The Hidden Truth About Google’s SEO Algorithm May 2022 Update


Late last week of May 2022, Google came up with their broad core SEO algorithm update, and to say that it was long-awaited wouldn’t be an overstatement. By all means, it includes a massive overhaul of some basic features of SEO web, and mobile app developers use daily. Within the first 24 hours, the update became operational, although it fully rolled out within a week or so. 

Core Updates of SEO Algorithm

Danny Sullivan, Google’s Public Liaison for Search, noted that changes to site performance in search results are expected. 

“Core updates are changes we make to improve Search overall and keep pace with the changing nature of the web. While nothing in a core update is specific to any particular site, these updates may produce some noticeable changes to how sites perform….”

When a core update rolls out, Google is known for reproducing a guideline, just like it did in 2019. Here are some of the general advice regarding SEO algorithm core updates and also some SEO Checklist:

  • Expect widely noticeable effects, such as spikes or drops in search rankings.
  • Core updates are “broad” because they don’t target anything specific. Instead, they’re designed to improve Google’s systems overall.
  • Pages that drop rankings aren’t being penalized; they’re being reassessed against other web content published since the last update.
  • Focusing on providing the best possible content is the top recommended way to deal with the impact of a core algorithm update.
  • Broad core updates happen every few months. Sites might not recover from one update until the next one rolls out.
  • Improvements do not guarantee recovery. However, choosing not to implement any upgrades will virtually ensure no recovery.



Those who have been working hard on their sites for the last six months or so will see noticeable improvements to search rankings. On the other hand, those websites sitting idly will see themselves outranked by the sites having relevant data. As a general rule, the orders do fluctuate from time to time, but the above observation stands for a significant period.

Broad Core SEO Algorithm 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 this hits you, you will need to look at your content and see if you can do better with Google’s core update advice.
  • 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.


SEO Algorithm Updates and SERP Fluctuations

With each broad core SEO algorithm update, users notice significant shake-ups with website rankings, i.e., SERP rankings. In May 2022, users reported sharp rises and falls in their site rankings, but Google had warned of it beforehand. However, Google does not warn about the rollout of these updates, which can seem like a problem. 

Experts speculate that this update increased the People Also Ask results and may have targeted Image Search results in some way. It could even have inadvertently increased spam in search results.

Why Do SEO Algorithm Updates Happen So Often?


The Google Search index contains hundreds of billions of web pages and is well over 100,000,000 gigabytes in size. It is constantly updated as new pages are added, and algorithms can better figure out which content is most relevant to the user’s search.

Since 15% of searches on Google are new every day, more work must be done to improve the relevance of results and make the information as applicable to the search query as possible.

While the quality of search results and user experience are admirable goals, SEOs and marketers may be left scrambling to figure out why search ranking fluctuates when unconfirmed updates occur.

SEO Algorithm Update – How To Recover?

Google’s longstanding advice on core algorithm updates is that there’s nothing you can do to prepare or recover – aside from being consistently excellent. This was no exception. Even a negative rankings impact may not signal anything is wrong with your pages.

However, if a core update hits your site, Google has offered a list of questions to consider. In an October Search Central SEO office-hours hangout, Google’s John Mueller suggested that improving content is more likely to help you recover from an algorithm update than technical fixes. 



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