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Understanding Google’s May algorithm update

Paul Edge introduces you to the latest Google Core Update and explains what it means for your website.

Google makes big changes to its search algorithm three or four times a year. The latest was announced on Twitter at the beginning of the month and Google completed the roll-out on 18th May.


Google May algorithm


Why has Google updated its algorithm?

There is always a lot of speculation after each update on what goes on behind the closed doors at Google and why core updates happen. According to industry expert Steve Paine, the most common theory is that core updates release Google’s latest machine learning data and user feedback to help improve search results for its audience.

How does this impact your brand?

Popular SEO blog Search Engine Journal suggests that the health industry has been impacted by this core update but it’s too soon to understand which sites are the winners and losers due to search results being in a state of flux while the update rolls out.

Does your website rely on organic traffic?

If your website is reliant on receiving a large percentage of organic traffic (rather than channels, such as direct, social and referral traffic) then your organic traffic metrics should be monitored.

When monitoring, it’s important to identify significant traffic variations over the coming months. If you don’t, your website traffic could be negatively affected by the update and you won’t be responding with a suitable SEO strategy. For example, you may want to implement a short term PPC campaign to supplement your reduced organic traffic.

Next steps …

If you are looking for help auditing your website in light of this algorithm update, then just drop me an email at paul.edge@thisispegasus.co.uk.


  1. Sistrix
  2. Search Engine Journal
  3. Moz

is a Digital Account Director with over six years experience making engaging digital content convert.