Google Search has begun to roll out the first broad core update of the year, the May 2022 broad core update. It started on May 25, 2022 at about 11:30am ET and will now roll out for the next couple of weeks.
So far, we are seeing many signs that this May 2022 core update started off strong. Over night, a lot of the tracking tools (not all just yet) picked up big volatility with the Google search results. Also, the chatter starting early this morning is really picking up. The chatter changed from comments like – “oh no, there was a Google core update announced” to “oh no, my site dropped in rankings in a big way.” I embedded and quoted a lot of that early chatter below, along with what the tools are showing. I may update some of the tools as they update later on this morning.
Google May 2022 Broad Core Update Quick Facts
Here are the most important things that we know right now in short form:
- Name: Google May 2022 Broad Core Update
- Launched: May 25, 2022 at around 11:30pm ET
- Rollout: It will take about one to two weeks to roll out
- Targets: It looks at all types of content
- Penalty: It is not a penalty, it promotes or rewards great web pages
- Global: This is a global update impacting all regions, in all languages.
- Impact: Google would not tell me what percentage of queries or searches were impacted by this update.
- Discover: Core updates impact Google Discover and other features, also feature snippets and more.
- Recover: If you were hit by this, then you will need to look at your content and see if you can do better with Google’s advice below.
- Refreshes: Google will do periodic refreshes to this algorithm but may not communicate those updates in the future. Maybe this is what we saw the past couple of weeks or all those unconfirmed Google updates.
Danny Sullivan from Google (who is on vacation now, so likely wrote this last week and someone else published it or maybe he did it while on vacation), wrote “Several times per year, we make substantial improvements to our overall ranking processes, which we refer to as core updates. Core updates are designed to increase the overall relevancy of our search results and make them more helpful and useful for everyone. Today, we’re releasing our May 2022 core update. It will take about 1-2 weeks to fully roll out.”
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
These broad core updates are global.
If you were impacted by this update, check out the Google core update advice story for more.
Below is a recap of the early chatter and data we are seeing on this update less than 24 hours after it started rolling out. Keep in mind, we expect to see more over the next several days but I wanted to share some of the early reports on the impact of this update.
Did Google Test This Update Earlier?
As we’ve been reporting, there was broad core update like updates we’ve been seeing and chattering about since May 16th. Google would not confirm it, in fact, John Mueller of Google said less than 12 hours before announcing this new broad core update “I’m not aware of anything specific. We always work to improve the quality & relevance of the search results, so it can happen that a site becomes more – or less – visible over time.”
Google would tell me that what we saw before May 25th was not related to these unconfirmed updates but honestly, this happens a lot. Maybe Google was testing this core update in the wild? Who knows but we did think whatever was going on over the past week felt a lot like a Google core update.
John Mueller of Google specifically addressed this saying “when we announce core updates, we start the roll-out at that point, not beforehand.” Although he did delete that tweet shortly after this core update was announced, I am not sure why…
Previous Broad Core Updates
So yea, this will take a couple of weeks to roll out and it has been over six months since the last update, which was last the November 2021 core update on November 17th through November 30th. The previous core updates prior to the November update was the July 2021 and then a month prior to that with the June core update. The one before that was 6 months before the June update, on December 3, 2020 named the December 2020 core update. Before that was 7 month gap where on May 4, 2020, the May 2020 core update. The one prior to that was on January 13, 2020, the January 2020 core update and the one before that was on September 24, 2019, the September 2019 core update. Oh, before that was on June 3, 2019, the June 2019 core update and I can go on and on.
SEO Chatter On May 2022 Core Update
Yesterday, things were slow but this morning, things really heated up with the chatter. Here is some of the chatter in the SEO forums and on social about this May 2022 broad core update:
Remember this rule of thumb with these core updates… Don’t panic day 1 unless you are completely obliterated. Google claims these take 2 weeks to fully rollout but you should feel this update within 48 hours or it’s not affecting you at all. Then wait for the dust to settle before analyzing your SERPS. Keep an eye out for a correction too. Sometimes these core updates have adverse affects and Google sees these signals and reverts. On a separate note, the PDF spam needs to be addressed in this core update because the Spam update of November sure as hell didn’t. Good luck everyoneUK informational site with lots of UGC. Real-time currently about 2/3 of what I’d usually expect this time of day. Trying not to give into the fear just yet.So far I noticed a slight bump in traffic, but the keyword bleeding started again, so no idea where this will go. Let’s see in a couple of weeks.Hello everyone! So, as far as I see, my blogs were hit by this core update. On most of them, I didn’t use the table of contents and they flew away (25% for now), one of them had and it is still doing okay without changes (maybe a slight down for 5%). So, IMHO you need big articles, with a good amount of h2,h3, +FAQ, and the chances you stay in SERP will grow up.My Site Rank was dropped xterday from 4th POS to 10th 🙁 …..The sites which has seen fluctuation in their rankings majorly drops in ranking and I have seen many affiliate sites have seen ranking drops. So what type of changes site owner need to pay to improve the rankings.Oh, yes, just for your information, all my informational keywords are gone far away from page 1, and now what I see on page 1? Shops! happy! I think there are no more informational keywords, only commercial! happy!Informational site here, significant drops in traffic starting today, about 30% so far every hour. Keyword rankings also dropped in almost all categories. Yesterday was fine. Hopefully, they return as they did in December/January after the other core update.Hey, a similar case here. The thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve lost 100% of my featured snippets. What’s peculiar is I’ve either lost the snippet but only dropped to position 2 or I’m still in position 1 and Google no longer has a snippet in the SERPs for that term.I’ve checked a chunk of other sites and several have lost 100% of their snippets. I know of a few people who saw this back in November with no recovery. John Mu, of course, flatly denied it happening.A few of my sites got wiped out. 50-80% of the keyword rankings are gone. First page are now filled with horrible spam pages with no useful content (some are even AI generated).
Again, it is just the first day of the update, and it is still ongoing so we can’t conclude it yet as It takes up to 12 days for the rollout to be completed. However, I’m filled with pessimism already.
Those who are losing traffic with information related sites I will say that I am in a different boat at the moment. My informational site has seen an increase overnight. Traffic is presently pushing what I would normally get in one day I have received since 9pm to 6am. So this is a big uptick for me.
Im not sure what the difference is between what I have and what others are doing but it is still really early in the game for this update. They have just begun and whatever we see should not be taken as the standard yet. We need at least 4 to 5 days to see the general direction of this one.
yes, I have started seeing volatility.
I have been monitoring core updates very closely. if you are facing any issues in real-time data (Universal Google analytics)?
My real-time data was mismatched compared to the overall audience
— Siva (@im_gksiva) May 26, 2022
Non-english medical publications. (Think webMD) pic.twitter.com/2LzqA6MDl2
— Max Peters (@maxjpeters) May 26, 2022
— Molly Youngblood (@mygeigermeister) May 26, 2022
Yes one of my website pages was on 20th rank but today it’s fluctuating to 13th.
— Aakash Kumar (@itsaakashkumar) May 26, 2022
— Palash Mahmud (@palbela007) May 26, 2022
Interestingly, they all had a small increase between 22nd-23rd.
— Max Peters (@maxjpeters) May 26, 2022
On the other hand in 3-4 days I’ll have a clear view of uplift or downtrends.
— ? Ori Zilbershtein (@OriZilbershtein) May 26, 2022
I can’t share graphs but the night has been disastrous for me. My two main blogs have dropped dramatically. I estimate 80% less income during the night. I don’t want to despair, hopefully it can be corrected during the update. In your experience are the first moves definitive?
— EduRS (@MuchoSeo) May 26, 2022
It’s time for another roller coaster trip. I noticed a 10-20% decline from the previous week.
— Mukesh Bhardwaj (@_mukeshbhardwaj) May 26, 2022
Tracking Tools On May 2022 Core Update
Semrush is reporting a 9.4 – which is super high:
Accuranker is high as well:
Advanced Web Rankings is at 10 out of 10:
Mozcast – not updated yet:
SERPmetrics showing big trends up:
RankRanger should show movement later today:
Algoroo currently not showing movement:
Cognitive SEO is currently calm:
SERPwoo is high:
Have you noticed much?
Forum discussion at Twitter, WebmasterWorld, Black Hat World, Local Search Forum and Google Webmaster Help.