Google’s Core Update May 2022: Why This One Has Rattled Global Results and What We Know So Far
Google Search’s Public Liaison Danny Sullivan announced the implementation of a broad core update to the search engine algorithm last May 25, 2022.
So, what does this update mean?
Although Google has constantly been changing their algorithm, small changes don’t usually make a significant difference. However, with the broad core algorithm update, changes are so notable that the world is still rattled a few months after it started rolling out. And every digital marketing agency has its eyes wide open for these changes, especially when rankings are concerned.
If you don’t know what the May Core Update is all about, continue reading to understand better what the changes will mean for your business.
What is the Broad Core Algorithm Update?
The Broad Core Algorithm Update of May 2022 modifies Google’s algorithm. It is not a targeted effort that focuses on solving a specific issue. Instead, it changes the algorithm model more broadly.
It is the latest update since November 2021, and marketers are still puzzled about its difference from the previous updates.
As expected, Google stayed silent, never revealing the specific changes the update brought and what impact it had on businesses.
However, one thing is clear: the update signifies that the search engine is refining how it interprets webpages, consequently affecting rankings, online traffic, and businesses’ revenues.
Because Google didn’t implement the update at once but slowly rolls out the changes, it wasn’t until weeks passed that marketers identified the key differences from the previous algorithm.
But even before knowing the impact of Google’s latest core update, your SEO Company must stick to the best digital marketing strategies to stay in the game until they bring everything to light and recognize ways to deal with it.
What is the Impact of the May 2022 Core Update?
So, barely two months since the update rolled out, what changes did your digital marketing agency discover so far?
There’s nothing to fix.
While Google never revealed specific details about the May Core Update, they did say something about it. During the update announcement, one thing they advised about the changes was that there might be nothing to fix at all.
So, if there’s nothing to fix, what are marketers supposed to do?
The answer lies in the general advice of staying with the best SEO practices of all time. But, it’s also about investing your resources into providing the best content you can give your target market.
And what does the best content mean?
It means your content needs to have original information backed by research and relevant data, complete with a full description of the topic. Additionally, it needs to provide insights that are not obviously inferred from the discussion.
So, ask yourself – are you already providing the best content to your audience? You’ll know you are when you find your webpage ranking on Google’s search engine result pages. If not, you might be missing something, and it’s time you level up your content creation strategy.
E-A-T Principle is a top priority.
E-A-T stands for expertise, authority, and trust – something your content needs to have to rank high on the SERPs. In other words, you need content that shows your expertise in a topic or industry, establishes your authority, and earns the audience’s trust.
It’s not new and has been essential for ranking for years. However, there’s no specific factor that represents E-A-T. Instead, Google revealed that there are multiple factors involved with the principle.
But if you comply with the expertise, authority, and trust elements, your content will surely rise in the search engine results pages. So, make sure you focus on comprehensive content about a specific niche, coming from a reliable source and compelling enough to earn trust.
If your ranking drops or you lose your place in the SERPs, it might be time to rethink your E-A-T strategy.
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There’s more volatility in rankings.
Volatility refers to the changes in a domain’s visibility, be it an increase or decrease. And volatility in rankings has been quite common since the May Core Update.
Since the update did not finish immediately, websites experienced volatility for weeks until the update finally ended. Although the volatility phase is short, it was more intense than previous updates.
Volatility has leveled out, but its long-term effects are yet to be determined.
If you look at the volatility data from different sources, there’s no specific industry affected by the update. In some cases, all industries experienced smaller ranges of volatility but significantly higher peak levels.
While the healthcare industry seemed to have gained initial positive effects regarding volatility, other sources revealed contrasting details. For instance, health websites experienced a 30-80% increase in ranking since the update, but non-English medical pages lost around 60% of organic traffic.
It’s difficult to tell what the impact is exactly, and the effects are still fluctuating.
However, it’s safe to say that the universal guidelines about rankings that focusses on Quality content, especially the EAT principle still holds true.
There’s an impact on FAQs and featured snippets.
If you have been sharing FAQs on your web pages, you’ll be happy to hear that those FAQs snippets appear more often in SERPs after the update. In fact, there’s a 23% increase in their appearance than before.
On the other hand, featured snippets are fluctuating, and users are worried. Some websites experienced positive results, while others lost their place in the SERPs. The negative impact might be attributed to the quality and relevance of the content in general.
Hence, if your ranking is negatively affected and you’re losing traffic, you need to find out what’s missing from your content and improve it.
Videos are still significant.
It has been years since everyone raved about videos as a ranking factor and a great marketing tool. And not surprisingly, it’s still big, especially after the May 2022 Core Update.
More significantly, video websites gained 25% increase in visibility, and impressively, Tiktok had an overall gain of 133%.
However, to fully benefit from videos and improve your ranking, you need to incorporate written content. Without text, your audience will find it troublesome to go through the entire video to see if it has what they’re looking for.
In the end, they will simply turn to those that they can quickly scan, like blog posts.
So, if your video content is not ranking, you’ll know where the problem lies.
Specialist websites are ranking better.
Remember how the E-A-T principle focuses on being an expert on a specific niche. This principle may be why specialist websites rank better than generalist websites after the update.
The broader your scope and the more you try to rank for everything, the more chances you’ll lose your place on the SERPs. However, if you choose a specific niche and show your expertise and authority on the topic, you’ll surely drive results.
Contextual relevance adds great value.
It’s no longer just about content but also about context. Of course, the content will always be king, but times are changing. So, consumers like it better when websites feed them relevant content even if they don’t search for it.
Thus, context relevance or search intent matching has become a game-changer with the new Google update.
Who Wins and Who Loses in this Update?
Your SEO consultant probably wondered what industries would be affected by the Core update.
However, it’s not about the industry or a specific niche. Instead, the winners and losers for this update are based on the visibility and volatility of keyword rankings.
Informational and transactional keyword or search queries are the most volatile, which leads to eCommerce sites gaining more from the update.
Additionally, specialist and video websites are also the current winners.
Unfortunately, the update hurt generalist websites like news and media publishers. Also, reference websites, which rarely match user intent, are among the losers.
How Do You Beat Google Algorithm?
Now that your SEO Company identified specific changes and their impact, what comes next is beating the algorithm and ranking on the SERPs.
And you can achieve these goals by finding a strategy that deals with the changes discovered and driving results from it – something you might be doing already.
For example, since E-A-T is still a ranking factor after the update, you must continue focusing on it and ensuring your content follows this principle. The same goes for FAQs, featured snippets, videos, and contextual relevance.
By investing in the best SEO consultant and digital marketing team, you can develop a holistic strategy that addresses all elements of the May 2022 update, leading to results that drive growth and success.
Ultimately, your digital marketing strategy should focus on quality content. Whether there’s a new update or none, continuously perfecting your content will bring positive changes, no matter how many updates Google comes up with.
So, before you turn your attention to Google’s Core Update or specific updates, make sure that your content is of high quality.
If you don’t rank, correctly assessing the changes and identifying where you lack will solve the problem. So, stay updated with the shifts in Google’s algorithm and beat it with the best strategy.