SEO in 2022 & Beyond
Search Seven provide a synopsis of the past year in terms of Search Engine Optimisation industry changes and make forecasts about the future.
In October 2022, Google launched a major refresh of its 20-year-old Webmaster Guidelines and renamed it Google Search Essentials. The updated guidelines were streamlined, simplified, and updated “to ensure people have clear guidance for how to build sites that serve people well.”
In 2022, there were officially 11 confirmed Google algorithm updates.
- Two core updates in May and September.
- Two helpful content updates in August and a system update in December.
- Three product review updates in March, July, and September.
- A spam update in October.
- Introduction of ‘Site Names’ to Mobile Search Results in October.
- A link spam update in December.
- The page experience update for desktop in February.
OnCrawl shared a very detailed infographic that summarises all the algorithm updates of 2022.
E-A-T is now E-E-A-T
Google is constantly testing its SERPs to ensure users have a great experience and can seamlessly find the information or answer they are looking for.
Other Significant Changes
- One of the most significant changes was Google introducing continuous scroll to desktop in December 2022, displaying up to six pages of URLs before prompting the user to continue to Page 2.
Another significant change was multi-search, enabling users to search by image using Google Lens, and then adding text to that specific image search for more refined results.
- Google tested ‘From the web’ and ‘Other sites say’ in featured snippets, as well as showing two or more featured snippets.
- For feature snippets, Google now uses MUM (Multitask Unified Model) to determine whether there is a general consensus for information and improve the overall quality of search results, reporting reduced false premise results by 40%.
- FAQ-rich results also gained significant Google SERP visibility.
- Google also launched a visual gallery documenting the 22 elements that are most likely to appear on SERPs to help marketers make the most impact.
AI & Machine Learning
ChatGPT was a huge talking point in the SEO world in the final weeks of 2022.
New attributes include:
- Google added Asian-owned attributes to business profiles.
- Google added LGBTQ+ owned attributed to business profiles.
- Google Business Profiles added a new recycling attribute.
- Google Business Profiles added new emergency help attributes for Ukraine support.
Microsoft Bing continued to push its IndexNow initiative, adding the co-sharing of URLs with Yandex to help push content by enabling site owners to have their pages and content instantly indexed by search engines. They announced in August 2022 that more than 16 million websites were using it (publishing more than 1.2 billion URLs per day to the IndexNow API), as well as adding multiple new integrations.
Google Analytics, Reporting and Tools
Universal Analytics will cease to exist from July 1, 2023, with the migration to Google Analytics 4. Google Data Studio was renamed Looker Studio, with Google planning on “unifying” the Google business intelligence products “under the Looker umbrella.”
Semrush published an interesting study on zero-click searches. It found that 25.6% of desktop searches and 17.3% of mobile searches were zero-click.
SEO in 2023
- We advise migration from Universal Analytics to GA4 as soon as possible to prevent the loss of historical data. Any previously-processed UA data will be stored for at least six months after the scheduled sunsetted dates.
- Chat GPT will continue to develop and other AI tools are expected to hit the market.
- It is expected that there will be more algorithm updates on the horizon. Google confirmed 10 major updates in 2021 and 2022, and we already know there will be core updates and probably more with the helpful content update.
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