Google Reimagines Search Beyond ’10 Blue Links’


Over six months since the last core update, Google is now rolling out this new broad core update.

Google is now rolling out its first broad core algorithm update of 2022. It is named the May 2022 core update, Danny Sullivan of Google announced.

The most recent core update was the November 2021 core update, over six months ago.

The announcement. Google said, “We’re releasing our May 2022 core update. It will take about 1-2 weeks to roll out fully.”

“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, which we’ve noted in previous guidance on what site owners should know about core updates,” Google added.

Rumors of core updates. Since May 16 through this week, the SEO community has been seeing signs of a potential Google algorithm update rolling out. Google has not confirmed those rumors. 

Any volatility before today is likely unrelated to those rumors. Maybe Google was testing this core update? John Mueller of Google said, “when we announce core updates, we start the roll-out at that point, not beforehand.”

Rollout started this morning. Google started this broad core update rollout at about 11:30 am ET. And Google will update us when this update is done rolling out.

Previous core updates. The most recent previous core update was the November 2021 core update, and before that was the July 2021 core update. Before that, it was the June 2021 core update, and that update was slow to roll out but a big one.

Before that, it was the December 2020 core update, which was very big, bigger than the May 2020 core update, and that update was also big and broad and took a couple of weeks to roll out fully. Before that was the January 2020 core update, Google had some analysis on that update over here.

The one before that was the September 2019 core update. That update felt weaker to many SEOs and webmasters; as many said, it didn’t have as big an impact as previous core updates. You can read more about past Google updates here.

What to do if you are hit. Google has advised what to consider if a core update negatively impacts you in the past. There aren’t specific actions to take to recover, and in fact, a negative rankings impact may not signal anything is wrong with your pages.

However, Google has offered a list of questions to consider if a core update hits your site. Google did say you can see a bit of recovery between core updates but the biggest change you would see would be after another core update.

Why we care. Whenever Google updates its search ranking algorithms, your site can do better or worse in the search results. Knowing when Google makes these updates gives us something to point to understand if it was something you changed on your website or something Google changed with its ranking algorithm. Today, we know Google will be releasing a core ranking update, so keep an eye on your analytics and rankings over the next couple of weeks.