Digital content managers and webmasters, best to keep an eye on your Google rankings over the next few weeks.
Today, Google has confirmed that it’s rolling out a new Core update for Search, which will change the way some sites are listed in Search results pages.
Today, we're releasing a broad core update, as we do several times per year. This update is called the May 2022 core update. Learn more: https://t.co/7kFklwdkAb— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) May 25, 2022
So what’s changing? Helpfully, Google never explains exactly what’s being updated, which is a measure designed to stop users trying to scam the system.
Google does, however, offer this generic overview of what’s happening:
“Several times per year, we make substantial improvements to our overall ranking processes, which we refer to as core updates. Core updates are changes we make to improve Search overall and keep pace with the changing nature of the web. While nothing in a core update is specific to any particular site, these updates may produce some noticeable changes to how sites perform.”
Indeed, Google further explains that:
“There's nothing wrong with pages that may perform less well in a core update. They haven't violated our webmaster guidelines nor been subjected to a manual or algorithmic action, as can happen to pages that do violate those guidelines. In fact, there's nothing in a core update that targets specific pages or sites. Instead, the changes are about improving how our systems assess content overall. These changes may cause some pages that were previously under-rewarded to do better.”
In other words, you haven’t done anything wrong, but your SEO performance could take a hit anyway, and you’ll just have to deal with it – and maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll actually see an uptick in Search referrals because of something Google has changed.
Though you won’t know what it is, exactly, nor how to capitalize on it.
Such is the mystery of the Big G, giving and taking valuable web traffic with the winds of change, via every core update.
As noted by Search Engine Journal, the last Google Core update was in November, so you’ve had a good six months to get used to things as they are. Now they’re going to change again.
So what’s the point of me even telling you? Nothing, you can’t do anything about it anyway – but if you do notice a change in your rankings, you can point to the latest core update from Google and make it look like you know what’s happening to those less web literate.
‘Google’s putting a bigger focus on quality content, which is why we’ve seen an increase in traffic.’
That’s both vague and knowledgeable-sounding enough to get you through, while it’s also not incorrect, if anyone were to try and catch you out.
Google says that the full impacts of the May 2022 core update will take a couple of weeks to fully roll out.
If you’re looking for more insight on what’s changed, this forum thread will track responses to the update.