Google Algorithm and Search Updates to Know in 2022

Google Algorithm and Search Updates to Know in 2022

Nothing strikes as much fear into the heart of SEO experts all over the world more than another Google update. So terrifying are these events for some webmasters, that they spend years talking about it after it’s happened.

There have been some really scary Google algorithm updates over the years (the Penguin update comes to mind), but the beauty of Google algo updates is that while some of them are capable of plummeting rankings on a monumental scale, they are also capable of launching you to the very top of search engine result pages and helping you gain hundreds of thousands of new visitors every day.

It is a popular belief of ours at that while most webmasters panic with the thought of an impending algorithm update, the smartest ones see it as an opportunity to rise even higher. 

The Unpredictability of Google Algorithm Updates

Another interesting aspect of Google algorithm update is the fact that they all vary when it comes to the degree of substance.

Google releases algorithm updates quite consistently. This can be once every 3 months or sometimes every other month. But while some of these will see numerous websites experiencing wild swings in their keyword ranking positions, some leave no effect whatsoever.

This is one of the reasons why webmasters all over the world engage in prayers every time an algorithm update is set to be released by Google. Year 2022 has seen its share of significant updates, here’s everything you need to know about it so that you too can take advantage of it and make sure it works for you, not against you.

May 2022 Core Algorithm Update

A while ago, Google confirmed that it had rolled out the May 22 core algorithm update. Surprisingly to an extent, this was the first core algorithm update of the year. Prior to the May core update, it had been six months since Google did any serious tinkering with their all-important algorithm.

This is not to say that there wasn’t any sort of update since then. There were a few algorithm updates in December, and another in March. But these were mild updates with impact limited to review sites only. 

March Product Review Updates

The March product review update was a relatively mild Google algorithm update dealing mainly with product review websites. According to Google, the update was carried out to ensure that websites with well researched, high-quality reviews get more favorable rankings than those with shoddy content following a generic template.

The company hopes that through this particular update, valuable reviews with firsthand experience will enjoy higher positions in the SERP. Google also ensured to communicate that it doesn’t intend to penalize sites with templated reviews, but that it only wants to see to it that quality reviews with deep research get the favorable positions that they deserve.

November 2021 Spam Update & June 2021 Page Experience Update

Google spam updates are a subset of core updates, meaning that while they’re not usually as powerful and exhaustive as core updates, they usually share the same basic objective which is to get rid of as many spam sites as possible showing up in search engine result pages. 

They do this by weeding out sites that seek to trick the algorithm with spammy links and super thin content. The November 2022 update was a soak update. Earlier, though, in June, Google confirmed that it had successfully completed its roll out of a new Page Experience Update over the course of three months. The new features here include Top Stories mobile carousel and changes to Google News.

Other Notable Recent Updates

New Map and Search Local Interface 

Recent Google updates to the Google maps interface saw a change in layout that isn’t limited to aesthetics alone. With the new interface, local search results have a new place on the left side of the results page while the map itself sits on the right.

Prior to the update, the map used to sit at the top of the page with local search results lying below. 

Listing Updates in Search

For businesses looking to take advantage of the Google My Business feature, updating listing details could only be done through the Google Business Profile. With a recent update, however, local businesses can now make changes directly through search.

For instance, as a local business owner looking to make changes, you can easily do a search of your business to pull up a dashboard where you can then proceed to edit and update your business profile.

Google Business Profile Updates

Your Google Business Profile page has also undergone some new, interesting additions. Now local businesses can include other information about safety, health, and accessibility which were not available prior. Some of these include information regarding whether or not masks are required on the premise, temperature check availability, and whether or not the business is black-owned, veteran-owned, women-owned and/or LGBTQ+ friendly.

Google News Showcase

Lastly, businesses can now take advantage of the Google News Showcase feature to update interested users and customers on recent happenings in their industry. The Google News Showcase platform allows you to interact with your audience as an authority in your industry while setting you apart from competitors.

Summary & Conclusion

Understanding the Google algorithm in its entirety is never possible. Google keeps a lot of its update criteria a secret for obvious reasons – so that malicious individuals don’t take advantage of it and ruin the whole thing for everybody. 

Nonetheless, there are enough details out there on every algorithm change to allow those who know what they’re doing to take advantage in a completely legal way.

Ultimately, we would like to end by saying that Google algorithm updates are nothing to be scared of. The platform will not hurt your ranking if you’ve built your website on the cornerstone of quality, reliability, and trust.

The algorithm updates only hurt those whose sites are built on manipulation and cheap content. As long as you stay away from this approach, you will absolutely be fine, and your business will thank you for it.