As the year is winding down and with 2022 right around the corner we face the same question that online marketers, marketing directors, and search marketing professionals ask year after year: how is SEO going to change next year?


Google is constantly making changes to its algorithm, and this is something that is done on a regular basis throughout the year. It’s not like they wait until the new year to unload a fury of changes and updates. Google’s AI-fueled algorithm adjusts and gets smarter daily.


This industry just seems to focus on highlighting the major changes towards the end of the year, noting which trends are clearly more important moving forward. Also, most brands and businesses are finalizing their marketing plans for Q1 of the new year before the holiday break, so SEO changes and trends become a very popular topic around this time of the year.


Anytime a new major update or change is discovered, it results in new “best practices” — which become essential to rank high in the organic search results. As we approach 2022 there are even more changes than in previous years and SEO continues to become more technical and advanced.


Ten years ago it was build links and rank. Very simple concept. Today, however, SEO has become a technically sophisticated challenge that requires constant attention to deliver successful results.


You need to stay up to date on the latest changes in order to maintain rankings, let alone move up in the search results.


Focusing on these will help you position your website for the best possible results in Google’s organic search results.


Let’s dive right into seven trends that you cannot ignore as we head into the new year with SEO in 2022.


1. Google Shopping Graph for E-Commerce Stores Will Help Overtake Amazon

Online shopping has always been popular, but the global pandemic essentially forces the entire world to turn to e-commerce. Look at the companies that exploded in growth and sales during the COVID-19 pandemic — Amazon and Shopify are a couple of big players that became even



Shopify onboarded even more customers and its existing customers experienced massive growth as more consumers turned to online shopping for all of their needs. Amazon became most U.S. households’ source for everything from groceries to household necessities.


Google has always been a very popular search engine, but its shopping tab hasn’t always received the attention it desired. It just wasn’t set up in a way that made it easy for consumers to buy what they wanted. Many consumers assumed it was just paid ads and avoided it altogether.


During the pandemic — and Amazon’s dominance — Google seemed to have taken notice and made an effort to make its shopping feature more appealing, by launching Shopping Graph. What is Google Shopping Graph? Here is an excerpt directly from Google:


“AI-enhanced model that understands a constantly changing set of products, sellers, brands, reviews and, most importantly, the product information and inventory data we receive from brands and retailers directly — as well as how those attributes relate to one another.”


What does this mean in simple terms? It shows consumers what is available for purchase right now and makes it simple for them to make that purchase. Rather than compete with Shopify, Google partnered with them. Now, nearly 2 million online stores can get their products found throughout Google’s services and platforms.


This type of reach can help an e-commerce business compete and take market share away from Amazon because of Google’s incredible usage. E-commerce SEO needs to focus on Shopping Graph in order to drive results.



2.Refreshing Content Will Become a Major Focus

Content marketing has been the main focal point for many websites over the past five years, but we are beginning to see a shift in the amount of refreshed content being put out there. Why is this a new trend? Because all of that content that was published when blogging and content marketing took off has become old and much of it is outdated now.


Refreshing content — updating it and making it more in-depth — seems to help boost rankings, and Google seems to really revive website rankings when this strategy is implemented.


The great thing about this strategy is that many pieces of content will already have links built, so when you increase the word count and expand on the information you already have the authority boost and link signals to help push it towards the top of the SERPs.


For those that outsource content and blogging, the cost to refresh a piece of content is typically less than a brand new piece of content as there is a starting base and the writer needs to simply expand on certain points and add some more relevant information according to the current date, and the conditions and/or happenings in the industry.


Content marketing has always been a solid investment, as your website’s blog develops into a marketing asset that continues to attract traffic year after year. It’s important that you also publish fresh content targeting new keywords while doing this — Google still loves to see consistent content being published.


3.Google Discover Will Become a More Desirable Ranking Location

When SEO first was a thing, there was one goal, and that was to rank number one for your main keyword. The entire focus was on page one, and if you were in position seven for your main keyword, the goal was to continue to move up until the top was reached. There weren’t other ranking possibilities and goals — it was position one in the research results.


Now, there are other ways to rank — video, social media snippets, etc. Google now has Discover, which is a feed of content its algorithm curates and is displayed on mobile search. The algorithm adjusts this feed according to the users’ search history, search query, and online behavior.


This helps your content get found by those who have an interest in your industry and the services or products you offer. Being found in Google Discover is a little different than ranking a blog post in the organic search results. The page content plays the biggest role here as well as inbound links, but with Google Discover, it considers visual content as well.


Cover images are important to attract attention, and with users on mobile, they are quickly drawn to images before anything else. Be sure to include eye-catching images, but also highly relevant to the content.


You want to optimize your content for traditional search, but adding a focus on visuals, will increase your chances of also attracting some clicks and traffic from the Discover feed. The same theory applies to Discover just like it does in the traditional search results — higher click-through rates signal to Google that your content is helpful, thus giving you even more impressions down the line.


4.Multitask United Model Will Advance Search More Than Ever

Two years ago SEO changed radically thanks to Google’s introduction of BERT — Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. This is when Google’s algorithm became much more intelligent and could understand the intent behind a search based on what was entered as the search query.


This cleaned up the search results dramatically and while some SEOs may not have liked it, from a user standpoint it was a great move. One of the biggest benefits of BERT was how it made voice search very effective.


Rather than typing “pizza near me” into Google, a consumer could use voice search and speak something like, “what are the best pizza places in downtown San Diego?” This gave Google a much more detailed query and thanks to BERT, it was able to provide information that highly matched the search request.


At Google’s 2021 conference earlier this year, they announced MUM — Multitask United Model. Think of it as BERT on steroids, as it is said to be “1,000 times more powerful,” according to Google.


MUM is designed to understand intent on a whole new level, down to what the user is feeling as he or she is searching, all based on search history, user behavior, and the context of their search query.


This AI is highly advanced, and to show you how advanced, check out this direct quote from Google, as it explained MUM in more detail as to how it will change language barriers: “Say there’s really helpful information about Mt. Fuji written in Japanese; today, you probably won’t find it if you don’t search in Japanese. But MUM could transfer knowledge from sources across languages, and use those insights to find the most relevant results in your preferred language.”


MUM is in the early stages, but expect to see it completely change the SEO landscape in 2022. The truth is we don’t know how it will change the search results yet. Just know that it’s going to shake things up and this is something to stay up to date on.



5.Voice Seach Will Become More Widely Used

Google has slowly been adjusting its algorithm to adapt to the increasing use of voice search. Consumers are using it more now because it’s effective and easy. Lazy by nature, speaking into the phone rather than typing a search is just more appealing.


Before, the results weren’t always the best, but now thanks to BERT, and now MUM, voice search is going to become the primary way searches on Google are performed.


The biggest news in terms of voice search is how LaMDA — Language Model for Dialogue Applications — will take voice search to the next level, as it has the ability to account for the users’ tone, detect feelings, and further identify intent.


LaMDA combined with MUM is taking SEO into the most advanced levels we have ever experienced. We have always joked that AI would eventually control SEO and we have now finally arrived at that point where it’s no longer a possibility — it’s reality and it’s happening right now.


To prepare your website for voice search you need to have highly descriptive content. A business isn’t going to be able to order article packs from outsourced agencies that write keyword-optimized posts.


Content will now need to relate to intent, feelings, etc. — it needs to be more humanized, and this will require onboarding top-notch writers, who understand how to connect to the reader and his or her questions, rather than just optimizing for Google.


6.Ranking Excerpts Instead of Pages Will Become Reality

Ranking in the number one position on Google is more difficult than ever due to how many different options show up on top depending on the search query. There are now many different snippets, all of which are referred to as position zero.


This is now the most highly coveted real estate on Google, and it tends to select snippets of content — a paragraph — based only on that content and not the entire page. This has caused many SEOs to shift focus to ranking excerpts rather than the entire page.


Many have noticed that page titles and heading text have been assigned a heavier weight in the algorithm. While not confirmed by Google directly, this makes sense as they help explain what the content is about.


So, if you are writing content and you have a specific excerpt you want to rank for, it’s important to optimize your title and headings for that specific block of content.


Also, when building links to your content, it’s a good practice to use anchor text that is highly descriptive of the excerpt you want to rank for. This can help Google better understand the focus of your content (the excerpt) and help you reach that highly desirable position zero.


7.User Experience (UX) Will Factor More Into Rankings


Google has made it very clear that they prioritize user experience, and as its algorithm becomes more AI-advanced, expect to see it become even more important for SEOs to focus on. Also, consumers demand a good experience — if you don’t provide one they will look elsewhere.


Google now evaluates page experience and determines user experience based on their interaction with pages. Some things to consider:


  • Maintain fast loading times, as Google suggests a loading time of fewer than 2.5 seconds. Anything longer will hurt your performance.
  • Use Google’s mobile-friendly test tool to achieve the highest possible scores and connect your website to Search Console to receive alerts related to mobile usability and crawl issues.


Lastly, if your website isn’t using HTTPS, install an SSL certificate — most domain registrars and hosting providers will give these to you free now.



Final Thoughts

While SEO seems to always “change,” the focus over the past few years has been on user experience and it’s even more important moving forward. Google’s algorithm has become so advanced and technical, making SEO more of a technical challenge than in previous years.


The above tips are just some of the major areas of focus to pay attention to. As you are well aware, SEO requires many different components, all working together to drive results. There isn’t a cookie-cutter formula that will work for every website.


Location, competition, website age, authority, etc. — this all comes into play when Google’s algorithm populates its search results for a given query.


What questions do you have about SEO trends and seo in 2022? Drop them in the comments below and I will try to get to all of your questions and provide you with some helpful feedback. Additionally, if you have thoughts on what SEO changes we will see in the new year please share them as well.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

© SerpLogic 2023. All Rights Reserved.