What to Know About the May 2022 Google Core Update
Another Google Core Update launched in May 2022 and SEO experts and site owners are already looking at how it affected their site and what they can do to better their optimization. Let’s look at what we know about this update and how you can update your site and content strategy to regain lost traffic and continue to build authority in the eyes of Google.
What did the Google Core Update Change?
The update notes from Google were light on details as to the actual purpose of the update—not mentioning anything about their targets, goals, or changes—but they did mention that the update, as with all of them, aims to increase the overall relevancy of search results and make them more helpful and useful.
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Google also noted in their core update blog post that, while they didn’t specify anything, the update might produce notable effects on traffic, both positive and negative, and that site owners should rush to implement drastic changes:
“We know those with sites that experience drops will be looking for a fix, and we want to ensure they don’t try to fix the wrong things. Moreover, there might not be anything to fix at all.
There’s nothing wrong with pages that may perform less well in the core update. They haven’t violated our webmaster guidelines nor been subjected to manual or algorithmic action, as can happen to pages that do violate those guidelines. In fact, there’s nothing in a core update that targets specific pages or sites. Instead, the changes are about improving how our systems assess content overall. These changes may cause some pages that were previously under-rewarded to do better.”
What Do We Know About the Update?
The little that has been uncovered about this Google update is that it’s changed the way that Google is identifying valuable searches and the queries they hope to solve. Here are a few of the updates:
- Snippets: Once again, businesses should not be surprised if they lose some snippets due to the update. Google is always changing the qualifications for snippets, and you can lose or gain them at any time.
- Unintended Rankings: It happens all the time. You write a blog about subject A but end up ranking for subject B. You may not know why, but it happens. With this latest update, Google hopes to tighten up the way its search engine works to eliminate unintentional rankings for topics, subjects, and keywords that are unrelated. So, if you notice a traffic drop, it could just be due to this rather than you losing grip on your intended queries.
How to Tell How Google’s Core Update is Affecting Your Site
Because Google didn’t give us specific details as to the goal of the core update, it can be difficult for site owners to know how to react. Should you update your pages that fell? Should you reassess your entire keyword strategy? It’s important not to react too quickly or overcorrect, mainly because we still don’t know what’s changed. Every site owner is in the same position as you and is looking for the answer.
To find those answers, the best thing to do is to look at the numbers, especially now that we’re a few weeks out from the finished rollout of the update.
First, glance through your Google Analytics account to get a feel for what pages took the biggest hits or got the biggest boosts. You can use this information (what keywords fell, what topics went up, what types of information did either) to understand what Google’s new update has changed and then how you can react accordingly.
Additionally, Google Search Console can help you dive deeper into your queries to identify if you’ve lost or gained anything specific, how big the drop/gain was, and why it might have happened. Be careful not to overreact to small drops or bumps, these can naturally occur due to variance in people’s search behavior. But, if you notice a drop of hundreds or thousands of impressions on certain keywords, you can use that to pinpoint pages that have been affected and then decide what caused it.
The most important thing to remember is not to draw conclusions until you have all the information. With a few months of data, you can truly see changes and trends that are not flukes or just the typical ups and downs of search behavior. Drops or gains can come from many sources whether it’s changes in how Google sees your page, updates to how Google sees your content in relation to your target queries, or something completely out of your control like a linked site taking a traffic dive which negatively impacts you.
To find answers, use your data, spot trends, and troubleshoot pages.
How to Regain Traffic Lost After Google’s Core Update
If you have noticeable drops in traffic, a natural first response is to fix the problem. To do this, you can chase back lost search queries or snippets, but this can be a crapshoot because Google is unpredictable and unforgivable. The wrong changes can send you further backward.
The best way to move forward is to monitor your traffic continuously to spot more changes and identify weak spots, mistakes, or areas that can be improved. And, most importantly, it’s critical that you continue to publish helpful, informative, creative, and original content, all things that Google covets, to continue to build authority and rank for more keywords.
The fight for SERP dominance never ends because Google is constantly changing its search algorithms to meet the modern demands of search, especially as people use it in new and innovative ways.
The importance of staying up to date on the latest SEO updates from Google cannot be overstated. Though the goalposts tend to change based on the most recent updates, not being aware of them can have major effects on your site traffic and your business.
If you don’t believe it, check out some of these important statistics that showcase just how important staying current on SEO is for businesses everywhere. Read the stats now.