The not-so-SEO checklist for 2022

30 second summary:

  • With so many Google algorithm updates in 2021, it’s easy to fall into a dangerous trap of misconceptions
  • One factor that remains constant is the value Google places on great content
  • Basic Web Fundamentals is not the end of all ranking factors but the tie-breaker
  • Read this before creating your 2022 SEO strategy!

2021 has been a relatively busy year for Google and SEO around the world. The search engine giant is improving itself all the time, but in the past year, we’ve seen a number of pretty things Important updates Which gave digital marketers reason to pay attention. From rewarding more detailed product reviews to eliminating spam links, Google continues to think of ways to improve the user experience on its platform.

Speaking of user experience: The biggest talking point of the year was the June Page Experience update, which took place over a few months and specifically included basic web essentials.

After this happened, tens of thousands of words were published around the web instructing people on how to modify their websites to meet the new standards.

Mobile compatibility is more important than ever. Some inexperienced SEOs may have started looking at Core Web Vitals as a new ranking factor for web pages.

With all this new information on our hands since last year, it’s possible that some misconceptions have emerged about what is good and bad for SEO in 2022.

In this post, I want to dispel some myths about Google’s biggest and most prevalent updates of 2021 and then dispel them.

So, here it is – the not-so-good-look-up SEO checklist for 2022. Here are three things you shouldn’t do.

1. Do not prioritize the importance of the core web (CWV) over the quality of content

It’s no secret that Google basic web vitality One of the things you want to optimize your website for in 2022 if you haven’t already.

As a quick reminder, Basic Web Fundamentals is at a crossroads between SEO and web development, and it measures the largest content fee for your website, first entry width and cumulative shift in layout.

These are the parts of your website that load first and allow users to start interacting with the site in the first few milliseconds. Logic tells us that the slower the load times, the worse the user experience for your site.

The not so SEO checklist and basic web essentials - myths debunked

First of all, this is not entirely new information. We all know about page speed and how it affects SEO. We also know how important it is for Core Web Vitals to work well on mobile, and this is where About 60 percent From searches on Google come from.

Google takes its web staples seriously as ranking factors so you can now find a CWV report in Google Search Console and get CWV metrics in PageSpeed ​​Insights results (mobile only until February 2022, when the metrics roll out to desktop).

Given that, why would I call it a misconception that Core Web Vitals should be at the top of my SEO checklist for 2022?

That’s because Google itself has frankly Having a top-shelf page experience doesn’t beat posting killer content. Content is still the king of SEO. Being helpful and answering user questions is one of the most important ranking factors.

So, it’s a misconception that Google won’t mess around well unless “basic web vitality” is all in solid, healthy places.

However, having it all is the ideal situation. If you have great web content And Optimized web essentials Your organic search will likely perform better than a page without strong web essentials.

So, in 2022, work on your “basic web fundamentals” for sure, but develop a detailed content marketing plan first.

2. Don’t assume your product review site has a problem

Another misconception that may have followed from the 2021 Google update is that affiliate sites, specifically product review sites, were in some hot water after the product reviews update from April.

Google intended with the update to prioritize in-depth and useful product reviews over unwanted and light reviews over details. In other words, just like in organic search, high-quality content will win here.

If at any time there was a point where someone actually made money by running a shady, low quality affiliate site with irrational product reviews that spammed thousands of people, April 2021 Update Product Reviews I started killing it.

The search engine now prioritizes long and detailed reviews, the kind that generates users’ trust. These are the types of affiliate content that will benefit from the Google update, while spam sites will continue to disappear from the top rankings.

So, we can forget about the misconception that good, honest, hard-working affiliate product reviewers will be harmed in some way by the update.

As long as you provide something relevant and legitimately useful to your users, you may have noticed your ratings rising since April 2021.

3. Don’t assume Google will rewrite all your nicknames

The last misconception I want to address here is the idea that you don’t need to put effort into your page title tags because Google will rewrite them all anyway after the title tag rewriting initiative in August 2021.

First, some explanation. Back in August, many of you know that SEOs across the industry are starting to notice their page titles being rewritten, as in, not as they originally created them.

Google soon owned To rewrite page titles, but only those titles you think are below actual user experience. From Google’s point of view, spam title tags included those that were full of keywords, too long, overlapping across a particular website, or just missing.

But SEO still notes that SEO-optimized title tags are still being rewritten, and new titles don’t always come directly from the original title. Sometimes, as Google has been doing since 2012, the search engine uses semantics to rewrite the title to be more descriptive or simply better.

In other cases, new Google titles came from H1 text, body text, or backlink text.

Google has seen these efforts and continues to do so, as a great way to improve the user experience while searching.

However, many SEOs didn’t see it that way, especially considering that Google’s rewrites were sometimes to blame for this. drops in traffic.

To put it mildly, there was an uproar in the SEO community about the change, to the point that Google Explaining himself a second time Just a month later, in September 2021.

In this blog post, Google said it uses marketers’ title tags 87 percent of the time (up from just 80 percent in August). The other 13 percent will be rewritten to improve:

  • very short titles,
  • old titles
  • Standard titles
  • and inaccurate addresses.

And now to get things back to the core of this: It’s a misconception that you’re wasting your time writing title tags after August of 2021.

Google doesn’t actually want to rewrite your title tags. I mentioned this clearly in my September post.

What Google wants you to do is write high-quality page titles yourself, descriptive, honest and helpful headlines. Give your users what they need, and Google will leave your addresses alone.

However, throw a bunch of keywords in there, or use standard headings throughout your site, and you can expect Google to do some cleaning for you. The problem is that you may not like the results personally.

Title tags are important in SEO, big time. Don’t think your efforts are futile just to change the year 2021. Focus on creating title tags that matter to your users, and you should be good to go.

to go forward

It can be dangerous to fall into the three misconceptions I have outlined here in 2022.

Now, are Basic Web Essentials, quality affiliate links, and title tags important to Google? You can bet on them. But SEO also has to be smart when dealing with these matters. Everything the Google Search Center does has it in mind.

Optimize for “basic web liveliness,” but nonetheless, put quality content creation first.

Run your own affiliate marketing site, but make sure the reviews are helpful.

And write amazing SEO title tags so Google doesn’t want to rewrite it.

Just following these guidelines can help you next year.


Chris Jones is the founder and former CEO of digital marketing and network affiliate Pepperjam, which he sold to eBay Enterprises in 2009. Most recently, Kris founded the SEO software and services company LSEO.com and previously invested in several successful technology companies. Kris is an experienced public speaker and author of one of the bestselling SEO books of all time titled “Search-Engine Optimization – Your Visual Blueprint to Effective Internet Marketing”, which has sold nearly 100,000 copies.

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