It’s the age of digital transformation. Businesses have to consistently update their processes to adapt to constant change. But adapt how?
As a starting point, you have to stay relevant and build a presence where your audience is—online. SEO marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies you can use to improve your online visibility and reach more leads.
But SEO is complex, and it’s always evolving. Just when you think you have your SEO strategy figured out, Google makes an update that changes everything. Google Algorithm by definition is the set of rules that define how Google runs its search engine. These rules are constantly updated to ensure that the best and most relevant results are displayed for every query.
The Broad Core Algorithm Update is one of these updates. Keep reading to understand everything you need to know about the Broad Core Algorithm Update and how it affects your website ranking on Google.
In this guide:
- Google Launches May 2022 Broad Core Algorithm Update
- What is a Google Broad Core Update?
- What Happened in Previous Broad Core Updates
- What We Know About the May 2022 Broad Core Update
- How Does It Affect Your SEO?
- How to Recover From A Broad Core Algorithm Update
Google Launches May 2022 Broad Core Algorithm Update
Late in May, the search engine started rolling out its first broad core algorithm update for the year—a culmination of its efforts to improve its searches and deliver more relevant results to queries.
The update took two weeks to complete which was longer than for digital marketers to see its effect on their search rankings. Just within 24 hours of the announcement, websites have already taken note of major fluctuations, with some gaining rankings and others dropping them.
Today, we’re releasing a broad core update, as we do several times per year. This update is called the May 2022 core update. Learn more: https://t.co/7kFklwdkAb— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) May 25, 2022
It is hard to assess or even prepare for these kinds of algorithm changes, particularly when Google is not always eager to go into detail about the scope of its updates and how they will affect your site performance. But, what we know is that it can impact your rankings, traffic, and ultimately, revenue. As an SEO expert in the Philippines, we want to make sure that you’re on the right side of the update.
What is a Google Broad Core Update?
A broad core algorithm update is the substantial changes Google does to its overall search ranking algorithm and systems. In its announcement, Google said that these core updates are designed to increase the overall relevancy of search results and provide more accurate information to users.
As you know, Google’s core algorithm is composed of various algorithms—different sets of rules that the search engine uses to rank websites in the search engine results pages (SERPs). It means when Google announces a core algorithm, it is an overall improvement of the algorithm instead of a targeted effort. It impacts search-engine ranking factors without zeroing in on a specific component, hence the word broad.
Previous updates like Panda and Penguin were targeted. They particularly look at the quality of backlinks and content. Other updates are even more specific. In 2021, Google Search modified how product reviews and spam influence rankings.
But a broad core update? It changes how the algorithm ranks a webpage in a far more varied way. Such an update usually takes up to 14 days to complete, therefore the impact is spread out, rather than happening all at once. This further adds to the complexity of aggregating data and isolating ranking fluctuations to any one particular change in the algorithm. It also doesn’t help that Google reveals as little as possible about its ranking formula.
What Happened in Previous Broad Core Updates?
The first broad core algorithm update Google officially recognized was on March 9, 2018. But, it was not technically new then. The search engine said that they had done these kinds of updates up to that point and the key purpose is to provide more relevant search results and benefits pages that were previously under-rewarded. In the succeeding years, Google released several more updates and the same objective remains.
Each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Some are focused around specific improvements. Some are broad changes. Last week, we released a broad core algorithm update. We do these routinely several times per year….— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) March 12, 2018
Before the May 2022 broad core update, the latest one was in November 2021. But, the June/July 2021 update was the one that made a much more impact. It was one of the largest core updates at the time that Google had to tranch its deployment into two. Digital marketers observed high volatility in site performances across various industries.
What We Know About the May 2022 Broad Core Update
Is there anything new about the latest broad core algorithm update? In a way nothing—at least nothing we can confirm. But, what Google consistently tells us is that these kinds of updates are about improving how it understands both search queries and web pages to provide more relevant search results.
Like any other broad core algorithm update, the May 2022 update is not a penalty. Although you may experience drops in your rankings, that doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong with your pages and that you should be looking for a fix.
Think of it like your car maintenance. Bringing your car in for a tuneup maintains overall performance, but it isn’t a particular fix to a specific problem. This is what the broad core algorithm update does.
So, with the purpose of a core update settled, how are you supposed to respond to it? For starters, you must continue all the essential best practices in SEO—optimize content for SEO, improve page speeds, ensure site mobile-friendliness, and build healthy backlinks.
How Does It Affect Your SEO?
It is key to remember that Google hardly ever announces the changes they make or how these will affect your approach to SEO. But, the world’s SEO experts are sharing their insights to give you a better understanding of what the update could have possibly been.
1. Google will prioritize video content
Internet users everywhere enjoy video content. In 2020, more than 244.4 million users in the US watched digital videos, with an average user spending one hour and 43 minutes per day consuming video content. By 2022, it is estimated that online videos will drive more than 82% of all consumer traffic.
As such, Google is increasingly prioritizing websites with video content—ranking it higher than text. For example, when you search how to do something, Google is more likely to return a video answer in the first position of the search engine results pages (SERPs) where previously text content would have been.
Video content can increase a site’s visibility by as much as 25%. Plus, video results have a 41% higher click-through rate than text-only results. It means not only are videos helping you rank in SERPs, but also increases the likelihood of users clicking through.
2. Specialist content will be prioritized over general content
There is hardly anything Google wants more than high-quality content written by domain experts. It means if you want to build trust and authority in your niche, and ultimately, rank on SERPs, you have to deliver what the search engine wants.
Instead of trying to rank for a lot of things, focus on a specific subject matter and demonstrate your expertise there. Offer a valuable perspective that will compel readers to find you trustworthy—and this is where focusing on E-A-T matters.
E-A-T is an acronym that stands for Expertise, Authority, Trust, describing the best practices for optimizing content for search. It can serve as your guide question when creating content.
- Does it offer a valuable perspective that demonstrates your expertise in the field?
- Does it come from a position of authority?
- Is it compelling enough for readers to find you trustworthy?
While there is no concrete Google ranking factor that directly represents E-A-T, there are multiple ranking factors that do encompass its principles. And with Google always encouraging focusing on E-A-T in every core algorithm update, we can safely assume that ranking fluctuations from the May 2022 broad core update have to do with E-A-T or a site’s lack thereof. An example is an observation where sites, known for trying to rank for everything, lost an average of 4% of their Google rankings.
News publishers – known for trying to rank for everything – lost on average 4% of their Google rankings, while E-Commerce and travel specialists grew by 5%.— Malte Landwehr (@MalteLandwehr) May 30, 2022
Google can recognize which websites actually have expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness for certain topics. pic.twitter.com/MpjlWqXjEr
So, how can you guard your site against future core algorithm updates? Optimize for E-A-T—make sure your content is comprehensive and written by reputable authors.
3. Google can understand search intent better
As the name suggests, search intent is the purpose behind a search. Is the user browsing for more information? Are they looking for a specific product or brand? Do they want to make a purchase? With every algorithm update, Google intends to become better at interpreting search intent and show users results that align with it.
It’s not unusual after a broad core update for sites to see fluctuations in their rankings. Google rolls out the update gradually, making search results more relevant to the intent. It means pages that drop in rankings are not being penalized. Instead, they are being reassessed together with other content that has been published after the last update. It explains Google’s statement that there is nothing to fix because core algorithm updates are less about targeting low-quality content and more about improving the relevance of the search results—a negative ranking doesn’t necessarily signal anything wrong with your pages.
As a digital marketer, how well you understand search intent influences your ability to rank in SERPs. It allows you to target search terms that your target audiences use when searching for products and services relevant to you, create content that answers their questions, and structure your pages in a way that’s friendly to both users and search engines.
How to Rise From a Broad Core Algorithm Update
Broad core algorithm updates affect many sites across various industries. While some sites go up, others go down with varying degrees of loss in traffic and rankings.
If you have been hit by the latest broad core algorithm update, there aren’t specific actions to take to recover. But, as usual with Google, the advice is to always build high-quality, relevant content. Over the years, the search engine has provided plenty of guidelines on how to create great content and improve your rankings.
A great starting point is the set of 20 questions the search engine offered in the past to help you self-assess the quality of content you are offering. It provides great insights into what Google considers a high-quality website and content.
In its quest to provide the highest-quality and most relevant content out there, Google constantly refines its algorithms to separate great from not-so-great.
Google has already mentioned that pages affected by a broad core algorithm update may not recover until the next core update. However, as SEO experts in the Philippines say, it is possible to recover your rankings and regain traffic by updating, rewriting, and improving your existing content. In other words, republish outdated content to make it more useful and comprehensive, and ensure that it meets search intent.
The May 2022 broad core algorithm update, like any other Google update, only further emphasizes the need to keep your content fresh and relevant. With every change in the algorithms, the search engine looks at sites on a completely new level. You need a strong content profile—one that is future update-proof and would showcase your business as an authority in your niche.
More than ever, it’s essential that you invest in SEO. Hiring an SEO specialist is key to ensuring that your site is optimized and up-to-date. The best SEO professional should have broad experience, expertise, and proven SEO strategies to help you recover and ultimately, rise from any algorithm update.
With the right professional, you will enjoy better visibility, a wider reach, and increased sales, among other benefits that SEO has to offer.
Hopefully, your business did well with this update.