The Google algorithm is constantly shifting and changing to provide the most relevant results for its users. In 2020 alone, Google made 4,500 changes to its search engine algorithm. Although many of these changes are minor, more substantial Google algorithm changes can have a knock-on effect on your SEO marketing practices.
With 75% of online users never scrolling past the first page of Google Search results, staying up to date with any Google algorithm changes that could affect your business’ Google ranking is essential.
In this article, we’ll share some of the major changes to the Google algorithm in 2022, and what they mean for your SEO marketing strategy. We’ll also share our top tips for SEO for business, and how you can leverage the latest Google algorithm changes to help your business stand out online.
How the Google Algorithm works
When we talk about the ‘Google algorithim’, we are referring to a complex system of algorithms that rank billions of websites against a certain criteria.
Whenever we search on Google, the Google algorthim trawls through billions of web pages to find the most relevant results for us, with the highest ranking web pages appearing at the top of search results. We can see from the most recent Google algorithm updates that the Google algorithm is shifting to a more user-centric approach, rewarding websites that offer the best experiences for users with a higher ranking.
How does the Google algorithm affect SEO for business?
Where your website appears on Google searches is extremely important; the first five organic results account for two thirds of clicks. If your business isn’t ranking high on Google, you’ll be missing out on the opportunity to reach new audiences and drive sales.
No matter what industry you are in, the chances are that many of your customers will find you through Google search, so it pays to be savvy and keep up-to-date on any changes to the Google algorithm so that you can react quickly.
The latest changes to the Google Algorithm in 2022
1. Product Reviews Update
One of the most significant Google algorithm changes of this year so far is the March 2022 Product Review Update, which is the third in a series of updates related to product reviews since 2021. This change is currently only impacting the ranking of English-language product reviews, with more languages being included in due course.
Google announced that the new update will reward and promote websites that feature high quality reviews of products, and has provided some recommendations for what makes a ‘high quality’ review. They recommend that reviews should:
- Include helpful and in-depth details about a product or service. This could include the benefits of the product and specifics about how a product performs.
- Feature real testimonies from people who have used the product.
- Contain unique information, like photos, audio or video.
Commenting on the changes in a recent blog, Google said that the changes are ‘designed to help ensure that product reviews come from people who demonstrate expert knowledge.’
What this means for your business
It is no surprise that Google is focusing on rewarding websites that feature high quality reviews of their products, as over 70% of consumers look at product reviews before purchasing.
Although Google will be rewarding sites that have reviews with a higher Google ranking, it is crucial to note that quality still trumps quantity every time. Having plenty of reviews won’t cut it; they need to be detailed enough to provide real value to a user, and help inform their decision making.
Some of the ways that you can improve the volume and quality of your reviews are:
- Make sure that you have a verified Google Business profile
- Ask your customers to write reviews; follow up quickly after purchase and offer incentives for doing so
- Have a reviews page on your website and link to your Google reviews
Respond to reviews and make the necessary changes if needed
2. Page Experience Update
In 2020, Google announced a major switch towards incorporating the user experience of a website as a key ranking factor. Since June 2021, Google began the rollout of the Page Experience Update, which rewards websites that provide better user experience. This update initially focused on mobile versions of sites, but was rolled out to include desktop in March 2022.
What this means for your business
Google has made it easier for businesses to understand how they can improve their user experience by sharing their Core Web Vitals: metrics that they use to score sites on their user experience, which are:
- Website loading speed
- The interactivity of your website: how easy it is to interact with links and different features
- Visual stability: making sure that features on your website remain stable and don’t move around when a user is scrolling through.
Essentially, the easier your website is to use, the better your Google ranking will be. But, remember that content is still king and a website that works well but doesn’t have any useful content for users will not result in a favorable ranking.
A fast website with poor quality content isn’t going to provide the SEO boost you’re after, but equally, if your content is strong but your page is slower to load, you’ll likely miss out to websites with a faster loading speed.
For a more in-depth look on the interplay between user experience and SEO, check out our blog ‘What is User Experience and How Does it Affect SEO?’
How do I keep up with the latest Google algorithm changes?
As we mentioned, the Google algorithm is constantly shifting and changing. With thousands of updates in any given year, Google doesn’t announce every update it makes to the search algorithm.
However, Google lets us know about the most significant algorithm changes, often called ‘Core Updates’, via their Twitter and website. Outside of the major updates, you should perform regular SEO analysis on how your site is ranking against important keywords using Google’s SEO tools such as Google Search Console.
How Social Chameleon Can Help
With 53% of all website traffic coming from organic search, staying up to date with any major Google algorithm changes is essential to ensure your website’s Google ranking is as high as it should be.
At Social Chameleon, we’ve worked with many businesses over the years to help improve their SEO marketing, helping them to stand out online and achieve transformative results.
Our SEO marketing experts will carry out a thorough SEO analysis on your website, and subsequently help you to optimise your content and improve your site’s overall structure and health to signal to Google that it is a relevant and reliable source of information for your specific industry.
To find out more about how we can help you achieve your marketing goals, get in touch today.