May 2022 Broad Core Algorithm Update

May 2022 Broad Core Algorithm Update

May 2022 Broad Core Algorithm Update

Episode 039

Arrrrgggghhhhhhh…. it’s happened. The first Google broad core update in 6 months has dropped on the 25th May 2022.

It’s actually still rolling out, so there’s not too much analysis to be had for now, but we comment on a few things we’ve seen in the wild since the update dropped.

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Michael 0:00
Hi guys, Michael here before we get into the show, if you’re a Twitter user head to at service scaling, I’m tweeting a bunch of stuff. I’ve learned scaling our digital marketing agency, and I think you’ll find it pretty interesting. All right, let’s get into the show.

Unknown Speaker 0:15
It’s time for the SEO show where a couple of nerds talk search engine optimization, so you can learn to compete in Google and grow your business online. Now, here’s your hosts, Michael and Arthur.

Michael 0:37
How Hello, and welcome to another episode of the SEO show. I am Michael, and he is author. Very good. You know your name, we’re off to a good start. How are you going?

Arthur 0:47
I’m good.

Michael 0:50
No, no, no went off that. And again, that’s a good,

Arthur 0:53
I really didn’t know what to say I’m doing well. I am doing well.

Michael 0:57
Okay, well,

Arthur 0:58
I’m happy actually, because there was an algorithm update, and none of our clients have been hit.

Michael 1:05
That we know of. We know all of our clients. Yeah, we do. We’ve checked, they’ve all made it through unscathed so far. But the topic of this episode is the May broad core algorithm update. It’s pretty boring name. But that’s what Google gives them now, yeah, boring names, when they do admit that there’s been an update.

Arthur 1:25
I wonder why they stopped giving them fun names like Panda and Penguin,

Michael 1:30
I reckon it’s because they know the SEO world goes berserk. And if they know that Panda is on site, then they can be focusing on site, if they know that penguin is off site, they’re gonna be focusing on their links, whereas now, it’s just generic. And their advice is always there, you know that, you know that. We know that people that have had a drop will be upset about this. But don’t change anything. Don’t fix anything is not a penalty against you. There’s nothing you can do. Just some sites are doing better now. That’s the general advice. You know, they try and confuse the issue, I guess. But let’s talk about the actual topic, which is the algorithm update is rolled out about a week ago. Yep. They normally say it takes one to two weeks to roll out. We’d say things instantly.

Arthur 2:10
Yeah, within within 24 hours, 24 to 48 hours, if you’ve been you know if you’ve been hit?

Michael 2:16
Yeah. But what does happen sometimes is they tweak things or roll things back home. Just stuff here and there. So I guess that one week to two week line is probably good in that you shouldn’t be immediately rushing and changing things on your site.

Arthur 2:30
Yeah, don’t panic. A lot of people panic. And start, you know, rocking the boat too much and disavowing links and redoing the whole site. Yeah, only to find that made things worse.

Michael 2:41
Yep. Sit there, let the dust settle. As we always like to say, not always easy when you’ve had a drop in traffic, but it is the best course of action. But I guess, we’ve been doing a bit of reading and a bit of analysis, and we have some comments around the things that seem to have happened or that we’ve been seeing out there. You know, I guess common things that sites that have been hit have common things that sites that have done well have. Again, this is not be all end all scientific analysis, because this updates to rolling out

Arthur 3:12
yet still very, very, very early days. And usually it takes a couple of weeks to people to investigate and, you know, test different things and try to I guess, reverse engineer what Google has done. But it’s still, you know, like you said, it’s been less than a week since it started rolling out. So people are scrambling trying to figure it out, including us.

Michael 3:32
The eighth of June, is the two week period. From then onwards, you’ll be expecting to see a lot more commentary. But um, here’s what we’ve been seeing. First thing Featured Snippets. They seem to have been hit in this update. You know, they’ve lots of sites out there that are losing 100% of their Featured Snippets. Have you seen that at all with any clients?

Arthur 3:55
Not with our clients? No.

Michael 3:56
Yep. What I’ve seen it on a lot is affiliate sites. Well, let’s, let’s step back affiliate sites seem to be in Google’s crosshairs. They’re obsessed with trying to take out affiliate sites. They don’t like people making money off affiliate only they should be the ones that get to make money off people searching for things. It seems difficult Google typical Google, so they’re really going after affiliate sites, sites that have product reviews, any sort of site that might be maybe only promoting one product as opposed to multiple products or really thin content. They’re trying to hit them. So with this Featured Snippets hit, we think that Google have basically been trying to hit like, you know, really trashy affiliate sites within content week reviews, and this updates just been really aggressive and it’s gone and hit like, you know, legitimate informational sites that we’re having featured snippets in the past have been caught up in this. Yeah.

Arthur 4:48
I mean, makes sense. But what do you think it would be targeting that if it’s looking at affiliate sites, is it looking at PB NS and poor quality links or content or both?

Michael 5:00
That’s what it’s done in the past, like, the product reviews update, for example, like if a affiliate site is just pushing one product and not giving any other options, they, they went after that. So there’s, you know, back in November and sort of since then there’s been more attacks on affiliate sites. But um, I guess, Featured Snippets is another area where affiliate sites like to try and draw their traffic from if you can get the Featured Snippet, you’re going to get a lot of traffic as well from people clicking through to the site. Yep. So this algorithm update seemingly is really aggressively going after Featured Snippets. There’s plenty of like, you know, just legitimate blogs or informational sites that normally get featured snippets that seemed to have been caught up in it. So um, that’s the sort of thing that typically will be tweaked or dialled back a bit, you know, as the update rolls out, or as things go on. They might make it less aggressive. Yeah. And some of these sites might start to get their Featured Snippets back. But we have been seeing, you know, sites losing all of their Featured Snippets related to this update. Another thing, actually, at the start, we probably should have said as well, right, this, this update came out 25th of may. But the SERPs were starting to act up a bit, like in the Waco. So leading up to that. So it looks like they’ve been testing it all.

Arthur 6:16
Yeah, a number of sites have mentioned throughout May, that there’s been small, unconfirmed updates. I’ve noticed some client sites, you know, improve some drops slightly. Yep. So it was a bit volatile before that.

Michael 6:31
And it always used to be the case many years ago, that if you if your site suddenly started getting heaps of traffic from Google out of nowhere to get hit by a penalty, or algorithm update, you knew the update was coming. Everyone sort of knew this update was coming just because there hadn’t been one since November. But um, the fact that the SERPs started going a bit haywire in the couple of weeks leading up to it is pretty, I guess, good signal that this update was coming. It was being tested and probably something to look out for in the future. You know, if there’s a chaotic SERPs, or heaps of traffic suddenly going to your site, keep calm and carry on. But there could be an update coming. Anyway, coming back to all of our snippet chat, so Featured Snippets have been hit. But what we’ve also seen is that there’s been a bit of an increase in the FAQ snippets. So for people that don’t know what that is, it’s in the search results itself, your page shows and then beneath that, there’s some questions and answers from your site that are expandable, you can click and then get the answer right there in the search results. Just makes your search result lifting take up more real estate in the SERPs. We’re seeing that there’s been an increase in FAQ snippets showing. So you might have lost your featured snippets. But if you are ranking organically, you can have your FAQ snippets showing. So what does this mean? Well, at the moment, don’t do anything. Just sit tight. Yeah, wait for the dust to settle. But there could be opportunity then marking up pages with them. FAQ schema data, right.

Arthur 8:00
Yeah, definitely. And I was going back to what you were saying just now like, what would the best advice be to someone who thinks that they have been hit by an update? What would it Yeah. I mean, what would you recommend people do? Like? Obviously, we don’t.

Michael 8:15
We’ve got a whole episode on this from like, a couple of episodes. Yeah, diagnosing a massive drop in traffic. I know what we recorded it before we had that break when we move podcast studio, so I’m gonna forgive you forget for forgetting it.

Arthur 8:27
But we’ve done so many episodes. Now. It’s hard to remember what we’ve spoken about.

Michael 8:31
Yeah, you know what I can’t I can’t tell you the number off the top of my head. But it was one. It was a recent episode, but one that we recorded a while ago in real time. So I’m gonna listen to that one. But what would I say? Check analytics, check H refs see that you really have lost traffic. Don’t go and change anything. But um, try and get some ideas around the types of pages that have lost traffic, if maybe your blogs had hit heaps of Featured Snippets before and they didn’t and you’ve lost all the traffic to your blog, but your category pages where you generate all your revenue are doing well still, then you haven’t really been hit? Have you? Like, I guess? Yeah, let you know, unless you care only about traffic. But if you’re if you’re looking at like metrics, like leads and that sort of stuff, then make sure that they haven’t been hit. And outside of that, go listen to that episode that we did a while ago. And I will get used to it. I definitely will. But I think I think there’s going to be opportunity to mock up the pages with FAQ schema data more to try and capitalise on potentially Google favouring, or at least showing that stuff more now. So don’t do it now. But let’s say mid June, once the dust has settled, you can do it.

Arthur 9:48
I mean, it’s probably still best practice to do it anyway. Yeah, absolutely godless.

Michael 9:52
You should have it mocked up. Yeah, like if you a common thing in SEO might be on your page. You put FAQs just to get more SEO copy. He ended the page like, I know we have that on a whole bunch of our service pages. You can go and mark all of that up so that Google can easily figure out what the questions and answers are. There is a way to do it where you can basically just use a plugin, it’s called schema builder in Chrome, you can go into that. That extension, it’s an extension in Chrome, you can open it up when you’re on a page. And you can basically get it to generate the schema code for all the questions and answers on that page. And then you can copy and paste that code straight into the page. So you can do it via WordPress back end or Tag Manager, something like that. Really handy. Very handy very quick. So check that plugin out and see if only after the dust is settled, though, as we’re saying, don’t do anything yet. But later this month, check out schema builder in Chrome, and have a play around with FAQ schema if you don’t already have it on your site. Alright, I feel I’ve been ranting a little bit. What else have we seen? Yeah, so

Arthur 10:59
when I was looking through Twitter, someone mentioned, I can’t remember what the Twitter handle is now. Blasphemy. Blasphemy. Yeah, well, I might go through my history later, we can add it in the notes bot video instead of text. So you know, tick tock grew 99% and YouTube grew 25% from already dominant position. Yep. And now, you know, Google’s preferencing videos again. Yeah, like Google

Michael 11:23
already. Super favourite YouTube, YouTube. Yeah, results. And even favourite, like informational sites have YouTube videos embedded in them have always tended to do well, yeah,

Arthur 11:34
dependent on the query, but then you’d get that YouTube video where already cut to the exact moment that you need to start watching from, which is super handy. Because if you search for something like how do I fix something on a car specific model? Yeah, I don’t know if it was through AI or someone’s, you know, marked it up. But it would be starting video from that moment. They’re like a minute 3025 in,

Michael 11:56
it would be the AI like they, like when we upload YouTube videos, the caption generation on it is flawless, pretty much. So they would just know exactly what’s being said in every video. And then scary, the algorithms are going hard and figuring out where to show which part of the video to show for a query. But um, yeah, that 25% increase for YouTube in terms of visibility is huge, because they already was smashing it. And Tik Tok doubling, instead of just says that video is more and more and more important in everything. When it comes to online advertising, which definitely things like our performance. Maxon and Google ads is hungry for content. It’s hungry for video. Your Facebook ads are hungry for video,

Arthur 12:39
people people hungry video. Yeah, I watch a lot of YouTube content. I’m sure you do. I’m sure everyone does. Yeah, it’s a lot more engaging than text. So it makes sense.

Michael 12:49
Yep. So I guess that’s a broad strategic point around digital advertising and video is important. But we are seeing after this update even more of a favour to video. Again, it’s only early days. So these are just the initial things that we’ve seen, you know, Google hates affiliate sites, and they’re trying to take him out all the time. We know that featured snippets have seemingly been hit. But FAQ snippets are doing a bit better. We’re seeing video sites doing well. And one week into this update there the main points. So I guess do Google’s really regular, annoying algorithm updates, even improve the search results at the end of the day? What do you reckon?

Arthur 13:30
No, I look, I think it’s Yeah, reading different forums and other people’s perspectives and Twitter. And, you know, people seem to agree that these updates don’t improve the actual search results. If anything, they just shake him out. And yeah, like we were talking previously, off air. You know, it’s all about trying to drive people into Google ads. Yeah. What we think is happening

Michael 13:54
anyway. Yeah, the cynic in us would say Google or alphabet, the parent company, their share price has dropped 22% So far this year. And they’ve seen like, I don’t know if you’ve seen but Snapchat lost like 50% of its value. De meta has been smashed, they’ve seen that bloodbath. So they’re very incentivized to push more spin towards Google ads, particularly like, with CPCs. And the cost of advertising just getting higher and higher and higher, they’re really getting as much money out of it as they can. So doing something like this, to shake things up can drive a lot more revenue in the ads business. So that’s the cynic in us would say that that’s why they do these updates. They’re not necessarily making the search results better. Because you know, and you

Arthur 14:35
know, what’s funny, like, if you pick a query, and you’ll find that there’s always the top, you know, half dozen people competing for that keyword. And whenever there’s an update, it’s still the same half dozen. It’s just they’ve kind of flipped moves around. Yeah, so the ones that were in position six, and seven now in position one and vice versa. Is that, you know, providing a better, like, search result to the end user. Yeah, it’s the same thing. It’s just moved them Around, sir.

Michael 15:00
Yep. And they’ve tonnes of like dodgy link building exact match anchor text private blog networks. You see it out there, the site’s ranking, they come through the update unscathed. If they really were doing everything they said they did in there, there’ll be no affiliate sites at all. Yeah, probably. Yes. Like a lot of MC The thing is, like, purely beautiful, perfect on adulterated whitehat sites also get smashed in these updates.

Arthur 15:27
Yeah. And they don’t rank a lot of the time because they’re not doing link building.

Michael 15:31
Yep. And that’s why Google’s advice isn’t there’s nothing wrong with pages that may perform less well, in a core update, you know, they haven’t done anything wrong. It’s just that maybe some other sites are doing a bit better. So they’re deliberately vague with it, because we feel it’s a, it’s a propaganda campaign. They’re trying to confuse things. They’re trying to encourage more AdWords spin. But the best advice, as we say, is to continue doing this. First and foremost, don’t change anything at the moment, wait for the dust to settle. But then have the general strategy is what we always bang on about on the show. It’s, it’s making sure your content matches search intent, and it aligns with your business objective. So the content on your site is going after the keywords that are important to you. And then the content on that site matches that search intent. The content needs to be engaging for him to read enjoyable, not just junk. Your website needs to be fast and well structured. So Google can move through it and find everything. And then you need to build you need to build strong links to your domain 8020. Seo, as we spoke about in the past, exactly. And there will be ups and downs, keywords won’t stay in position one all of the time, there’ll be a bit of a roller coaster of visibility. But that general approach is the best way to continue to have sex success. Depends how much you like Google. know, you never know. But it’s the best way to have success with your organic campaign. Long term.

Arthur 16:56
Justin, I guess the topic of updates when I haven’t seen a client or website be penalised as in removed completely from the search results in a while. That doesn’t happen. No, it doesn’t happen. Because I remember, I guess this is going way back. And you know, whenever there’s an algorithm update, it kind of reminds me of when I first started doing SEO in 2013. As penguin was rolling out, and just remembering everyone in the team, you know, scrambling with all the links that they built from dodgy dodgy. Yep, I did air quotations. They’re not that anyone well known on microphone bought

Michael 17:34
the links we used to build back in 2012, with dodgy very dodgy, and that’s what worked and it worked.

Arthur 17:39
But what happened was sites were actually completely wiped out of the search results. And then you have to go and basically beg Google to reindex. You and have you appear again. So

Michael 17:50
that was a classic manual penalty. But again, that’s why Google says with these updates, you haven’t done anything wrong, even if you have their general advices. It’s not because of anything you’re doing. It’s because other sites are just doing things better, but then they go and show junk in the search results. Anyway. So again, it’s just very murky, deliberately, we feel Yeah. All right, cool. Well, that’s about it for this week. As we said, there’s gonna be more that comes out soon, but it’s a little taste tester of what’s going on with this update. So if anything else you wanted to add it before I give out

Arthur 18:25
just the outro short and sweet to the point. Yep, I like it.

Michael 18:28
Cool. Well, there has been an algorithm update. So it might not be happy SEO going. It will be calm and collected SEO going this way. gret keep calm and keep us going. That’s it. See you later.

Unknown Speaker 18:39
Bye. Thanks for listening to the SEO show. If you like what you heard, don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review wherever you get your podcasts. It will really help the show. We’ll see you in the next episode.

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