You are currently viewing What Happened in Google’s May 2022 Core Update?

It’s that time again when Google throws SEO agencies a curveball and sends us running to check the SERPs.

Another Google core algorithm update.  Be it good for your keyword rankings, or be it bad, you can guarantee it will be fun.

Latest Insights

On the 25th of May 2022, Google released their May Core Update for Google search.

As outlined in our previous article about the Google core algorithm updates in mid-2021, as usual, Google hasn’t given any indications as to what changes the update includes, instead they refer everyone to this 2019 guidance.

However, as a London SEO agency tracking rankings for a wide range of clients globally, we have some unique insights into how these updates affect our client’s rankings.

The Main Changes We’ve Noticed So Far

While the most significant ranking turbulence typically happens within a day or 2 of the core algorithm update, typically we notice increased levels of turbulence for a couple of weeks on either side of the update.  We put this down to Google testing their changes in limited markets prior to the full roll-out, and then subsequent adjustments post-roll-out, when the new algorithm doesn’t deliver the quality of relevant search results that they hoped for.

In the 3 weeks prior to the May 2022 core update, we noticed that clients with landing pages containing a keyword density higher than recommended by Yoast started to fare better than clients with landing pages at the recommended keyword density of 0.5% to 3%.

Other than that slight shift relating to keyword usage on-page, we noticed remarkably little change in keyword rankings, with the notable exception of clients selling Covid products, as outlined below.

COVID 19 Keyword Rank Changes After The May 2022 Core Update

One of our clients selling covid test kits had explosive growth in page 1 keyword rankings on 27th and 28th May, following the update on the 26th, see the graph below showing the rank distribution of the keywords that we track for them:

What Happened in Google's May 2022 Core Update? 1

Around November last year, these same keyword rankings suddenly and dramatically dropped, and no amount of adjusting, tweaking, re-writing, and brainstorming was going to entice them back.

We are pleased that Google has finally released their manual adjustment to our client’s rankings as part of this core algorithm update in May 2022!

COVID 19 Keyword Search Volume Data Changes

A further exciting development we’ve noticed is that Google Covid 19 keyword search volume data has suddenly become available since Google’s May 2022 Core Update! 

Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, we have had to develop our SEO strategies for our clients selling pandemic-related products without the benefits of any keyword data for search terms that included the word Covid, because Google rightly didn’t want people profiteering from the crisis, however, it did make it difficult at times to make essential products visible online to the people who needed them.

We can only assume that Google has now decided that profiteering from the COVID crisis is now a thing of the past, and therefore releasing the keyword search volume data to the marketing world is no longer an issue.

SEO Help And Advice – How To Respond To Core Updates

While some SEO operatives get anxious about the uncertainty that search engine algorithm changes bring, we remain confident that if we continually strive to improve the relevance and quality of our client’s websites, the longer-term search ranking trend will be upwards, in spite of short-term ups and downs.

Browse the advice contained in our SEO help articles, or contact our team of knowledgeable SEO operatives and consultants, and we can help you formulate a game plan to give you the best odds to win the ranking race against your competitors.

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