Wish to be more organically visible on Google this year? Then, you should focus on the top Google ranking factors in 2022. Google is constantly updating its algorithms. Every major update, Rankbrain, Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, and Pigeon has brought new opportunities and insights for marketers to optimize their websites’ organic visibility.
In 2021, these were major updates – Passage Ranking, MUM, Core Web Vitals, and Link Spam. Also, the giant search engine announced to include page experience as a metric of their desktop ranking system from Feb 2022.
Keeping all this in mind, let’s outline what your SEO strategy should be this time. Below is a list of top 2022 Google SEO ranking trends by our experts.
Note: Some of the SEO trends of 2021 will repeat in 2022. This is simply because those SEO practices are still beneficial for you.
Target Long-Tail Queries For Passage Ranking
Google now uses AI to index individual paragraphs or sentences from web pages because of the Passage Ranking update. Therefore, now, you can see specific paragraphs appearing on the featured snippet. The logic behind this is to provide quick answers for queries rather than making users quest to find those answers on relevant web pages.
Here’s an example by Googe explaining this process.
We got a query “How can I check if my house windows are UV glass”. Our bots looked at the possible results, and with our Passage Ranking update, Google understands that the passage from page (B) better answers the query than the page (A).
So our system put the passage on the ranked featured snippet. This also applies to how we rank web pages overall.
The key takeaway from here:
- Target long-tail keywords in your web pages.
- Only publish high-quality and in-depth content on the topic.
- Work on your web page content structure to make indexing easier for Googlebot.
Create Descriptive URLs With Keywords
Tell us – what is the first thing you see on a webpage? We guess that is the title, right? The title or main heading gives an overview of the content to web visitors. In the same way, the URL structure gives a run-through of the webpage to Google bots.
So, a good URL helps google crawlers to understand the webpage better, and these bots thus put your web page high in search results for relevant queries.
But what is a good URL?
- Easy to comprehend
- Contains your main keyword
- Excludes prepositions
- Has relevant categories
A URL with the above attributes becomes Google SEO – friendly. Plus, it makes your webpage look more reliable in the visitor’s eyes. For example, consider the following URLs:
The second one is an ideal URL for a blog explaining “Google SEO ranking factors 2022”. It contains the main keyword and is user-friendly, easy to read, and shareable as well.
Why is it a ranking factor?
Google always wants to improve the user experience, and you are doing so by creating meaningful URLs. Secondly, with the inclusion of the keyword in the URL, you can show its relevance to a search query. That’s why it is an important ranking factor. Moreover, it also increases domain authority.
Work On Core Web Vitals
Google now considers core web vitals as the major metric to evaluate the user experience of a webpage. This evaluation matters greatly for your website to appear in the top position in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
Core web vitals include First Input Delay (FID), Largest Contentful Paint (CLS), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). If you own a website, you must optimize these attributes. Let’s see how to do it.
- Evaluate your website using the Google Webmaster’s tool – Core Web Vitals report.
- There are also three other tools: Page Speed Insights, Lighthouse, and Chrome DevTools panel.
- These tools will tell you how your site is performing, present problems in UX, and how to fix them.
- Use “preload tag” on important resources to increase LCP score.
- Minimize long tasks on the website by breaking up the code into smaller chunks to improve the FID score.
- Make your web pages mobile-friendly.
- To improve the CLS score, work on moving visual elements on the page.
- Use HTTPS on your website.
- See that important content on a page is easy to find
Here’s our detailed blog on Google Core Vitals if you want more information. Working on core web vitals will also help you optimize the desktop experience, which Google will consider a ranking metric from Feb 2022.
Use Keywords In The Title Tag
For a developer, it is an HTML element. For Google, it is a ranking factor. And for a website user, it is a clue giving the idea of what’s on the webpage. So, by including a keyword in the title tag, you tell both the user and Google about the web page’s content. Google, Bing, and all other search engines will look at the title tag to find web pages relevant to the user’s query. Clearly, if you include the keyword in the title tag and it is relevant to the search query, the search engine will index and rank your webpage.
Create MUM-Friendly Content
Google MUM (Multitask Unified Model) focuses on helping users when there isn’t a simple answer to their queries. For example, a query such as “how to prepare for your upcoming trip to a place” will require users to perform many searches (about the weather, places to visit, what to pack) to get the relevant answer.
With MUM AI technology, Google is now making itself capable of answering such complex queries like an expert. Here’s an example by Google:
It is 1000X times advanced than BERT. The best part is – apart from understanding language, the MUM also can generate it. That means, if there is information about your query in a different language, MUM will be able to find it, translate it, and provide it to you.
What does this mean for SEO?
Right now, we can’t answer this question. We have to wait till the rollout gets pace. However, Google MUM will definitely affect the search results. In the opinions of SEO experts, these are the factors that make your webpages MUM-friendly:
- High-quality long-form content, including possible comparisons and related topics.
- Use of natural language key phrases in your web content.
- Multimedia format content that answers questions and provides added value.
- Multilingual website to attract regional ranking.
- Easily readable and simple content without jargon.
Use Keywords In ALT Tag
Leave a thousand words. Even when your image is worth a billion words, the bot crawls what is in between the tags. It cannot see the image without a relevant tag. So, you should tell the search engine what the image is all about. This is what the alt text does. Text in image alt tags appears in the SERPs.
What will the search engine learn about the image while crawling through the tag – image01.jpg?
Is there any way ‘image01.jpg’ is relevant to a search query? You can make it rankable simply by including the keyword in a meaningful alt text like “Google SEO Ranking.” This is the correct way.
Keyword stemming in SEO is one of the important Google SEO ranking factors in 2022 to focus on. What is keyword stemming in SEO? Keyword stemming is done to generate more new words or phrases from a single word called root word. Here, it is important to identify the right root keyword. The entire SEO strategy is primarily based on correct keywords. A keyword is like a bridge between your website and the audience you are targeting.
Coming back to the keyword stemming in Google, some suffixes or prefixes are added to the root keyword to generate new variations of the keywords. The same technique is used to find the root keyword by removing prefixes and suffixes. This year, you should use variations of the keyword you want to rank. This will definitely generate more traffic and improve the rank of your website.
An example: from the root keyword ‘consult’, we can generate the following variations of the keyword:
Internal Anchor Text Links
Making some changes in internal linking can improve the rank of a website. However, these changes can be good or bad for you. If you are updating the anchor text of internal links, make sure that these changes offer a better understanding of the context of the web page to the search engine. When Google crawls your website, it tries to do it from the user’s perspective. If changes in the anchor texts improve the experience and understanding of the user, this will without any doubt improve the rank of your website.
If you can see https in the URL bar, you are on a secure website. Otherwise, the browser will say that the website is not secure. In some browsers, it will be simply https://www.mydomainname.com. Google, back in 2014, made SSL certification a ranking factor to protect the privacy of its users.
HTTPS makes sure that the information visitors are sending or receiving is secured. It is being sent and received in encrypted form. So always buy the relevant SSL certificate. You can count on your hosting services provider for that.
Outbound Link Quality – Ethical Link Building
Outbound links and their quality equally matter in the SEO of your website. What does quality mean here? Apart from considering the domain authority, also see how relevant it is with your website. If it is natural, this will boost the rank of your website.
Outbound linking will increase relevance, improve reputation, boost value, and encourage backlinks. And, if you expect us to share the best Outbound Linking Practices, we have this to say:
- Look for natural outbound linking opportunities.
- Make use of tools for finding the related links.
- Avoid using backlink networks.
- Avoid too many links.
- Make sure that links are opening in new tabs.
- Be Strict With User-Generated Links
Are you familiar with the term mobile-first indexing? If not:
The search engine will, first of all, see whether your website has a mobile version or not. If not, Google will put your website on the back burner and index the other websites with mobile versions.
However, having a broken mobile version of the website can adversely affect the performance of your website. Whether using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, the user should not be deprived of a great browsing experience.
Page speed is one of the most important Google SEO ranking factors in 2022. It has been a ranking factor since 2010. It is a ranking factor not only in desktop searches but mobile searches as well (from July 2018 onwards). So, if you are frustrating your visitors with slow webpage speed, Google will frustrate you. Google does not appreciate it if you make its user wait for long. Therefore, expect no improvements in ranking. Prepare for the downfall of your website. Improve your site speed if you want high ranks.
Publish High-Quality Content Consistently
Let’s look at how Google decides to show a website in SERPs:
A Google user submits a query that the crawler uses to index web pages. A crawler crawls through the content between HTML tags. If the keyword searched by the user is present on the webpage in an adequate density and at the right spots, the crawler will index your webpage. Now the ranking algorithm will consider the content quality and other ranking factors to rank your website. So, to rank your website in search results, it is imperative to provide high-quality content to your web guests.
What are the traits of high-quality content?
High-quality content is informative, relevant, accurate, up-to-date, keyword-optimized, and with zero spelling or grammar mistakes. It is simple and easy to read and understand. Duplicate content, keyword stuffing, and poor quality content are big no.
Focus on Voice Searches
Today, more than 70% of netizens prefer voice search over text. Does your website is voice-search-friendly? If not, you may lose a plethora of potential customers in 2022. We are certain that you don’t want this to happen.
So, here are the tips to prepare your website for voice searches:
- Target Long Key-Phrases / Search Queries
- Modify Your Content to be Speech-Friendly
- Follow Mobile-First Indexing Guidelines
- Structure Your Content for Local Results
So, these were our speculations of Google’s top SEO ranking factors in 2022. Apart from them, it is advisable to refresh your existing content consistently. You can also try Google Discover to grow your traffic. We also provide: