This is an article “Big SEO Innovations To Get You Ready For 2022” by Marc Primo Warren
Last month, SEO marketers saw many updates from Google that could change the game by next year. From continuous scrolling to short-form videos displayed on the search engine results page (SERP), the digital giant is shaking things up in the SEO world.
Everyone can remember how Google announced its quantum supremacy achievement way back in October 2019. Quantum computers can enable decryption protocols for better data collation, more efficient SEO algorithms, and computing in general while also having the power to simplify more complex tasks.
The RankBrain artificial intelligence (AI) feature in Google’s algorithms has been in effect for six years now and has remained one of the most critical factors in how the platform assigns pages that would rank on its SERPs. Now that improvements have been made in quantum computing towards a more error-corrected system, SEO practitioners are bracing for upcoming tests and trends.
How Quantum Supremacy will affect search queries
First, let’s put the concept of quantum supremacy into proper context. Last year, Google announced the commercialization of its error-corrective quantum computing system, capable of executing multiple codes that would usually take hundreds--if not thousands--of years for supercomputers to accomplish. The powerful system is programmable and powered by both AI and machine learning (ML) applications.
In terms of SEO, the quantum computing system can help make search results more exact, do away with black hat tactics, and streamline reactive algorithms for more relevant-worthy rankings.
Aside from these, the platform’s BERT update via natural language processing (NLP) has altered the manner of critical data gathering from businesses, including online chat threads, plain text, or even passwords. While this can be a scary thought for any user, BERT’s main aim is to analyze large data formats to provide users with results that it deems relevant and insight-rich. Since it’s an open-source application, coders can also train the model for better SEO.
Think of BERT as a good tool that understands both computer and human thought and grammar to deliver the best results. With Google’s quantum computing system, users can expect better system comprehension of their search queries via web browsers or voice-assisted virtual assistants.
Mobile updates on continuous scrolling
Another change that Google effected last month was the continuous scrolling on its mobile search results. What happens is that the first four SERPs are combined into a seamless page that users can scroll way down the bottom of the page. In hindsight, this means bigger chances for SEO marketers to rank on page one, right? That may be so; however, whether this feature can impact your click-through rates or consumer behavior and preferences is still undetermined. So, by no means is it any reason to be complacent about your SEO strategies.
The change came after the company said it wanted to encourage users to look at more results and address more open-ended search queries. For example, users who want to know ‘the many uses of apples’ would easily find more information that narrows their search at the bottom of the page. Be it for applesauce or as vodka ingredients; there’s a higher chance to find a match on page one. Before the update, users on mobile tend to go up to page four to see other results alternatives anyway. The continuous scroll feature made things a little easier without making any significant changes in the SEO game.
The return of Indented Search Results
While many new things are fresh out of Google, one minor tweak that’s making a comeback is the indented search results feature. Relaunched last month after being tested in July, the platform will be piling search results according to keyphrases and under one high-ranking page. Doing this will increase search results from the same domain, which actually might not make everyone happy.
Multiple indented search results can appear to be more cluttered for users, and since similar sites can also take up much of the search results page’s space, not many diverse results will show up on the page– sometimes showing as much as two links under one main site at a time. And for long-time SEO practitioners, it’s a fact that most users frown upon threaded search results structures such as those from Reddit or Tumblr.
On Google’s part, indented search results seem to be more effective after running single results in the past. A two-week run reported that the prevalence of indented results on page one had been 40% stable. But when it comes to how users will react to the tweak once it is integrated into Chrome browsers, only time will tell if it will be good or otherwise.
More focus on short-form videos and Stories
In November 2020, short-form video in carousel formats culled from social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube started appearing in Google SERPs. With how video formats contribute to higher conversion and traffic numbers, there’s no surprise how the search results page is also evolving.
Google is already focusing its sights on more web stories format capabilities which can shake things up in SEO. Videos highly influence people, and seeing them on SERPs can do a lot for a ranking page’s marketing funnel strategy.
Many will probably assume that this move towards video is part of Google’s drive to be more relevant at present rather than simply being the go-to portal for trends.
Social media giants like the Metaverse or Twitter are big on Stories and breaking updates. Google wants in on the potential traffic, revenue, and data that moment marketing can offer. I look forward to more short-form videos on SERPs as well as another new feature called Big Moments. Both changes could hit the mainstream by early 2022, so it’s best to review how the platform’s algorithms will factor in the curation of breaking news and how you can adjust your SEO strategies.
One last big thing that Google is currently focusing on for a better user experience in the future is multi-modal search. Combining various inputs to form one general output allows the platform to better understand search intent across languages, channels, and topics. Through MUM – a system similar to BERT but 1,000 times more powerful, matching keywords to pages will be supported by the proper context of the search queries.