SEO Articles

Google Search Console products rich result report error handling updated

Google has made a change to the rich result reports for product structured data on December 28, 2021. This rich results report is viewable in Google Search Console and the change may result in the number of product entities and issues being different from previous days.

What changed. Google said the search company “changed the way that it evaluates and reports errors in Product structured data.” Google did not specify any more details than that.

The impact of the change. As a result of that change, Google said “you may see changes in the number of Product entities and issues reported for your property, as well as a change in severity of some issues from errors to warnings.”

Google will annotated the report so that if you see a decrease or increase in these numbers, it might be related to the change Google made on its reporting end and nothing you changed on your end. Again, it might just be a reporting change and the Google search results have not changed.

Why we care. If you notice changes in the product rich results report in Google Search Console, do not panic, it is a confirmed change on Google’s end. If you didn’t make any changes to your site around this date, there is even less reason to be concerned.

You should still review all the errors, issues and warnings Google specified in this report and resolve those issues going forward.

The post Google Search Console products rich result report error handling updated appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Looking back at Yoast in 2021

Looking back at Yoast in 2021

What a year it has been! Big things have happened within Yoast the company as well as in our Yoast SEO plugin. In this post, I look back at a wonderfully exciting 2021! In addition, I have asked Thijs de Valk – our brand new CEO – all kinds of questions to shine his light on 2021 as well. Care to join us?

The biggest thing of 2021: Yoast joins Newfold

The biggest thing happening in 2021 was the fact that Yoast joined Newfold Digital. In August of this year, the shareholders of Yoast sold their stock to Newfold Digital. And, while we’re no longer the owners of the best company in the world, we’re still really happy and excited to work here.

I asked Thijs how the company is doing, half a year after the acquisition. ‘We’re in the middle of our integration in Newfold,’ Thijs explains. ‘We’ve moved all of our tooling from Google Drive to Microsoft Office. That was a big thing internally. Apart from that, we’re pretty much doing all the things we did before the acquisition. Except that we now have more time to focus on our product.’

The board of Yoast with Sharon Rowlands – CEO of Newfold Digital

Changes within Yoast – the company

It was a weird year. At the beginning of 2021, we were positive that this would be the year in which we would beat COVID. However, the situation in the Netherlands now is not that good. We’re in lockdown light again. We’re working from home. Yoast was always a company in which a lot of people worked from our local offices. We now have become a hybrid company. Some people work from home, others work at the office, most people prefer a combination of both.

‘We’ve hired a lot of new colleagues this year,’ says Thijs. ‘Some awesome new developers, we expanded our support team and we hired some new marketeers. I am especially proud of our Business Intelligence team. I think we finally have a state-of-the-art Business Intelligence team. And we need that, with 12 million users. ‘

Thijs also talks about expansion outside of the Netherlands. Yoast is becoming an international company: ‘We noticed, due to COVID, that working remotely is very possible. Our company culture has become more international as well. Internally, we try to do everything bilingual. We used to be very Dutch.’

Our video about hybrid working at Yoast

Changes within Yoast – the plugin

We’ve done some wonderful releases this year! At Yoast, we’re most excited about our new SEO workouts. Have you seen them? Our workouts are designed to solve specific SEO tasks that really help you to improve the SEO-friendliness of your website. They are quick, easy, and fun to do.

Thijs is also a big fan of our new workouts. ‘I especially love the cornerstone content workout. That workout helps you to choose your most important articles. And, after that, to make sure that Google also knows that those are your favorites. A lot of people tend to forget the importance of internal linking. This workout really helps you to update the internal linking structure of your site. And that’s so important for SEO.’

Check out Thijs’ favorite workout below:

This is one of the three SEO workouts we currently have in Yoast SEO

The new CEO

More big news and big changes in 2021. Marieke (that’s me by the way) decided to step down as CEO. I wanted to focus more on marketing and less on the corporate things that tend to become your day-to-day job when you’re leading the company. Luckily, Thijs de Valk was up and ready to take over the role of CEO.

‘I am really happy with the new role,’ Thijs says when I congratulate him (again) on his new job. ‘It’s an honor to lead such a great company. And these are exciting times. Integrating into Newfold is both scary and exhilarating. We have so many new things lined up for next year. I can’t wait for 2022 to start.’

Thijs de Valk became the new CEO of Yoast!

Conferences, WordCamps, webinars and workshops

2021 was a year with a lot of online conferences and WordCamps. We’ve visited so many events and met a lot of nice people from all over the world. In 2021 we also did a lot of webinars and online workshops at Yoast. Those were a big success. Remember our awesome Yoast summer school in which we did a number of really cool online workshops? And we’re not slowing down, we’re planning on doing more webinars and online workshops in 2022!

Online conferences were the thing of 2021

We held a few different workshops during Yoast SEO Summer School

What about next year?

2022 is just around the corner. Thijs is ready for it: ‘I can’t wait for 2022. We have some really awesome things lined up… three exciting things in January! And that’s only the beginning!’

2021 was a great year for Yoast. And we’re ready to go and make 2022 just as awesome. If only this COVID-thing would disappear. We hope you all have a great 2022 too! And please: stay healthy and stay safe.

Read more: SEO in 2022: Your chance to shine! »

The post Looking back at Yoast in 2021 appeared first on Yoast.

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Wrapping up 2021 with our top 10!

30-second summary:

12 months, several curveballs, and some masterstrokes
If you missed out, today is a great day to look through the Search Engine Watch lens for the year gone by
Key themes that were front of mind in 2021 – Google’s updates, cookie death counter-strategies, mastering customer experience elements, trust-building, and alternatives for search marketing and ranking

As the world, people, and of course businesses motored through a year of uncertainties – these crackers of articles gave your strategies an unfair advantage.

#1 – Google Page Experience update is all set to launch in May 2021 – Webmasters, hang in there!

You asked, “What is Page Experience, anyway? Do we really need to have an overflowing to-do list?” – and we answered everything around this enigma. This piece touched upon every aspect, angle, and action point that SEOs needed to know.

#2 – The search dilemma: looking beyond Google’s third-party cookie death

The ad tech and search industry continued to remain precarious that Google will use the cookie deprecation as a new way to establish market dominance to feed its own interests. Google expert, Susan Dolan drew from her rich experience and detailed realities of the search scape. She also shared insights and predicted future key themes that rose out of the 3p cookie death.

#3 – Everything you need to know about the Google MUM update

As the industry bid farewell to BERT, Google’s Multitask Unified Model (MUM) update in June 2021 opened new search experience dimensions. The cranked-up competition for search visibility between businesses and advertisers – left SEO practitioners and agencies with yet another burning question, “How will we win MUM’s good graces?” Joe Dawson’s comprehensive guide left no stone unturned.

#4 – Why killing your content marketing makes the most sense

“Kill your darlings”, yes, we said it! Though it sounded outlandish, this piece held wise and valuable advice from best-selling author Joe Pulizzi on why this could be one of the best business decisions you could’ve made in 2021.

#5 – Quora and Reddit: Powerhouses for SEO and marketing in 2021

Everyone is obsessed with Google, but did you know Reddit is the seventh most popular website in the US while Quora has a DR of 91? This guide shone a light on how your search strategy could take advantage of these platforms with diversification, tap into great brand-building opportunities, and enhance your E-A-T standing.

#6 – Now is the best time to stitch your search marketing loopholes before 2022

The third-party cookie still stands at a crucial intersection between digital marketing, SEO, paid media, web design, and several business tangents. The industry needed to think hard and think differently for a contingency plan. SEO pioneer, serial entrepreneur, and best-selling author, Kris Jones helped weave a tight SEO and search marketing strategy way ahead of 2022. Why? Because a stitch in time saves nine.

#7 – Seven first-party data capturing opportunities your business is missing out on

The internet continued zigging in a privacy-focused direction as a response to consumers’ increasing demand for a transparent, responsible, and ethical outlook towards their data. First-party data became indispensable and consumer trust, invaluable. While the playing field inched closer to the great reset, we revealed some hidden first-party gems every business could use to redesign their search marketing strategies.

#8 – UX: an important SEO ranking factor

The story of SEO and UX began almost 20 years ago with both making a foray into the market in the 1990s. Since then, SEO practitioners saw seasons change and the Page Experience, paired with data analysis finally etched UX as a key ranking factor. Atul Jindal condensed years of his experience working with fortune 50 companies into this SEO guide to help you win at SEO and search experience.

#9 – Cross-channel marketing: why you shouldn’t put all your eggs in the Google basket

The pandemic didn’t let us forget that while every business is unique, budgets too took a hit, making allocation stringent. But why did so many businesses still stick to the “big guns” when allocating spending? Adzooma CEO Rob Wass and Cambridge University’s Akanshaa Khare joined forces to challenge this notion. They produced some truly unique insights that would make stakeholders rethink their media spending habits.

#10 – Core Web Vitals report: 28 Ways to supercharge your site

Everyone remembers the chaos surrounding the Core Web Vitals in early 2021. SEO folks were keen to get ahead on optimizing their site and Twitter threads were full of speculation. Armed with information, we shared a 28-point checklist on action items to spot, optimize, and embrace the inevitable rollout of these new ranking factors.

Thank you for being valuable supporters throughout our journey. Team Search Engine Watch wishes everyone a happy year-end and an adventurous 2022!

*Ranked on page views, time on page, and bounce rate.

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The post Wrapping up 2021 with our top 10! appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Google’s Title and Meta Descriptions Length (Updated 2022)

You can find everything you need to know about title and meta descriptions length here. We will talk about what they are, the best practices, and how you can leverage them for your SEO.

What will you learn?

Understand what are good titles and meta descriptions?The perfect length for both title and meta description.Changes in title and meta description throughout the yearsTools to help you create great title and meta description

It’s true: title tags and meta descriptions won’t directly help your website magically rise to the top of the search engine results (at least not the way most people imagine). From 2020, Google’s advice is to not focus too much on these, as many of the snippets Google chooses are dynamic and not pulled from your meta descriptions.

However, well-written title tags and meta descriptions are still the number one elements that decide your CTR (and CTR is one of the top-ranking factors, go figures)

A lot of how Google decides what search result snippet to show is based on the searchers’ query and the content on your page. According to Google’s blog, there’s no limit on how long a meta description can be, but the search result snippets are always truncated as needed, typically to fit the device width.

Here’s the average title and meta description length on December 2021

Average title and meta description length

Best Practices For A Good Headline or Title Tag in 2022

We recommend keeping your headline at under or approximately 60 characters to fit Google results that have a 600-pixel word limit and avoid truncation. Additionally, here are some other SEO best practices:

Always describe the page’s content accurately. Choose a title that reads naturally and effectively communicates the topic of the page’s content.Create unique titles for each page. This helps Google know how the page is distinct from the others on your site.Use brief, but descriptive titles. Titles should be both short and informative. If it is too long or less relevant, Google may only show a portion of it or one that’s automatically generated in the Google search result.The most crucial step is to make sure you carry out keyword research to ensure you use high-value keywords in your title tag

Use tools like title generators to kickstart your ideation process. You can easily get thousands of title ideas with our title generator.

Best Practices For A Good Meta Description Length in 2022

Meanwhile, your meta description length should be kept descriptive and between 150 and 160 characters for optimal length, and this includes spaces. Additionally, you also want to make sure to: 

Accurately summarize the page content. While there’s no minimal or maximal meta title length for the text in the description, Google recommends making sure that it’s long enough to be fully shown in Google results (note that users may see different sized snippets depending on how and where they search).Use unique descriptions for each page. Having a different description of meta tags for each page helps both users and Google, especially in searches where users may bring up multiple pages on your domain.Include your primary keyword and related keywords naturally

(*Updated in December 2021*)

Before that, more good reads on meta description best practices and the do’s and don’ts with meta description examples. 

Download our title and meta description best practice checklist that got us a 265% increase in traffic!

Brief History of Title and Meta Description 

In case you haven’t noticed, Google has made significant changes to the titles and meta descriptions length on the Google Search Results. More characters for both titles and meta descriptions are displayed in the search results now compared to the previous weeks.

What Are The Changes?

Space of Google Search Results. 

To compare it with before Google made the changes, the latest search result is now 600 pixels wide, which is about 100 pixels wider.

Changes in title and meta description length on the SERP

This is not the only change that we’ve noticed. Let’s look into more details on the other prominent changes.

Desktop

Today, Google has finally made some changes and increased the titles to 70-71 characters. I know, it doesn’t seem much, but at least you can still fit in another word or two in your title, which will make a difference.

But if you’re already happy with your current title, you can choose to add your site name at the end of the title for branding purposes.

You’ll still need to monitor the traffic and click-through rate (CTR) of your old titles compared to the new ones as it will affect your SEO. The organic results for your site will probably be higher or lower as well, which is why you have to keep things in check.

If you still can’t really see the differences yet, let me show you.

Here, I have a screenshot of the title before Google make the changes:

Google only shows 54 characters of this title and truncates the rest of it.

And this is what happens after Google make the changes:

Google displays the entire title on the search results, which has 63 characters.

Not only has Google increased the length of the titles to be displayed, but the meta descriptions also showed some changes too.

When writing meta descriptions, we tend to keep it between 150-160 characters because Google usually truncates snippets that are longer than 160 characters. Besides, Google used to display only 2 lines of meta descriptions on their search results page. Just like this:

But look at what I’ve found today:

This has once again proven that Google made some changes to its search results page. And Google not only made changes to the desktop titles. The titles and meta descriptions on mobile search have also increased and are even longer than on the desktop.

Mobile

Google has increased the length of mobile titles from about 55-60 characters to 78 characters. So now the titles on mobile search have 7-8 characters more than the desktop titles.

The same goes for the meta descriptions. Mobile has less room for meta descriptions than a desktop site, with a maximum of 120 characters

Let’s take a look at an example from the mobile search results.

Comparing it to the titles and meta descriptions on desktop:

With these changes that we noticed on mobile search results, we think that it may be worth it to optimize your title tags for mobile if you have more visitors from mobile than desktop.

It is definitely interesting seeing Google adding the extra characters to both titles and meta descriptions in the desktop and mobile searches. But the decision on whether to increase the titles and meta descriptions length is still up to you.

Here’s a quick recap of the perfect title and meta description length for your web pages:

Our Thoughts?

These new changes may not be a bad thing, especially for those who were struggling within the title constraints. Furthermore, more characters equal to more semantic keywords that we can include in our titles and meta descriptions for it to be displayed in Google search results.

Because if you haven’t already, you should use semantic keywords in your meta descriptions to help Google know what your content is about.

After all, Google is now looking at understanding the total context rather than the keyword density. If everything is done right, you’ll see yourself at the top of the ranks!

Once again, while we strongly recommend adding in your primary and related keywords to your title and meta descriptions, do avoid spamming keywords and overusing them to prevent Google’s penalty.

Taking this opportunity, we’d like to recommend a keyword research tool that helps you find your best semantic keywords. It’s called BiQ SEO Suite

When it comes to identifying the keywords to optimize your title and meta description, you can find everything you need using BiQ’s Keyword Intelligence

You can easily get access to the much-needed keyword data like the total related keywords, search trend, volume, and search intent to identify the most profitable related keywords to include them in your meta description. 

An extra tip when writing your meta description is also to include popular questions as the first line in your description because not only are they relatable but often questions are easy to pique at our curiosity which most likely drives us to click. (You can find them on the same module too!)

Also, it’s important to note that making an edit to your title and meta description is a double-edged sword!

Though editing your meta description can result in an amazing 286% increase in traffic, it can also cause suffering in website traffic when you fall out of certain keywords.

That’s why once you have edited your title and meta description, it’s very important to keep track of your ROI. 

Use BiQ’s Rank Tracking feature and start tracking the movements of your content across the SERP. 

Voila, everything was done on a single platform. Of course, these are just the tip of the iceberg. Sign up for a BiQ free tier account and ALL the features it has to offer. 

Also, check out this meta description of best practices written by the BiQ team that will show you through the whole process using their tool.

TL;DR

Keep your title length around 60 characters.

For your meta description length, keep it around 160 characters.

Although title tags and meta descriptions don’t count as a ranking factor, CTR is.  Optimizing your title and description to increase your CTR is crucial for your ranking. If you prefer to write a unique title in a short time, you can use a title generator like Blog Title Generator to help you. 

This post was originally written by Joanne and published on April 13, 2016. It was most recently updated on Dec 28, 2021

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SEO in 2022: Your chance to shine!

Although it also brought many good things, 2021 was a year to forget for most of us quickly. So let us take a look at next year. For most sites, SEO in 2021 is not much different from the past couple of years: you still need to improve the same, but you need to set the bar higher and higher. Competition is getting fiercer, and Google — and your potential customers — are getting better at recognizing true quality. Also, you need to take a step back to see if you are still reaching the right people at the right time. Search intent needs to determine your keyword research and content marketing decisions. Here, you’ll get a quick overview of SEO in 2022.

Table of contents2021 is over, now what?It’s all about qualitySEO in 2022It’s all about mobileImprove site qualityPage experience with the Core Web Vitals will continue to Enhance the user experienceUntangle your site structureImplement Schema.org structured dataContent qualityKeep search intent front and centerRe-do your keyword researchContent is contextRe-assess the content and quality of your most important pagesWork on your expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthinessHone those writing skills!Search is on the move(Progressive web) appsVideoOther platformsA system for getting traffic with SEO in 2022SEO in 2022: What’s next?

2021 is over, now what?

2020 and 2021 were tough for many of us, but hopefully, 2022 will be a more positive year. The pandemic is still breaking many of our systems, but it also unveiled new possibilities. If we look at our industry, SEO, we see that the online world has made a pretty big jump. As people moved indoors, the business moved online. Many people shop online for the first time, and many of them will keep doing that. There’s never been a better time to build an online business.

But it’s not just business. The web has always made it possible to present your creativity or learn whatever you wanted to know, but this accelerated in 2021. For instance, people picked up new hobbies and started sites to blog or show off their photography. Everything moved online. This is expected to continue into the next year and maybe beyond.

So, with all these people waiting for your content — how would you use SEO in 2022?

It’s all about quality

2021 is all about quality. Improving quality across the board should start with determining what exactly it is you do. Evaluate your products and services, and the way you describe these. Have trouble describing what you do? Well, maybe you need to go back to the drawing board. Your product must be excellent, as there is no use in trying to rank a sub-par product. No-one would fall for that. A killer product needs a killer site and a killer plan to get that site noticed.

SEO in 2022

I could talk about the rise of artificial intelligence, machine learning, or conversational interactions, but I’m not going to do that. It would help if you took note of these developments to see where search is heading, but for this moment, for most sites, it’s all about improving what you have right now. Site quality is critical. Content quality is vital. So, these SEO trends for 2022 are not hyped-up stuff but subjects we’ve been hammering home for a while. Remember Holistic SEO?

It’s all about mobile

First up, we have to talk about mobile. Since Google switched over to mobile-first indexing, it judges your site by how it works on mobile, even when most of your traffic is from the desktop. Give your mobile site special care and work on its mobile SEO. You should test whether your site works just as well on mobile as well as desktop. Is the structured data functioning and complete? Do images have relevant alt-texts? Is the content complete and easy to read? Make it lightning-fast, easy to use, and valuable. 2021 had many people experience mobile shopping for the first time, and it looks like they will come back for more in 2022.

Improve site quality

If you’ve been playing this SEO game for a while, you’ve been working on your site for a long time. Over the years, there’s been a lot of talk about all the things you really should focus on because that’s what the search engines would be looking at. Experts claim to know many factors that search engines take into account to rank a piece of content for a specific term. That’s not possible. While nobody knows precisely what happens behind the scenes of a search engine, you can look back over a more significant period to determine trends. One thing that always keeps popping up?

Quality.

To win in SEO in 2022, your site needs to be technically flawless, offer a spectacular user experience and great content, target the right audience at the right time in their user journey. And, of course, your site’s speed needs to improve. It also means incorporating and improving schema.org structured data, as schema.org remains one of the critical developments for some time to come.

Let’s go over some of the things you need to focus on in 2022.

Page experience with the Core Web Vitals will continue to

As part of an effort to get sites to speed up and to provide a great user experience, Google announced the Page Experience algorithm update that rolled out in 2021. This update will give you another reason to put site speed front and center. While the impact of the Page Experience update has been relatively marginal as of today, we expect it to continue to develop in the coming year.

Site speed has been an essential factor for a couple of years, but it will become critical. If you can’t keep up with your competition now, you’ll soon find yourself having a more challenging time keeping up if you’re not speeding up your site. If one of your competitors becomes a lot faster, you become slower by comparison, even when you’re not becoming slower. Improving loading time is a lot of work, but as it might make you much faster than the competition, it’s an excellent tradeoff.

Enhance the user experience

Page experience ties in with user experience. Is your site a joy to use? Can you find what you need in an instant? Is the branding recognizable? How do you use images? Improving the user experience is a sure-fire way to make your — potential — customers happy. Happy customers make happy search engines!

Untangle your site structure

Loads of sites were started on a whim and have grown tremendously over time. Sometimes, all those categories, tags, posts, and pages can feel like the roots of trees breaking up a sidewalk. It’s easy to lose control. You might know that keeping your site structure in check is beneficial for your visitors, as well as search engines. Everything should have its proper place, and if something is old, outdated, or deprecated, maybe you should delete it and point it to something relevant.

This year, you should pay special attention to your site structure. Re-assess your site structure and ask yourself if everything is still where it should be or improvements to be made? How’s your cornerstone content strategy? Is your internal linking up to scratch? Are redirects screwing up the flow of your site? The new SEO workouts in Yoast SEO Premium can help you get started on this.

Implement Schema.org structured data

Structured data with Schema.org makes your content instantly understandable for search engines. Search engines use structured data to connect parts of your page and the world around it. It helps to provide context to your data. Besides making your site easier to understand, adding structured data makes your site eligible for so-called rich results. There are many rich results, from star ratings to image highlights, and search engines continue to expand this. Structured data forms the basis of many recent developments, like voice search.

Implementing structured data has never been easy, but we’re solving that problem. Yoast SEO automatically outputs a complete graph of structured data, describing your site and content in detail for search engines. For specific pages, you can tell the content in the Schema tab of Yoast SEO. Also, our structured data content blocks for the WordPress block editor let you automatically add valid structured data by simply picking a block and filling in the content. We now offer blocks for FAQ pages and How-to articles, with more on the way. In addition, we also have an online training course on structured data to help you improve your SEO in 2022.

Content quality

There is a ton of content out there — and there’s a lot of new content published every day. Why should your content be in the top ten for your chosen focus keyphrases? Is it perfect enough to beat the competition? Are you publishing unique, all-encompassing content that answers the questions your audience has?

Keep search intent front and center

Search intent is the why behind a search. What does this person mean to do with this search? Is it to find information or to buy something? Or maybe they’re just trying to find a specific website. Or is it something else entirely? Search engines are better at understanding this intent and the accompanying user behavior. Thanks to breakthroughs in natural language processing with BERT and MUM, Google is starting to know the language inside out. In 2022, we’ll see Google use these new skills to bring better and more accurate search results — and present them in innovative new ways.

Of course, we can still help search engines pick the correct version of our content. By determining the intent behind a search, you can map your keyword strategy to a searcher’s specific goals. Map these intents to your content, and you’re good to go.

Re-do your keyword research

2020 and 2021 were impactful years for many of us, and a lot has changed. Keeping this in mind, it’s high time to re-do your keyword research. There is bound to have been an enormous amount of changes in your market. Not only that, your company itself is bound to have changed. Not updating your keyword research is missing out on significant opportunities. Read up on the research about consumer trends for 2022 and beyond. After that, ask yourself these questions:

What changed in my company?What changed in and around my audience?Has something changed in people’s language?What has changed in where people search?

Content is context

Context is one of the essential words in the SEO field. Context is what helps search engines make sense of the world. As search engines become more innovative and intelligent, providing them with as much related information as possible is becoming more critical. By offering the necessary context about your subject and entities, you can help search engines make the connection between your content and where that content fits in the grand scheme of things. It’s not just content; the links you add and how you add these links also provide context that helps search engines. Also, Schema provides another way to show search engines what’s connected.

By mapping the context of your subject, you might find you have a hole in your story. It could be that you haven’t fully explored your topic. Or maybe you found new ways of looking at it, or perhaps the pandemic threw you a curveball. Who knows! Stay on top of your topic and incorporate everything you find. Sometimes, it also means going back through your old content to update, improve or fix things — or delete stuff entirely.

Re-assess the content and quality of your most important pages

If you are anything like us, you have been at this game for a while and produced loads of content in that time. That’s not a bad thing, of course, unless you are starting to compete with yourself. Keyword cannibalization can become a big issue, so content maintenance is a thing. Keep an eye on the search results of your chosen focus keyphrase. Do you have multiple articles in the top ten for a specific keyphrase? Is that what you want to happen?

To find out how you are doing, you need to re-assess your content. Is everything in tip-top shape? Do you need to write more? Or less? Maybe combine several weaker articles in one strong one? Content pruning is going through your posts to see what you can take to improve the rest. Sometimes, the best SEO strategy can be to hold the writing for a while and improve what you have!

Work on your expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness

Now search engines can understand the content; they are increasingly looking at its value. Is it trustworthy? Who is the person claiming these things? Why should we trust the author? Is the author an authority on the subject? Google looks not just at the quality of the content but also at whether that content can be assessed professionally. Trust and expertise will be essential, especially for YMLY (Your Money or Your Life) pages, like medical or financial content. E-A-T looks at this and is set to become a big part of SEO in 2022.

Hone those writing skills!

Quality content is well-written content. Quality content is original, in-depth, and easy to understand. Search engines are getting better at determining an article’s text quality and making decisions based on that. Also, readers value well-written texts more and get a sense of trust from them. If content reads well and is factual and grammatically correct, it will come across as more professional, and people will be more likely to return to read more of your content. So, brush up on those writing skills! We have an excellent SEO copywriting guide and an SEO copywriting course if you need help. If you buy Yoast SEO Premium, you get complimentary access to all our SEO training courses — for one low price.

Search is on the move

As much as we’d like everything to happen on our website, it’s not. Depending on where you are and what you’re doing, your search engine optimization might need to happen elsewhere, not specifically in Google. Search is moving beyond the website or social media platform for investigations and actions. There are loads of devices that can answer a spoken question with a spoken answer. Machines that can book tickets for you or reserve a table. There are powerful e-commerce platforms that seem to get the majority of product searches, not to mention all those app-based services out there. Visual search is also on the rise. Maybe these have value for you?

(Progressive web) apps

Links to apps continue to pop up in search, especially on mobile. Many sites bombard you with links to their apps on the home screen. Some services are app-only, like Uber. Apps are everywhere; even Google is now testing structured data for software apps. What’s more, Google expands its mobile homepage with the Discover app that suggests new content based on your interests.

Where’s an app, there’s a customer to reach. Uber might be the ultimate taxi-hailing service, but why can’t a local taxi company replicate that? Apps offer another way — and sometimes a better way — of reaching your audience. Depending on your product and market, it might be a good idea to look into apps. If you’re not willing to go down the native route, there are always progressive web apps — which we’ll see a lot off this year!

Video

Video is huge! And there’s no end in sight for the video boom. YouTube might be the most crucial search engine for many people besides Google. We’ve seen the arrival of short-form content providers like Tik Tok, and we’ve seen several enhancements in how video gets presented on the search results pages. You can count on it that video will only become more critical. If you have the means, invest in video. Remember, it doesn’t always have to be flashy and professional — make it heartfelt. In addition to our Video SEO WordPress plugin, we also have a ton of content on how to do video SEO well.

Other platforms

Traditionally, many searches happen not on search engines but social media and other types of platforms. Now, these past years we’ve seen a steady decline in traffic and conversion coming from social media. Different platforms are taking their place. YouTube is a powerful search engine, as is Amazon. Plus, there are all those short-form videos going around. Maybe that’s something to attract a new audience? Also, did you see the meteoric rise of alternative search engines like DuckDuckGo and Neeva? People are getting more privacy-aware, which is a good thing! Depending on the searcher and their goal, platforms like these are becoming increasingly important. Indeed, something to think about!

Don’t just think: “I need to publish a blog post on my website” — there are so many great destinations out there that might fit the goal of your message better.

A system for getting traffic with SEO in 2022

Now, if we’d recap all this, what does it all boil down to? We know it sounds easy when you read it like this, but this is what you should keep in your head at all times:

A lot has changed in the last two years, so restart your research and read up on consumer trends for 2022.You should have a fast, easily usable, technically flawless website with high-quality content that genuinely helps visitors.This website needs to be supported by a brand that offers high-quality products and services.Depending on your niche, this might also mean that you need an app strategy or a strategy for an external platform.

SEO in 2022: What’s next?

It’s easy to say that your site must be better than ever in 2022 because it’s true! Those ten blue links and rich search results are what it’s all about for most sites. The majority of traffic will still come from organic searches. The social media traffic is down, conversational search is rising, but not big enough to put a dent in organic. And then there’s video. In the end, you have to keep improving your site in all the right places.

Of course, there’s a lot of other stuff happening simultaneously, and most of it concerns an ever-changing Google. Next year, we’ll start to see Google less like a search engine and more as a virtual assistant — a person who lives on your phone and solves problems for you. And that’s what they want to get to. It’s been a promise for a long time, but now we’re starting to see it with all these rich results and answer boxes. This will be interesting to watch.

Have a great 2022!

Read more: Google’s MUM understands what you need: 1000x more powerful than BERT »

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Google Merchant Center allows retailers to save product filters

Google Merchant Center allows retailers to save product filters

The ability to save product filters has been spotted in Google Merchant Center. We’ve reached out to Google for more details about this feature but have not received a response at the time of publication.

A screenshot of product filters in Google Merchant Center. Image: Kirk Williams.

Tip of the hat to Kirk Williams of ZATO Marketing for bringing this to our attention.

Why we care

This nifty, albeit minor, update can save marketers some time that might otherwise be spent fumbling through data to find what they’re looking for. Being able to save product filters enables marketers to more quickly analyze different product categories, such as clearance items, for example.

More Google Merchant Center news

Google Merchant Center shows relative visibility, page overlap rate, higher position rate metricsGoogle Merchant Center now automatically displays badge eligibility for productsGoogle introduces new ‘Deals’ features for the Shopping tab and Merchant Center

The post Google Merchant Center allows retailers to save product filters appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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