A successful SEO strategy allows to increase the exposure of a web content and attract more visitors. However, search engines algorithms are always implementing new features to improve user experience, so SEO is always changing. In this article, we will delve deeper into 5 SEO trends that will be key in 2022.
The internet is flooded with content of any kind and it can be difficult for your content to be found by users who might be interested in it, unless you implement an effective SEO strategy (Search Engine Optimisation, i.e., the activities that aim to increase the visibility and ranking of a content within the search engines result pages).
However, SEO, which covers different areas – from written content to source code, from images to the aesthetic and functional aspect of the webpage – is constantly subjected to changes, evolutions and experiments dictated by the search engines algorithms updates aimed at improving the search experience of users. 2021, for example, was initially characterised by Passage Ranking and changes to product reviews on eCommerce sites, while in the summer there were also the Page Experience update and the battle against spam.
2022 will not be different, therefore SEO experts are already working to meet users’ expectations and anticipate the changes that will be made by search engine algorithms. We can’t predict all the new features, but we can analyse recent updates and trends in the digital world to try to understand in which direction SEO will go and adapt our strategies accordingly.
So, here are 5 SEO trends you should keep an eye on in 2022.
Table of contents
1 – The optimisation of Core Web Vitals
Last year’s Page Experience update – the increased attention paid by Google to considering user experience when they access content on webpages as an essential factor for ranking – was probably one of the most important changes in terms of SEO of the last few years. The Page Experience is now quantifiable by the Core Web Vitals, objective factors taken into consideration by Google in evaluating the user experience on a page, which play a pivotal role in the ranking of a webpage within the SERP. To optimise the Core Web Vitals, you need to pay attention to three elements:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), which is the amount of time it takes for a webpage to load its heavier content.
- First Input Delay (FID), which is the amount of time required by a webpage to respond to the first interaction with the user.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which is the number of unexpected changes in the graphic layout of a webpage.
The improvement of these parameters will be essential in order not to penalise a page. To implement it, it will probably be necessary to rely on developers and use content that does not weigh too much and that does not risk changing the graphic appearance of the page. However, don’t make the mistake of offering sparse and standard content. Completeness, images and videos play a very important role for SEO.
2 – Snippets and informative content
Snippets are boxes that appear at the top of the page when you search on Google. They include organic content (not promoted one) that the search engine itself has decided to highlight because it believes that it comes from trustworthy sources and that it may be useful for that specific query. As a matter of fact, the featured snippets include an extract of the textual content from a webpage and its title, web address and an image.
These boxes provide users with a short but comprehensive answer directly from the SERP, so they don’t have to click on the link and open the website that contains the content to read it. Although it may seem counterproductive to have your content indexed in this format, it actually rewards the authoritativeness of the webpage and highlights it, positively affecting also the entire website.
Snippets are a tool on which Google has been heavily focusing on in recent years and will probably continue to do so in 2022, so it is good to use both relevant and related keywords, in order to meet user queries and provide useful and informative content.
The “People also ask” snippet
A study that analysed two and a half million queries revealed that the “People also ask” snippet is displayed in about half of the web-searches, thanks to its prominent position within the SERP. Comprehensive content, which answers the most common questions that users might ask about a particular topic, allows you to rank your website within these results and increase exposure, even if the snippet is listed after other results.
Consequently, it is necessary to include the relevant keyword – both short-tail and long-tail keywords –and to organize the content into different paragraphs with titles and subtitles (H2, H3, H4, etc…). However, it is necessary to avoid keyword overstuffing, i.e., filling the text with keywords and synonyms for the sole purpose of being included in this snippet. The priority must always be to provide useful and easy-to-read content.
3 – The prediction of search intent
What we just discussed leads us to another trend that will play a very important role in 2022: supporting users’ search intent as much as possible. This means identifying the exact purpose behind a query, regardless of the exact words that the user might have typed on the search bar. This type of optimisation allows you to rank a web page in different SERPs generated by a similar search intent but with different keywords, as well as increasing the chance to have your content featured in the snippets.
The MUM (Multitask Unified Model) update goes precisely in this direction. Although keywords are the building blocks of any SEO strategy, the natural language analysis technology developed by Google is evolving and it now involves sets of various words and phrases.
This new natural language processing model can analyse videos, images and text in 75 different languages and understand their context and meaning. Google will therefore be able (and, partially, it already is) to provide answers to very complex queries that involve not only the textual element, but also the feelings and intention behind a web search.
Therefore, it would be better to avoid focusing exclusively on relevant keywords, but to craft content with a natural language and that covers various sub-topics. Long and comprehensive content will be an advantage.
As a matter of fact, although the length of a content is not a ranking factor per se, it is very likely that long-form content will perform better. The reason is that they are more comprehensive and authoritative, and likely provide answers to users queries.
This type of content meets the so-called EAT factors (expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness), elements that increase the quality of a page because they are the result of an in-depth, thorough analysis and research conducted by experts.
4 – Content update
According to some rumours reported by Search Engine Land, Google might soon implement an algorithm similar to IndexNow. IndexNow is an open-source protocol developed by Microsoft that is used by major search engines such as Bing and Yandex to rank new, updated or deleted content on a website that integrates the related API.
Therefore, content update will be a very important element in 2022. As a matter of fact, SEO rewards content that has been posted online in a timely manner, but it also rewards old but updated content that is still current and useful. Updating your webpage allows you to provide actual and useful information, favouring a goodranking within the SERP.
5 – Video indexing
In addition to images, videos are also very important multimedia elements that can improve the quality of a page, as evidenced by the fact that they are included in the featured snippets of a SERP. In addition to increasing the time users spend on a webpage, videos also allow to provide immediate, easy-to-consume content that is able to better grab users’ attention. The important thing, of course, is that they have to be relevant to the topic covered in the page.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Google is working hard to enhance the artificial intelligence of its algorithm in order to optimise the indexing of video content. The company recently announced that it has implemented two new ways to categorise and index videos within the SERP: Seek Markup and Clip Markup. These two new features – that at first were exclusively available for YouTube – can now be applied to all video content by simply adding an HTML code that highlights the key moments within a video, thus providing to the algorithm relevant information on the topics covered in these segments.
The Clip Video Markup feature allows you to manually add timestamps and tags to videos, so that users can preview what that specific chunk of the video will address and access it easily. At the same time, these timestamps allow search engine algorithms to directly index the different parts based on users’ queries.
The Seek Video Markup function uses artificial intelligence to scan a video and analyse its content, so as to be able to create automatic timestamps and allow the indexing of videos to which the Clip Markup was not added. This feature is particularly useful if a website hosts a large number of videos that it wishes to index.
Bonus: past trends are still valid
At the beginning of this year, we have tried to provide suggestions and tips on new trends for marketing and digital communication. After our blogposts on digital marketing and social media advertising, it is now time for SEO.
In 2021, Google made thousands of small and big changes to its algorithms and ranking methods, so it is necessary for anyone wanting to better promote their own webpage to be prepared and take advantage of the main trends listed above.
Having said that, although algorithms are constantly evolving, the usual strategies for improving SEO are still valid. In-depth, original, updated and interesting content is absolutely relevant. Just as all the on-page optimisation strategies, such as meta-titles, tags, meta-descriptions, images with alt attributes and inbound and outbound links, are still important.
We hope that this article has been useful and helped you to understand how to optimise your web content for SEO in 2022. Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below or contact us directly to discuss it in more detail!