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Google is one of the largest businesses in the world, and during this difficult pandemic, they have carried out a regular update to their system that has rattled a lot of cages and made people resentful.

At this time, many companies are struggling to stay afloat amidst the coronavirus panic, and the ability to advertise through Google and rank well in their Search Engine is crucial for success. However, Google’s latest update: May 2020 Core Update, has been criticised by many due to algorithm changes that have made it hard to stay on top. The difficulty to sustain small online businesses during this pandemic has been therefore heightened by this update, making many smaller businesses scramble to learn more and restore their SEO.

Coronavirus has created a huge peak of uncertainty for many businesses. As people are staying at home and doing less, they are visiting less websites and this means that traffic and engagement for many businesses has plummeted in recent weeks. Online sales have been a rarity for many and the ability to advertise effectively has become necessary for the survival of businesses.

Many online have been left feeling sour at the new update, feeling like this should have waited until things have once again settled back to normal.

Google has made it a tradition in recent years to announce their core updates via TwitterC and when this announcement was made at the start of May people were rightfully less than happy. Google always keep the names of their updates neutral, I.e. May 2020 Core Update, but many have called this the Corona Update and have slammed the corporation for this decision that may have a profound impact on everyone.

Related Article: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) For Your CBD Oil Website
Related Article: SEO Case Study – The CBD Supplier

What is this Google update about?

Google does updates regularly to change the way they assess websites and rank them within the search engine. May’s update has been mysterious so far as Google have not released specifics of how the algorithms will change. Is there a connection to the pandemic? Many believe so.

The process of an update rollout takes a few weeks to come into play, and this is why Google have not released information yet.

What impact will it have on my CBD website?

The May 2020 Core Update is going to have a huge impact on businesses to say the least, because of the difficulty in marketing at this time already. For companies such as CBD Oil websites, marketing can be difficult enough anyway and this means that during this update it may become almost impossible to gain traction using CBD keywords on ads and in content.

Many industries are going to be impacted by this update, from internet businesses to CBD, to medical and even fashion stores. One of the biggest hit in this update so far has actually been cryptocurrency and content surrounding it.

Even home recipe and blog websites have seen a huge dip in their traffic and this has led to the disappearance of rich recipe results during a Google search. Google has changed the way it displays these results and it means that ingredients, servings and cooking times are now not showing when on the Google search page, and in turn this means less people will visit the sites.

Health has been impacted terribly during this pandemic, and the SEO for health websites as well as CBD oil sites have dropped almost exponentially. This has been a huge tip in the scales and may impact these businesses in the years to come.

Tech companies have noted a drop in their traffic since the update, with many noting a dip in sales.

Dating websites have also see a dip in traffic however this could be down to the pandemic causing people to stay at home as well.


It has been noted even since the start of lockdown for most of us in March, that any content talking about or related to Coronavirus or COVID-19 has been focussed on for traffic, getting more attention than anything else. It is clear here that Google has changed their goals towards this content but it is unclear why this has happened.

How this could affect your CBD Oil Website

Sadly, CBD Oil is a health product and during this update rollout, you may notice quite a significant drop in traffic during these first few weeks. Health websites have been affected massively by this pandemic update and it is clear that Google have put a focus more on content that relates directly to Coronavirus.

CBD Oil websites have a hard wrap as it is, with CBD still seen in some countries as a blacklisted keyword. This means that the additional pushback on health due to the May Update will impact sites like these more than most.

How to recover

We know that this time will be hard for many of you and the way Google has gone about this update has been terrible for many businesses around the world. But how can you recover your marketing efforts and rank higher on the search engine right now?

Keep improving

Content has always been king when online, and Google loves content. The best way for you to recover as a small business during this pandemic and gain some engagement is to either continue to create great content on your blog, or start a blog on your website. Blogs are a great way to share informative and useful content as well as to entertain. If your website doesn’t have a blog section at the moment and you are unsure what to write, you can look for competitors who do have a blog and see what kind of things they write about.

Creating engaging and entertaining content is a skill you should learn as a marketing professional or a business owner. In order to rank highly on your search engine, you need to make content that is full of keywords that relate to you, your business, and your industry.

If writing new blog content for a CBD oil website for example, you may want titles such as these:

  • Reasons you should use CBD oil today
  • What is the best way to use CBD?
  • Cooking with CBD Products: 3 easy recipes

Content such as this covers a broad spectrum but also brings the focus back to you.

Fix your SEO

When trying to create a website that does well in a search engine, it is important to make sure SEO is on point. Search engine optimisation is the absolute pinnacle of good marketing and is the only way you will be visible to your customers when they perform an organic search on the web.

When trying to improve your SEO the first thing to do is grab yourself a tool such as Yoast. If you use WordPress to edit your site you will be able to use Yoast to add helpful keywords and keyword phrases to the code of every page of your website. You can also add keywords to your blog posts and ensure that meta titles and meta descriptions are long enough, contain keywords, and work well for the SEO of your website.

User Experience

User experience is a huge part of a website, and when Google scoures through websites to rank them, they look for good usability. There are a few key things that make up this:

Navigation & Sitemap

When creating a website it is crucial that your site map is easy to navigate and makes sense. Only add subcategories when you absolutely have to do you don’t confuse matters and make the website harder to follow.


Speed of a website is a huge deal for customers and Google. If you had the choice of 2 CBD oil websites to buy from, and one loaded in 0.2 seconds and the other loaded in 2-3 seconds, you would pick the quicker one. People are impatient, and it is important to maximise speed of your website. You can check on PageSpeed Insights and see what may be causing your website to load slower. This can often be images that are too large for the web or long content and video.


Errors are something you need to use a site crawler to find. A software such as Screaming frog is ideal for crawling your website to look for broken links and error pages. It is crucial to have working links throughout your site because if you don’t, Google’s algorithms will punish you for it. Be sure to check, double check, and triple check everything on your website before uploading live because any small broken link can be the difference between a good rank and a bad one.

In terms of Google’s new update and the prospects it holds in the future, it is important to stay on top of the quality of your website and ensure that for now, your website runs perfectly even if it doesn’t get as much traffic. The next update might shake things up once again but as long as your SEO, content, and brand stay on point you should be safe.

Check Your Backlink Profile

Your backlink profile is one of the most important aspects when trying to improve your rank on Google. If you have used an agency to build you links, then you are always at risk of a Google penalty if they are not seen as natural.

How many backlinks do you have and where from?

If you are actively building backlinks or using an agency to do so, it would be recommended to use a tool such as Ahrefs to monitor how many backlinks are being created and what websites they are being placed on.

If for instance, you are gaining a large number of links from extremely strong domains, this could flag Google as it looks unnatural. A backlink profile should look balanced and have a wide range of different strength domain names that it is receiving backlinks from.

In addition to that, ensure your agency isn’t building 100’s of links from poorly rated websites with no subject matter related to your own business.

Anchor text

Moz have the best way of describing what the anchor text is: Anchor Text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. In modern browsers, it is often blue and underlined, such as this link to the moz homepage.

When building backlinks, the Anchor text is often used to optimise the backlink further but if this is overdone, it can look very unnatural. For instance, if we receive 100’s of backlinks with the anchor text being ‘Web Design London‘, this would look very suspicious.

What would the chances of 100’s of unrelated websites all choosing the same Anchor text to link to your website? For this reason, you should monitor how your backlinks are being built and ensure your profile is looking as natural as possible.

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