The May 2022 Core Update Analysis Semrush Explores Just How Volatile Was It?

author image Written by: Rabije Gashi Corluka           Categories - In The News, SEO

Just a day after it was released, the May 2022 Core Update raised a bunch of eyebrows. Core updates usually take a few days to show some volatility, but with the last three updates, things went a bit differently – their impact could be felt much sooner.

The same goes for the last one, which was released on May 25, 2022. Similar to the November 2021 Core update, the May one showed high volatility in a matter of 24 hours. It hit fast and it hit hard, as you can see in the Semrush chart below.

Photo Source: Semrush Blog
Read More: Core Update: More FAQ RIch Results Showing!

Differences Between Mobile And Desktop?

For the May update, desktop and mobile were similar in terms of peak volatility, with both devices reaching a level of 9.4. However, mobile displayed higher volatility even before the update – Semrush shared.

The most affected verticals are the same across all devices, so no dramatic changes appear to have occurred on this occasion.

The following verticals saw the greatest volatility on desktop:

  1. Real estate
  2. Books & Literature
  3. Hobbies & Leisure
  4. Travel
  5. Pets & Animals

On mobile, Travel wasn’t among the top 5 most impacted verticals:

  1. Real Estate
  2. Pets & Animals
  3. Hobbies & Leisure
  4. Books & Literature
  5. Health

As you can see, It was only the Real Estate vertical that saw an increase of over 5 points across devices, with rises of 5.4 on desktop and 5.3 on mobile. However, no specific fluctuations suggest that this update was focused on a specific niche.

In total, the URLs that lost rank positions dropped by an average of 3.8 positions, while those that improved were up by an average of 3.4 positions.

Photo Source: Sermrush Blog
Read More: Unconfirmed Google Search Ranking Update

May 2022 Core Update Impact

The full impact of the update is yet to be assessed, but in the meantime, we all have to keep tracking and monitoring what’s happening.

In an attempt to get a sense of the initial impact and scope of the May 2022 Core Update, Semrush investigated the origin of newly ranking URLs if they appeared in the top 10 this time.

Similar to the November 2021 Core Update, 6.7% of the top ten results were previously ranked beyond the 20th position.

They also examined the top 20 results. There, over 17% of the URLs in the top 20 came from outside the top 20. This is similar to the November 2021 Core Update, when 16.2% of new URLs within the top 20 results ranked beyond position 20 before the update.

Photo Source: Search Engine Land

Taking a look at the top 100 websites that experienced losses and gains, we see that:

  • The winners of the May update gained around 31.4 positions, with an average position of 10.2. With the November update, winners gained 33.6 positions.
  • The losers have lost about 34.9 positions, while in November, they lost 27.6 positions.

What To Do If You’re Hit?

Focus on creating quality content, think about E-A-T, and stay relevant to your audience. There’s really no way of knowing why you’ve been negatively impacted – you might have done nothing wrong, someone else might have done a bit better and Google wanted to reward them. That’s why the only thing you can do is do your best and think about long-term results. After all, the SEO game is a marathon.

Google did give some advice on how to handle the negative impact of the update and offered a list of questions to consider if your site is hit by a core update.

Check out the Twitter discussion here.

Update: On June 9th, the update finished rolling out. Now is the time to investigate its impact on your website and take the necessary steps to fix and improve for the future.

Read More: Google May 2022 Core Update Finished Rolling out!

Update from the future: 

About two weeks after the update finished rolling out, the SEO community noticed major fluctuations and volatility. This sparked rumours about a Google Search ranking algorithm update coming soon. Read more about that here

Rabije Gashi Corluka

Rabije always enjoyed finding different angles to a story, so it’s not surprising her curiosity influenced a move to a new continent, widening her perspective. She enjoys hearing people's stories and learning about different cultures and places - but most of all, she loves putting her thoughts on a piece of paper. Her love for writing led to her studying Journalism and PR, but she actually became a storyteller during her radio-hosting era. Now, she uses her skills, experience, and love for writing to help your brand stand out.

Core Update: More FAQ Rich Results Showing!


A new core update was released a few days ago and the SEO community has been on their toes ever since, monitoring and analyzing every little change. As it always is with Google releasing a major update, a lot of people noticed some changes in their ranking. But this time one thing is getting more noticed by Google – FAQs.

According to Search Engine Land, both RankRanger’s tracking tool and some SEOs are seeing an increase in the number of times a site is showing FAQ rich results. Rank Ranger says that Google is now showing FAQ rich results five percent more often than before, and SEOs like Brodie Clark and Glenn Gabe are here to confirm it.

Read more: Google Updates Its Rich Results Content Guidelines

What are rich result FAQs?

Websites often have a list of frequently asked questions that pertain to a certain topic. If those FAQs are properly marked up, they can be eligible to have a rich result on Search and Action on Google Assistant. Both can help your site reach its users.

Keep in mind that Google recently removed the option to see more than two links within an FAQ rich result.

Source: Google Search Central

Why Is This Important?

More FAQ results showing up in Google Search might mean more benefits for your site. Usually, rich results lead to a higher click-through rate, but that is not always the case. For example, in this case – a person can get their question answered from the FAQ rich results and not click over to your site.


Update: On June 9th, the update finished rolling out. Read more about it here.

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