We examine all of 2022’s major updates and what they mean for your SEO strategy in 2023.
The previous year was one of the most volatile years for Google algorithm updates in recent memory. We began 2022 wondering if we’d see similar volatility this year, and many of the updates that shook the SERPs in 2021 have been refreshed at various stages this year. In this Blog, we look at all the important algorithm updates in 2022, summarize the key takeaways from each, and analyze what they mean for search marketing in 2023. The year 2022 has already been marked by update cycles.
Throughout the year, Google releases ongoing updates, the majority of which are minor tweaks, and it may announce a half-dozen or so major updates. Some of these updates, such as last year’s Page Experience update, introduce new sections of the algorithm or signals. In contrast, others are ongoing update cycles, such as the several core algorithm updates we see each year.
In 2022, we mostly saw cyclical updates rather than the usual core updates throughout the year. We’ve also had a second-page experience update (this time for desktop) and two more product review updates, with plenty of time left before the end of the year for more. So far this year, the only “new” update has been the helpful content update, which is expected to be one of the greatest updates since Panda.
Unless something major occurs before the end of the year, 2022 will be far more relaxed in algorithm updates than last year, which was one of the most disruptive in a long time.
The most significant changes in 2022
For good measure, we had ten confirmed algorithm updates and several unconfirmed updates in 2021. As of September 20, we’d had seven confirmed updates this year, and while there’s still time for more, the SERPs have been far less disruptive this year. Here’s a rundown of the major updates that have occurred since 2022:
- Page Experience Update (February 22): The Page Experience Update, previously released for mobile, is now available for desktop.
- March 2022 Product Reviews Update (March 23): The first product reviews update of 2022, with new naming conventions.
- Core Update for May 2022 (May 25): The first core update of 2022 appeared to be particularly harsh on AI-generated content.
- Update on July 2022 Product Reviews (July 27): The impact of a second product review update was less than that of the first.
- Helpful Content Update (August 25): Google introduces an entirely new update designed to reward content that assists users.
- September 2022 Core Update (September 12): The second core update of the year arrives faster than the first but has a smaller overall impact.
- September 2022 Product Reviews Update (September 20): The most recent product reviews update begins to be distributed before the September 2022 Core Update is completed.
All the abovementioned updates were significant enough for Google to announce them, which it only does for major updates. We hope this blog has helped you recognize the updates!