The SEO world is constantly changing and nobody knows for sure what’s going to happen in the future. I mean, it’d be great if I had a crystal ball, but sadly, there isn’t anything like that when it comes to SEO — or anything now that I think about it!
Hope isn’t lost though, because Google, and the internet in general, often leaves little clues in regards to what might happen in the world of SEO.
It’s important for us to pay attention to these clues so we can take advantage of small or big changes in the way Google does things.
After all, if you can react to changes faster than your competitors, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to beat them in the search listings. At the very least, you’ll be able to stop your rankings from deteriorating.
So, with that in mind, in this article, we’re going to review eight SEO predictions for 2022.
Some of the predictions, like #3 might not catch you off guard, especially if you’re an SEO veteran. However, other predictions, like # 9 might completely surprise you whether you’re a rookie or a newbie!
Anyhow, if you keep these predictions in mind, you should be able to develop an SEO strategy that delivers great results.
Prediction #1 – Google Will Use Actual Image Text or Content as a Ranking Factor
At the moment, Google mostly relies on ‘alt’ tags and captions to figure out what a certain image is about.
But, because of advancements in AI, people are beginning to suspect Google will soon be able to read the actual text within an image. After all, Google can already do this with certain tools such as Google Photos.
If Google can actively extract text from website images, they might use the text within an image to figure out what a particular webpage is about. They could then use this info when ranking websites.
Again, this is just a prediction for the future, and it’s not verified…yet. But, if you want to be ahead of the curve, you might want to consider adding some text to your actual images that describes the image in question.
This is just one AI prediction we have for 2022. Later on, we will touch on another SEO prediction related to AI.
Prediction #2 – AMP Goes Away Completely
If you’ve Googled something on a mobile device, you’ve probably come across an Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP), at one point or another.
AMP pages deliver a stripped-down version of a webpage and this can drastically lower loading times.
However, a lot of publishers aren’t happy with AMP, and Google is even facing a legal case in relation to AMP.
Because of all this backlash, in 2021, Google announced that websites with AMP no longer get preferential treatment.
Now, this framework is still supported by Google, so it’s not completely irrelevant yet.
Plus, this framework helps websites improve loading speeds. Loading speeds are a big factor when it comes to search engine rankings (which, interestingly enough, relates to another prediction we’re going to make later on).
When you consider all this, it’s hard to say if using AMP leads to better rankings, even if Google says otherwise.
Either way, a lot of people are starting to turn on AMP, so there’s a chance Google will abandon this format in favor of something better. At the very least, just so they can avoid all the drama created by this framework.
Either way, if you’re setting up a website in 2022, you shouldn’t worry too much about using AMP. You should also keep a close eye on what might replace this framework.
Prediction #3 – Google Will Announce New Core Web Vitals Metrics
Google has created something known as ‘core web vitals.’
For the most part, this concept is designed to identify whether a website provides a good user experience. For instance, earlier we discussed website speed, which is just one of the factors Google pays attention to with core web vitals.
However, they also focus on a few code structure and security issues too.
For instance, Google looks at whether a website uses the ‘HTTPS’ protocol, and if it doesn’t, the website might experience lower rankings.
In any case, user needs and website security/coding best practices change as time goes on. Because of this, Google might consider adding new metrics to the core web vitals program in 2022.
You need to pay close attention to this program so you can act on any new factors that Google has prioritized.
Prediction #4 – More Companies Will Focus on PR SEO
Links are still important in SEO, but gathering them is obviously very hard — especially if you’re focusing on high-authority links.
In 2021, a lot of companies managed to secure good links by focusing on PR campaigns. These are essentially campaigns that attract a lot of media buzz, and then subsequently lead to a lot of high PR backlinks.
Because this method can drive a lot of links, and a lot of cross-platform publicity at the same time, more companies will likely do this in 2022.
If you’d like to create a campaign like this, you might want to create an original piece of research in your niche and then try sending this research to a journalist.
Prediction #5 — Spam detection Will Become Even Better
Recent developments in AI have made it a lot easier for people to create lots of ‘high-quality’ content in record-breaking amounts of time.
For instance, in the past couple of years, an AI tool known as GPT-3 gained a lot of popularity. This AI tool managed to create content that people thought was written by a real person. As time goes on, this technology is only going to get more powerful.
Now, Google is already fighting spam using AI, but it will likely optimize its spam detection algorithm so that it can detect AI content. They may make a public announcement about this in 2022.
It is unclear how this will impact content creation efforts, but the most important thing is that you steer clear of using tools that promise to create content using AI.
Such tools might work in the short term, but they may eventually get you into trouble. If you ever used content spinners in the past, you might know exactly how this kind of issue can play out.
Prediction #6 — Ecommerce Businesses Will Start to Prioritize SEO
Ecommerce stores took a big hit when the iOS 14 updates hampered their ad tracking abilities.
After all, recent figures show 96% of US users have opted out of ad tracking, once they were given the option to do so. This is a problem because it makes it more difficult for advertisers to create ad campaigns that deliver a high ROI.
Because of this, a lot of ecommerce businesses are starting to consider other marketing channels such as SEO.
As a result, you might notice some extra competition in 2022 from ecommerce brands, no matter what niche you’re in.
If you run an ecommerce business, or if you’re worried about incoming competition from ecommerce businesses, it’s worth noting that we can help you.
For example, after we worked with this ecommerce store, they were able to generate an extra 150,00 visitors per month.
If you’d like to see how we can help, visit juliangoldie.com to book a consulting call with us!
Prediction #7 — Your Website Might Have Improved International Reach — Without You Having to Do Anything
Earlier, we hinted at an experimental feature that might be used in the search listings in 2022. Well, the feature we were talking about is something known as MUM, which is essentially a form of AI.
This AI feature can quickly translate web pages, and Google is hinting that this tool could lead to an increase in the number of ‘foreign’ results people see when searching for a particular topic.
Now the interesting thing here, is that these results won’t look foreign. That’s because this AI feature will just take foreign results, translate everything and then just display the results in the preferred language of the person performing the search.
If this becomes a reality, and your website takes advantage of this feature, you might be able to reach a lot more people, without much effort on your part.
Prediction #8 — SEO Won’t Change Much
Our final prediction is that the fundamentals of SEO aren’t really going to change much.
If you look back at how SEO has developed over the past few years, the basic principles of SEO have mostly remained the same.
That means success with SEO generally comes down to good content + good links, though recently, there has also been a bigger push on user experience.
The Bottom Line
Either way, we think these factors will continue to have a huge level of importance, and if you just focus on those things, you’ll probably have a good shot at ranking well.
By the way, if you’re thinking about investing in SEO but don’t know where to start, visit juliangoldie.com. You can book a free consulting call with us, and on this call, we’ll help you figure out how you can use SEO within your business.