How Google May 2022 Broad Core Update Impacted SERPs for Ecommerce

Join Atigro’s Clark Taylor and Adam Di Frisco as they discuss Google’s May 2022 Broad Core Algorithm Update and how it might be impacting search rankings, traffic, and conversions, particularly with ecommerce sites.

Google announced that this algorithm update began to roll out on May 25, 2022, and was completed on June 9, 2022.


Cookies & Breadcrumbs | Episode 2: How Google May 2022 Broad Core Update Impacted SERPs for Ecommerce

Transcript of Cookies & Breadcrumbs Episode 2: How Google May 2022 Broad Core Update Impacted SERPs for Ecommerce
9 minutes

Clark Taylor:
Hi, this is Clark Taylor. Today, I’m talking with Adam Di Frisco, and we’ve been talking about the latest Broad Core Google algorithm update which just finished rolling out. It started in… I think it was May 22nd, Adam.

Adam Di Frisco:
May 25th.

Clark Taylor:
And just finished rolling out here early in June. We pay attention to these Google algorithm updates, especially when Google says it was a Broad Core algorithm update, and we’re expecting big changes. One of the things that we’re noticing is that in particular with ecommerce sites, we think that the SERPs have changed quite a bit. So, that’s what we wanted to talk about, and just show you some examples of some things we’re seeing. Adam, do you want to screen-share, or do you want to talk about what you’re seeing?

Adam Di Frisco:
Yeah, I’ll go ahead and share my screen. Like you said, we’re seeing these big jumps, and these trends in the SERPs we’ve been seeing for some time, but this algorithm update, I feel like it really just rocketed some of them. I’ll zoom in, in just a second, but the three that we’re looking at here are the knowledge graph, the free product listings, as well as the images showing up in Google search results.

Let’s go ahead and look at the knowledge graph first. A knowledge graph, I’m sure lots of people know, is the big box that kind of tells you everything you need to know about a subject. What are some examples of good Knowledge Graphs? If you Google ‘Ben Franklin’

Clark Taylor:
Brand queries, right?

Adam Di Frisco:
Right.

Clark Taylor:
And some product queries, and also general, just informational queries sometimes generate a knowledge graph, right?

Knowledge Graphs

Adam Di Frisco:
Exactly. Google will pull information from a bunch of different sources and try to compile them into one smart knowledge graph. We see the annotation here on the bottom, that May 25th, that’s the beginning of this algorithm update. We can see how much…these are keywords, these are the number of keywords that are triggering knowledge graphs in the SERPs, if that makes sense. We can see that rise, and rise, and rise all the way up until June 9th, which is when the algorithm stopped rolling out. This is one that we’re seeing. I haven’t personally seen this in SERPs that I follow, but I’m definitely seeing it in the chart here.

Clark Taylor:
This chart is, we’re using seoClarity here for this, but is this for one particular client in one particular industry?

Adam Di Frisco:
Correct. This is, you can consider, one keyword universe that we’re looking at here.

Clark Taylor:
This particular client is in the home-goods industry, correct?

Adam Di Frisco:
Correct. Yeah. It’s e-commerce in the home-goods industry.

Clark Taylor:
Okay.

Free Product Listings

Adam Di Frisco:
The other one that we’re definitely seeing a firsthand impact on is the free product listings. So, free as opposed to paid, and just the product listings that come up. This is something that Clark, you, and I have been talking about for a long time. We’ve been seeing these product listings creep up for quite some time now, but it seems like this algorithm update really took it to another level.

Clark Taylor:
These product listings are a result of the Merchant Center product feeds?

Adam Di Frisco:
Correct. We’re seeing not only in what this graph is not showing… This is showing, like I said, keywords that trigger this in the SERPs. What it’s not showing is the position of those free product listings. So, in many cases, we’re seeing these product listings go into the first spot, the second spot, way high up on the SERPs, which means if you’re ranking in the 2, 3, 4 position, and even in the one position, I guess, you have the potential to get knocked way down.

I actually have an example of that, if we want to take a look here. This is, again, a tool that we use from seoClarity. This is for the keyword ‘well pressure tanks.’ On the left side, we could see the SERP from January 2nd of this year. Then, on the right side, we see a SERP from the ninth. Keep in mind everything that… all the graphs that we’re looking at, and this is all mobile-only.

But we can see an example of this happening firsthand, where these on the right side, you can see popular products, this product listing, this is coming in and sliding right into that second spot. For example, if you’re Lowe’s, even though their rank is still technically two, they haven’t changed rank, you got to imagine that their clicks would decline, right? Because of this giant product listing.

Clark Taylor:
Mm-hmm. Right, and the client, the home-goods client that we were talking about, and you were sharing the graphs from them, we know that that’s the same situation they’re in. There’s a really important keyword that they are still ranking number one, technically, if you think about the ten blue links on organic search, they still rank number one, but the problem is they’re now halfway down the page on a mobile device. You have to scroll halfway or more than halfway down the page before you see that traditional, organic, number-one result.

Adam Di Frisco:
Right.

Clark Taylor:
So, it’s really hurting them as far as their rankings go, but it’s also hurting in traffic because those merchant center feeds feature the same product from multiple different brands.

Images

Adam Di Frisco:
Mm-hmm. Yeah. Then, the last one that we’re seeing here, besides the knowledge graph and the free product listing, is the other SERP feature that I’m seeing a lot of movement in, and this one’s probably the most drastic, but it’s the other way, this is a decline, and it is images. If you google ‘blue hockey skate’, normally the SERP will have, probably in the first position for something that descriptive, it’ll have an image, it’ll show images of blue hockey skates, right?

This happens for a lot of keywords. It always has. It seems like this algorithm update has caused a huge downward turn. I’ve actually seen this… I checked on a lot of different industries. This one is pretty consistent. I’m seeing Google take their images, their image search, out of the text search results. Have you noticed this at all?

Clark Taylor:
I haven’t, but this is really interesting because up until now, we saw Google seeming to favor image, and image search becoming more important. So, this seems like a reversal of that trend.

Adam Di Frisco:
Yeah. Maybe. Maybe they’re trying to split up a little bit more, the tech searches and the image searches, and maybe they need to make room for more of the product listings.

Clark Taylor:
Yeah, more of the shopping-feed listings.

Adam Di Frisco:
More of the shopping feeds. Yeah. This is another one, I guess. How impactful do you think this would be for businesses?

Clark Taylor:
I’m not sure. It’s something that we have to take a look, a deeper dive into analytics, and see if we can figure out how it’s impacting. We know that for the client example that we’re using for these charts, we know that it’s directly impacting the traffic that they’re getting from traditional organic search. But I think it’s also really important to make sure that you’re tracking, you’re able to separate out traffic coming from your shopping feeds. I know that, also, this particular client has trouble with inventory in their shopping feeds. That could be impacting them as well.

Adam Di Frisco:
Right.

Clark Taylor:
I don’t know if anybody else is seeing any other similar trends, or something even completely unrelated. Definitely mention it in the comments.

Adam Di Frisco:
Absolutely. Other than that, all the SERP features seem to be pretty stable, but yeah, big changes in shopping going on. Oh, you’re on mute, Clark.

Clark Taylor:
Thanks. Sorry, I had a coughing fit, but thanks for this. We’ll look forward to talking to you more about things we’re seeing.

Adam Di Frisco:
Absolutely.

Clark Taylor:
All right. Take care.

Adam Di Frisco:
Thanks.

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