By Timothy Da Silva
From the end-user’s perspective, just grabbing your phone and looking something up hasn’t really changed much over the last few years. However, when we peek under the hood at how search engines are ranking websites and delivering results, we can see constant changes and shifting trends. At its core, SEO is continually evolving, always finding new ways to filter out content and reward or punish websites. Businesses have to do their best to keep up or be forever lost amongst the search results beyond Google’s first page. In this article, we will take a deep dive into the essential SEO trends you shouldn’t ignore in 2022 if you wish to stay relevant and keep up with the competition.
Google’s continued focus on user needs
Over the years, Google has constantly tried to reevaluate how it approaches user queries. As the algorithm improved, it got better at delivering users the results they had in mind when they initiated the search. Sometimes the way a search was phrased makes sense to a person but translating that into website results is a very complex science.
Google has devoted a lot of resources to understanding inquiry syntax. It is now much better at understanding what users want when they are conducting a search. For a long time, SEO has revolved around what’s best for the user and not the algorithm. Of course, we will see a continued push in that direction, as Google’s algorithm is adapting to better understand what users are looking for.
Websites are also keeping up the pace, and they are responding by attempting to foster more user engagement. Placing your users in the center of your design philosophy is one of the essential SEO trends you shouldn’t ignore in 2022. The new industry buzzwords are user engagement and user experience. Currently, the best results in terms of engagement and brand interaction are being achieved on social media. Businesses are attempting to increase follower engagement and cross-platform functionality, which is affecting how content is being produced.
The boom of video marketing
While we are on the topic of content that fosters user engagement, we have to mention a massive increase in video viewership by users of all ages. The global pandemic has gotten everyone to turn to the internet for their work, shopping, and entertainment. Most of that entertainment, as well as news and information, come from videos.
Although video marketing isn’t a new thing, it has been gaining momentum for a while now, and it is an essential SEO trend you shouldn’t ignore by any means. Social networks traditionally used mainly for image sharing, like Instagram, have almost entirely shifted to favoring video content. Facebook is also continuing to offer exclusive contracts to video creators, and they are looking to further branch out into streaming and gaming.
Google also owns YouTube, the world’s largest video platform. If your company doesn’t already have a specialized channel for video content, now might be the perfect time to create one. Video marketing is becoming increasingly popular with businesses due to how easy it is to integrate with other marketing efforts. You can embed videos into pages on your website, share them easily, and effortlessly link them in emails.
Less tolerance for spam
Google’s own November guidelines state their commitment towards rooting out black hat practices and spam content. Both algorithmic and manual spam actions are receiving updates, and if your website gets flagged, it will not show up on any of Google’s partner websites. Since Google now owns practically everything, getting affected by a manual spam action is the equivalent of getting your business banned from the internet.
You should keep an eye out for changes in your website traffic as this update gets rolled out. So far, Google hasn’t specified what forms of spam they will be targeting, so this might include links, content, or even spam comments. An important thing to remember is that manual strikes only give you a limited time to respond, and if you fail to do so, your website could suffer a long-term drop in SEO which can be hard to recover from. For now, your best course of action is to keep on the straight and narrow and do everything according to white hat practices.
In an effort to boost accessibility, we will see more and more voice-activated features everywhere. This will move beyond personalized assistants, and the technology is already being integrated into websites in the form of voice-activated and text-to-speech chatbots. On the other hand, Google continues developing its own neural network and is working to improve how AI can talk back to users. They are calling their machine learning software LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications).
AI that uses conversational learning is an integral part of Google’s strategy to better understand user queries and rank search results. This will cause website owners to reevaluate voice commands as essential SEO trends you shouldn’t ignore in 2022. The problem with voice searches is that people commonly use a more relaxed and conversational tone and syntax when compared to regular text searches. Both websites and search engines will need some time to adjust to approaching SEO in the future. Another vital thing to note is that, currently, most users perform voice searches when they need local services. Therefore, if you plan to boost local SEO, it is time to take a closer look at voice technology.
The bottom line
Although times are always changing, we are definitely in for a wild ride when it comes to advancements in SEO. Technology has come to the point that it can dictate yearly trends, and if you want users to find your website, you will have to adapt. We are excited to see how our predictions turn out for the essential SEO trends you shouldn’t ignore in 2022. However, we recommend that you don’t just sit around and wait to see what happens. It’s best if you start working on your website and be an early adopter of the new trends. That will surely give your SEO a boost!
Timothy Da Silva started his career in online marketing in 2012 as a copywriter. Since then, he has learned the ins and outs of the business and now works as a consultant for Digital Dot New York. Timothy believes that every business should connect with its customers, and that the way to do it is via social media.