The Latest Google Core Update

The latest Google Core update is here!  The first broad core algorithm update of 2022 has been released by Google. This new version, named “May 2022 Core Update” was announced a few days ago.  It is expected the update will fully roll out in 1-2 weeks.

Google typically rolls out one big algorithm change per year but this time around they’ve sped up the process by giving us the second update in 6 months with the last in November 2021.

What is Google Core Update?

Google makes hundreds of changes to its search algorithm every year, but sometimes it will roll out a “core update.” This is a major change that can affect how web pages are ranked in Google search results. These updates are designed to improve the quality of search results by better understanding the user’s intent and making sure that the most relevant and authoritative pages are being returned for a given query.

While Google doesn’t always announce when a core update is happening, it will sometimes provide guidance on what they’re trying to achieve with the update. For example, the June 2019 core update was designed to “better match users’ queries with informative results.” As a result, pages that were previously ranking well may see a drop in traffic if they are no longer relevant to users’ search queries.

There’s nothing wrong with pages that may perform less well in a core update. Core updates are about improving how Google’s systems assess content overall and these changes may cause some under-rewarded pages to do better, but there is no guarantee of success for any one page or site!

Google also notes that there is no “fix” for pages that may have been impacted by a core update. The best thing to do is to make sure that your page is relevant and useful for users who are searching for your content.

Unfortunately, there’s little you can do to prepare your website for core algorithm changes. Google is notoriously vague about which ranking factors are tweaked when each update comes out making it nearly impossible to avoid any impact on organic traffic if this happens without knowing exactly what has changed and how those adjustments will affect things going forward.

How to measure the impact of a Google Core Update

For businesses that rely on Google for traffic, it’s important to stay up-to-date on these updates and understand how they may affect their website. There are a few different ways to measure and track the impact of a Google core update.

The first step to improving your site’s performance is monitoring your data with Google Analytics and Search Console. Google will frequently announce upcoming core updates ahead of time, so you’ll know exactly when and where it’s best for you to start looking at traffic changes; most importantly though – don’t forget about how long these tweaks can take! Generally if you have been impacted by a core update you will be able to see it’s impact during the period after the full roll out.

Google Analytics is a great way to get an idea of how your site’s traffic has been impacted by any recent updates. We recommend you check daily (or sometimes more often) for several weeks following confirmed updates to identify any changes and make adjustments as needed!

Note: Remember to factor in the impact of any seasonality changes that may occur at the same time as a core update. 

Your site’s ranking may have changed after a Google core update, but it could also be for the better. With more competitive and relevant search results in place, fewer, less relevant people will find your page than before as they’re now being directed towards higher quality content that covers their needs

By monitoring these key indicators, you can get a good sense of how a google core update has affected your business.

What to do if you think you’ve been impacted by Google’s Core Update?

When Google updates its algorithm, it’s not always easy to tell what the effects will be. If your website traffic takes a hit after an update and you can’t explain it by seasonality or keywords cleanup services then try confirming this with additional tools before reevaluating the overall SEO strategy.

It’s not always easy to tell which technical and content strategies will be rewarded, or penalised, with core updates. Generally, we just see the final results of these algorithm changes, and in what industries or websites are most affected by them?

The core updates may be the motivation your brand needs to reevaluate (or step-up) your current SEO strategies. If you’ve got thin website content, now’s a great time for beefing-up copywriting techniques; if tech setup leaves something desired then get on the phone with the developer immediately!

Jane Cluff

Jane Cluff

Creative digital strategist

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