Several times a year, Google upgrades its overall ranking processes. These core updates increase the relevancy of Google’s search results. Not only that. They make the search results more valuable and helpful.
Google released its May 2022 Core Update on May 25th, 2022, at about 11:30 a.m ET. Also called the “Google May 2022 Broad Core Update,” it took 1 to 2 weeks to fully roll out and finished rolling out on June 9th, 2022.
The update will look at all types of content, but Google has yet to confirm the percentage of searches or queries impacted by the update. Google will continue providing periodic refreshes to the algorithm. However, they may not communicate those updates, a similar trend with other unconfirmed Google updates.
This core update was huge, and sites felt tremors of the update on May 26th, June 5th, and June 7th, 2022.
What Major Changes Did the May 2022 Core Update Include?
As aforementioned, Google never announces the changes they make when they release an algorithm update. However, the latest core update is designed to understand language intent better. Because of this, Google will continue providing high-quality search results.
Google will now prioritise specialist content over general content. As a result, content written by an expert or specialist will outrank content written by a generalist. So, for example, if a doctor writes content for his medical practice blog, it will rank higher than content written by a general writer.
Besides specialist content, video content will rank higher than text. For example, if you search “How To Bake A Cake,” Google will display YouTube videos and others related to the search term. As a result, video websites will experience a 25% increase in visibility. Conversely, news publishers who fail to use videos in their content will experience a 4 to 6% decrease in visibility.
We do suspect that AI-generated content took a hit particularly hard. Several bloggers and webmasters have shared their experiences on social media and forums. Unfortunately, they’ve experienced a massive drop in traffic after the rollout of the May 2022 Core Update.
On the other hand, SEO-enriched content experienced a spike in traffic following the core update. Several sites managed to outrank their competitors who featured AI content on their blogs and websites.
How Did the Google May 2022 Core Update Affect Websites?
Rankings Dropped Dramatically
Webmasters, bloggers, and SEO managers experienced a sudden drop in ranking. Some dropped a dozen positions, while others dropped outside the top 50 or 100. In a Twitter survey on May 26th, 2022, several webmasters and SEO managers noticed significant traffic changes. Some users complained about an 80 to 85% drop in traffic.
Google’s advice has always been the same since 2019 regarding handling core updates. They say you should not worry as you may experience better or worse search ranking as they roll out the core update. This is because the core update aims to improve Google’s search engine. Since it’s not highly targeted, it is challenging to stop its effects.
So, if you noticed a drop in rankings, verify using your Google Search Console and other tools. Check your web analytics suite to verify your organic traffic and rankings dropped. Take your time to list all search queries showing a ranking drop. This will help you identify if the ranking drop impacts a part of or the whole site.
Web Traffic Loss
A joke goes, “Where should you bury something online that you don’t want people to find?” The answer is “on the second page of Google’s search engine results. The joke may sound corny, but there is some truth.
Did you know that over 75% of online users never scroll past Google search engine results on the first page? Well, now you do, and that is why many people spend hundreds, if not thousands, to rank on page 1 of Google.
A good SEO presence drives traffic to your website, which helps you grow your business. However, if you fail to update your content, ensure your site is responsive, and more, the May 2022 Core update will lower your rankings. This results in a drop in traffic which affects your conversions and sales.
Video Content Ranks Higher
One of the most effective ways of improving your rankings is using videos in your content. Studies show that people are more likely to click on content with a video thumbnail next to it on Google search results. The presence of the video thumbnail creates a rich snippet with a higher click-through rate.
We also know that Google has prioritised search results with videos above those without video. It’s why more than 25% of search results on Google feature videos. Moreover, thanks to video content, websites and blogs experience a boost in organic traffic. Some experienced a 10% boost, while others have a whopping 200% and more.
The reason why Google core updates prioritise videos is that video content delivers more information than text. For example, a 2 to 3-minute video on How to Bake a Cake successfully provides more details than 1,000+ words.
Moreover, video content delivers key points that engage with online users. For example, an animated video explaining the process of starting a business is easier to remember than an eBook detailing the same.
Since video content is concise, the audience stays longer on the website. So, if you published your text content together with video content, you should experience a boost in organic traffic after the rollout of the May 2022 Core Update.
What to Do if the May 2022 Core Update Affects Your Website Negatively
The first thing you need to do is not panic. Start by evaluating the purpose of the May 2022 Core update. Then, identify patterns such as ranking drop, loss of traffic, and more. In addition, find out if the changes affect part of your website or your whole website.
Finally, list all identified issues and then plan how to resolve them. We recommend working with SEO experts to boost page rank, improve organic traffic, spread brand awareness, and more.
Remember, do not rely on or use AI-generated content to boost your SEO. Yes, Google does not frown upon AI-generated content. But, they may penalise your site for using the content to manipulate your SEO and rankings.
Do you think you’ve been affected by this update? Contact us to get help!