An unconfirmed Google Algorithm update will cause dramatic changes to Google search engine results on Monday, May 9, 2022. They were beginning around midnight. At Pacific Standard Time (PST), the SE results from pages shifted dramatically, catapulting many websites from Google’s pages 2, 3, and 4 onto the first page of results.

Following the most recent major change in early April 2022, we witnessed the most significant fluctuations in search results since the Broad Core Update in November 2021 and the Google Local Search Update in December 2021.  

The Semrush Sensor, which monitors changes in search results, currently displays ‘Very High Range’ volatility across 22/25 categories, with the remaining three categories showing ‘High Range.’ The Semrush sensor is reporting an “All Categories” average of 9.1/10, indicating that something significant is taking place. While there have been unexplained updates in April, March, & January 2022, this is (by far) the first hard indication of a 2022 core algorithm update.

What Are the Current Trends?

Some of the trends emerging from this unconfirmed Google Algorithm Update for May 2022 include: 

  • Young websites with low domain metrics outperform local search results pages.
  • Websites with lower-than-average word count rank higher in search results for competitive search terms. There has been a near correlation between word count and rankings in recent years, and we are currently seeing some outlier websites with low word count performing quite well for mid to high-competition search phrases.
  • In the local results pages, partial and exact match domains perform extremely well for high-competition search phrases.
  • Websites with a low-quality backlinks from web 2.0 or PBNs are still slipping through the cracks and appearing at the top of search results. We closely monitor several key offenders who have made significant progress in the last 24 hours. While this does not represent the whole online footprint, it provides insight into how a few high-performing sites handle Google’s various updates. 

Will Google Search Liaison Make the Update Public?

Google has traditionally used the Search Liaison Twitter account to announce when updates begin and end. At this time, we have not received confirmation from Google that a core algorithm update is being rolled out. It can take days for Google to announce that an update is underway from the time we notice significant changes in search engine results.

Is this, then, a Core Update?

While we cannot predict whether Google will confirm that a core update for May 2022 is in the works, we can say two things:

The changes we’re seeing in search results are significant and suggest a larger update is on the way. From November 17, 2021, to May 9, 2022, it has been 173 days since the last Google Core Algorithm update.

What Happens Next?

The buzz in the SEO community and on Twitter right now is off the charts, implying that the changes across a wide range of industries are just as dramatic as the SEO tools suggest. If you’ve noticed a significant, sustained drop in traffic, contact an SEO professional for help diagnosing and troubleshooting!

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