What is Google May Day? | Search Value Blog: Digital Marketing Insights
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What is Google May Day?
Posted By: Sachin Bansal

You must have heard a lot of buzz about “Google May Day” on various forums & social communities over past few days. People are in panic regarding this so called “Google May Day” changes. Though, we couldn’t find any specific reason to worry about it as this is like other Google algorithm updates which Google used to do on very frequent basis or you can say on daily basis.

Before discussing it further, let us again define “what is Google May Day” for those who are still not aware of it.

What is Google May Day?

Google makes some algorithm tweaks around April 28th-May 3rd which is called “Google’s May Day Update”. Google makes the algorithm changes regularly, but this time a lot of sites noticed a sudden loss of their normal long tail traffic (5-10%). May Day update did not affect the pages crawling or indexing but had some impact on rankings.

As Google has recently launched a new Search Index- Caffeine, so it is assumed that with this update Google has reduced the size and depth of its primary index to keep Caffeine fast and this directly affect the rankings of some sites especially big content & ecommerce sites. Deep level pages of these big sites generally don’t have many links to them and are buried deep within a site. They also may not have substantial amounts of unique content on them.

Google May Day was designed to try and spot signals of quality on pages and sites that would be good for users. Matt Cutts says “auto-generated pages and content farms tend to get hit the most by Mayday”. His advice to webmasters affected by this is basically to improve quality. He says to make sure you’re returning the highest quality content for users.

How to reduce the –ve impact of “Google’s May Day” Update?

To reduce the affect of it we should take care of the following things:

-    We should do the quality check of the backlinks and internal linking
-    We should effort more on getting a few high-quality links especially to deep level pages
-    spare a bit of link juice from a strong page to give those weaker
-    We need to add more unique content to deep level pages


We have tested many of our client’s website and found that there is no drop in ranking & traffic data. People who are following the best SEO practices should not be worried about this update. This update is to make the Search Results better so that Google can meet rising user expectations with search results.

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