Google's May 2022 core update hit fast

Posted by Edith MacLeod on 6 Jun, 2022
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The update is still rolling out, but here's what we know so far.

Google May 2022 update.

SEOs have been sharing their observations so far on Google’s first core update of the year, which was released on 25 May.  While the full impact won’t be known till later, it’s worth looking at their initial findings.

The update appeared to hit hard on the first day, with a big spike in volatility. This short burst of initial volatility corresponds to the pattern with the two most recent core updates in 2021. The latest charts show continued volatility over the past few days, though nothing as big as on the day the update rolled out.

Desktop volatility

Mobile volatility.

Source: RankRanger

In a blog post on 1st June, Semrush's Mordy Oberstein compared May's level of volatilty by vertical against the November 2021 update.

Source: Semrush

The highest level of volatility seen so far in this update is in the real estate sector.

What's up, what's down - early indications

Sistrix reported they had seen “a large number of significant movements across the reference space including dictionaries and car information”. Other observations included:

  • Losses in many low quality sites
  • High movement in song sites (lyrics, band information)
  • Among 30 news websites analysed, a general loss for most (although “quite the boost” for the /topic directory at independent.co.uk)

Idealo’s head of SEO, Malte Landwehr, dug into the data from Semrush and Sistrix. In a Twitter thread on 30 May, he identified 3 major trends:

  • Video instead of text
  • Specialists instead of generalists
  • Better search intent matching

It is, of course, too early to see the full picture. The update is still rolling out and will take a couple of weeks to complete, so expect to see continued movement over this time and monitor your site rankings for any changes.

For more information about what to do if your site has been impacted by a core update, see Googe's blog post: What site owners should know about Google’s core updates.

** Update: Google said the May 2022 core updated finished rolling out on 9 June.

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