In May 2022, Google announced that they’re releasing a broad core update for Google Search, something the search giant tends to do a few times yearly. The first broad core algorithm update was released in 2018, and since then, Google has released three of these every year.
On June 9, 2022, the core update rollout was completed. What are these core updates? How and why do they work, and how do they impact a website’s performance in search rankings? We’ll be answering those questions and others.
What Is A Broad Core Algorithm Update?
Google is always looking for ways to improve its algorithms. This year alone has seen the release of the page experience update and a product reviews update, along with a possible three more unnamed (and unconfirmed) updates. However, while many of these updates have a particular focus, that’s not the case for a broad update.
A broad core update is a piece of code that changes Google’s “core,” i.e., the collection of algorithms that interpret signals (like keywords, links, etc.) from web pages. According to a post detailing the May 2022 core update, they “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 to everyone.“
Essentially, these updates aren’t designed to target anything specific but are meant to improve Google’s systems overall. It also aims to promote and reward excellent web pages and content by raising their rank in search results.
Will The May 2022 Broad Core Update Affect My SEO Or SERPs?
Even though the broad core updates don’t target particular issues like other major algorithmic updates, it doesn’t mean that your site’s SERPs won’t be affected. In fact, we recommend that website owners expect highly noticeable effects, including potentially significant drops in search rankings. It’s also important to note that these broad core updates happen regularly. Consequently, a site may not recover from one update before Google rolls out the next one.
That said, it’s critical to note if you’re page rank is affected negatively, it doesn’t mean you need to look for a fix. Google itself states that “some sites may note drops or gains during [broad core updates]. We know those with sites that experience drops will be looking for a fix, and we want to ensure they don’t try to fix the wrong things. Moreover, there might not be anything to fix at all.“
If your page’s rank is affected by this latest Google algorithm update, surely something must be wrong? Unfortunately, it’s not as straightforward; for every website that goes up, one must come down, and improvements do not guarantee recovery.
The Google news release goes as far as to say that the update doesn’t target specific pages or sites at all. Instead, existing pages and content are being reassessed against web content published since the last update in November 2021. If your website performs poorly after the update, it simply means that other, possibly newer sites, were deemed to provide better, higher-quality content.
How Do I Recover From The Update?
Broad core updates don’t care about industries or niches – they can impact the rankings of any website or web page. According to the search engine, the best thing site owners can do is to focus on providing high-quality content. That point is emphasized in a news release from Google in 2019.
Google’s public liaison for search, Danny Sullivan, said, “one way to think of how a core update operates is to imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2015. A few years later, in 2019, you refresh the list. It’s going to naturally change.” He goes on to say that newer movies would be included in the list and that they may deserve a higher place than those that had come before.
Similarly, broad core updates evaluate new pages and content against older ones, allowing more recent quality content to raise in page rank.
So how do you recover from the update? The shortest and best answer is to provide helpful, informative, and comprehensive content regularly that meets user intent. It’s also a good idea to read Google’s guidelines for more tips.
Publishers, businesses, agencies, and brands constantly strive to have their web pages rank well. However, as Google demands higher standards and releases new algorithmic updates, ranks may fluctuate as new content rises above older, outdated information. The emphasis, as always, is on user experience. Keep your content updated and relevant if you want to continue ranking well.