Did your site lose traffic in the May 2022 broad core update?
If so—or if you’re unsure—this post provides information about how you can approach recovering from a negative impact of an algorithm update.
However, to start recovery from a Google core update, you must first understand what a core update is.
What is a Google Core Update?
Google core updates are changes to the Google algorithm that affects the visibility of websites in search results. Google makes hundreds of small changes to its algorithm several times per year, but a core update is a significant change that can significantly impact search results.
A core update aims to improve the quality of SERPs by ensuring that the most relevant and authoritative websites are ranked highly.
However, because the algorithm constantly evolves, some websites may see their rankings drop after a core update is released like what we’re seeing with the May 2022 core update.
It’s been a couple of weeks since the new Google core update rollout and Google doesn’t offer much guidance on how to recover from a ranking drop, but it is important to keep in mind that these updates are designed to improve the overall quality of google search inquires.
Google’s advice is to create high-quality websites and content. While this message is disheartening for anyone involved with SEO looking for actual insights, Google has provided plenty of hints and guidance over the years about how to create great websites designed to survive core updates.
The key is to create consistently high-quality content over time.
In August 2019, Google provided useful recommendations in a blog post, What site owners should know about Google’s core updates.
Google also offered this overview of what to expect after an update rollout.
“Several times per year, we make substantial improvements to our overall ranking processes, which we refer to as core updates. 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.”
How Often is Google Updated?
Google does broad core updates regularly—typically two or three times per year—though the frequency can vary depending on the need.
While some core updates may be minor and go unnoticed by users, others can significantly impact SERPs. As such, staying abreast of these changes is crucial to ensure that your site is optimized for the latest version of Google Search.
How to Decide Where to Focus Your Time and Effort
Google’s core updates can be a frustrating time for business owners and SEO specialists. Your rankings drop, your traffic plummets, and you’re left scrambling to figure out what to do next.
The first step is to take a deep breath and relax.
Google’s updates are designed to improve the quality of its search results, not punish hard-working website owners.
According to Google’s public liaison for search, Danny Sullivan, “These changes aren’t because of something they’ve done, but rather because of how our systems have been improved to better assess content overall and better address user expectations.” Sullivan further states, “We’re always looking for ways to improve these systems so we can display the most useful results possible.”
Meaning even if your site suffered a ranking loss, it wasn’t necessarily your fault, or that you’re being punished. It’s important to remember that not every change requires a drastic overhaul of your website. In fact, most updates only affect a small percentage of google search inquires.
Tips Following the may 2022 core update
With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to decide where to focus your time and effort following a Google core update:
First, take a look at your website’s traffic statistics. If you see a significant drop in traffic after an update, your site is likely affected.
Next, check your rankings for your keywords.
If you’ve fallen in the SERP’s, it’s important to take action to improve your ranking. Also, check the SERP position of your competitors in search results, especially those who rank well for keywords that you want to target, and see how their rankings have changed since the update was introduced (you can use tools such as SEMrush or Ahrefs to do this).
Finally, consider whether you need to make changes to your website content or structure. If you’re unsure where to start, contact a professional SEO consultant for help.
How to Audit Your Link Profile
One of the most important aspects of SEO is building a solid backlink profile—the number and quality of links pointing back to your website from other sites on the internet. A backlink is essentially an endorsement, so a strong backlink profile can help boost your website’s visibility and search engine ranking.
However, it is important to ensure that your backlink profile is healthy, as too many low-quality links can actually harm your ranking. Therefore, it is essential to audit your backlink profile regularly. This can be done using a variety of online tools—both free and paid—including:
Enter your URL into the tool, and it will generate a report showing all the links pointing to your site. Once you have this information, you can work on improving the quality of your backlinks by targeting high-authority websites and ensuring that your site links to high-quality content.
How to Find Opportunities for New Backlinks
As any experienced SEO knows, backlinks are essential for achieving high search engine rankings. Google and other major search engines use links to determine a website’s popularity and credibility, so the more backlinks a site has, the higher it will rank.
Of course, simply acquiring backlinks is not enough—they must be high-quality links from reputable websites. Here are some tips for finding opportunities for new backlinks:
- Check your competitor’s backlinks. Use a tool like Moz’s Open Site Explorer to see which websites link to your competitors. If they’re linking to them, there’s a good chance they’ll link to you as well.
- Look for directories and industry-specific websites. Directory listings and listings on sites specific to your industry or niche are great opportunities for getting new backlinks.
- Make use of social media. Social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn offer great opportunities for building new links. Simply post interesting content and include links back to your website; if people find your content worthwhile, they’ll share it and link to it.
- Reach out to influential bloggers in your industry. Many bloggers are always on the lookout for new content to share with their followers.
How to Check for Duplicate Content Issues
If you’re concerned that your website might have duplicate content issues, there are a few steps you can take to check. First, run your site through a tool like Copyscape. This will help you identify any instances of duplicate content.
Next, take a look at your site’s robots.txt file. This file can tell you which pages are indexed by search engines and which ones are excluded. If you see any pages being excluded, that’s a potential sign of duplicate content.
Finally, check your site’s Google Search Console account. If there are any errors or warnings related to duplicate content, they’ll be listed here. By taking these steps, you can get a good sense of whether or not your site has any duplicate content issues.
How to Check for Other Technical Issues on Your Site
Below are some other technical issues you may want to check for on your site.
If you’re using a Content Management System (CMS), make sure it’s up to date. Outdated software can create security vulnerabilities. If you have a lot of pages, run a crawl of your site using a tool like Screaming Frog or Deepcrawl. This will help you identify any broken pages or links.
You should also check your server headers to ensure they are functioning properly. If you’re unsure how to do this, contact your hosting company, and they should be able to assist you.
Finally, run your site through Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to see if there are any areas where you can improve your site’s performance. By addressing these technical issues, you can help ensure that your site runs smoothly and efficiently.
Google is constantly tweaking its algorithm with considerations for its own and users’ needs. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to stay informed about all Google updates to understand what changes you need to make around your site and if any actions could negatively impact your site’s performance.
Did you survive the Google core update 2022?
You can rest easy when you know the steps to take if and when there are algorithm updates and how to recover from them. Now it’s up to you to implement any strategies and tactics you want to increase your site’s rankings!
At Jungle Communications, our team of SEO professionals understand that knowing how to recover from a negative google update and prevent further losses is something that all digital marketers and business owners need to know.
Contact us today for a free SEO analysis of your site!