May 2022 Core Update

by Chay Kelly on 27th May 2022

On the 25th of May 2022, Google confirmed it has released another core update to the search algorithm it uses to rank sites in the search results. The rollout will take between 1-2 weeks although impacts can already be felt if you monitor your rankings for your keywords and phrases. We will monitor the rollout of the core update and keep this post updated with our findings over the next few weeks. You can track the volatility using a range of tools, as we use SEMrush, SEMrush Sensor is our volatility tracker of choice:

SEMrush Sensor Screenshot


What is a Google core update?

A Google core update is a major update to the search engine algorithm that ranks sites every time we Google something. We call it a major update as Google is continually making changes and testing new things on a daily basis, whereas a core update usually comes along every 6 months or so. Another difference is that these core updates can have a big impact on the search results so Google tends to announce when these are rolling out. Their small tweaks and tests however are rarely confirmed.


What can I do to prepare for this core update?

Core updates don’t target any niche, platform or type of website (e.g. eCommerce, consulting, brochure) in particular, it’s a board update that can affect any site in any niche. This, along with the fact that the updates are announced on the day, means there is nothing you can do to “prepare” for a core update. As long as you’re working to improve your site within the webmaster guidelines then that’s all the prep you need to do.

When it comes to other updates, such as the core web vitals update, where there are specific things you can do to prepare, Google will give you a heads up about the change it rolls out. This gives you time to make changes to your site and benefit once the update is released.


My traffic/rankings are dropping, what should I do?

First of all, don’t panic! Core updates usually take between 1 to 2 weeks to fully roll out and in that time you can expect to see your rankings and traffic fluctuate as the update rolls out. Sometimes you’ll see drops in the first week before a correction in the second week with your ranking improving, or vice versa.

If after 2 weeks you’re still seeing a loss in traffic and ranking to your site it’s time to find out what could be the cause of this. Once the update has rolled out there are usually quite a few roundup posts that dissect the winners and losers and based on that what the update might have been focussing on. This will give you somewhere to start your investigation.

Another good resource for investigating traffic losses is Glenn Gabe’s post on the difference between relevance adjustments, intent shifts and overall site problems. Sometimes it’s just the case that you’ve been ranking for things you shouldn’t have been in the first place.


How do I improve my site?

If you’ve noticed that you’ve lost your position for key terms in the search results then it’s time to figure out why you’ve dropped. The first things to look at will be who in your niche has benefited from the update and understand what they’re doing differently. This could be the content they’re producing, the links to the site, their site structure or even the design of the pages.

Once you’ve understood why you’ve lost ground and others have gained ground you can start to put a plan in place on how you’re going to improve your site. Generally, if you’ve been impacted by a core update it’s worth working to improve the whole site, rather than just specific sections. One last thing to note is that it takes time for Google to pick up the changes you’ve made to your site and it can even take until the next core update to recover those lost positions.

If your site has been impacted and you need support to recover your lost traffic then get in touch with our SEO experts here at Capsule marketing. Our team will take a deep dive into the site and produce a plan of action to help you recover.

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