Google Core Update May 2022

After a long wait, Google has just started the roll-out of the first Core Update of the year. In this article we’ll show you affected domains, take a closer look at sectors and examples, and show you how to analyse losses.

Update: Google announced that the Core Update roll-out was completed on the 9th June 2022. Final data below.

If your time is precious, here are three important point to note about this Google update:

  • This major Google Core update was deployed on Wednesday (May 25th 2022) . These broad algorithm updates affect the ranking of many websites.
  • It may take up to two weeks to see the full impact of the update across all domains. However, the first trends can already be seen.
  • The first clear movements can be seen in the daily SISTRIX data from Friday (05/27). Our live data confirms these trends with updates every five minutes.

To check the impact on your domain, log in now or try it  for free . We will update this blog post regularly as new data becomes available. If you would like to be notified of future algorithm updates by email, sign up for our  newsletter .

Google’s official announcement of the core update

As the name suggests, Google Core Updates are major adjustments to the “core” of Google’s ranking algorithm. As a result, the rankings of many domains change – both positively and negatively.

More than six months have passed since the last core update , an unusually long period of time. On Wednesday, Google announced that it would deploy the first core update this year. That rather unoriginal name they have given it is the May 2022 core update:

twitter announcement of the may 2022 core update

Check domains in SISTRIX to see the impact

The first effects of the Google update can already be seen in the daily SISTRIX visibility data from today (05/27). To check any domain, simply enter the domain in the search above and then switch to Visibility Index in the navigation:

zalando UK visibility index

Through the development of the daily visibility index you can see very well whether the respective domain has either gained or lost significant visibility from the 26th May.

For even more up-to-date data, you can view the live Visibility Index in the domain overview . The data recorded up to that point is updated there every 5 minutes. The trend from the daily data should be able to be continued there:

zalando UK visibility index

In our example, we saw that the visibility of the domain was 25.84 points on Thursday, then increased to 27.95 on Friday and as of now (Tuesday 31st May 11:20) the Visibility Index is 32.08.

Initial analyses and observations

During our own research we’ve seen a large number of significant movements across the reference space including dictionaries and car information.

We’ve also seen losses in many low quality sites. u-buy.co.uk is an example which appears to be offering products from the USA into the UK. Reviews listed on the site can be found on other sites.

On the other hand, a recently ranking site that appears to be an automation exercise, has increased growth-rate. [Given that we saw some spam redirects on the site we’re not naming it.]

Song sites – lyrics, band information – is again an area of high-movement.

Among 30 news websites analysed there has been a general loss for most, although the /topic directory at independent.co.uk got quite the boost. Competing domain dailymail.co.uk doesn’t implement such topic landing pages.

SISTRIX visibility graphics for dailymail.co.uk and the /topics directory within independent.co.uk

Analysis from SEOs is also appearing online.  Malte Landwehr, Head of SEO at German company Idealo, has published twitter thread covering his observations.

“Based on the 100 largest losers and 100 largest winners, I observed 3 major trends.

  • Video instead of text
  • Specialists instead of generalists
  • Better search intent matching” [source]

Winners and Losers

To help you get a feeling for the range of domains with big gains or losses up until today, here’s a list of 30 winners and losers from the Google UK visibility. Firstly, the winners and losers by percentage:

Selected Winners in the May 2022 Core Update - UK, percentage VI
DomainVisibillity Index 26.05.2022Visibillity Index 09.06.2022Percentage change
makeup.uk0.43662.719522.77%
norfarchtrust.org.uk1.87459.7604420.69%
mya.co.uk0.74163.3313349.20%
xxxner.com0.27041.0186276.70%
leekes.co.uk1.20434.5021273.84%
boomplay.com0.40911.428249.06%
rationalwiki.org0.45661.5735244.61%
fife.ac.uk0.30611.0508243.29%
guitarparty.com0.57721.854221.21%
inbrief.co.uk0.45291.4256214.77%
deezer.com7.661623.8267210.99%
uniprot.org0.34051.0437206.52%
carsupermarket.com0.54311.5923193.19%
rockettstgeorge.co.uk1.02092.993193.17%
doheth.co.uk1.12533.2892192.30%
appbrain.com0.3861.0795179.66%
childline.org.uk1.18233.2265172.90%
imperialcollegeunion.org0.47151.27169.35%
smule.com1.16143.1029167.17%
kenwoodtravel.co.uk1.25013.266161.26%

Where there are winners, there are always losers:

Selected Losers in the May 2022 Core Update - UK, percentage VI
DomainVisibillity Index 26.05.2022Visibillity Index 09.06.2022Percentage change
cia.gov7.71961.6908-78.10%
lumenlearning.com15.30364.049-73.54%
circlehealthgroup.co.uk4.1581.1901-71.38%
adl.org3.44061.0667-69.00%
kiddle.co13.43754.2006-68.74%
carpetright.co.uk3.76191.4155-62.37%
bestreviews.guide48.107818.7173-61.09%
u-buy.co.uk3.96571.5472-60.99%
wikidiff.com6.91762.7564-60.15%
fruugo.co.uk3.39671.4024-58.71%
muckrack.com5.16992.2915-55.68%
cocofinder.com2.7281.2182-55.34%
mychordbook.com6.50683.1134-52.15%
pnas.org9.62914.6775-51.42%
duolingo.com12.93576.3028-51.28%
datanyze.com2.7791.3578-51.14%
irishtimes.com7.33183.6022-50.87%
wealthygorilla.com5.21262.5634-50.82%
nationalworld.com6.38253.1459-50.71%
bankbazaar.com2.14591.0616-50.53%

Here are the winners and losers by absolute visibility change:

Selected Winners in the May 2022 Core Update - UK, absolute VI
DomainVisibillity Index 26.05.2022Visibillity Index 09.06.2022Change
amazon.co.uk2828.63973166.3488337.7091
ebay.co.uk1018.10841264.9788246.8704
youtube.com571.3914674.7357103.3443
etsy.com580.2328668.64188.4082
google.co.uk240.6304317.091576.4611
instagram.com577.7919632.806555.0146
apple.com125.0614173.528448.467
wikipedia.org7191.91097234.927243.0163
amazon.com178.2021219.73441.5319
pornhub.com179.2632215.270236.007
quora.com51.322986.561835.2389
www.gov.uk348.698381.796733.0987
goodreads.com88.7177120.344531.6268
discogs.com218.4575249.484831.0273
xnxx.com135.8908166.682830.792
fandom.com659.2703689.582930.3126
www.nhs.uk496.8127525.544628.7319
lexico.com97.9223126.639128.7168
tiktok.com18.437846.050127.6123
company-information.service.gov.uk112.2704139.149426.879

Here are the domains losing the most visibility during the Core Update.

Selected Losers in the May 2022 Core Update - UK, absolute VI
DomainVisibillity Index 26.05.2022Visibillity Index 09.06.2022Change
britannica.com845.9518776.9839-68.9679
dailymail.co.uk101.744568.6897-33.0548
theguardian.com313.4092281.4334-31.9758
bestreviews.guide48.107818.7173-29.3905
dictionary.com481.4606452.5318-28.9288
bbc.co.uk327.679299.5849-28.0941
spotify.com382.4058356.7202-25.6856
screwfix.com192.5988167.2415-25.3573
webmd.com349.6919325.3756-24.3163
lyrics.com72.530248.7553-23.7749
dunelm.com90.596766.8321-23.7646
reddit.com162.1821138.8192-23.3629
shutterstock.com100.478177.759-22.7191
tripadvisor.co.uk302.3172284.285-18.0322
investopedia.com251.361234.5511-16.8099
collinsdictionary.com485.452468.7469-16.7051
vocabulary.com129.1996113.7856-15.414
thefreedictionary.com221.0361205.7487-15.2874
bbcgoodfood.com170.4912155.4919-14.9993
songfacts.com108.330694.8003-13.5303

Non-Core Update changes

Among the UK data we found a good example of a site that has dropped at almost exactly the same day as the Core Update started. The Duolingo dictionaries have been taken offline. The rest of the site continues to rank, unaffected by the core update.

Duolingo removes dictionary content

Analysing the causes of core update losses

After a number of days since the start of the core update roll-out, it’s now possible to draw the first conclusions from the data. But how should one actually go about doing this? Here are the typical analysis steps:

  1. At the start of the analysis it should be clear whether the changes in the visibility index are really due to the algorithm update from Google or whether major (technical) changes were made to the site at the same time by chance, as shown above
  2. If you are sure that the changes are because of the Google update, it is a matter of identifying similarities : what does content that has lost or won have in common and how can this be transferred to other content in the future?
  3. Sometimes the losses or gains can be seen in individual directories, but ranking changes in the core updates are usually distributed across all URLs and rankings.
  4. At this point you should now look at the keywords and rankings that have lost the most since the start of the core update. In SISTRIX they are sorted in descending order by the extrapolated number of monthly, organic clicks for the domain. In this case dunelm.com:
1
  1. Interesting, and important losses can be found in page 1 movements. Anyone who remembers typical CTR curves for clicks in the SERPs knows how severe the loss of clicks is when dropping from position 1. Let’s take an example: corner sofa 1 .
  2. In the SERP comparison, we can get a view of how other URLs have changed during this period. Here you can see very clearly that while dunelm.com has lost positioning from 2 to 7, other sites have had a boost:
  1. In the final step, assess the mobile content (84% of searches for this keyword are via mobile) from the perspective and intent of a user. Causes may be immediately apparent, or more subtle, such as style, or, perhaps in this case, a link away from the dunelm.com ranking page. One thing to note in this case – was the link also added recently?

UK Retail winners and losers

Using our Oxford Street tracker, we’ve extracted the top 10 winners and losers in the May 2022 Core Update. The winners are going to be disappointing for UK-based ecommerce companies. This latest boost for solidifies the position of Amazon and Ebay on the high street.

UK Retail Tracker. Core Update May 2022 Winners in SISTRIX Visibility Index.
DomainVI 26.05.2022VI 30.05.2022VI changePercentage change
amazon.co.uk2821.723064.36242.648.60%
ebay.co.uk1013.841087.3373.497.25%
etsy.com578.26616.6838.426.64%
amazon.com177.69202.8125.1214.14%
asos.com100.21111.6411.4411.41%
argos.co.uk490.89499.949.051.84%
houseoffraser.co.uk66.6874.788.1012.15%
very.co.uk44.4050.225.8113.09%
zalando.co.uk25.5631.305.7422.47%
gumtree.com70.6376.285.668.01%

The losers also include established players, and all of them are UK based businesses apart from Wayfair.

UK Retail Tracker. Core Update May 2022 Losers in SISTRIX Visibility Index
DomainVI 26.05.2022Vi 30.05.2022VI ChangePercent change
dunelm.com89.9071.05-18.85-20.96%
screwfix.com192.78177.24-15.54-8.06%
johnlewis.com233.36224.05-9.31-3.99%
hobbycraft.co.uk40.7634.92-5.84-14.33%
homebase.co.uk28.2322.46-5.77-20.45%
ao.com35.4529.74-5.71-16.10%
debenhams.com30.4325.07-5.37-17.63%
superdrug.com45.8840.59-5.29-11.52%
notonthehighstreet.com41.8336.99-4.84-11.57%
wayfair.co.uk136.53132.04-4.48-3.28%
Related posts
Comments
Lori Bragg   
1. June 2022, 17:45

Your blog says we can see the Google Update’s impact “for free” – but going to that link makes us give a credit card… I’m fairly certain that’s fraud.

Steve Paine   
2. June 2022, 08:59

Hi Lori. I’ve sent a couple of emails to you privately. Many thanks for the feedback. [Steve]

Lori Bragg   
2. June 2022, 13:38

Thank you!

El impacto de la actualización principal de Google de mayo de 2022   
9. June 2022, 08:44

[…] Sistrix agregó : «En nuestro ejemplo, vimos que la visibilidad del dominio era de 25,84 puntos el jueves, luego aumentó a 27,95 el viernes y, a partir de ahora (lunes 30 de mayo a las 08:55), el índice de visibilidad es de 31,98». […]

Peter Koelewijn   
20. June 2022, 10:53

Good article and thank you for the 14 days trail. I guess you changed your onboarding flow, because all I had to give was my email and mobile number for authentication. 🙏

You have to be logged in to write comments.