps according to the query keyword.
  • Changes in Video Snippets occurrence after update- The chances of getting video snippets in search results are less, but after the update, it has increased by +0.33%. These videos help YouTubers to gain views directly from SERP.
  • People also ask- This is a common and handy section on the Google search results. Google generates questions through machine learning technologies that are related to your search query. And each question under people who ask opens as a featured snippet.
  • Changes in People Also Ask occurrence after update- This feature helps many websites to gain traffic using featured snippets as answers. After the new update, it can be seen in 41.35% SERPs, which has decreased by -0.23%.
  • Site Links- Whenever you search for a specific website such as Gmail, you get extra links to browse various pages of the website. It also acts as an extra functionality of a previously declared feature, i.e., Featured Snippets. This feature enhances usual snippets or search results by adding additional useful links on SERP.
  • Changes in Site Links occurrence after update- The site links appear in 69.70% of search results with a decrease of -0.14% after the update. The site links help in getting CTR from the SERP.
  • Images– It is slightly different from the carousel feature. The image pack occurs when Google feels that visual content will help to serve your query better. It appears as a row of images related to your search in an organic manner.
  • Changes in Images occurrence after update- From the last update, the occurrence of images has increased significantly in the SERP by a percentage of +0.15%. Now, these images occur in 60.48% search results.
  • Tweet– Google started showing tweets directly in the SERP from 2015. These results are well mixed with the organic results.
  • Changes in Tweet occurrence after update- The tweets apart from other features drive traffic to only one platform that is Twitter. But now the occurrence of a tweet is only 5.86% after a decrease of -0.26%.
  • Reviews– Google shows review ratings and stars below some websites if you specifically search for some products or recipes on Google. It is shown below the URL of the website. The results with stars get higher CTR in SERP.
  • Changes in Reviews occurrence after update- The conditions of Google showing reviews differ by various unknown factors. But it is very beneficial from product reviewing and tutorial websites. With an increase of +0.09%, the reviews appear in 49.38% SERPs.
  • Featured Video- These videos appear on the SERP with a thumbnail and are usually from YouTube. As images in the search results, these featured videos help you to resolve your query with visual content.
  • Changes in Featured Video occurrence after update- This helps your content to outshine and makes it more appealing to the user and hence increased CTR. After the update featured video appears in 6.59% SERP.
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