2022 SEO Checklist: Trends to Follow for Search Engine Success

Jan 4, 2022 | Google Updates, Mobile-First, SEO

Each year brings new SEO opportunities and techniques that take websites to the next level. Some are simpler than others, but all are important! 

The Simple Stuff

#1-User Experience/Mobile-First Websites

For nearly 5 years Google has been teasing the way they scan/crawl websites will move to a mobile-first basis. Currently, Google looks at around 70% of the web via mobile device views. In a digital hangout on YouTube, Google publicly stated that will become 100% mobile-first by July 2022. How fast and how well your website functions on a mobile device will become even more significant when Google finishes its transition from desktop to mobile indexing.

Watch the announcement:

2-Shopping Opportunities/Product Review Shakeup

Leading into 2022, Google dropped their last big update targeting websites that review products and link users to websites to buy them, rewarding sites that give users different shopping options vs. ones that link to only one online shop (read: Amazon).

Learn more here:
https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2021/12/product-reviews-update-and-your-site

In addition to this, Google partnered with Shopify, allowing its 1.7 million merchants to feature their products across Google’s ecosystem, leading to a “70% increase in the size of our product catalog and an 80% increase in merchants on our platform.”

Learn more about Shopping upgrades directly from Google here:
https://blog.google/products/shopping/more-ways-to-shop/

3-Publishing Expert-Level Content & Showing Authoritativeness

Google continues to adapt its search engine algorithms to capture, calculate and rank websites that show Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust (E-A-T). This can be anything from publishing expert-level content, getting cited on other large websites, and transparency (showing who the author is, people that are behind a website, etc.).

eat overview google algorithm

Learn More:
https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/guidelines.raterhub.com/en//searchqualityevaluatorguidelines.pdf

Websites can continue building authority via link campaigns as well, however, the quality of links is more important than ever, and pursuing a link-building strategy that captures links in bulk without care for how relevant the links are will hurt your site.

The Complex Stuff

1-Enhanced Language Capabilities: Google’s MUM

Put simply, MUM is an AI model that can understand the user’s feelings, context, abstractions, and intent, from which it provides relevant answers that are unique to the user’s query. With the help of MUM, users won’t need to make multiple queries until they find the right keyword that gets them the desired answer.

MUM’s multimodality means that users can combine text, images, and voice to receive relevant results for their queries. As Pandu Nayak, Google VP of Search, explains:

“Eventually, you might be able to take a photo of your hiking boots and ask, ‘can I use these to hike Mt. Fuji?’ MUM would understand the image and connect it with your question to let you know your boots would work just fine. It could then point you to a blog with a list of recommended gear.”

Watch:

2-Crawl Optimization via Robots.txt

If Google can’t crawl your site, it can’t rank it. For larger sites and ones that change constantly, making sure your website’s technical documents (robots.txt, sitemap.xml, etc.) are set up properly will become a subtle but important step in optimizing your site for indexing and ranking on Google.

As Google moves into a 100% mobile-first indexing basis, helping Google scan your site for the pages you want to rank and what irrelevant pages/posts to avoid will help ensure a complete crawl every time.

Learn More:
https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/crawling/large-site-managing-crawl-budget

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