Google 2022 May Update - What to do if you were hit

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author small image Siva Kishore G
Posted : 08 June 2022
Modified : 11 Jun 2022
SEO Professionals
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What is a Google core update?

Google releases updates to their ranking algorithms almost every day. Most of these happen despite any official notification from google. But every once in a while, they release a broad (Core) update which means, all websites of all languages will be affected.

The primary goal is to reward the best websites and penalize those who employ unethical / shady SEO techniques such as link buying, content plagiarism, keyword stuffing etc. The last major update happened in November 2021 and now it's in May 2022.

May 2022 Core Update

Google has officially announced that this is a core update which happened on May 25th of 2022 and will take upto two weeks to finish. Once again, this update will look at rewarding best websites with quality content and domain authority (E-A-T)

Its a nightmare for every webmaster whenever updates like these happen. Rankings fluctuate and it's a panic if they take a nosedive. Bloggers who earn through ads and affiliates are at risk and may end up losing all the traffic.

What's new with this update

  • Google officially mentioned that previously under-rewarded websites will do better. Its yet to know what those are exactly.
  • The news we knew is that google is looking at affiliate websites. It may spell doom for those without quality content.
  • Google suggests not to fix anything and even goes on to say that there might be nothing to be fixed despite the sites losing traffic. I personally think that it's counterproductive but what I deduce from this is, not to panic immediately and look for solutions. Its just a waiting game.
  • Google discover, snippets, affiliate websites and other features are seen to be more volatile.
  • TikTok results grew almost double.
  • Pages having buying intent are hit.

Areas affected by this update

  • Older info sites improved rankings while purely affiliate sites took a major blow.
  • USA traffic took a hit and some complained that almost 50% traffic is gone.
  • Most of the webmasters are seeing a 30-70% traffic decline.
  • Best quality sites are seeing 50%+ traffic gains.
  • Many webmasters are speculating that this is a buggy update and will reverse soon restoring the lost traffic..
  • It seems more emphasis is put on for video content. We observed a 25% increase in visibility.
  • Sites with higher authority (E-A-T) performed better despite low content volume.
  • Many webmasters have revealed that they have seen a substantial increase of traffic for their AI Content.
  • Low CPC observed. Is Google getting greedy?

What to do if you were hit ?

Search console showing declining traffic

No panic!, deep breaths!

Just wait it out until google confirms the rollout being completed and a week after that reassess your traffic in google analytics / Search console. If the traffic is substantially lower to the pre-update period, then closely look at your content.

The Do's

  • Add more quality content.
  • Providing statistics will help.
  • See what's trending and update your post accordingly.
  • Remove content that's outdated.
  • Look who you are competing with for the keyword and do some research.

The Don'ts

  • Overhaul the website design completely.
  • Change URLs with added keywords.
  • Broad content changes.
  • Unnecessary schemas.

Update (June 20 2022) : Traffic is back

Google analytics report snapshot after a week of google core update of May 2022

By june 10th, this website has come to a grinding halt and lost 95% of the traffic. But, I just kept adding content and about 70% of the lost traffic is back. I've also removed the pages with thin content and merged couple pages, added more internal links and did a better grammar check.

Conclusion

It takes years to build traffic and overnight to lose almost 90% of it? Does it make sense or is that just an experiment from google? Previously, we have seen the traffic bouncing back to normal for those who got hit but after a couple months. We are still yet to see if the history repeats.

Even I suffered with this and a page with 80+ clicks a day has come to a grinding halt. Not only that, affiliate websites have suffered the most. My condolences! Now that the update roll out is complete, it's time to re-evaluate your website.

Nevertheless, don't lose hope, keep working on your blog, double down on providing quality content and update existing pages.



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