Google announced yesterday that its May 2022 core update had been completed, following a rollout that went on for around a fortnight.
Tweets from the Google Search Central account show that the update was released on the afternoon of Thursday, May 25. A reply to that tweet came at 8:44am UK time on June 9 to say it had finished, suggesting the process took almost a full two weeks.
Today, we're releasing a broad core update, as we do several times per year. This update is called the May 2022 core update. Learn more: https://t.co/7kFklwdkAb
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) May 25, 2022
Broad core updates are when Google makes significant changes to its entire algorithm. The search engine makes minor tweaks to its algorithms all the time without announcement, but these larger periodic updates tend to be announced on Twitter and given a name according to their month and year. Due to their size, they can have significant impacts on rankings, and some volatility as they are being rolled out is expected.
Search expert Barry Schwartz, writing for Search Engine Land, notes that this one appears to have had a much greater impact than Google’s last core update in November 2021, and he has been covering the search engine optimisation (SEO) community’s reaction to the rollout on his Search Engine Roundtable website.
Some of that reaction is notable in the replies to Google’s confirmation that the process was complete, including sentiments like “Thank God!” and a GIF of a pile of debris on fire. It’s not all negative though, with one Twitter user sharing a screenshot of his rocketing stats, claiming their niche is full of poor-quality AI content and the update has helped them outrank competitors.
Google has long stopped giving specific core update-related advice on what to do if your site is affected, but continues to direct website owners to a help page on its blog.
If you’ve noticed a rise or fall in traffic and enquiries on your site in the last two weeks, don’t get too excited or downhearted, as these fluctuations are common during a core update. Rankings should now settle and you will gradually get a clearer picture of the update’s impact on your site.
As Google continues to fine-tune its algorithms, useful and relevant content will only become more important. If you need help with this, we’d love to hear from you at Engage Web.