The most recent core update was in November 2021, which was more than 6 months ago.
The declaration. “Today, we’re releasing our May 2022 core update,” Google said. The full rollout will take about 1-2 weeks.”
“Core updates are changes we make to improve overall Search and keep up with the changing nature of the web.” While nothing in a core update is specific to any specific site, these updates may result in some noticeable changes to how sites perform, as we’ve noted in previous guidance on what site owners should know about core updates,” Google added.
Core update rumors. From May 16 to this week, the SEO community has been seeing signs of a potential Google algorithm update rolling out. Google has yet to confirm those rumors.
Prior to today, any volatility was most likely unrelated to those rumors. Perhaps Google was testing this major update? Google’s John Mueller addressed this specifically, saying, “When we announce core updates, we start the roll-out at that point, not beforehand.”
The rollout began this morning. Google began rolling out this broad core update around 11:30 a.m. ET. And Google will notify us once the update is complete.
Previous major updates The most recent previous core update was the November 2021 core update, followed by the July 2021 core update, and before that, the June 2021 core update, which was slow to roll out but significant.
Prior to that, we had the December 2020 core update, which was much larger than the May 2020 core update, which was also large and broad and took a few weeks to fully roll out. The previous update was the January 2020 core update, which we discussed here.
The previous one was the September 2019 core update. Many SEOs and webmasters felt this update was weaker because it didn’t have the same impact as previous core updates. More information about previous Google updates can be found here.
What to do if you are struck?
Google has previously provided advice on what to consider if you are negatively impacted by a core update. There are no specific steps to take to recover, and a drop in rankings may not indicate anything is wrong with your pages.
If your site is affected by a core update, Google has provided a list of questions to consider. Google did say that there is some recovery time between core updates, but the biggest difference would be after another core update.
Why do we care? When Google updates its search ranking algorithms, your site may perform better or worse in the search results. Knowing when Google makes these updates provides us with a reference point to determine whether it was something you changed on your website or something Google changed with its ranking algorithm. We now know that Google will be releasing a core ranking update soon, so keep an eye on your analytics and rankings in the coming weeks.