Google Updates 2022: A Digital Marketer’s Guide

Google Algorithm Update 2021 for Digital Asia Community
Best from our Editors / Digital Marketing / Search Engine Optimization

Google Updates 2022: A Digital Marketer’s Guide

The total number of Google updates in 2022 was more than in any other year. Since November, a total of 13+ major and minor updates have been released. 

To maintain your search rankings, it’s vital to understand every update and how it’ll affect your website. 

This article explains the major Google updates of 2022. And this article explains the minor ones. 

While the major updates create volatile changes, minor ones aren’t unavoidable.  

This Article Contains:

  1. Google’s Job Posting Update
  2. Google Ads Conversion Update
  3. Google Page Experience Update
  4. Google Spam Update
  5. Google Product Review Update
  6. Google Core Update November 2021
1. Google’s Job Posting Update

This relates to boosting the rank on Google job posting

According to the update, creating a well-explained job description is the key to high rankings. So when you create the Google job posting schema, include complete information in the “description” section. 

The official announcement clearly explains the difference between “complete” and “incomplete” job description: The description is complete when you post all the information about the job posting under the “description” tag. In case of incomplete descriptions, you write a brief job description under the “description” tag and detail other vital elements under specific tags like “qualification”, “experience” etc.

2. Google Ads Conversion Update

Google now facilitates the process of optimizing ads according to your conversion goals

There are three categories of conversion goals. Standard Goals, Account default goals and Custom goals. From now on, You’ll get to group conversion goals in one of these categories. The bidding process is optimized according to the goals you set in different categories. 

To assist a user with the process, Google added two new features. 

  1. The explanations feature: When you notice significant changes in the performance of a search ad or a campaign, explanations help you quickly find out what happened.

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2. Google’s Tag assistant support. This helps you analyze whether your conversion tags are working the way they should. Tag Assistant is integrated directly into your Google Ads account. 

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3. Google Page Experience Update

Core Web vitals are important ranking factors for mobile websites. 

According to the Google page experience update, From February 2022, core web vitals will be an important ranking factor for desktop websites as well.  

We’ll begin using page experience as part of our desktop ranking systems beginning in February 2022.

Read more about the details:

— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) November 4, 2021

This means that the following will become important ranking signals: 

  • LCP: The time your page takes in loading. This is calculated from a user’s point of view. 
  • FID: The time it takes for a user to interact with the page. 
  • CLS: It calculates the visual stability of a page while loading. 

To facilitate working with these new parameters, Google will soon launch a Search Console report to help site owners understand their performance in regards to the core web vitals. 

The SEO community has mixed opinions on this. 

According to Search Engine Land, it’s not the kind of update that brings drastic changes in site rankings. However, it does give an additional advantage. But do optimize for mobile devices first.  And only when you’re done with it, start optimizing your desktop sites according to this update. 

According to Google’s Martin Splitt, “Is it ‘the’ ranking factor (whatever that’s supposed to mean)? No. A fast website with terrible content is likely not what searchers seek… But if you have two good pieces of content and one is going to be frustratingly slow, we might wanna give the faster one a better position, no?”

According to investisdigital, “This is a rare instance of Google being forthright and transparent about something that will impact organic search results. Google is also arming us with the information and tools ahead of time so that any necessary updates can be made in a timely manner. The SEO industry is paying close attention to these developments, and it’s widely accepted that this update will negatively impact those who are unprepared”

4. Google Spam Update

Google released a spam update in July 2021. The update’s second version was released in November 2021. 

But, According to Danny Sullivan, November’s Google spam update relates to content spam and not link spam.  

As part of our regular work to improve results, we’ve released a spam update to our systems. This November 2021 spam update should be fully rolled out within a week. We encourage sites to follow our best practices for Search:

— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) November 3, 2021

Since the spam update rolled out, Google’s anti-spam AI has reduced the number of websites with automatically generated and copied content by over 80%.

There isn’t much information on how to optimize your site for the November spam update. The official announcement just shared a basic webmaster guide. 

However, you may consider inculcating these tips to optimize for the link spam update

5. Google Product Review Update

Google rolled out a product review update in April 2021. This is the second product review update of the year.

If you’re an affiliate marketer, this will affect your rankings. 

Our December 2021 product reviews update is now rolling out for English-language pages. It will take about three weeks to complete. We have also extended our advice for product review creators:

— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) December 1, 2021

According to a tweet by Dany Sullivan, the update applies to both single reviews and round-ups. 

Just like the April update, this won’t penalize sites not containing the requirements. But, it’ll reward sites containing them.

There are two highlights in this update: 

  1. “Provide evidence such as visuals, audio, or other links of your own experience with the product, to support your expertise and reinforce the authenticity of your review.”

    So basically, provide visuals of your products. 

  2. Include links to multiple sellers to give the reader the option to purchase from their merchant of choice.

    Google prefers sites that give the buyer an opportunity to choose from amongst multiple sellers. According to Matt Diggity, less than 1% of the affiliate market links to multiple affiliate programs. And so, this can be avoided for now. 

Some tracking tools analyzed the impact of Product Review Update on SERP’S. 

According to Rank Ranger, December fluctuations and volatility “were substantially higher in the top three and top five positions” 

Rank Ranger product review update - Digital Asia Community

Rank Ranger believes that the December update is more volatile than the April one.

However, Semrush doesn’t agree. According to it, in terms of overall volatility, the April update was 44% more volatile than the December one. 

Semrush says that the high volatility in December can be attributed to the collective effect of other Google updates of 2021. 

Since the update’s release, there have been a lot of Twitter conversations around it. 

Seoroundtable collected some of Alen Kent’s and John Mueller’s tweets related to the issue.  

You can have a look at them here.

6. Google Core Update November 2021

This is a blast. It’s shaken the SEO community. 

Google comes out with a core update every once in a while. And so the November update is no surprise. But, just like always, there weren’t many details about how it’ll affect the search rankings.

Since its launch, the SEO space started looking for ways to understand the update and optimize accordingly.  

Both individuals and tracking tools were talking about it.

According to some individual opinions collected by the Search Engine Journal, the SEO community is recording mixed reactions to it. Some SEO’s witnessed a change in their rankings, some didn’t. 

Others regard the Google core update as an Infrastructure update. Jason Barnard noticed a 6% volatility in the knowledge graph results. Apparently, the Knowledge graph position remained the same for the past 2 years. Hence, there’s a great possibility that the core update caused the shaking. 

Seoroundtable also collected some opinions on this.  

“I can see why it’s quiet here — there is not much volatility in the SERPs, at least not yet, and not throughout the day. However, with our specific KWs and site, there was quite a bit of volatility throughout the day” 

“Huge drop today. I can only wait for the progress of this update” 

“Couple of my sites are smashed. Others are unaffected”.

In a tweet, Glen Gebb stated “And here are some surges I’m seeing across verticals and countries. As with other broad core updates, there’s a lot of movement… and some huge drops and surges. I’m also seeing quite a bit of reversal from the spectacular summer of broad core updates. I’ll share more soon.”

And here are some surges I’m seeing across verticals and countries. As with other broad core updates, there’s a lot of movement… and some huge drops and surges. I’m also seeing quite a bit of reversal from the spectacular summer of broad core updates. I’ll share more soon.

— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) November 19, 2021

Various tracking tools also report certain metrics. 

Semrush reported a spike in volatility. Almost 7% of pages that made it to the top 10 on SERPs weren’t within the top 20 positions before the update. It claims that the November update was more volatile than its July counterpart. 

However, this volatility didn’t last long. Just two days after the update announcement, SERP’s became stable. 

The report also noticed that changes for positions 5-10 were more drastic than for positions 1-5. 

Another tool, Mozcast also reported high fluctuations just after the update. 

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Source: seoroundtable 


How To Deal With Unexpected Updates?

Overall, dealing with 2021 Google updates is challenging. But, it’s equally worth it.  

Some updates were released as a surprise. While some were well-informed. 

Since there’s often no official information on “how-to” optimize, the best way is to comply with Google’s ultimate goal i.e. Satisfying the user. 

Focus on it. Provide valuable content, enhance your site navigation, boost page experience and do everything that makes it easier and valuable for the user.