After over a week of speculation from the SEO community, yesterday Google announced its May 2022 Core Update. According to Google Public Liaison for Search Danny Sullivan, the rollout will last between one and two weeks. Early impressions of the update indicate it’s impacting all content types, languages and regions globally.

In the statement, Google stressed its perennial guidance that core updates aim to improve the overall ranking process by increasing the relevancy of search results and “keeping pace with the changing nature of the web.”

These updates occur within Google’s algorithm multiple times a year. However, Google only confirms updates that will likely have widespread impacts to rankings.

We’ll continue to provide updates as the May 2022 Core Update rollout continues.

In the meantime, Searchmetrics SEO Consultant Grace Adato shares guidance on how to manage your SEO operations amidst a core update.

“One thing that’s important — that even SEOs lose sight of — is going back to the basics,” she says. “Scrutinize content from Google’s lenses.”

If you experience a drop in rankings, consider the following questions:

Are traffic losses impacting leads or sales revenue?

“During core updates, I’ve seen sites lose traffic for broad keywords they weren’t the best source for,” says Adato. “Always compare traffic and rankings losses to lead and sales KPIs. If leads or revenue are not being lost at the same rate, those lost keywords weren’t bringing in qualified traffic.”

Has Google adjusted its algorithm due to shifting trends?

If traffic loss is affecting the bottom line, there may be a change in demand. Use Google Trends to determine if search interest is declining; competition is changing; or content is growing stale.

“Proper segmentation of landing pages in your analytics or BI tools helps you easily spot impacted pages and/or content types,” she says. “Isolate a few pages in Google Search Console to examine affected queries.”

Do any of the competing results have new information on the subject? If so, update your page with new information and include the date of the update.

Another tactic is using your browser’s incognito mode to view SERPs for your affected query. If there’s new competition, evaluate your title tag and meta description against the higher-ranking pages.

Is the data reflecting my concerns?

“Don’t act too quick or make changes without analyzing the data. Rule out other factors such as major site changes and seasonality and compare similar year-over-year timeframes,” says Adato.

For additional self-assessment questions, read Google’s post on What site owners should know about Google’s core updates.

Be sure to check back here for our latest analysis on Google’s May 2022 Core Update. We’ll be keeping this blog post updated as we analyze the impact.

Let us know in the comments if you’ve been impacted by this update or get in touch for expert support.