2022 is an explosive new year for SEO. Over the past few years, we’ve seen Google up its spam-fighting game and increase its ranking signals to over 200.
And while you might be freaking out over the sheer volume of information you have to parse to figure out Google’s game, there are only a few significant signals you need to focus on this year to rise above the rest.
SEO is a constantly moving target. But there are always a few mainstays and pillars you can consistently hit if you aim right.
We’ve pulled together a few studies and a little info on Google ranking factors in 2022. It will be a great year for SEO, and we’re here to usher it in.
1. Content Is Still Top Dog Of Google Ranking Factors
Content has been the head honcho of the SEO world for a while. But it’s slated to be even more critical in 2022.
The shift has been away from keywords for quite some time. Although they are still important, even if you use the right keywords and research well, you need to create enough content to be noticed.
And a recent study by SearchMetrics shows this. They found that only 53% of the top 20 queries on Google have keywords in the title tag, and less than 40% of landing pages have keywords in their H1.
That would have been unheard of even five years ago. But today, the focus is entirely different.
Google now focuses on the relevance of content rather than relying on keywords to show relevance.
You may be saying, “Well, define relevant.” Because although this isn’t philosophy 101, we should still be defining our terms.
A suitable synonym for what Google is looking for is “comprehensive.” Good content gives you everything you wish to know on a topic.
How does Google know this? In their updates like Hummingbird and RankBrain, Google began looking at semantic relevance over keywords.
How To Optimize For Content
Essentially, long-form content will more than likely be more comprehensive. It gives the writer more space to unpack a subject. The more the writer unpacks the topic, the more information will be available for Google to crawl.
It gives the writer more space to unpack a subject. The more the writer unpacks the topic, the more information will be available for Google to crawl.
These Google ranking factors depend heavily on the information you can give. Explore fewer topics with greater detail. Become authoritative in your question answering. You will rise to the top this way.
2. Backlinks Are Still Important
It might be too obvious, but the internet is a network.
Your website is not an island. It’s a node in a massive neural network. And if it connects to nothing, it will die.
Google’s signal ranking recognizes this and seeks to verify websites by their place on the World Wide Web.
This is why backlinks are still important. Google weeds out bad links from good. And if they are good links, they count toward your rank on Google.
What do we mean by “good links?” Link authority and link diversity. If you have a whole bunch of links from one source, that’s not diverse.
If your links have no bearing on the content involved, that’s not authoritative.
How To Optimize For Good Backlinks
There is a strategy for gaining high-quality backlinks. The core tenants of receiving good backlinks: are high-quality content and promotion.
As we said in our first point, if you can create comprehensive, helpful content, you have something people will want to use as a source or share.
People aren’t going to see your content, and it won’t matter to Google ranking factors if you don’t promote your content.
The social aspect of the internet is the best way to promote your content. Social signals create good backlinks.
And make sure you reach out to other people creating quality content. Let them know your stuff exists and is great for sourcing.
3. Mobile Factors
If you’re on your cell phone, it’s irritating to be shunted to a desktop site.
Every site should be mobile-friendly now. And a majority of sites are already mobile-friendly.
85% of all websites now meet Google’s criteria for being mobile-friendly.
You don’t want to be caught behind the curve on this one. But you also want a complete mobile experience. An incomplete mobile experience will be detrimental to your SERPs.
So, if you are in the process of mobilizing your web page, make sure it’s complete before launch.
And, speaking about mobile factors, your customers are on the go. Their time is precious. Are you treating their time as precious?
How much stock are you putting in page speed? What host are you using? Do you need to upgrade your website?
Sidenote: Here are our exact instructions on how we achieve grade A scores on GTmetrix for our WordPress websites!
These are the questions you need to ask yourself in 2022.
How To Optimize For Mobile-Friendly Content
Google has a way to add and verify your site to their mobile-friendly database.
It’s called Google Search Console. Use it. You’ll be thankful you did.
Test your site to ensure it has the same structured markup on your mobile and desktop site versions.
Make sure that your mobile site is visible to Googlebot.
And lastly, test your site for its speed. You want to make sure it loads in under two seconds. The longer it takes to load, the less patience a user will have.
Visitors will leave, which will increase your bounce rate or demean your traffic numbers.
4. A Few More Things To Consider
While the first three things we mentioned are the bedrock of SEO right now, Google ranking factors are many.
Here are a few of the top other categories you should consider in 2022:
- Encryption: There is still a strong correlation between secure HTTPS sites and first-page ranking. Security is still important to Google.
- H1 and H2 Headings: Make sure you do not neglect your headings. Google still looks at them even if they don’t consider keywords anymore.
- Anchor Text: You still want your anchor text to be relevant to the link. These still have some influence on ranking.
Your year is looking up. If you implement our advice, you’re going to do great.
What are some other signals you rely on to boost your ranking? Let us know in the comments below. And, as always, keep converting!