nordic morning logo


Google Core Algorithm Update May 2020 – implications in the Nordics


Let’s face it. Google’s core algorithm updates usually aren’t something that businesses nor even SEO experts should be spending too much time on.

However, this time around things may be different and you should probably understand what happened in the beginning of May 2020 and why auditing your organic performance in the post COVID-19 world might be a good idea.

What was the May 2020 Core Update about?

Google’s May 2020 core algorithm update was, according to official sources, no different than core algorithm updates in general. In a core algorithm update, Google changes their organic search algorithm logic with the goal of “presenting the most relevant and authoritative content to searchers”.

Meaning, some websites lose while whereas others gain in visibility: As a result, the optimization tactics may need to be changed accordingly.

This time around changes in the organic search results do seem larger than usually. The jury is still out there as far as global implications are concerned, yet this time around changes in the organic search results do seem larger than usually. It appears that in many industries organic results are being significantly altered.

Significant shakes in the organic results also in Finland and Nordics?

In-line with the preliminary global impact analyses, we have observed significant changes in organic visibility across several verticals and enterprise websites in Finland.

While the data is still indicative and early, it is exceptional indeed to witness such large fluctuations first hand after any core algorithm update. While the sites that are having a sound SEO-strategy are likely to remain well positioned, we have been surprised to witness major fluctuations across many well-established ecommerce, travel and financial services websites to name a few. Organic results within these verticals seem, at least temporarily, significantly altered. You’ll see few anonymous examples of the latest Finnish organic industry shifts below.

Picture 1

Picture 2

Understanding the organic landscape now more important ever

As pointed out before, core algorithm updates usually aren't very impactful specifically Finland and Nordics especially when you have a sound SEO-strategy and processes in place.

In the post COVID-19 world however, the growing digital commerce is increasing search demand in many industries at the same time when paid advertising budgets are decreasing. This creates opportunities for those businesses who thrive in their organic performance.

On the other hand, losing organic visibility is likely to lead to pronounced negative business impact via negative feedback loops, specifically in case the demand in your industry is already down.

In the aftermath of the May 2020 Google’s core algorithm, likely to be called a “pandemic update” or something similar, every business keen on the competitiveness of their online business should at the very least:

  • Analyze the shifts in market positioning from their SEO-tool of choice (e.g. Search Metrics).
  • Dive deep into their demand and Search Console data e.g. using this template.

Need help?

In case you are short in time or technologies to conduct the analysis yourself, our experts and data scientists are happy to assist in the process and keep your business thriving or surviving. Don’t hesitate to get in touch below & stay safe!