It has been six months since the release of the last core update from Google. Released today, Google has named the broad core update the “May 2022 core update” and is the first core update released this year. Though there have been a few Spam updates and several unconfirmed algorithm updates released over the past six months. This new update rolls out starting May 25th, it will take about 1-2 weeks to fully roll out. 

What’s in the May 2022 Core Update?

In Google’s release, they call it a “substantial improvement” to their overall ranking process. They release these updates to help improve search results for all, and generally have some widely notable effects on the SERPs. Google hasn’t confirmed anything specific about this Core Update, other than pointing to a previous guide released in 2019 about what site owners should know.

If you notice a drop in rankings, site traffic, or SERP positioning, know the algorithm isn’t specifically targeting your site. It simply means the Google algorithm reassessed that page against other web content published after the last update. Meaning, if you’ve done SEO work and tried hard to improve it over the previous six months. You will likely start to see some improvements and higher search volumes as this current update rolls out. But if your site has sat stagnant, your rankings will likely drop.

The most recent Core updates came in November 2021, and then twin updates were announced last summer. Two different updates rolled out in June 2021 and July 2021. Before that, it was in December of 2020. While all these updates caused significant changes to the SERPs, the June 2021 and December 2020 updates were particularly impactful. 


What Should I Do on my Site to Prepare for Core Updates?

In the 2019 guide, Google references many times about good content. And truly, that’s the best and most recommended way to deal with and prepare for the effects of a core algorithm update. Right in that guide, one of the key headers is “Focus on Content”. They say that the algorithm seeks to reward good content, written with authority and expertise, and best answers a particular query based on keywords. You need to consider things like how the information is presented, and if there is evidence of your expertise and background knowledge. The algorithm constantly tries to make sure that the SERPs and referenced pages provide value to the end user. 

You should also take E-A-T into greater consideration on your website. This ties into the Google search quality rater guidelines. They seek to make sure that Google is providing good results. And it ties into Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) across your entire websites. Although Google generally crawls at a page level and ranks sites per page, the authority of an entire site can help individual pages to rank better. 


What is a Google Core Algorithm Update?

Core updates are changes that Google makes to help improve search overall for users while things constantly change overtime. Usually updates produce some noticeable changes to how all sites perform in the SERPs (never a particular site). With this in mind, it’s important to always be mindful of how core updates might affect your website by understanding what the updates contain and impact.

With most Core updates, expect to see some drops or gains for your website’s SERP positioning. For the drops, take special notice of the drops and what pages lose or gain traffic. On those pages that gain traffic, take note of what is different about them and try to replicate it in other areas of your website. For those pages that drop in the SERPs, wait a few days. Sometimes it’s just fluctuations as the core update rolls out. However, if a page has noticeably less traffic over a month or so, it was likely directly affected by the change and should be modified to help it regain its ranking. 

We’ll continue to monitor our own data and from other SEO sources to assess how the algorithm update is impacting SERPs. And as always, check out our other articles for other SEO insights.



Kristine is the Director of Marketing at Boostability. She brings a decade's worth of communications strategy work to the company. Kristine has a Masters Degree in Leadership and Communications from Gonzaga University and graduated from BYU with her undergrad in Broadcast Journalism. She's worked in television news, public relations, communications strategy, and marketing for over 10 years. In addition to being a part of the marketing team, Kristine enjoys traveling, sports, and all things nerdy.