The Major Google Updates Set to Shape Search in 2022

Google’s onslaught with its major search updates over the past few months have been relentless. Hence, we can only expect to see much of the same going forwards.

But what’s clear at this point is how some of Google’s biggest adjustments from the past 12 months are likely to shape the SEO landscape for the foreseeable future or at least.

For anyone looking to get their SEO game in order right now, these are the major search updates to build (or adjust) your strategy around:

1. The Page Experience Update

First up, this monumental update started rolling out in June and was announced as complete at the beginning of September. With the Page Experience Update, Google set out to prioritise several key metrics when handing out rankings.

Examples of which include mobile usability, Core Web Vitals, security issues, ad experience and HTTPS usage. There’s been plenty of time to get on board with the whole thing by now, meaning those who have failed to do so are already falling behind the pack.

2. Google’s Link Spam Update

Google made the following announcement when the rollout of its Link Spam Update officially got underway:

“In our continued efforts to improve the quality of the search results, we’re launching a new link spam fighting change today — which we call the “link spam update…”

“Sites taking part in link spam will see changes in Search as those links are re-assessed by our algorithms.”

“This algorithm update, which will rollout across the next two weeks, is even more effective at identifying and nullifying link spam more broadly, across multiple languages.”

Realistically, this update should pose no threat to anyone already following the longstanding SEO rules regarding link quality and link spam.

Google has been strengthening its stance against low-quality links for several years, though is now vowing to take no prisoners where spam links are concerned.

3. Summer Broad Core Update

Announced by Danny Sullivan, the rollout of Google’s Summer Core Update ended up being somewhat more staggered than originally intended:

“Some of our planned improvements for the June 2021 update aren’t quite ready, so we’re moving ahead with the parts that are, then we will follow with the rest with the July 2021 update.”

“Most sites won’t notice either of these updates, as is typical with any core updates.”

Chatter among SEOs at the time seemed to suggest that while the update was supposed to improve the search experience, many noted a distinct increase in the amount of spam entering the SERP listings.

Though it was the huge increase in ‘People Also Ask’ result than garnered the most attention, suggesting the inclusion of questions and answers in content currying favour with Google.

4. April Product Reviews Update

Last up, this particular update which seems like a distant memory gave stores and SEOs the opportunity to gain more SEO value from their product reviews.

In a nutshell, Google wants to see product reviews that are more in-depth, that clarify what sets the product apart from similar items and how a product has clearly proven benefits.

Longer-form reviews of greater depth and value, as opposed to the usual summary of the basics - the key to maximising SEO value going forwards.