Organic traffic is one of the most steady and lucrative sources of leads and consumers for companies, despite the ever-changing nature of search engine algorithms. From January 2020 to June 2021, according to Milestone research, search engines accounted for 69 percent of all digital traffic, with a mix of generic and local results.
As you look forward to 2022, it’s critical to appreciate the importance of a structured, research-based SEO strategy that takes into consideration a diverse range of ranking indicators. In this article, you’ll learn about five factors that will play a major role in the following year.
In September 2021, Google’s market share was 87 percent. As a result, the emphasis of this piece will be on the industry’s undisputed juggernaut. A well-rounded approach, on the other hand, will have an influence on secondary search engines like Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, and others.
Let’s get started.
Expertise, Authority, and Trust are the first three factors to consider (EAT)
The abbreviation “EAT” stands for “expertise, authority, and trust,” which are three ranking elements used to measure the quality of information on a website.
EAT is included among the most important ranking factors in the highly renowned SEO Periodic Table published by Search Engine Land, and it is also included in Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines.
This viewpoint has been shared by a number of specialists. “We…use a number of signals as a proxy to determine whether material looks to fit E-A-T as humans would analyse it,” Google’s Public Search Liaison Danny Sullivan tweeted.
Here’s a quick rundown of each factor:
Expertise – This relates to the content’s correctness, timeliness, and depth. Hiring recognised experts, evaluating your site on a regular basis, and publishing author profiles are all strategies to increase expertise.
The quality and amount of citations to information, generally in the form of links and social media shares, is referred to as authority. The importance of authority in 2022 emphasises the need of content marketing.
Trust – When people think of your brand and website, they think of it as trustworthy. Brand authority, historical adherence to quality standards, and referrals from high-tier domains are all factors that are likely to be considered.
Google’s BERT (2019) and MUM (2021) improvements demonstrate the company’s dedication to offering highly relevant content to consumers based on minimal keyword data. Companies that prioritise EAT elements will be in the best position to fulfil Google’s content quality standards.
2. Core Web Vitals and Desktop Page Experience (UX-Driven SEO)
One of the most significant algorithm adjustments in 2021 is Google’s “page experience upgrade,” which is likely to have long-term consequences far into and into 2022. By February 2022, Google plans to complete integrating page experience ranking signals to desktop sites.
“Page experience is a collection of signals that assess how people perceive the experience of engaging with a web page beyond its basic information value,” Google says of the new feature.
The upgrade focuses on three components of the user experience, collectively known as “Core Web Vitals”: greatest contentful paint, initial input latency, and cumulative layout change, among other things. If these on-site features are taken into consideration, the user experience will be improved beyond the EAT-based ranking criterion.
3. Citations and Link Building
Link building is still a significant ranking element and one of Google’s most fundamental methods of creating a site’s reputation. Citations are the local business equivalents of links.
Link building is an important aspect of any SEO strategy, and there’s no reason to believe that will change in 2022. When adopting an active approach to link-building (which will often take the form of outreach), three aspects are important to consider:
Quality – Links from high-quality, reputable websites have much more weight than links from low-quality ones.
Quantity – In general, the more backlinks you can have, the better.
Anchor text – Aim to develop a varied and useful anchor text profile.
The same concepts apply to citations in business directories, which are a crucial ranking factor for local firms.
4. Spam, cloaking, stuffing, and other “toxins”
Google has stepped up its attempts to penalise websites that use “spammy” SEO techniques. A spam-related upgrade was releasing in November 2021. Several algorithm improvements targeting low-quality material, such as the core modifications in June and July, have preceded this.
Deceptive SEO strategies are known as “toxins,” and they are considered problematic activities that go against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
There are five tactics you should stay away from at all costs:
Cloaking entails showing search engines material that differs from what people view.
Keyword stuffing is when you overuse keywords in your article.
Link schemes include paying for links on other people’s websites. These sites are almost always of poor quality.
Duplicate material – Do not republish anything for which you do not have the necessary permissions. If you’re utilising duplicate material, make sure you’re using the right canonical tags.
Ad-heavy site design – The user experience is the most important factor. Don’t overcrowd your website with advertisements and marketing stuff.
Given the predicted importance of EAT elements in 2022, low-quality material should be avoid as a top concern.
5. Use of Voice Search
Google’s focus on voice search follows a surge in consumer interest in IoT (Internet of Things) devices. While voice search hasn’t taken off in the manner that many hoped a few years ago, data from Adobe Analytics reveals that the usage of speech-based interfaces is on the rise.
Google announced the introduction of their “latest research breakthrough” in September 2021, which was enhancing speech technology LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications). LaMDA is important because it represents Google’s ongoing attempts to simplify search results based on changing user preferences.
Including highlighted snippets in content, targeting long-tail keywords (particularly local phrases), and mobile optimization are all strategies to adapt to the growing amount of voice searches.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that there is no such thing as a constant in SEO. The truth is that ranking variables change far more slowly than many companies believe.
Since Google’s inception on the internet, the essential criteria of user-centered site design, high-quality content, and citation-based trust have largely stayed unchanged.
It’s crucial to keep this in mind when you develop your SEO strategy. While technological priorities may shift, building a solid foundation that emphasises the customer experience above all else will assure long-term success — in 2022 and beyond.
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