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All changes in Google search for 2022

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Information updated on January 18, 2023

In 2022, Google announced and implemented 2 Core Updates, 8 ranking algorithm updates ([1] Page Experience Update for Desktop, [2,3,4] Product Review Ranking Updates in March, July and September, [5,6] Google Helpful Content Update in August and its implementation in December for all geo, [7] October Spam Update and [8] December Link Spam Update - ) , and over 14 technical changes to its search engine. There have also been a few changes to the optimization guide. In this article, you will find general and brief information about each search engine update in 2022, as well as some data on how it affected the search results. It's [mostly] just about updating the ranking algorithms, the core, and new technical implementations. Let's go.

All Google 2022 updates in chronological order

Below you will find information about search engine changes in chronological order; for each release, the following information will be provided: title, date, brief description and the bottom line (if it was very noticeable) of the update. Please note: if the update is technical, then in 99% of cases this does not affect the ranking.

New robots tag: indexifembedded (January 21)

On January 21, Google started supporting new robots tag - indexifembedded (technical update).

Tag Purpose: Allows the content of this page to be indexed if it is embedded using iframes or a similar HTML tag, such as object, in other pages , even if indexing is disabled for those content pages.

The result of the change: indexifembedded is currently only supported by the Google search engine, and is not widely used. How it can be used (example): if there are pages with videos on separate urls, and these pages should not be indexed on their own, using indexifembedded + noindex in the head or http response will make it so that this content is indexed on other pages where this video is embedded via iframes.

More info: blog/

Search Console New URL Inspection API (January 31)

On January 31, you can use the new API to analyze data from Search Console. The Search Console URL Inspection API passes all the data that analysis in URL Inspection to third-party programs. This is a convenient and important technical update, which greatly simplifies the mass analysis of pages on the site.

The purpose of the API: quick mass analysis of the pages of your site to identify optimization errors, determine the date of the last crawl, presence/absence in the index, etc.

The result of the change: a very convenient method for quickly mass analyzing your site according to various criteria related to the effectiveness of the content.

More info:

Page experience update for desktop (February 22)

This update was announced back in 2021. In February-March 2022, it was finally implemented: Google began to consider interaction with the page as part of the desktop ranking system. This is an important update for desktop rankings.

Who was affected by the update: all sites, all geos, niches, etc. This update applies the same three Core Web Vitals for ranking on desktop as mobile: LCP , FID , and CLS , and their associated thresholds. Other aspects of page interaction signals, such as HTTPS security and the absence of intrusive interstitials, also remain the same.

The result of the improvement: Sites with poor speed, lack of a secure connection and similar problems could start to rank worse.

More info:

Connecting Search Console to Data Studio (March 8)

On March 8, it became possible to integrate data on your site from the search console in Data Studio. This allowed us to quickly get a visualization of changes in the effectiveness of the site. Accordingly, this did not affect the search in any way, this is a technical update for the convenience of working with data.

More info:

Improved ranking for Product Review (March 23)

On March 23rd, the rollout of the Product Reviews Update began to improve the search engine's ability to identify high-quality product reviews and rank them better.

Who was affected by the update: The Product Review update was implemented over several weeks and primarily affected English-language search results. This directly affected only those sites that created their own product reviews / product reviews. The content that conveyed the real experience of working with the product became better ranked. During 2022, the Product Review Ranking Update were also announced in July and September, so in the total number of updates in 2022, I count 3 Product Review ads.

The result of the improvement: Seo specialists began to improve the quality of the content on their reviews, adding more personal experience, rather than general phrases about the product. Pages with bad content could lose positions. Updates in July and September continued the course of improving the ranking of product reviews with good content, but have already expanded to all geos.

More info:

URL Parameters Tool Deprecated (March 28)

Due to low value to users, the old URL Parameter tool was retired on March 28 (technical update). It allowed you to manage the crawling and indexing of URLs with parameters. Now you can use the capabilities of the robots.txt file instead, and use hreflang for language versions.

The abolition took place a month after the publication of the news. This did not affect SEO specialists/sites in any way, there was no need to do anything special.

More info: blog/.

Add context to structured data issues in Search Console (March 28)

A small improvement for SEO specialists was released on March 28: now structured data errors are described more specifically, which saves time on fixing them (technical update).

More info:

Removing some xml sitemap tags (May 6)

On May 6, news came out about the end of support for some tags in the sitemap of the site.

Which tags were affected by the deprecation: only media tags were affected:

  1. caption, geo_location, title, license removed for images;
  2. category, player_loc[@allow_embed], player_loc[@autoplay], gallery_loc, price[@all], tvshow[@all] have been deprecated for videos.

More info:

May Core Update 2022 (May 25)

The May 2022 Core Core Update was announced on May 25th. Implementation took up to two weeks.

Who was affected by the update: All core core updates affect all geos and all sites. Core core changes are about improving how Google systems evaluate content in general. These changes may cause some previously under-ranked pages to rank better.

More info:

Simplifying Search Console Reports (June 15)

Since June 15, Search Console reports have changed the appearance of graphs about indexing problems - the report has been simplified, and the classification of elements has been updated. This did not affect the search in any way, it only made it easier for SEO specialists to work with sites (technical update).

More info:

New Search Console Video Indexing Report (July 11)

On July 11, a message was posted that a new video indexing report on the page will be available soon. At the time the information appeared, the report had not yet been implemented, in fact, it appeared only in October. This is another technical update.

A new report shows if a video has been detected, indexed, is the main content on the page, or just supplements the text.

video indexing report

More info:

New in structured data: pros and cons (Aug 5)

August 5, Google announced support for a new type of structured data, namely pros and cons. The markup can also render in a snippet. This implementation is recommended for use in product reviews.

More info:

Google Helpful Content Update (August 18)

One of the most important updates for 2022. The deployment took up to two weeks, August 22-28. The update was aimed at improving the position of pages with high quality content.

Who was affected by the update: The update was large-scale, it was supposed to affect all niches, but primarily niches related to online education, art and entertainment, shopping and technology. At first, only English-language search results were affected, in December - all geos.

The result of the update: After the update, content that β€œappears of little value, low value-added, or otherwise useless to searchers” could be severely affected. The rating of not only individual pages with low-quality content has decreased, but of the whole site, if there were many such pages.

More info:; What do we know about updating useful content.

Core Update (September 12)

The second core update of 2022 started on September 12 and was completed on September 26.

Who was affected by the update: All core core updates affect all geos and all sites. Core core changes are about improving how Google systems evaluate content in general. These changes may cause some previously under-ranked pages to rank better.

This core update is possibly related to spam updates because it was released just between two major anti-spam updates.

New Search Console Merchant Listing report (Sep 13)

Improvement for websites that sell products. New enhanced "product" markup capabilities are now available in search: a list of merchants can be displayed even if those merchants are not represented in the Merchant Center. You just need to mark up the Shema product. Also, the webmaster console can display a new report - a report on the list of sellers.

Who was affected by the improvement: The improvement is highly specialized, aimed at owners of product sites.

More info:

The result of the improvement: More sellers of goods appeared in the SERP, even if they are not represented in the Merchant Center.

New HTTPS report in Search Console September 14

On September 14, a new report appeared in the console: the presence of a secure https connection on the page. The report will give you an idea of the HTTPS pages displayed in Search. The report also lists issues that prevent pages from working over HTTPS, as well as sample URLs. This is a technical update.

https search console report

More info:

On October 14, search introduced site names into the mobile SERPs to make it easier to identify the website associated with each result. You can specify your preferred site name using structured data. This is a technical update.

Site names are currently available for Google mobile search results in English, French, Japanese, and German, and will be added to other languages over the next few months.

site names

More info: search/blog/; An article about sources for site names.

October Spam Update (October 19th)

The October spam update aimed at combating low-quality sites and fraudulent promotion schemes was rolled out October 19-21. According to its results, rankings should have been lowered for sites with low-quality content on the pages.

More info:; October 2022 spam update.

New section for lists in the Shopping tab (November 16)

Another improvement for shopping sites: Search Console has introduced a new section for listings in the Shopping tab to help online store owners show their products on the Shopping tab in Google.

search console shopping tab

More info: search/blog/.

Google Search Status Dashboard Launch (December 14)

December 14, Google announced the availability of a new service to monitor crawling and indexing problems - the Google Search Status Bar. This is another technical improvement that does not affect the search in any way. Now users will be able to understand the reasons for the problem with indexing and crawling the site, if this is due to the failure of Google.

More info:; Google Search Status Bar.

December 14th, a "sequel" of spam updates was released to combat link spam (as opposed to the first spam update in October, which seemed to be content on the page). The update took several weeks to roll out.

Who was affected by the update: the update was large-scale, it was supposed to affect all niches and all geos. In theory, sites with link spam should have suffered: a large number of purchased / dishonestly obtained links with commercial anchors. Google also claimed that its SpamBrain technology learned to identify sites, that sell links.

The result of the update: the update was supposed to negatively affect the ranking of sites with an unnatural link profile. There was some SERP volatility.

More info: search/blog/; December 2022 link spam update.

E-A-T becomes E-E-A-T (December 15)

December 15, Google updated the EAT (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) concept to include "experience". This means that the search engine will encourage content that presents the user experience of interacting with a product, service, service, information, etc. The user can be equally useful as an "expert comment" and "transfer of experience with something" from a non-expert. If you combine both of these types of content in an article, then the effect should be good.

Who was affected by the improvement: all sites, all niches, all geos, however you should immediately note that these are not fundamentally new ideas, but just a voiced recommendation , and the technology itself for detecting the transfer of "experience" in content has existed for a long time. As Google says, these recommendations are used by our raters to evaluate the performance of our various search ranking systems, and they do not directly affect rankings.

More info: blog/.

Instead of conclusions

2022 has been a fruitful year for Google as always, and the emphasis in improving search has been on fighting spam on the one hand, and increasing the value of personal experience in content creation on the other. Useful content that reflects personal experience instead of link spam and onpage re-optimization is what will be relevant in 2023.

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