Google and SEOs around the world had a relatively busy year in 2021. The search engine behemoth is constantly improving, but in the last year, there have been a number of significant updates that have given digital marketers reason to pay attention.
Google is constantly thinking of new ways to improve the user experience on its platform, from rewarding more detailed product reviews to eliminating link spam.
Speaking of user experience, the most talked-about event of the year was the June Page Experience update, which took place over a few months and included the Core Web Vitals.
Following that, tens of thousands of words were published on the internet instructing people on how to modify their websites to meet the new standards.
With all of this new information at our disposal since last year, it’s possible that some misconceptions about what’s good and bad for SEO in 2022 have arisen.
In this post, I’d like to discuss and then debunk some of the myths surrounding Google’s larger and more mainstream 2021 updates.
So, here is your not-so-SEO checklist for 2022. Here are three things you should never do.
1. Don’t prioritize Core Web Vitals (CWV) over quality content It’s no secret that if you haven’t already, Google’s Core Web Vitals are among the elements you’ll want to optimize your website for in 2022.
To refresh your memory, the Core Web Vitals are the measurements of your website’s largest contentful paint, first input display, and cumulative layout shift, and they are located at the crossroads of SEO and web development.
These are the elements of your website that load first and allow users to begin interacting with it within the first few milliseconds. According to logic, the slower your site’s load times are, the worse the user experience will be.
To begin with, this isn’t exactly new information. We’ve all heard of page speed and how it affects SEO. We also understand how critical it is that your Core Web Vitals perform well on mobile, which accounts for roughly 60% of Google searches.
Google values Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor so much that you can now find a CWV report in Google Search Console and CWV metrics in PageSpeed Insights results (mobile-only until February of 2022, when the metrics roll out for desktop).
Given this, why am I calling it a myth that Core Web Vitals should be at the top of your 2022 SEO-optimization checklist?
It’s because Google has explicitly stated that having a top-tier page is essential.
As a result, it’s a common misconception that Google will not rank you well unless all of your Core Web Vitals are in good shape.
Having it all, on the other hand, is the ideal situation. If you have great web content and optimized Core Web Vitals, you will most likely outperform a page with weak Core Web Vitals in organic search.
Work on your Core Web Vitals in 2022, but first create a detailed content marketing plan.
2. Do not assume that your affiliate product-review website is in trouble.
Another misconception that may have resulted from a 2021 Google update is that affiliate sites, specifically product-review sites, were in hot water following the April Product Reviews update.
Google intended for the update to prioritize in-depth and useful product reviews over spammy and lackluster reviews. In other words, as with organic search, higher-quality content will triumph.
If there was ever a time when someone could make money by running a shady, low-quality affiliate site with nonsense product reviews that were then essentially spammed out to thousands of people, Google’s April 2021 product reviews update began to put an end to that.
The search engine now prioritizes long-form, detailed reviews, the type that builds user trust.
As a result, we can dismiss the notion that the update would harm good, honest, hardworking affiliate product reviewers.
As long as you are providing something relevant and legitimately useful to users, you may have seen your rankings rise since April 2021.
3. Don’t expect Google to rewrite all of your titles.
The final myth I’d like to dispel is the notion that you don’t need to put effort into your pages’ title tags because Google will rewrite them all anyway after its title tag-rewrite initiative in August 2021.
First, some background. Many of you are aware that in August, SEOs across the industry began to notice that their page titles were being rewritten, as in, not as they had originally been written.
However, SEOs discovered that seemingly SEO-optimized title tags were still being rewritten, and the new titles were not always derived directly from the original title. Sometimes, as Google has done since 2012, it will use semantics to rewrite a title to be more descriptive or simply better.
In some cases, Google’s new titles were derived from H1 text, body text, or backlink anchor text.
Google saw, and continues to see, these efforts as a great way to improve user experience during search.
Many SEOs, on the other hand, did not see it that way, especially given that Google’s rewrites were sometimes to blame for traffic drops.
To put it mildly, the change caused a ruckus in the SEO community, so much so that Google issued an apology.
Google stated in that blog post that it uses marketers’ own title tags 87 percent of the time (up from just 80 percent in August). The remaining 13% would be rewrites to improve:
titles that are outdated,
and erroneous titles
To get back to the point, it’s a common misconception that you’re wasting your time writing title tags after August of 2021.
Google does not wish to rewrite your title tags. This was clearly stated in its September blog post.
Google wants you to write high-quality page titles on your own, ones that are descriptive, true, and useful. Give users what they want, and Google will ignore your titles.
However, if you stuff a bunch of keywords in there or use boilerplate titles all over your site, Google will clean it up for you. The problem is that you might not like the results.
Title tags are extremely important in SEO. Don’t dismiss your efforts because of the 2021 date change. Focus on creating title tags that are relevant to users, and you should be fine.
In the future
The three myths I’ve discussed here can be dangerous to fall into in 2022.
Is Google concerned with Core Web Vitals, quality affiliate links, and title tags? They most certainly are. However, SEOs must also be cautious when approaching these issues. Everything Google Lookup
Maintain your affiliate marketing website, but make sure the reviews are helpful.
And create fantastic SEO title tags so that Google does not have to rewrite them.
Following these guidelines will only benefit you in the coming year.