May 2020 Algorithm Update Impact + Google E-A-T Guidelines

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After the May 2020 Algorithm update, we’ve noticed some heavy fluctuations in client rankings that are appearing to stick.

This is one case we saw. Over 97% of our clients were protected from ranking losses, or even saw growth thanks to proactive SEO efforts. We’ll update this post with the progression of the above graph and other clients as improvements are implemented.

Example of May 2020 Algorithm Update Impact

To know what improvements to make, we need to know what the update was focused on.

What Is Known About the Update?

  • It’s focused on Content and Google E-A-T guidelines
  • @searchliason noted “guidance remains” as they’ve covered before (and linked to the above link)
  • Moz tools (Mozcast) registered at 113 degrees, the highest since August of 2018

What Are The Google E-A-T Guidelines?

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

Google has a list of questions to consider around content quality, expertise, presentation, and value compared to other pages.

These are some things I consider and keep in mind with content/E-A-T:

  • Is the content data/research-backed?
  • Are you linking out/referencing sources?
  • Is your content better than the other content ranking on the first page?
  • Does you content answer potential searcher questions, and/or provide solutions?
  • Is the grammar excellent? No typos?
  • Is the content easy to read?
  • Does it incorporate images, videos, or other forms of content?
  • Who is writing the post? Are they in an experienced position to comment on the topic their writing about?

You can get the specific questions Google feels you should ask about their content, here.

While this is a loose set of guidelines that is great to apply while writing content, this update reinforces Google’s desire to have great content indexed in its search engine, which is helpful to users. This is nothing new.

If you’ve been working on creating unique content, updating old content consistently, working to amplify that content, and keeping E-A-T in mind since Google started to mention it, you’re probably in good shape!

If not, our CEO Michelle used to have this Chinese proverb at the bottom of her email signature, that is applicable to this situation:

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now”

How To Address The Update, Recover Rankings, and Grow

Based on what we know about the update, and the clients we’re seeing with ranking drop-offs, content should have your complete attention until rankings recover.

Don’t overthink it! If you work with an SEO or content specialist, they’ll be able to help you take some ideas and information, and transform that into a great piece of content.

Sometimes the thought of creating content is intimidating, and just taking the first steps is the hardest part.

Perhaps my writing process could be helpful to others:

  1. Identify topic
  2. Research (search phrases, articles ranking well, backlink opportunities, etc.)
  3. Outline the post or page
  4. Fill in that outline with blips of information
  5. Turn it into actual paragraphs/sentences
  6. Add images/video
  7. Have 2 or 3 people review/edit
  8. Publish
  9. Amplify
  10. Monitor data, refine as needed based on user-response
  11. Update as often as you can

Example of May 2020 Algorithm Update Impact 2

We stay on top of algorithm updates, ensuring our clients are prepared to benefit from these updates, or at worst quickly recover.

Contact us for a free content audit.

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