Google has officially begun rolling out its 2020 Core Algorithm Update, a broad update to their search engine algorithm that will make an extensive impact across search for many industries.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new update, how it may impact your business and some tips from our experts on how you can prepare for the changes.

“We know that Google is constantly making changes to the algorithm, so it makes sense that Google would need to make some big changes to keep up with our changing world. As Google makes changes over the next week or so, the only thing to really do is to hold on.”

peyton wilker

— Peyton Wilker, SEO Coordinator at Tinuiti

“We are telling our clients to continue as normal: continue publishing great content, continue improving the site for users, and continue trusting us. We got this!”


The Anticipated Short-term Impact


In the short term, this update is creating a high ranking volatility, as well as SERP volatility.

For reference, the January core algorithm update led to an average volatility of 8 points, while this May update is leading to peaks of 9-9.4 points. 


sem rush serp volatility report april 14 may 13 2020 google core algorithm update 2020

SEMRush’s SERP Volatility Report from April 14 – May 13, showing clear volatility as a result of the algorithm update

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The Potential Long-term Impact


As this update is still unfolding, it is hard to say what the long-term impact will be.

It is best to wait until the algorithm has finished rolling out before making any radical changes to your site.


SEO Industry Impact


This core algorithm update began on May 4 and will continue to cause fluctuation in rankings until it is finished rolling out.

Areas of focus to improve rankings if your site was hit hard by this update are:


  • Produce good quality content that is insightful, comprehensive, and sourced well


    • Adhere to Google’s E-A-T Guidelines when producing content on your site (Expertise, Authority & Trustworthiness), for more guidance, this article breaks down what you can do to improve your SEO & E-A-T efforts


    • Google has stated that content that is hit by a core algorithm update may not improve until the next update is released, but optimizing the content in the interim is still recommended


  • Internal linking strategies help mitigate ranking loses by signaling to Google that another piece of content on a site is also relevant


Being that we don’t have insight into all ranking factors and algorithm updates, there is no perfect recovery process, but cleaning up content is a good starting point. Thin, factually inaccurate, or unauthoritative content continues to take a hit with every core algorithm update.


Vertical Impact


The most affected industries thus far have been in line with the trends caused by COVID-19; Travel, Real Estate, Health, Pets & Animals, and People & Society.

These industries are being affected across both mobile and desktop searches. Roughly half of the ranking changes in the US have affected websites whose traffic is more than 1 million monthly visitors.


organic keyword trends may 4 google core algorithm update

A website in the event entertainment industry’s rankings has decreased in positions 1-20 since May 4. Source: SEMRush



real estate industry volatility

SEMRush’s SERP Volatility Report for the real estate industry over the last 30 days.


On the other hand, industries that are being impacted in a mostly positive manner as a result of this update are News, Business & Industrial, Online Communities, Arts & Entertainment, and Health.

Furthermore, PR outlets are seeing a spike in ranking positions, with some increasing 50 positions each. However, there are some outliers in these industries that have been impacted negatively, such as and


A website in the PR news industry’s rankings has increased positions 1-20 since May 4. Source: SEMRush



SEMRush’s SERP Volatility Report for the Health industry over the last 30 days.



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