Key SEO Trends to Prepare for in 2022
Updated: Jul 14, 2022
Whew, we may only be halfway through 2021, but it’s already been quite a year! SEO-wise, quite a few things have changed.
No need to panic, though. For one thing, this happens every year - Google even goes through micro-updates on a near-daily basis, in fact, so change is a constant here.
If you didn’t already know, there are larger and more critical updates that are known as Google Core Updates. These updates happen less frequently, but have significant impact to the entire market. For every core update, there will be “winners” & there will be “losers”. We’re here to help you navigate the latest changes. This way, you won’t have to feel at a loss when you see your rankings affected.
Today, we’ll go over the most important ones, in our opinion, and what they mean for your business and its digital marketing.
Google’s Page Experience Update
Arguably the biggest thing to deal with this year, the update basically makes page experience a more important part of Google’s ranking systems.
Practically, that means these factors now have an effect on your ranking:
Core Web Vitals
A non-interruptive ad experience
Strictly speaking, none of this should be a surprise. Google’s been focusing on improving user experience for a while now.
For example, Core Web Vitals basically refers to three things:
Largest Contentful Paint - how long it takes for a user to see most of your page’s content on their screen after clicking on a link to it.
First Input Delay - how long it takes before a user is actually able to interact with your page, e.g. click a link on its navigation bar or click on a tab.
Cumulative Layout Shift - how stable are your page elements as the page loads, i.e. how they move around during loading.
As you can see, all three are focused on ensuring a snappy, positive user experience. Google’s been flogging this topic for a while now, if you’ve been paying attention.
The Page Experience Update just means people who’ve been tardy taking action on the call to improve UX now need to spring to action.
Go to your search console, and identify the pages that have been flagged out as poor or need improvement. Under page experience and core web vitals, you’ll be able to identify if you need to work on specific pages to pull your rankings back up.
Zero-click search is really booming. Rand Fishkin referenced a study showing that ⅔ of Google searches last year already ended without a click.
There’s no reason to think it’ll go down from there. As Google starts populating search engine results pages [SERPs] with more and more “quick answers”, usually in the form of snippets, more people are clicking off the SERPs without visiting another URL.
What does this mean for you? Among other things, you should probably beef up your business’s local SEO. Local SEO gives you a chance to get into local search listings, which still provide nice, quick visibility on the SERPs.
Implementing structured data meta information on your pages is one way that many web owners have not leveraged on yet. The more advantages you have compared to your competitors, the better your chances of ranking better!
That said, it’s important not to go off the rails trying to parse this particular trend into meaning. We still have a lot of questions about the data relating to zero-click search - how user refinement of queries factors in, for instance - even if it’s worth noting now.
Voice search is another thing that’s been getting bigger and bigger of late.
This may actually relate in part to the growth of zero-click search as Google focuses on giving people fast answers to quick questions. The advent of the SMITH algorithm - an improvement on the way Google figures out what a query means - may well add to this.
In any case, it may indicate an opportunity for you to look at your website’s content.
Look for keywords and topics that people often ask questions about and try to supply a short answer on your page.
EAT or Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness have been big things for Google for over 2 years now. Till date, Google is still pushing website owners to do more and to think harder about the site content based on this framework.
Again, this ties into Google’s efforts to improve users’ experiences on the search engine. It wants to ensure that results are mostly useful and reliable ones, and EAT helps it figure out which pages qualify.
Besides that, EAT is great if you want to strengthen your business’s branding online. So, if you’ve been slacking off a bit on it, go ahead and review your EAT to see what you can do to improve it.
Even just making better 'About Us', 'Who We Are', and 'Contact' pages can already help!
A Few Last Words
The year is far from over, of course, so there may be yet more developments in the offing for SEO. We can’t say these will be the most important changes by the time the year is over.
For now, though, these are some of the crucial points to look at when checking your business’s SEO. What do you think of them and where Google is heading with its updates? Let us know!
You can also send us queries or request help if you think you need assistance dealing with these updates. We can discuss your options when it comes to ensuring your presence online even during all of this flux.
Just drop us a line using our contact us page and we’ll reply as soon as we can!