Google’s May 2022 Core update that started rolling out on 25 May 2022, now officially stands complete, announced Danny Sullivan, Google’s Public Liaison for Search in a tweet. It took roughly 15 days to finish rolling out and concluded on 9 June 2022. So if you noticed any fluctuations, positive or negative, during this 2-week period, now is a good time to dig in and see if it was the update that caused it. If its impact has mostly been positive, give yourself a pat on the back for the job well done. Why? Because it has officially been established that a core update doesn’t focus so much on individual site issues but rather how relevant the website is overall. And that means all the effort you’ve put in to improve your site’s overall experience consistently over a period of time, this is your reward.
The May 2022 core update rollout is now complete.
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) June 9, 2022
But my site has been negatively impacted, what should I do?
In case your website has been hit badly during the course of these two weeks and you feel May 2022 core update has had something to do with it, it’s a good time to take a few steps back, analyse and re-evaluate everything you’ve been doing until now. It is not as bad as it sound. It doesn’t mean you now have to start from scratch, but rather, isolate and fix the issues that has led you this unfortunate outcome. Good news, most of the times it has to do with the content of your website and the overall user experience.
As per John Mueller, Google’s Search Advocate:
“With the core updates we don’t focus so much on just individual issues, but rather the relevance of the website overall. And that can include things like the usability, and the ads on a page, but it’s essentially the website overall.
And usually that also means some kind of the focus of the content, the way you’re presenting things, the way you’re making it clear to users what’s behind the content. Like what the sources are, all of these things. All of that kind of plays in.”
So, rather than trying to fix individual site issues, say technical or on-page, focus on improving the overall website, starting with the most important aspect, the content. Take a more holistic approach towards how you could make it better for your users. Doing that means you are extending that improved experience towards the search engines as well. And that is bound to go down well and increases your chances of a recovery when the next core update hits, or even before.
John concludes by stressing on the matter of content.
“So just going in and changing everything around the content— I think you can probably get some improvements there. But essentially if you really want Google to see your website as something significantly better, you probably also need to work on the content side.
… think about where might there be low quality content, where might users be confused when they go to my website— and is that confusion something we can address with technical issues? With UX changes? Or do we actually have to change some of the content that we present?”
Have websites with AI content been hit the hardest?
Well, while there definitely are reports coming in that several websites with AI generated content have experience the brunt of the update; it is still too early to draw final conclusions, although the case for it remains strong. On the other hand, an SEO professional who happens to operate in a niche that is mostly filled with AI generated content, has managed to outrank his competition simply by offering quality content that is not AI generated. So, that is saying a lot. However, that is not to say that all AI generated content is inherently bad for the rankings. It’s just that one has to choose very wisely. It’s all the better if you can do away with AI generated content altogether.
I suspect the Google core update (May 2022) may have been a hit on AI content. It certainly was for me.#google #coreupdate #aiwritting pic.twitter.com/BdFCo5UIp5
— Oliver Boyers (@OliverBoyers) June 6, 2022
How do I fix this ranking drop?
Well, as we said above, your first and foremost priority should be to improve your overall content and site experience. And that is where a site audit comes in. It will help you pinpoint the exact issues (technical and on-page) so you can work on them in a phased manner. It will also highlight if you have received any manual or algorithmic penalty and pave your way forward from thereon. Those penalties need to be removed on the first-priority basis.
We understand that all this may sound like jargon or a little too overwhelming to even think of about all that you have to do, which is exactly why we are here. You can check our blog post on How to Diagnose and Fix a Rankings Drop in 6 Easy Steps. Better yet, leave a comment or give us a call and we will schedule a free consultation call at the earliest.