As you know, Google announced on May 25, 2022 that it has started the new update of its central algorithm. This update affected almost all websites. Some sites grew and others experienced a sharp decline.
Google is constantly updating its algorithms. Every day there are one or two changes in Google’s search engine algorithms, most of which are not noticeable. What is important for SEO experts are updates called Google core updates that happen once or twice a year. Google core updates are important because they can have a very significant impact on the website.
In this article, we have reviewed a summary of the impact of the May 2022 update on a variety of websites, search terms and its impact on results.
Table of Contents
What is the central update of Google?
No one knows the true nature of Google’s algorithms unless Google itself tells us. However, as SEO specialists, in order to be able to check the impact of Google’s core update on the organic results of the website, we must pay attention to 2 important criteria:
Searchability means that a domain is present in Google search results. When this criterion increases, the website has a good position and rank in its keywords, which will lead to an increase in clicks. And on the contrary, when the searchability criterion decreases, it means that the website has lost its position in keywords.
The extent to which search capability increases or decreases is called fluctuation.
Why do we say that a core update affects all websites? Because the Visibility metric increases or decreases drastically during the period when this update occurs.
With the help of these two criteria, data from the Semrush sensor tool and a tool called SISTRIX, let’s see what lessons we can learn from the May 2022 update?
Marketers reported fluctuating and sometimes severe website crashes early in this update. While Semrush data showed that the May 2022 update was milder compared to the November 2021 update.
Mordy Oberstein, wix’s SEO director, found no indication that the May update affected any specific industries in his review of Semrush Sensor. When asked what fluctuations indicate that the core update is targeting a specific niche, he replied that he doesn’t think Google is targeting a specific area. Rather, it affects more types of content.
He advised looking at what’s happening on the page, because you can’t tell what’s going on until you look at how your keywords are ranking.
Affected search term
Marcus Tober, founder of Searchmetrics, used data from the Semrush sensor to examine ranking fluctuations based on a variety of keywords.
As you know, the types of keywords can be divided into four main categories:
- Informational: keywords used to find the answer to a question or general information about a specific topic.
- Navigational: keywords that are searched for with the purpose of moving to a specific page.
- Commercial: Search terms for brands or their services.
- Transactional: Keywords that are searched for a specific action or product purchase.
The graph he published shows that the terms Informational and Transactional experienced more than 50% fluctuation during May update.
In the rest of this article, Tober’s findings and SISTRIX indicators have been examined, and two groups of websites have been introduced under the title of winning and losing websites in this update.
The websites that are referred to as my websites are listed among the top 20 websites in the UK that have the highest growth in visibility.
Big brands in the field of e-Commerce
E-commerce is one of the popular topics in social media and the Sistrix index also supports this topic. As you read this article, popular retail websites like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy have seen the most Visibility changes on this tool’s chart.
Video websites like YouTube, TikTok, Disney Plus, etc. have grown significantly. As you can see in his chart, TikTok has grown the most (133%).
This shows that people like to watch videos online, and Google is currently giving more importance to videos on websites, and it pays special attention to videos in its rankings, both on the main page of search results and in the Videos and Discover section.
Loser websites were defined as groups that experienced a significant decrease in the Sistrix visibility index.
News and media publishers
As you can see in his report, news websites have seen the biggest decline. The reason for this issue is primarily influenced by the content that is written about everything. For example, celebrity news, sports results, weather, economics, and career advice. In other words, many people believe that the topics that are written on news websites are not what users are looking for.
Reference websites such as dictionaries, Wikipedia, etc. were also among those websites that had the biggest drop. While these pages may look perfectly fine based on text processing models like TF-IDF and Word2Vec, they rarely match the search intent.
New SERP features
One of the new features that has been created on the search results page is that Google displays images in the form of an online store along with product specifications for terms that have Transactional content. By clicking on each of these products, purchase options will also be displayed. This feature was initially released in late March 2022 and appeared on the desktop a few days before the May 2022 update.
What does the emergence of this feature mean for marketers?
Since Google gives special importance to the user’s search intent, it is better to optimize keywords that have commercial or shopping content for this type of display, otherwise you may suffer a drop in keyword rankings.