Did you know that Google has been the leading search engine for over a decade?
As of July 2022, Google had a market share of around 83%. That’s huge!
How did Google manage to stay at the top for so many years?
Google provides the most relevant and reliable results consistently. This commitment has helped the search engine giant become the most popular search engine on the planet.
And to keep it that way, Google rolls out algorithm updates regularly. With each algorithm update, Google search results become increasingly accurate, quick, and reliable.
While regular Joes may not have to worry about these updates, SEOs sure do. Most algorithm updates may not harm search engine optimization strategies. However, there may be a few updates that might shake your SEO game plan to its core. So, you better watch out.
Let’s talk about a few such Google search algorithm updates of 2022.
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Google Search Ranking Update of 2022
Google keeps rolling out several minor updates throughout the day. However, we are going to consider ten major updates that defined Google’s search engine in 2022.
Let’s dive in.
1. Released the Page Experience Update for Desktop
- Name of Update: Page Experience Update for Desktop
- Roll Out Date: Feb 22, 2022
- Completion Date: March 3, 2022
- Summary: This was the first major update in 2022, which was a long time coming. With the page experience update for the desktop, the desktop version of the search engine started to include all the then-current signals of the mobile version of the page experience update. However, the mobile-friendliness signal wasn’t a factor for the desktop.
2. Released the March 2022 Product Reviews Update
- Name of Update: March 2022 Product Reviews Update
- Roll Out Date: March 23, 2022
- Completion Date: April 11, 2022
- Summary: This was the third version/phase of the product review update, which originally began in April 2021. With March 2022 product reviews update, Google started to reward websites with insightful product reviews. In other words, detailed reviews became more important in search engine rankings than thin content. The primary goal of this update was to provide users with sound purchase advice from their peers.
- Reference Reads: Read what Google Search Central has got to say about improving product review ranking.
3. Released the May 2022 Core Update
- Name of Update: May 2022 Core Update
- Roll Out Date: May 25, 2022
- Completion Date: June 9, 2022
- Summary: This was the first broad core algorithm update of 2022. As you may already know, Google core updates are not particular to a website. They are designed to improve the overall search quality, making it more relevant and reliable. The May 2022 core update is no exception. That’s why these updates are likely to produce some noticeable changes in website performance.
- Reference Reads: Learn more about how core updates work.
4. Released the July 2022 Product Reviews Update
- Name of Update: July 2022 Product Reviews Update
- Roll Out Date: July 27, 2022
- Completion Date: N/A
- Summary: This was the fourth version of the product review update. Like its predecessors, the July 2022 product reviews update also aimed to reward high-quality product reviews. The update ensured that search engine users would see in-depth reviews instead of thin content. In short, websites with detailed product reviews started ranking better in search results.
- Reference Reads: Learn how to write high-quality product reviews.
5. Released Helpful Content Update
- Name of Update: Helpful Content Update
- Roll Out Date: Aug 25, 2022
- Completion Date: NA
- Summary: With the helpful content update, Google turned its attention to websites with a high amount of unhelpful content. It specifically targeted websites with content written for search engines, not the users. As you can imagine, this update has a meaningful impact on the search results. The sole purpose of this update was to provide Google users with relevant and high-quality content.
6. Released the September 2022 Core Update
- Name of Update: September 2022 Core Update
- Roll Out Date: Sept 12, 2022
- Completion Date: Sept 26, 2022
- Summary: This was the second broad core update in 2022. Like other core updates, this one also focuses on improving the overall search engine experience. This broad core update didn’t have as big of an impact as its predecessors. Plus, Google also maintained that any content recovery is not guaranteed even after improvements. The only trick you have is to create content that deserves a higher ranking.
7. Released the September 2022 Product Reviews Update
- Name of Update: September 2022 Product Reviews Update
- Roll Out Date: Sept 20, 2022
- Completion Date: Sept 26, 2022
- Summary: This was the fifth overall product reviews update, and the third one in 2022. This update applied to English-language product reviews. This update also focuses on in-depth reviews rather than thin content that does nothing more than listing a few products. In a way, Google wanted to make search results more relevant and useful for users.
8. Released the October 2022 Spam Update
- Name of Update: October 2022 Spam Update
- Roll Out Date: Oct 19, 2022
- Completion Date: Oct 21, 2022
- Summary: As the name suggests, this update specifically targeted spamming-related improvements. It improves Google’s automated spam-detecting systems. It is believed that Google’s spam updates often target websites with thin content, poorly optimized meta tags, and keyword stuffing. The purpose of such updates is to identify and filter AI-generated content.
9. Released the December 2022 Helpful Content Update
- Name of Update: December 2022 Helpful Content Update
- Roll Out Date: Dec 05, 2022
- Completion Date: In Progress (as of Dec 24th ‘22 – taking longer than expected to fully roll out)
- Summary: Google announced the rollout of the December 2022 Helpful Content Update on 5th December. With this update, Google aims to improve the helpful content system it started rolling out in August 2022. This system is designed to reward user-centric pages rather than the ones created for search engines. Fortunately, if you have made improvements after the August 2022 helpful content update, you will see your website climbing with the December update.
10. Released the December 2022 Link Spam Update
- Name of Update: December 2022 Link Spam Update
- Roll Out Date: Dec 14th, 2022
- Completion Date: In Progress (as of Dec 24th ‘22 – will take about two weeks to fully roll out)
- Summary: Google seems to have taken yet another step to counter increased spamming. With the December 2022 Link Spam Update, Google is upgrading its spam detection system. After this update, the search engine will be able to find purchased links and detect domains used primarily to pass links to other sites. As this update neutralizes unnatural links, it is likely to affect websites. It will affect yours depending on how you acquired the links.
There you have it! In 2022, Google rolled out several updates, including these ten important ones. These search algorithm updates addressed several issues, such as thin product reviews, spammy content, and page experience. Hopefully, going through this list will help you strengthen your SEO strategy in the coming months.
Feel free to reach out in case of queries or if you need more information.