How Stressful is a Google Search Algorithm Update in 2022?

how stressful is a google search algorithm update - girl with hands in her head at a desk in front of a laptop

In this post I am discussing the stress that comes from an official or alleged update to Google search engine algorithm.

By reading this article you will learn what a Google search algorithm update is, how Google make changes to search results and why this can be stressful for both clients, digital marketing agencies and SEO managers.

This article is part of a series of article where I analyse how stressful is digital marketing. The series also includes:

Before I write about the stress element, let’s define a Google search algorithm update.

What is a Google Search Algorithm Update?

A Google search algorithm update (or core update) is a major change that Google makes to its search algorithm.

Typically, Google makes a number of updates throughout the year.

The goal of these broad updates is for Google:

to present relevant and authoritative content to searchers((Mellone, P. Google Search Algorithm Core Update, December 2022, Dec 7, 2020 –

What Are the Effects of a Google Search Algorithm Update?

The most common effects is a significant increase in volatility for keyword rankings((Mellone, P. June 2021 Google Core Update: Great Guide + Timeline, Jun 3, 2021 –

This means website rankings could suddenly drop or spike as a result of the update.

This could generate a significant drop or spike in traffic and / or revenue as a direct consequence of the update.

Why is a Google Search Algorithm Update Stressful?

The main source of stress for clients, business owners and marketing manager is seeing the traffic and revenue drop without much of an explanation.

Digital marketers and SEO managers feel equally stressed for the same reason.

Google gives some tips on what to do if your website has been affected by a core update but no practical steps to take.

What to Do if Your Website Has Been Affected by a Google Search Algorithm Update?

Follow these steps if your website has been affected by a Google search algorithm update((Mellone, P. June 2021 Google Core Update: Great Guide + Timeline, Jun 3, 2021 –

  • Focus on content and quality questions, including expertise, product and comparative questions
  • Focus on E-A-T a.k.a. Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness

Another source of stress is that there is no guarantee that by focusing on content websites affected by a core update will recover recover their original rankings.

If they do, it’s also unlikely it will happen before the next core update.

How Long to Recover from a Google Search Algorithm Update?

According to Google((Sullivan, D. What site owners should know about Google’s core updates, Aug 1, 2019 –

Broad core updates tend to happen every few months. Content that was impacted by one might not recover—assuming improvements have been made—until the next broad core update is released.

Do keep in mind that improvements made by site owners aren’t a guarantee of recovery, nor do pages have any static or guaranteed position in our search results.

I hope you liked this article. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Featured image by Elisa Ventur on


Pasquale Mellone

Pasquale is Founder at, a H2H marketing agency based in Dublin, Ireland, and owner at print-on-demand ecommerce Pasquale has worked in Digital Marketing and Account Management since 2004. He currently lives in Dublin with his wife, stepdaughter and cat.