Google Core Algorithm Update: September 2022
- Industry News
- By Lauren Carel
- 3 minutes read
Even before the full impact of August's helpful content update was known, Google released a core algorithm and a product reviews update within the same mid-September week.
Google announces September 2022 core update
With six updates in the books already this year, another Google core algorithm update was certainly expected at some point. However, Google still surprised many marketers with the release of their September 2022 core update (opens in a new tab). On the surface, this is another global change to Google’s algorithm targeting all forms of content in every language.
As is the case with most core updates:
- We don’t yet know what the impact and outcomes of the update are.
- The full rollout is expected to take about two weeks.
- You may see some volatility in your rankings and traffic in the meantime.
Since the update is still being rolled out, the full effects will remain murky for the moment. But based on chatter across the SEO community and from data in Google tracking tools, we can tell that this update is already proving to be pretty volatile, with some SEOs seeing anywhere from a “20-60% drops in traffic. (opens in a new tab)“
Google has noted that this core update could magnify the effects (opens in a new tab) of this August’s ‘helpful content’ update, penalizing unhelpful or irrelevant content. While there is no direct relation between the two updates, the goal is the same, which is to reward the most helpful and relevant content.
Google’s Danny Sullivan tweeted (opens in a new tab):
Google rolls out a product reviews update
Prior to even completing the rollout of their newest core update, Google dropped another surprise. On September 20th, Google announced a product reviews update (opens in a new tab). Its objective is to promote the most helpful and detailed product reviews, prioritizing these over thinner or templated material (opens in a new tab). The change should not affect other forms of content.
Unlike the core update, we know a bit more about the impact of the latest product reviews update:
- Currently only affects English-language reviews but could affect product reviews in any language (opens in a new tab) in the future.
- Despite the relatively minor effects of July’s product reviews update (opens in a new tab), these updates can be almost as impactful as core updates.
- Thinner reviews will not be penalized (opens in a new tab) but more robust reviews will be prioritized.
Google has provided guidance around understanding any rankings shifts in light of these two updates.
See the full thread here (opens in a new tab).
What to consider while the updates roll out
Until the core update is complete, many SEOs will have to wait to see its full effects and react accordingly. However, there is some housekeeping you can start in the meantime:
- Stay vigilant: Keep up to date on how your pages perform and rank before, during, and the after the rollout.
- Consider different content formats: Google wants to show people the most relevant content possible, whether it’s a video, image, or article. Look for opportunities to create helpful content in the form of videos, podcasts, recipes, and images.
Remember that helpful and authoritative content is the most important (opens in a new tab) ranking factor for Google; each update reflects this in some way. Creating high-quality content remains the best way to prepare for any Google update, whether it’s expected or not.