In 2022, Google rolled out ten confirmed algorithm updates, including two “core updates” in May and September and two “helpful content updates” in August and December. These updates could have significantly impacted your website’s visibility and traffic, so it’s crucial to understand how they work. But what exactly are these updates, and how do they affect your website? Let’s break it down.
The May and September core updates were significant, with the former taking 15 days to roll out and the latter taking two weeks. While these updates can cause some rank volatility, the consensus is that the September update was less impactful than previous ones.
Google’s helpful content updates (released in August and December) were designed to demote content written primarily for search engines rather than humans. These updates targeted websites with a relatively high amount of unsatisfying or unhelpful content and took 15 days to roll out. Both updates were relatively mild compared to core updates or product review updates.
Google released three product review updates in 2022 (compared to two in 2021). These updates (released in March, July, and September) aimed to improve the quality of product review content. They took longer to roll out, with the March update taking 19 days and the July and September updates taking 12 days.
In 2023, what can you do to prepare for future updates and protect your website’s SEO? The most important thing is ensuring that all your content is high-quality and relevant to your audience. If you’re concerned about any content on your website, it’s better to be proactive and address any issues as soon as possible. Asking for help from a team of SEO experts is beneficial in navigating potential pitfalls and maximising the value of your content.
In summary, most of Google’s algorithm updates in 2022 were incremental improvements to the quality of search results, aiming to help users find more valuable and relevant content online. However, the introduction of “helpful content” updates shows Google’s ongoing battle with different forms of spam. By following best practices and seeking guidance from SEO experts, you can protect your website’s SEO and improve its chances of success. If you’d like to learn more about any of these updates or how we can help improve your SEO, give us a call.