Written by Erik J. Olson. Posted in .

The Effects of the May 2022 Google Core Update

Search engines are constantly tweaking and adjusting their algorithms. They do this to help ensure that the sites they feel represent the public’s best intentions when searching for various keywords make it to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). Most of these updates are minor and cause little disruption. Websites that have followed proven strategies to rank well with Google and other search engines experience few hiccups with the smaller changes. However, there are, occasionally, major updates that are far more disruptive to the flow. These core updates shake ranking up a little — at least until the dust settles. Google just launched its latest core update. It has left many small business website owners scrambling to ensure their websites are prepared for what lies ahead.

Core updates, like the May 2022 Google core update, can have a massive impact on page ranking. Drops in page ranking mean less organic traffic for your small business website. Many small business owners are still wondering what this most recent update will mean for their ranking in the SERPs and how it will affect their small businesses. Rightfully so. Past core updates have caused major upheaval in rankings. You may have already noticed some unexpected changes this time around. Many of these adjustments may be ongoing as Google roles out various aspects of its recent broad core algorithm update.

Because there is so much volatility and uncertainty related to any Google algorithm update, it is always wise to work with an experienced team of SEO professionals. It is vital to choose a team that stays on top of every core update rollout. Small businesses that make this investment in their website can weather the storm of any core update. This means they can quickly recover their first-page ranking and continue their digital marketing efforts largely unscathed.

Array Digital is dedicated to helping small businesses, like yours, achieve a higher ranking in Google search results so you can take advantage of the increased organic traffic and trust higher search engine ranking offers. Contact Array Digital today by calling 757-333-3021 (or filling out our online form so we can contact you) to discuss the latest Google core update and how to insulate your website from the volatility and traffic fluctuations these updates cause.  

What Was the May 2022 Google Core Update?

The basics are simple. The official core update rollout launched on May 25, 2022. The total rollout was initially expected to take one to two weeks. Though this one appears to be taking a little longer. Both Danny Sullivan (Public Liaison for Search) and John Mueller hinted that this particular rollout was not done yet after the 14-day mark. The goal of this rollout is to improve Google search results.

Many webmasters reported substantial upheaval. Some experienced results within 24 hours of the rollout. Even major websites experienced massive turmoil during this rollout. Some webmasters cited changes for the better. Others noted worsening ranking for key terms and phrases. For instance, these websites came out as big winners in the initial rollout:

  •     Amazon
  •     YouTube
  •     Walmart
  •     eBay
  •     Target
  •     Apple

There were also quite a few big losers in the rollout as well with these sites losing major positions – almost overnight.

  •     Wikipedia
  •     Nordstrom
  •     Home Depot
  •     Investopedia
  •     Twitter
  •     Britannica

The bottom line is that even websites that invest heavily in SEO are struggling a bit with this most recent update. The last core update occurred just before the holiday retail season in November of 2021. It caused similar disruptions in the SERPs.

Google’s initial announcement about the update, which can be found on Google Search Central Blog,  stated that the purpose of core release updates is to improve the relevancy of search results so that users find them more helpful. It goes on to say that many websites will experience changes in ranking as a result. These changes are not an indication that webmasters are doing anything right or wrong. However, working with SEO experts, like those at Array Digital, can help your website manage these changes more effectively and with fewer fluctuations and disruptions.

What Your Site May Notice

The problem with core updates for small business owners is that the changes are largely invisible while the results are not. Your website may experience a substantial drop in page rankings that takes you off Google’s first page results completely. Additionally, your web pages targeting certain other keywords may rise to the top of the SERPs instantly.

Websites that were hardest hit by this particular Google core update appear to be those in the e-commerce and YMYL (your money, your life) spaces. If your business operates in these areas, you need to pay special attention to this latest core update and how it appears to be affecting your page ranking. If your business is in other fields and you have not noticed massive changes to your page rank, you can read the next section of this article to learn more about how to prepare for the next algorithm change or core update.

Many websites that have focused on solid SEO practices and tactics may actually see further improvements as a result of the core update. This may help you feel as though your digital marketing efforts are paying off. They are. Just remember it’s a little too early to fully celebrate. Fluctuations after a Google core update are commonplace. It may take a few weeks, or even months, for things to sort themselves out so you can see where your small business website will ultimately land in Google rankings.

The unfortunate truth of many small business websites that are not partnered with SEO experts will often see a sharp drop in traffic on the day the algorithm update was announced followed by a slow decline in ranking and traffic afterward. This can have a significant impact on your bottom line. It may also affect the overall authority of your website among consumers. However, it is something you can recover from with the right assistance and an effective SEO strategy.

There have been quite a few reports indicating that service and product reviews are having a substantial impact on ranking this time around, though this hasn’t yet been substantiated. There are many rumors that surround any search algorithm change and the May 2022 Core update is no different. The bottom line is that individual site owners will experience different things based on their unique experiences and circumstances. Websites like Search Engine Land and RankRanger can help you understand some of the changes that happen after a core update, but only from a general point of view. Working with an SEO and digital marketing company can provide the greatest response that is specific to your website and the latest ranking algorithm.

How Can Your Site Prepare or Recover?

While it is too late to prepare for the May 2022 Core Update, it is never too soon to begin preparing for the next update. There will always be more. For websites that need to recover from this most recent update, there are things you can do. It will take a few weeks to determine the full fallout of this most recent update on your web pages. However, these steps will help your website weather future Google storms when other small business websites are running for cover.

  • Continue providing high-quality content. Upgrade your content by shifting some of your focus to the relevancy of your content as well. Relevant, quality content will greatly insulate your website from much of the volatility associated with the Google May 2022 (and future) updates.
  • Build valuable backlinks to your website. Whether using social media, guest blog posts, or other tools, backlinks are important and highly beneficial to your search rankings.
  • Use tools available to you to help gauge relevancy and improve indexing. This includes tools like Google Search Console and the page experience update that can help you with understanding metrics and how to improve your website’s performance in Google’s results.
  • Eliminate low-quality content and keywords from your SEO efforts. These only detract from the overall message. Seek to improve both instead to make your way back to the first page of the search results.
  • Build a comprehensive SEO strategy. This may mean working with an SEO team or participating in the SEO community through social media. Doing these things allows you to stay informed about future updates Google may be planning and how they might affect your web presence. Also, follow Google news so you always know what is going on with future updates. Pay attention to experts like Barry Schwartz, founder, and editor of Search Engine Roundtable, for great insights about all Google updates.
  • Pay attention to local search results and SEO efforts. Make sure you’re optimizing your website for coveted keywords and for local search terms alike to get the best possible results.
  • Use keyword tools to make sure you’re using a combination of low-competition and high-search keywords. SEMRush and Ahrefs are excellent choices that provide extensive data to assist you during your keyword planning process.

While it has been a couple of weeks since the latest broad core update was announced and the rollout began, many small business websites are still learning the impact it has on them. If your site isn’t performing as well as you hoped it would, or even as well as previously, the right digital marketing and SEO team can have a profound impact on your future results.

Work with a Digital Marketing and Search Engine Optimization Team That Keeps Up with the Latest Core Updates

Don’t wait for the next core update to roll out before you begin making positive changes to your business website. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is how your website gets found on the World Wide Web. With nearly two billion (yes, with a “B”) websites competing for the same limited audience, SEO is how you narrow the focus and make sure that people looking for what your business has to offer can find you.

Don’t allow what happened last week or with the last Google core update to define what the future of your business website will be. Small businesses can compete with the big boys as long as they have the right tools at their disposal. That is why choosing the right SEO team for your small business is essential to its continued success on the Internet.

Keeping up with the latest core updates, Google news, and trends in search engine algorithms can be a full-time job by itself. You have a business to run, one that requires a great deal of your time, care, and attention. You may not have time to keep up with the latest spam update. You might not even know what snippets are — or why they matter. With the right SEO team going to bat for your small business, you don’t need to know these things. You won’t need to keep up with the latest Google news. More importantly, your website will be prepared and poised to take on the next Google core update without skipping a beat. An effective search engine optimization strategy isn’t about simply gaming the system to work through the current algorithm changes. Rather, it’s about weatherproofing your website to insulate against future changes so that you can focus your time, attention, and talent on operating your small business.

Array Digital is dedicated to helping small businesses with various aspects of digital marketing. Our services include website development, online advertising (Google PPC and Facebook ads), organic and local search engine optimization, and social media management. This frees up your valuable time and energy to focus on what you do best while we do the heavy lifting in a field that is, admittedly, what we do best.

Stop wasting your time and money on ineffective tools to help your web pages do better in the search results only to have those efforts wiped out with the next Google core updates. Instead, turn to the talented team of professionals at Array Digital to help you get the results you desire. Whether that is a boost in organic traffic, first page ranking for certain keywords, or countless other search engine optimization goals, Array Digital can help.

Contact Array Digital today by calling 757-333-3021 and speak with one of our digital marketing experts to learn more about how we can help with the Google May 2022 and future updates. Or, you can fill out our convenient online form and we’ll call you. Aren’t you ready to get real, measurable results from your SEO efforts? All it takes is a free phone call.

Erik J. Olson

Written By Erik J. Olson

Erik J. Olson is the Founder & CEO of Array Digital—a marketing agency that enables its clients to achieve their dreams, fulfill their missions, and impact more lives with their services.

Website Design, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Online Advertising, Social Media & Digital Marketing.
© Array Digital LLC

Website Design, Online Advertising, SEO, Social Media & Digital Marketing.
© Array Digital LLC