Google’s Search Updates for May 2022
May 2022 saw Google roll out numerous updates. In this post we’ll be covering each salient change, showing when and why your site may have experienced some volatility and what the upshots are.
From the very 1st of May there were signs of a possible update roll-out, as indicated by this graph taken from Semrush below:
There was some marked volatility – as the sharp spike shows – yet nothing was confirmed regarding this. Rather, mere rumbles of an update in analytics for the week prior. Figures then appeared to steady for the next few days following this spike until another unconfirmed update hit on the 6th:
As we can see there was a slight decline in SERP volatility subsequent to the previous spike before a slight upwards twitch on the 6th segued into an exponential shakeup on the 8th. Again, this was another unconfirmed update but has been labelled as the ‘Mother’s Day’ algorithm update by those over in America.
The next week followed in similar suit to the last by giving us another steady downspike in volatility followed by yet another upspike, albeit less drastic than the one before:
This search ranking update hit on the 16th, as evident, and was likewise another unconfirmed algorithm change. There was then some additional slight fluctuation over the next two days before volatility once again declined steadily.
SERP volatility didn’t remain steady for long, however, as on the 23rd Google launched an update concerning more helpful product reviews on Search. This update entailed more in-depth details of certain products such as benefits and/or drawbacks, images courtesy of verified consumers, and comparisons between competitors alongside unique visuals and audio provided by the respective manufacturers.
Although this latter update was the first of May to be confirmed, its significance was largely overshadowed by the next. Two days subsequent, on the 25th, Google began rolling out their 2022 broad core algorithm update:
As the graph shows, there has been a consistent level of volatility consequent to the start of this specific roll-out with alternating up and down spikes. The update was reported to take one to two weeks to fully roll out and as of June 9th has been confirmed as complete. Therefore, we should now begin to see some relative stability.
As this was the first Google core update in six months – the last having launched in November 2021 – this level of SERP volatility is wholly expected. So, not to worry if your site traffic has been unstable recently. And the fact this is a broad update means that nothing in particular is being targeted, rather this update works to improve Google’s systems overall.
If your site has experienced considerable downspikes be reassured that this does not mean you’re being penalised, but that web content as a whole is being reassessed. The likely precursor to which may have been the former unconfirmed updates, i.e., Google’s periodic algorithm refreshes.
This update works to reward high-quality web pages of all content types in every region and language, so if you’ve seen a negative change in rankings and traffic it may be time to give certain pages a refresh. Beforehand, we strongly recommend that you reevaluate your content against the advice that Google has published regarding core updates. Given that the roll-out is now complete, it’s a great time to analyse your low-performing pages in terms of relevancy and general quality.
Hopefully this post has given you a comprehensive look into the Google algorithm updates that occurred throughout May 2022 and thoroughly explained any changes in your website activity. If you’re interested in our articles made about previous Google updates then click here. Likewise, if you want to view some of our digital marketing guides or learn about International SEO, we’ve got you covered.