SEO Checklist: Optimizing After A Core Update

Google May 2020 Update Officially Over_Cover Photo

There have been plenty of Google updates but you may think, “Why can’t SEOs shut up about this one?”. The May 2020 Core Update has been rolled out in a time when digital has become colossal in the lives of people with many e-commerce sites and social media marketplaces seeing a surge in business from this avenue. With that, competition is more vicious than ever as many digital marketers clamor to find ways to achieve that top spot.

google update

I have written about this last week to say who are the probable winners and losers from this update. Now, it has been a full two-week roll out as Google announced in their Twitter account that the update is finally over. As the search engine constantly revamps itself, marketers should be adaptable to the algorithmic changes that it undergoes. Knowing this, how can you cope with the effects of this universal update?

Personally, I believe in going back to the basics and reverse engineer it from there. What are the elements that you should look at once you’ve been hit by the May 2020 update or any update for that matter? Find out here.

Organic Search Results

The first thing you look at when there is an update is whether or not you slipped off your most-coveted rankings. It sucks when an algorithm change can mess up your hard work and you cannot do anything about it because it’s the system. If you are in panic mode because you’ve been hit by the update, it’s okay because this means that you are following the rules and sticking to white-hat strategies for your SEO. For those who game the system and employ black-hat tactics, they may feel as if they are vulnerable if they do not experience the same loss due to an update but I guarantee that they will suffer a grave consequence for their unethical acts.

Once you see that you have lost your place in the first or second page, then it’s time to go to work and see why it went wrong. Even if the May 2020 update has come to a close, this is not the end of your job to maintain a high-quality site. Start with checking if you are indeed relevant for the search term that you want to rank for. You cannot choose keywords just because. Go back to the foundation of your SEO strategy and research relevant keywords to your business, options that will generate more ROI in the long run.


Updates usually make themselves known by that little curve downward or high wave in your traffic analytics report. The sudden loss in the number of users going into your site may or may not be a consequential effect of your ranking drop. Either way, this is still an important element that you should look at after an update. This will help you see which areas of your site will need your attention. It would be very helpful if you check which pages have lost the most traffic and optimize from there. Usually, this doesn’t mean that you are not relevant for users, the reason may be attributed to users finding it hard to find your pages due to a ranking drop. Navigational keywords are your best bet in recovering from this. Recover by catering to the users who have previously found your page and take them back to the pages that serve them with the most relevant information.

Featured Snippets

With the recent Core Update, there are webmasters who shared their accounts of missing featured snippets. If you have secured a position in a featured snippet for your query, you might want to check if you are hit by the algorithm update by getting kicked out of the featured snippet section. Optimize for it by following a solid content strategy that will help you succeed in securing a place in the featured snippet. The benefits of having a spot in a featured snippet are unmatched so this will be an area that you need to focus on.

Site Speed and Security

High-quality sites optimize best for user experience, which is why you should also look out for your site’s speed and security. Page load times can be a killer if you have a slow site causing your user to exit and look for information somewhere else. Same with Site Security, if a user finds out that he is unsafe while browsing your site, you should expect that it would not be a great experience for them. Core updates crack down on sites that are not proven to be of value to users so a way for you to come out strong from this is to optimize for people. It may be a daunting task trying to hit two birds with one stone, but algorithm updates are there as guides on how you can serve your audience better.

Key Takeaway

Having a checklist for SEO should be your priority, especially if you are in the middle of a turbulent update. With this in mind, make sure that you do not over-optimize or neglect the most important elements for your online visibility. Updates are there for a reason, you have to make sure that you are properly optimizing your site for the best user experience and the highest-ranking position in the search engine. What are your thoughts on the fully rolled out Google update and what are the things you include on your checklist? Comment down below!

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Sean Si

About Sean

is a Filipino motivational speaker and a Leadership Speaker in the Philippines. He is the head honcho and editor-in-chief of SEO Hacker. He does SEO Services for companies in the Philippines and Abroad. Connect with him at Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Check out his new project, Aquascape Philippines.