In the business world, SEO matters. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, allows business owners to connect with their customers and improve their products or services. However, one thing that marketers should take note of with SEO is that it’s constantly changing. And it’s true for the new year ahead. With it comes newer SEO updates for 2022.
SEO updates don’t only mean year-end updates, however. Due to the constant demand for digital platforms, search engines have to accommodate the growing number of users online. So, they have to update their algorithm throughout the year, improving site results and making users’ experiences unique. And this can be torture for marketers and site owners, especially rising ones who are still navigating the online industry.
But this doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems. Proweaver is here to help. As your reliable digital marketing company, we want to strengthen your digital presence and better cater to your client’s needs.
However, before we delve deeper into SEO updates in 2022, let’s take a quick trip back. For a foolproof SEO plan this year, we have to know what the past year brought for the SEO world.
A 2021 SEO Review
2021 was a busy year for SEO marketers. With the pandemic still rampant, the digital community continued to expand to accommodate new expected users daily. This forced site owners and business entities to keep track of what’s trendy and modify their platforms accordingly.
Among the many SEO updates, we’ve compiled some of the more significant ones:
- Google’s Page Experience Update
To better serve their users, Google’s page experience update made use of certain site signals to push content forward. Some of the signals included are ad experience, HTTPS usage, and core web vitals.
- Voice Search
This SEO update, though popularly used since 2012, continued to dominate the SEO industry and only improved through time. 2021 further enhanced concepts such as RankBrain and mobile adaptability for voice search rankings.
- Mobile-First Indexing
Undeniably, one of Google’s biggest 2021 SEO updates was leaving desktop crawlers behind. With Google predominantly utilizing mobile versions of sites worldwide for rankings and indexing, users can freely go mobile without site problems.
- The SMITH Algorithm
This natural language processing algorithm had an upgraded system compared to BERT, Google’s 2019 algorithm update. Unlike BERT, SMITH could find connections between longer content and solve problems despite heavy cargo.
Now that we’ve highlighted some stand-out SEO updates in 2021, are you ready to find out what’s in store for 2022? Will we be seeing more of these updates as the year continues, or should we be anticipating newer trends?
There’s only one way to find out!
SEO Updates to Watch Out for in 2022
As mentioned above, staying updated with SEO news or trends can help keep a business’ success streak moving forward. To make it simple for you, we have divided the newest SEO updates into 3 categories:
- Search Algorithm/Indexing Updates
- Engine or Tool Updates
- Optimization Updates
Furthermore, for every update, we have included some expectations and recommendations to help webmasters improve their site ranking and traffic. So, without further ado, let’s get right into the details.
Search Algorithm/Indexing Updates
Search engines, like Bing, Yandex, and most especially Google, all rely on algorithms to present reliable and up-to-date content to users. Since user trends change a lot, these algorithms have to be altered to improve each user’s experience on their platform. With constant algorithm shifts, users also find better answers to their queries even through mobile usage or voice search.
Site users can expect search engines to further base their site rankings on mobile versions of web pages but newer sites created in 2019 don’t have to expect a drastic change in their site rankings. Google stated that the mobile indexing system for these sites will be set by default.
Furthermore, there is no separate index for web and mobile, Google explained. For sites with separate URLs for their web and mobile versions, these will be shown to their users respectively, but the mobile version will still be the one indexed.
What We Expect
With people preferring to browse through the internet with their mobile phones, it only makes sense that mobile-first indexing remains a notable trend. And we expect this to last not only in 2022 but for years to come.
What We Recommend: Mobile-Friendly Features
One of the mistakes site users make with this update is believing mobile usability and mobile-first indexing are the same. They are not.
Mobile usability refers to the site’s adaptability to mobile usage. Contrastingly, mobile-first indexing is a search engine feature that looks at mobile versions of sites when indexing or ranking.
But we do recommend adjusting your site features to be mobile-friendly if it isn’t already. Even though most sites can be set for mobile indexing without mobile versions, this doesn’t equate to a better user experience. It’s still best to provide the same site experience for users in both desktop and mobile versions for easier navigation. This also means using the same headings, meta tags, and structured data for both versions.
One of the updated search updates expected to remain pronounced in 2022 is the IndexNow Protocol. This protocol notifies search engines whenever a site URL and its contents have been updated. These changes are then manifested in search results and rankings, prioritizing these site contents for web crawling.
What We Expect
While most search engines like Microsoft Bing and Yandex utilized this protocol last year, we expect Google to join the trend. Reports said Google is currently testing this protocol for benefits on their engine algorithms and user sustainability. And with IndexNow’s submission process, which allows data sharing between search engines with the protocol, we anticipate Google’s affiliation more.
What We Recommend: Adopt to IndexNow API
If you’re not a developer, we have good news for you! Most website-running platforms had already adopted the protocol, ensuring higher search results every time business owners want to implement changes.
For webmasters, setting up the protocol is also as easy as one-two-three. They only need to generate and host their unique API key through Bing’s generation tool. For more details on the implementation, you can click here.
Voice Search and Keyword Use
Along with the advanced algorithm and indexing processes, voice search and keyword use stay connected to high site rankings. With the influx of tools and other site processes, these two continue to separate target audiences and determine user intent. The right use of keywords and voice search data will still be useful in helping businesses generate greater revenue despite changing trends.
What We Expect
We may not see an extreme change for voice search preferences in users in the upcoming year. But the potential still stands. Rather than an overnight development, we see a gradual shift to voice-centric usage for more users this year. As smart speakers infiltrate the market, we look forward to increased comfortability with using voice search to complete tasks.
On the other hand, we believe keyword use still matters for SEO rankings now. But with enough tools and improved programming features, it may not be a priority for most marketers soon.
What We Recommend: Continued Use
While these two remain essential in SEO, we recommend that webmasters continue their use and improve their approaches. Learning relevant keywords, improving domain authority, and enhancing your local brand are only some of the strategies they can do.
Link Spam Update
Link spamming has been especially troublesome for business owners, site developers, and users. Thankfully, with Google’s newest link spam update, webmasters can feel confident that any non-affiliating links on their pages can be terminated. Google promised to file manual action for those affiliate links and guest posts that were not properly qualified by the site.
What We Expect
This update already provides massive protection for every site’s ranking and search result. Soon, we only expect Google to develop more advanced features to keep their search processes operating as they should be.
What We Recommend: Proper Tagging and Qualifying
As Google recommended, we also encourage webmasters to use proper link tags for those approved sponsored links on their site. This eliminates risks on possible algorithm actions that Google may take while also protecting their site from link spamming.
Believe it or not, Google has come up with a new ranking algorithm that centers on passage content. Providing users with answers to their search queries despite content bulks, Passage Indexing is the next big thing in search optimization. This is an immense breakthrough for the search engine in improving user experience on their platform.
What We Expect
Websites can now freely publish longer content, even with the continuous decrease of human attention span over the years. They won’t have to worry about a decrease in site traffic, especially with content bulks. Google has paved the way for more marketers to begin publishing long-form content, and we are excited for this to unfold.
What We Recommend: Don’t Shy Away from Long Content
If you’re already used to shortening your content, now may be the time to try your hand in longer content. But this doesn’t mean you subject your readers to information overload. It just means providing longer content that’s beneficial to your potential customers.
Engine or Tool Updates
Algorithm or indexing upgrades are not the only trends to look out for in 2022. SEO guides and tools have flourished here and there, enabling site users to expand their reach with technological support. Manual SEO processes may be vital in keeping businesses thriving, but a little help from online tools can still go a long way.
Local SEO Guide impressed SEO marketers and researchers this year with the Local Pack-O-Meter. The premise of this tool is to track thousands of data in Google’s search queries since May 2020. This allows SEO marketers to see and compare trends between months and SERP updates. Unlike other tools, the Local Pack-O-Meter reviews a larger amount of data, including local packs, job postings, ads, and more. And best of all, it’s free!
What We Expect
SEO marketers don’t have to spend lots of money to analyze the increase or decrease of traffic on their sites. This tool can be handy for their data acquisition convenience. And if we give it enough time, more local businesses may have the means to improve their SEO.
What We Recommend: Focusing on Local SEO
The Local Pack-O-Meter specializes in local SEO, aiding site owners in locally centered trends in SERPs. And we recommend business owners should focus on local SEO as intended.
As many big brands say, a strong SEO lets you stand out from local businesses with the same niche. We also guarantee a rush of newcomers and potentially loyal customers who are looking for brands like you.
MUM and Its Modernized Tools
MUM, or Multitask Unified Model, is Google’s most recent AI-centered algorithm that seeks to advance searching to the next level. Aside from its level up from BERT, it also introduced tools like upgraded multimodal searches and ease of language transfer. Admittedly, it already has promising features that the SEO world can fully take advantage of.
What We Expect
Google has not shied away from revealing what their roadmap development and goals are for MUM. To make it short, they are gearing up for advanced knowledge transfer through languages, the use of different media in searches, and revolutionary query responses. This not only gives us a guideline on the impact of MUM in SEO at large. It also helps us anticipate prospective changes in our SEO processes to conform to MUM’s updates.
What We Recommend: Optimizing Media Formats
One of the key highlights of MUM for 2022 is its intended user convenience experience through multimodal search. To prepare for this, we highly suggest optimizing your audio, images, and videos. In conjunction with this, of course, high-value content should be present to garner better user engagement.
Google’s News and Journalism Tools
It seems like Google never really runs out of ideas for every new year! This 2022, they are changing the way local news is presented and consumed. Their updated tools are useful for both consumers and journalists, improving the spread of correct information to relevant news locations.
What We Expect
COVID-19 is still a concurring issue in today’s society, so we believe that these new tools are impactful for COVID prevention. On top of this, we also see a more improved news organization for incoming and seasoned journalists. Moreover, in the business sector, we can expect a better connection between businesses and local communities, thus, improving brand reputation.
What We Recommend: Introduce Fresh Concepts
When users scroll through news articles, they are most likely to click on enticing headlines and snippets. Businesses can take this opportunity to highlight a new product, location opening, or any other fresh ideas they can sell to the market. Google News is the best way to get your business out there through informative content.
With how successful AI projects have been in 2021, several companies await more AI-featured content to dominate various sectors. Tools like RankBrain have created large waves of SEO success for many industries, spearheading improved sales and revenues. Additionally, digital assistants, like Siri and Alexa, were also all the rage for users setting out to multitask in their daily life.
Statistics report that companies may be drafting and implementing AI projects in place by 2022. And by the looks of it, this is a feasible estimate, as even those companies who don’t use AI for their operations are now considering doing so.
What We Expect
We don’t see any slowdowns for companies producing AI-centered content. In the next couple of years, we believe the use of AI in tasking, functions, and performance will only swell.
What We Recommend: Utilize SEO Scaling
There are already built-in AI-powered SEO software tools that you can utilize for SEO scaling. We encourage you to try one that personally fits your needs and keeps you confident in SEO management.
Here is a list of some AI-centered SEO tools you can always try for your site optimization:
- Alli AI
- Can I Rank
Now that we’ve talked about SEO software and tool updates, let’s take a look at some optimization trends. Users’ demand for what’s relevant content may not be what you have been expecting for the new year.
Conciseness is still a very vital aspect of content creation, but for 2022, expanding your ideas can also be a great plan. Google updates like Passage Indexing and key ranking factors support longer content on web pages. And they even rank sites higher based on users’ time spent on the platform.
What We Expect
We believe there’s more room for businesses to fully expound on their services/products, giving users more options between sites. Keyword use may also be a considerable factor in creating long-form content that shows on top of search rankings.
What We Recommend: Mix and Match Your Content
Despite the consensus that users may favor long-form content, we can never be too sure. That’s why we encourage webmasters to create written content alongside media information. This means adding audio, images, or videos to your web pages to make your content stand out and expand your reach.
Furthermore, if you’re contemplating long-form written content, be sure to use simple words. Don’t try to boggle your users’ minds with professional jargon or fancy metaphors. After all, a confused user may not see through the end of your content.
Search Intent and User Behavior
Google and other search engines have modified their algorithms to focus on search intent and user behavior. In other words, data analytics may only see changes with user trends, not so much about external factors. Real-time searches may also reflect the reasoning behind user trends and what businesses can offer to supply the users’ needs.
What We Expect
We expect a more user-oriented approach to content. This means keywords may not be as highly regarded as before but can still create an effect on content optimization. However, with the right keyword and user behavior analysis combination, we believe businesses may still stand a chance in the competitive market.
What We Recommend: Try Audience Segmentation
When creating pages for your sites, incorporate different ads for your distinct target audiences. With a quick analysis of their search intent, you can cater to many age populations. This also doubles the interest in users residing in distant locations and from other racial and/or cultural groups.
Customers want to feel constantly involved in any business decision or update. And this remains true for 2022, too. The rise of interactive shows and games has also fuelled expectations of users in connecting with sites.
So, among the list of SEO trends to look out for, interactive site experience is another factor to be wary of.
What We Expect
Businesses are already well on their way to involving their audience through quizzes and polls. The presence of social media also solidifies this business-consumer bond. In 2022, we expect businesses to create unique interactive content that isn’t reduced to quizzes and surveys.
What We Recommend: Start Small
A strong user interactive experience doesn’t only rely on forms. It also means building trust between businesses and consumers.
Whether you’re new to the industry or an established company, we still highly suggest starting small engagements. Through time and with patience, users may feel compelled to act on your CTAs.
What We Have Learned So Far
SEO continues to evolve every day, and as marketers and business owners, it’s your responsibility to accommodate these changes. With the help of expected trends, you can then prepare to alter your SEO to move forward with the year.
Moreover, proper SEO management can build or break down your business. So, it’s best to be cautious in creating a strategy that’s not only suited to your business’ nature but also conforms to the newest trends.
The question remains: are you ready for the SEO updates in 2022?
Do You Need Help?
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