The biggest SEO trends in 2022 – experts predictions
2021 was a hectic year in SEO – Google algorithms, changes to ranking factors, and significant modifications to SERPs kept the SEO industry on its toes. As this year has ended and 2022 has begun, it’s a good time to ask ourselves a question: What can we expect from this year? Should we be prepared better for some changes that will happen? And can we even anticipate them?
With that in mind, our specialists asked the industry experts to predict the most critical trends in SEO in 2022 and insight on what the SEO industry will look like.
- 1 1 – Gabrielle TanSEO Manager, Heroes of Digital
- 2 2 – Kristine PrattDirector of Marketing, Boostability
- 3 3 – Lukasz ZeleznyDirector, SEO.London
- 4 4 – Bianca SiegelSenior SEO Analyst, GR0
- 5 5 – Sarah AtkinsonSenior Search Marketing Consultant, Podium
- 6 6 – Anthony CaracappaGoogle Maps Expert, Long Island Local SEO
- 7 7 – Aaron CreweManaging Director, novi.digital
- 8 8 – Mateusz MalinowskiSEO Director, Rank Higher Agency
- 9 9 – Marcin SiekierskiSEO Expert, Rank Higher Agency
- 10 To sum up…
1 – Gabrielle Tan
SEO Manager, Heroes of Digital
Taking care of CWV
We (most of us) were entirely engrossed in “balancing out” our chances with the June algorithm update. Speculations were around CWV being the “tipping point”, or “tie-breaker” when it comes to ranking on top, so a lot of focus was to get on Google’s good side every way possible, and that includes cleaning up site structure and content mapping, for both users and crawlers. Moreover, producing strong, niche-focused content to gain authority within the industry.
My prediction for 2022’s biggest SEO trend is in optimizing jump links. Yes, jump links. With proliferation of AI content creation tools, Google must be facing some problems with “content bloating”, challenging their AI to be quicker and smarter than ever before to filter through similar content on a daily. It’s no wonder why it’s getting more difficult to index pages on Google.
Not to mention, users would be so tired of lengthy content by now and would eventually just turn to Featured Snippets and call it a day (no matter the accuracy). Jump links make content easily digestible and would help give users the idea that you are ready to serve the exact answers, thus encouraging them to return whenever your website pops up on Google.
To get noticed is to either give more signals, or, to give different signals. Another prediction for 2022 is PR in SEO.
Let’s face it, good PR does help with website authority. There is a blooming interest among SEOs to venture into PR, and rightly so. SEO is about optimizing a website to get in front of users. With PR, the effort is amplified with better top-of-mind recollection among users, and also giving stronger authority signals to Google.
As Google further strengthens their spam update rollouts, good digital PR is definitely worth the investment, and one should start as soon as possible. 2022 could be the year.
2 – Kristine Pratt
Director of Marketing, Boostability
More updates coming
2021 was a wild year in the world of search marketing and SEO. A Semrush writer shows a large majority of marketers have seen volatility on their desktop and mobile search results during 2021. This volatility is due to unprecedented levels of core and significant Google algorithm updates. And guess what, that’s not going to change!
Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed on Twitter in November that the algorithm updates are going to keep coming and will not change. These updates include the Page Experience Update, the June and July core updates, several Product Review Updates, as well as Link and Search Spam updates.
While you can’t know what updates are coming, what they will entail, or when they will hit, Google continues to emphasize that SEOs and website owners need to focus on improving the user experience, following best practices, and producing worthwhile content that follows E-A-T guidelines that aligns with searcher intent.
That increased emphasis on E-A-T for SEO will also be a huge trend into 2022 and beyond. This goes beyond Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust, and also into user experience and content intent. Google wants to see that your website has authority and the experience to back up why you have a website and the purpose behind it. You do this with quality content as well as traditional SEO efforts like link building that provide those digital trustworthy signals from around the internet. The intent beyond the targeted keywords on your site is now arguably more important than the search volume. And you need to use the keyword to answer your user’s query as quickly as possible. People no longer want to sift through long pieces of text and content. Keep things concise and useful.
3 – Lukasz Zelezny
The year 2022 will be the year of artificial intelligence. Furthermore, not just in the context of popular phrases, but also in the context of specialized applications.
AI – overcoming the language barrier
Allow me to begin by citing DeepL. It is an artificial intelligence-powered translator whose quality of translated documents is on par with that of professional translation services.
It goes without saying that the expenses are significantly reduced. The API allows the machine to translate 1 million letters for a fee of 20 EUR. The number of languages available is also continually increasing.
From my perspective, I can state that numerous of my customers have had firsthand experience with the effectiveness of this approach. Not only were they able to overcome the language barrier, but they were also able to sell their products in areas where the language barrier had previously been an impossible obstacle.
It should also be noted that internet users often do searches in their native languages and are typically fluent in English when they do so.
AI – more effective content creation
Another option is to develop material that is based on artificial intelligence. Jarvis.ai, as it is known in this context, is a system that is based on the GTP-3 algorithm.
It is capable of producing documents in a variety of languages and, if the task is not too hard, it may completely replace a human individual.
Working with Jarvis is made easier and quicker because of the templates that are pre-installed in the program.
4 – Bianca Siegel
Senior SEO Analyst, GR0
Customer journey strategies
The advent of Google’s MUM and its interaction with our world of misinformation will likely further increase the demand for quality, factual, and user-intent-focused content. MUM’s multimodal aspect could mean that our focus as SEOs may shift from individual keyword-based strategies to customer journey strategies that focus on all forms of content. A potential impact of MUM in combination with the 4-page scroll is an increase in rich result types and 0 click results, more space to keep users on the SERP.
Focus on the local
Another likely outcome for SERPs in 2022 is even more localized experiences as Google continues to experiment with a tailored mobile layout for searches with local intent. Companies with an international reach that provide a location-based experience will continue to have a competitive advantage in localized SERPs.
The trend I am most excited about is the greening of the web, it has been a long time coming. The demand for sustainable options is already here in the physical world and will spill over into our digital world as the reality of the global crisis reaches critical mass in humanity’s awareness. Google has already started promoting sustainable options in Maps and Shopping and we can only expect that they will continue to add features to this end.
Automation and machine learning
Where I am particularly shifting my focus in the new year is automation and machine learning. More SEOs are becoming proficient in Python and leveraging it to automate their work. The combination of Python for automation and the use of machine learning for tasks like natural language processing and forecasting will be increasingly popular, creating an environment ripe for the commoditization of automation and machine learning services.
5 – Sarah Atkinson
Senior Search Marketing Consultant, Podium
Local, user-centered content
My prediction is that there will be a Google algorithm update to refine local search, with a focus on user-centered content such as reviews etc. As we enter 2022 with uncertainty still around the global pandemic and potential lockdowns in sight, research shows that many consumers are still eager to pursue their interests, hobbies and social life even if that means staying local.
On a side note, I hope 2022 will actually be the year of voice search!
6 – Anthony Caracappa
Google Maps Expert, Long Island Local SEO
I predict one of the biggest SEO trends of 2022 will be an increase in the weight given to Core Web Vitals as well as a crackdown on Google My Business spammers.
UX, UI, and CWV
I believe Google will continue to favor fast well-optimized websites, and that mobile performance and a well designed-responsive UI will be a signal that ranks higher in SERP. In turn, websites that provide the best user experience on slow wireless connections and old mobile devices will be rewarded and larger sitemaps with low Core Web Vitals will be penalized in SERP and in crawl budget.
Google My Business – getting rid of spammers
On Google Maps I expect to see a large crackdown on spammers and lead generators who are managing GMB listings that do not represent a real business. Over the last year, we’ve seen a lot of shady tactics on the maps in high-density urban areas such as New York. I expect to see massive cleanup coming this year and likely a reduction of listings due to banning and blacklisting.
Overall I believe 2022 will be a great opportunity for new businesses to be competitive against top-ranking incumbents by ensuring they do all marketing activities to the highest quality possible and ensuring they fall into the top ten percentile of their competitive landscape in all marketing activities.
7 – Aaron Crewe
Managing Director, novi.digital
My prediction for 2022 is that SEO will require larger budgets, more specialist roles and automation.
Larger budgets will include specific allocation for PR, with budget needed for outsourcing certain niche aspects and more software for improvements to efficiency.
People with the digital marketing space will hold roles for specific platforms and certain aspects only, such as link building, rather than generalist roles. The big push for in-housing has seen a rise in generalist roles, however, this will soon evolve to need for expanding teams of specialists as the generalists are unable to handle the roles.
Lastly, automation and interconnectivity of software will likely result in an evolutionary step in digital marketing reducing the manual work that is needed, with AI and algorithms automating the tasks that are generally required for digital marketing.
8 – Mateusz Malinowski
SEO Director, Rank Higher Agency
A new level of content creation
In 2022 we will most likely observe significant changes in the ways content is created, optimized, and updated. The leading trend in the world of SEO may be the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), mainly to speed up the process of writing blog texts, product descriptions, or categories. There are already tools on the market that offer similar solutions – one example can be Jarvis.
One step ahead of Google
In the coming months, we will certainly have to answer again the question that is critical to any SEO efforts – what is the direction of Google and its algorithms for this year? If we find out what it is aiming at and what kind of content it prioritizes, we will be able to act better and respond more precisely to the needs of customers. After all, they are also becoming more aware every year, and for that reason, they tend to be open both to technical and content optimization of websites.
9 – Marcin Siekierski
SEO Expert, Rank Higher Agency
Google is getting pickier
I think that the coming months will be primarily a battle against Google’s selectivity regarding indexing. Many sites are finding it harder and harder to get into the index, even though we don’t observe a visible decline in their content quality or any major technical SEO problems that would explain the absence of a page in the SERPs. It seems that bots are still crawling such pages. What’s more – they do it quite quickly but ultimately fail to index them. It means that we have to put even more effort into our SEO actions and can’t afford any mistakes, especially technical ones.
To sum up…
So, the specialists have spoken and now you are (more) ready to face 2022. Keep in mind the main trends and tendencies that we observe. There will clearly be more updates this year, but that’s not all there is, so if you want to get better SEO results, remember about the CWV, UX, and AI potential as well.