Top SEO Trends for 2022

SEO trends: a look back at the previous year

Google has pushed itself to become more tailored and user-focused than ever in the last decade. This has pushed websites to become better than ever before: more relevant, deliberate, and user-friendly across all devices. Here's a rundown of the most recent SEO developments.

New SEO trends grow in the same way that fashion does (stick with me here). You might not notice the small variations in what individuals are wearing month after month, or even year after year.


But then, a few years later, you find yourself looking back at old photos and wondering, "We wore that?" (Special thanks to JNCO jeans and shoulder pads.)


SEO trends do not shift overnight. Even then, if your company is moving at a hundred miles per hour to keep up with every trend that does change overnight, you might wake up one day to discover that you're the only one still wearing JNCO jeans – or an old SEO strategy.


It's a new year, as well as a new decade. So, here are our 2022 SEO predictions to help you plan if you want to be on Google's first page.


rel="sponsored" as well as rel="ugc"


Link attribution has historically proven difficult for Google to handle. The "nofollow" tag was first introduced to identify links that should not be crawled or indexed. It was designed to be used on sponsored material (rather than the default "dofollow") since Google considers purchased links to be an inaccurate and unfair assessment of site authority. Unfortunately, many websites began employing the "nofollow" attribute both internally and externally to conserve crawl traffic.


 Important Points


  •  An SEO strategy of a corporation will have a stronger impact on business performance, including the stock price and strategic partnerships.
  • In 2020, "Online Marketing" will be renamed "Search Experience Optimization."
  • Because zero-click SERPs are on the rise, competition for queries that still generate organic traffic will increase.
  • Google is significantly investing in augmented reality, indicating where the search giant is heading, particularly with the mobile experience.

As a result, there was considerable uncertainty concerning best practises for search engine optimization as they applied to link properties. What did the right "dofollow" to "nofollow" link ratio look like? Would Google punish your site for having an unnatural backlink profile if your SEO strategy was overly focused on obtaining just followed links? Etc.


Google announced an upgrade last year, 14 years after establishing the "nofollow" feature. Websites can now utilise the "sponsored" and "ugc" qualities to distinguish between paid and user-generated content. Simultaneously, Google relaxed their policy of never crawling or indexing "nofollow" links. The search engine now interprets "nofollow" as a hint rather than a mandate. That is, they are free to disobey the directive and crawl/index at their leisure.


The more specific features don't make much of a difference for individual websites, but they do alleviate some of the link-building strain. And the "sponsored" element is a clear means of dealing with what the "nofollow" attribute was designed to do. It does, however, cast doubt on the fate of the "nofollow." However, the directive is still useful for connections from blog comments and other places.


The BERT algorithm


There's a new machine-learning system in town, four years after Google RankBrain debuted. BERT, which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, will assist Google in better understanding natural language nuances. The open source programme is a natural language processing strategy based on neural networks (NLP). It will assist Google in learning the context of various search queries and matching them with more relevant results.


Google presented the following example to assist people understand why we need BERT: Assume someone searches for "2019 brazil traveller to usa visa required." Previously, Google would not recognise the context of this Google search and would return results for Americans coming to Brazil. This is largely due to the word "to," which Google had overlooked. The new algorithm assists Google in understanding that the word "to" is extremely essential in this situation.


This is part of the same SEO trend that we've been witnessing for a few years: natural language, long-tail keywords, and voice search are all on the rise. And, while wide keywords aren't completely dead, they're no longer the most crucial objective. A keyword research strategy that focuses on long-tail keywords is no longer a viable. It's an absolute must.


What to Expect in SEO Trends in 2021

SEO in the Executive Suite


The C-suite is one of the most recent SEO developments. Fortune 1000 CEOs are starting to see the full business impact of SEO on their companies. And it is this new awareness that is influencing significant business decisions and consequences. Board members and shareholders are increasingly scrutinising the company's SEO and digital tactics as they analyse the company's prospects. In their quarterly earnings calls, the C-suite talks SEO. The success (or failure) of a company's organic strategy can have an impact on anything from stock prices to acquisitions and strategic alliances.


Consider Pinterest, which filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in 2019. Because of Google's decision to de-index Pinterest landing pages in search results, the firm was compelled to declare in its IPO filing that the shift had harmed organic growth and profitability. The market reaction fell short of Pinterest's expectations for a rousing debut. And stock prices are still gradually recovering.


Chewy.com, on the other hand, was acquired by PetSmart for $3.35 billion in one of the largest ecommerce purchases ever. PetSmart's interest in Chewy's consistent dominance in the SERPs was a big reason in the acquisition.


What is the story's moral? Enterprise SEO improves the performance of businesses. And the C-suite (as well as your shareholders) are now intensely focused on it.


"Search engine optimization" is being replaced by "search experience optimization."


Another emerging SEO trend is the combination of SEO and user experience.


According to a recent Forrester Research research, a high-quality user interface can increase conversions by up to 200 percent. And how about an improved user experience (UX)? It has the potential to enhance conversion rates by up to 400%. Because business performance is increasingly dependent on a positive user experience, it is critical to incorporate UX into your SEO approach. After all, what good is a high CTR if you also have a high bounce rate?


Expect the post-click user experience to become a focus for SEOs as SEO and UX continue to combine. Strategists should consider more than just Google ranking indicators and click-through rates. They must also be concerned with both the experience provided by the content and the commercial outcomes.


  • Is it as personalised to the user and search purpose as possible?
  • Is the page built for the appropriate stage of the user's journey?
  • What about a conversion path?
  • Is high-quality material your criterion?
  • Is the entire experience consistent?


Technology SEO is becoming more complicated.


Google's more powerful machine learning capabilities are changing the way we think about SEO on every level, from link-building methods to language usage. Google's algorithm used to think to itself, "How much weight should this individual connection have?" Instead of providing a static value to the link based on a set of criteria, Google can now learn the worth of the link over time as it analyses user behaviour and link patterns.


If Google determines that your backlink profile appears manipulative, it may reduce the value of all your links. The ability of search engines to learn makes SEO regulations less black and white than ever before.


Artificial intelligence and machine learning aren't the only SEO trends providing a technical SEO difficulty. On the one hand, progressive web apps (PWAs) provide a better and more accessible user experience, which benefits SEO. PWAs, on the other hand, are the most recent manifestation of the long-standing conflict between SEO and JavaScript.


Previously, any JavaScript-coded content could not be crawled or indexed. However, advancements such as HTML5 and Angular now allow JavaScript-based webpages and strong SEO to coexist together.


That doesn't mean technical SEO strategists aren't put to the test when it comes to ensuring JavaScript-based content renders properly. Client-side rendering is still a risky area for SEO. Furthermore, both server-side rendering and dynamic rendering have their own set of SEO best practises. However, as long as JavaScript provides a superior user experience, you can expect Google to work hard to ensure that JavaScript-based sites receive the attention they deserve.


Semantic discovery


Other improvements in NLP will make Google's grasp of semantic search as robust as ever in 2020, as the BERT algorithm unpacks modifiers like "to" and works to understand natural language use. Google no longer interprets material just based on particular keywords. Instead, it considers each keyword to be a cloud of semantically related content inside a certain context, which includes pluralizations, variations, and synonyms.


Consider the word "ship." Google is becoming better at determining if you're talking about a boat, a transmission, or a glass decanter, or whether you're talking about "jumping ship" or "running a tight ship," and so on.


When optimising web pages for a certain term, hitting the keyword as hard as possible is no longer as critical as ensuring that the language and pages surrounding the phrase are both semantically and contextually relevant. Making sure you're clarifying your knowledge for the broader topic area to Google is also becoming increasingly important in semantic interpretation of your content.


Emotional analysis


Sentiment analysis is a type of machine learning that analyses the positive, negative, and neutral emotions associated with words and phrases. Given Google's strong commitment to user experience, the technology is likely to have a significant impact on SEO. Sentiment analysis allows Google to evaluate links from websites and social media more precisely since it has a better grasp of why links were shared in the first place. What appears in featured snippets may also alter as a result of the technology.


SERPs with zero clicks


Zero-click SERPs are the next SEO trend on our list. In 2020, search engine results pages will continue to evolve as Google raises the number of instances of a zero-click SERP experience, a trend we can see with the increasing frequency of highlighted snippets. When a user Googles a topic with a simple, direct solution, Google does not want to send them hunting through multiple websites to locate the answer. Instead, Google is increasingly putting the answer at the top of the search results, removing the requirement for a click within the Google SERPs.


With database-style searches, the zero-click phenomena is widespread. Consider dates, times, weather, currencies, and so forth. Choose a celebrity and Google their birth year to see a simple example of zero-click search results. As Google improves, expect to see more and more not-so-basic zero-click experiences. Featured snippets are increasingly used in how-to and directional searches ("pizza near me").


However, the zero-click search experience does not herald the end of SEO or organic traffic. Moving future, SEO experts will need to become more sophisticated.


The innumerable searches that require more extensive or intricate responses will continue to necessitate the searcher's click-through. With this in mind, it's critical for any SEO to understand which terms are likely to result in a no-click experience versus those that would drive the searcher to click through.


Optimization will need to change in accordance with the changing SERPs. Instead of reducing potential in the realm of SEO, these SERP advancements create a completely new category: SERP optimization. And it's about to become an essential component of any well-rounded SEO approach.


Data Structured


Google appreciates organised data. Rich snippets give users a more personalised and useful experience. They also assist Google in offering zero-click experiences where suitable. As a result, Google is encouraging websites to use schema markup more effectively.


There is an ever-expanding number of structured data tools, instructions, and resources. And the number of markup kinds continues to expand. However, anticipating the probability of people abusing a good thing, Google strengthened their guidelines on how to use structured data.


Voice search is still a popular SEO strategy.


As voice search improves with Siri, Alexa, and others, expect to see a split between spoken word search and written word search in 2020. According to Comscore, by 2020, voice search will account for half of all searches. And it appears that we are on track to meet that projection.


The rise in voice search isn't solely attributable to mobile devices. Smart speakers and other voice-controlled gadgets will be owned by more individuals than ever before. This is a major reason Google is so interested on NLP, according to our list of SEO trends. And it is for this reason that certain components of keyword optimization are beginning to shift.


Extension of ecommerce SEO


Amazon is more than just an ecommerce behemoth; it's also a vertical search engine that consumes 37% of traffic from conversion-ready customers. Nonetheless, the market is riddled with flaws. Amazon, in particular, lacks a brand. It's a popular destination for buyers looking for a good price on a product.


Businesses can take advantage of this gap by exploring beyond product pages. Create a comprehensive ecommerce SEO strategy that capitalises on your brand's personality and targets the whole buyer's journey.


Learn how to use SEO to boost ecommerce sales.


Influencers


Influencer marketing is still a relatively new area of digital marketing. Marketers, on the other hand, have rapidly realised that influencers provide distinct value in their capacity to engage with specific audiences. So, while influencer marketing has been around for a while, it has been significantly updated for our list of 2020 SEO trends.


Brands are now more concerned with engagement than with impressions. And they'll prefer a small, targeted audience than a large, untargeted one. The Kardashians and other celebrities aren't the influencers that generate pay-off for many firms. Instead, it's about those influencers who have tremendously engaged audiences. Many firms will rely on micro influencers in narrow areas in 2020 with this in mind.


Influencer marketing's scope has also expanded. Companies no longer separate influencer marketing from their social media or public relations divisions. The SEO department has a vested stake as well. Influencer marketing is becoming an increasingly important component of almost every SEO strategy, expanding beyond backlinks. SEO-focused brands will use influencers in novel ways, such as:


  • Increase your content marketing efforts.
  • Shares and backlinks should be generated.
  • Improve and fortify the brand's reputation
  • Motivate participation
  • Increase trust signals
  • And a lot more..

Faster is preferable.


Every year, page speed appears on the list of top SEO trends, and this trend isn't going away anytime soon. Google will continue to favour loading speed as long as the bulk of searches are conducted on mobile devices.


Consider all Google has done to improve the mobile experience: They introduced AMP to enable near-instantaneous page load times on mobile devices. They introduced mobile-first indexing to guarantee that mobile users enjoy a positive experience.


Although we can be certain that page speed will be crucial in 2020, it's difficult to predict whether Google will dramatically raise the threshold.


The Ascension of Augmented Reality (AR)


The age of augmented reality (AR) has arrived. Google is significantly investing in augmented reality, as evidenced by its ARCore efforts, giving you an idea of where the search giant is heading, particularly with the mobile experience.


Google Lens is a Google technology that uses augmented reality to make both the real and virtual worlds more contextually rich.


Google's AR-based search results, which debuted in the summer of 2019, allow users to traverse 3D models in the SERPs and explore everything from the anatomy of a whale to the inside of the Louvre.


For online companies, the interactive 360-degree vantage point gives up a world of possibilities. Customers looking for items can examine their selections from every angle before deciding on one to learn more about. Ultimately, Google intends to replicate as much of the shopping mall experience as feasible (sans the omnipresent Cinnabon smell).


According to Google, supporting the 3D objects that form the AR search results requires only a few lines of code. New Balance, Target, Samsung, and Volvo are among the companies that have already embraced the technology. Other large retailers are expected to follow suit.