2022 SEO predictions

When looking into the SEO crystal ball it’s always a bit foggy! Fundamentally we never know how Google will change their algorithms in the future and so predicting what the landscape will look like in a month’s time can be difficult, let alone in a year! However, by looking at user behaviour trends, shifts in technology and Google product updates etc. we can take a stab in not quite complete darkness;

MUM knows best

The search algorithm has tried to become more and more personal and useful on an individual level for years now, meaning that 2 people may go on very similar paths but be shown completely different results based on their location, search history and demographic makeup etc. Earlier this year, Google announced MUM which takes this AI driven approach to the next level, taking in thousands of signals to try and really get to grips with the unique context of your individual journey. The hope is to make complex, research based searching easier and create shorter and easier search journeys. Our focus should be on continuing to create content that answers these questions, but also uses multi-media to do so as Google will recognise the value to the user in all forms of content.

Video is the new King

As the old SEO saying goes “content is king” and right now that content is video. We’ve seen brands see a ranking benefit when producing high quality video in recent years and this looks set to continue as users are showing just how important it is in their journeys. According to Social Media Week, users spend 88% more time browsing sites that have video and as we know Google is all about user engagement, so keep focusing on that video content!

Improve results by saving the planet

You may have seen the TV ads recently for https://sustainability.google/ as they pronounced their plans to be carbon free by 2030. Of course it’s great that Google are focusing on this for their own business, but does it also give a hint to how they may prioritise their businesses they favour in search? There’s no concrete evidence of this being the case so far, but we have seen some examples of businesses that show of their eco prowess suddenly jumping up the rankings and if it’s a focus for Google it would make sense for them to reward others in this space. Let’s be honest, all businesses are having to address sustainability, but not everyone is being vocal about what they’re doing. This could be the year to not only help make a better future for our planet but also for your rankings by making it part of your SEO strategy.

Core Web Vitals are Vital

Page load speed, mobile friendliness and user experience have been crucial to SEO success for years now, but with the introduction of Core Web Vitals Google really put the spotlight on these areas. Although the Core Web Vitals update was over a year ago now, I still think it’s going to be a key focus area in 2022 as Google continues to highlight the usability areas that are so important to consumers. If you haven’t been looking at Core Web Vitals then why not? If you have then great, but don’t stop now!

Is this finally the year of voice search?

Would any prediction list be complete these days without mentioning voice search?? It feels like the industry has been saying this now for a few years and it’s still not come to fruition. I don’t necessarily think 2022 is the year voice becomes to go to for businesses, but we can’t ignore that, according to Google, 55% of teens and over 40% of adults use voice search at least twice a day. It’s not time to completely focus on voice but it is time to start preparing some content for it, with more question and answer based content, local SEO strategies and structured data.

As ever with SEO it’s impossible to predict what will be the key focus in the future, but one thing we do know is that Google will always try and deliver the best and most useful results for its users. To that end, it’s always worth focusing on creating a fast, user friendly experience that delivers insightful content in an engaging way. So focus on your page speed, invest in video, be ready for search and help save the planet whilst you’re at it.