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Google’s May 2022 SEO Update is Complete

Improve optimization


What are these updates?

Don’t panic. Improve yourself with algorithms!

—Nirali Pandya

BRIGHTON AND HOVE, WEST SUSSEX, UK, July 14, 2022 / — With a market share of 91.94%, Google is the world’s largest search engine and the biggest decision maker when it comes to SEO best practices. As the platform evolves its algorithm to improve user experience, businesses around the world are trying to adapt to maintain high rankings in search results.

At the end of May 2022, Google began rolling out its next big core update to improve the overall relevance of search results. The goal of the platform, as before, is to make searches faster and more useful for everyone. On June 9, the rollout of the update was complete.

According to the SEO community, the May update could have a significant impact on the SEO landscape. This is one of the biggest core algorithm updates seen in quite some time.

The key details of the May 25 general update

The general kernel update on May 25 is Google’s first since its last update in November 2021. The algorithm update has the potential to make big waves. First, it changes how sites can attract rankings and traffic. Subsequently, this has a direct impact on the revenue that businesses can make from organic visitors.

It takes a few weeks to prepare and assess the impact of any major update, as these are often wide in scope and change incrementally. Google rarely provides specific details on what exactly changed.

However, in the weeks following the update, many members of the SEO community reacted in a volatile way. Several site owners have noted significant downward trends in their traffic. The May 2022 Update has seen a shorter and more intense period of volatility so far. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon to see some volatility after the changes are rolled out.

Impact of FAQ snippets

FAQ snippets and feature snippets have had an impact since the May update. For example, Google now shows more search results with FAQ snippets, from 22% to 27%. This means that FAQs are more likely to appear in search results, which encourages site owners to include FAQs and concise answers on their web pages.

The FAQ adds expertise and credibility to websites. It also shows companies’ willingness to provide transparent information about their services. Businesses should mark up their FAQ content with relevant structured data to increase the likelihood of appearing in first-page snippets.

Featured snippets saw greater fluctuations, with sites experiencing surges and dips. As these snippets have the potential to attract a lot of organic traffic, this has had a major impact on some businesses.
The rise of video

Malte Landwehr, SEO Manager at idealo, has been cross-referencing the data since the main update. As a result, he observed key trends in video and search intent marketing.

The growing popularity and effectiveness of video is no surprise. Social media platforms like TikTok have led the charge towards more video-focused platforms, with other social media quickly following. Small video content is now a vital marketing strategy, and the medium is becoming more and more SEO friendly. YouTube videos allow users to structure labeled sections in their videos, for example, to create easily readable titles.

Landwehr said video website traffic has improved by 25% since the main update in May.

Context and relevance

In the past, websites could increase their traffic by stuffing content with common keywords. As a result, search engines would choose sites with a large amount of keywords, even if the relevance of the articles was minimal and the context revealed little useful information.

This has changed. The May 2022 Update tries to reign in more on sites that benefit from keyword stuffing. Additionally, Google is getting smarter at recognizing context and associating synonyms with keywords. As such, it can tell if an article actually covers a topic successfully.

The key to remember for businesses is to focus on quality rather than quantity. Content creators should avoid posting poorly thought out or poorly organized posts. Instead, every new piece of content should match search intent and expertly answer user questions.

How companies should react

After each general update, businesses may experience drops or gains in their traffic and search engine rankings. But, according to the search engine giant, companies must recognize these changes as natural. As a result, there is no need to rush to fix things on their site where nothing could be broken.

At NHANCE Digital, we believe in following Google’s guidelines to get the best results. For example, the flow of content in a blog should feel natural and not read as if keywords are just stuffed unrelated to the topic the blog is written about.

Sites that perform poorly after a major update probably have nothing wrong with them. They do not violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and have not been penalized. Google’s major updates do not target individual sites or pages. Instead, they change how the system categorizes pages as a whole. The search engine’s goal is to reward high-quality content that may have been underperforming. Content that expertly answers users’ questions and is well-organized should find that the changes benefit them.

Sites that have performed well and are dropping search engine results may simply be outdone by more deserving content. Google’s advice with this major update is not to search for a solution. Instead, site owners should continue to optimize their content by referring to older advice.

About NHANCE Digital

NHANCE Digital is a social media and digital marketing agency that excels in search engine optimization. After its establishment in 2009, the UK company has grown into a marketing company with a global presence. Its customers cover all of Europe and North America. NHANCE Digital provides 360 degree services to businesses. Its services range from website design to reputation management, social media marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). Following Google’s latest general update, they’re helping customers optimize their content. NHANCE Digital helps establish authority in your niche.

Nirali Pandya
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