Most google algorithm updates in the past settled with small adjustments along the way. Still, this latest May 2020 update is different.

Search results are still not settling after Google revealed its May 2020 update.

Google issued a warning that settling could take weeks. This has been causing unhealthy changes to websites worldwide.

It is obvious that this new update is causing massive changes.

Why Volatility of Search Ranking Occurs after Updates

Search instability exists because it takes time to improve all data centers around the world. Another explanation is that many variables are shifting simultaneously, which takes a while to settle. Incorrect positive induces instability during update execution.

If the update mistakenly affects the respective websites, false-positive effects are expected. Upon upgrading, software developers must evaluate input and review search results to remove false-positive effects.

You will know it’s happening on your platform if you find that there’s a time of calm after an update has been released. Further adjustments can disrupt this stability cycle and sometimes turn losses around.

Tony Wright (@tonynwright) a professional search marketer posted his impression on twitter:

This appears to be one of the most significant updates in recent memory. It’s too early for anything other than analysis, but I’ve seen sites in multiple verticals affected.

It’s not clear who the winners are yet…

Some people said that there had been changes in several sectors, particularly in the medical and sector, even when the update has only been done recently.

Several sources mention local search performance variability.

Here is Darren Shaw’s tweet, showing instabilities in local search success since April 2020. 

Changes are felt by many, and outcomes change from time-to-time, day-to-day.

Local search businesses and health-related pages are some of those experiencing fantastic upgrade improvements.

Thin material, or content that has no added value, loses exposure due to changes. If they lost viewers due to thin content or other factors is not yet known.

Significant changes can also be seen in SERP worldwide. WebmasterWorld records SERP ‘s simultaneous variability from the Americas to Europe to Australia.

There has never been an upgrade that is as widespread since 2003.

Did Covid-19 affect the Search Algorithm?

It is a reasonable theory to think that Covid-19 has dramatically influenced a significant measure of Google’s algorithm.

Google’s algorithm determines what people wants and needs to see in their search query, and Covid-19 could have changed it.

With daily searches about updates regarding the pandemic, it is clear that it definitely affected the search patterns in all search engines.

However, we can only theorize about what is really going on.

We cannot easily confirm theories because Google does not disclose all details regarding the updates they roll out; they only announce the schedule for the updates and hints.

This is because Google wants content makers not to try to manipulate search engine results.

There are also reports that established brands are gaining results, while the newer brands are losing.

What are the targets of Google Updates?

It’s important to note that Google’s extensive core updates don’t aim a precise industry. 

Moving the algorithm may have a direct impact on the industry; however, that doesn’t mean specifically targeting the industry.

Google is known for making wide-ranging, essential changes that impact factors such as understanding search preferences of users and identifying what web contents are applicable to search requests, and how they relate.

Changing to a better understanding of search intention, for example, will impact how Google rates medical pages.  Google will impact pages with natural or herbal remedies if searchers seek more scientific answers to health issues. 

Therefore, if health-related sites are disproportionately affected, there will be a shift in understanding the search intentions that occur. 

The recent changes to the Google algorithm involved link-related considerations, such as when Google only used certain no-follow ties for classification of rankings.

Who Gains during Updates?

Google does not reward sites and content according to quality but according to relevance to users’ search query. It uses link signals to determine what sites are popular and what search queries they are relevant to.

Google always promote that websites should always be of good quality, and they do their best not to rank the low-quality site. However, what matters in search rankings is the satisfaction of users they make a search query.

Even when the quality of a website is essential in satisfying users’ experience, it is still the relevance of the content that comes first before in Google algorithm before quality.


Before launching any updates and adjustments to your website, wait for search results to finalize since May 2020 update has not yet fully settled,

Take a look at winning sites and seek to identify why they succeeded. Yet don’t aim to copy from them, only observe, learn, and adjust to the changes that are going on.

Approaching these changes to become more relevant for the users in this current time is the best move to make.