If you still have a Google algorithm updates hangover from the latter half of 2021, we understand. But Google doesn’t sleep, so neither can we. Grab a glass of water, shake it off and get ready to learn about the three major updates that will prove central in search marketing for the year ahead.
1) Multitask Unified Model
Initially rolled out in June 2021, Google’s Multitask Unified Model (MUM) technology is essentially an upgrade to part of the algorithm previously powered by BERT. It took some years for BERT to fully mature, so expect MUM to do the same. That said, Google claim MUM is 1,000 times more powerful than BERT as they previewed a host of upcoming features made possible by the latest breakthroughs in AI. Expect the following features this year:
- ‘Refine this search’ and ‘Broaden this search’ feeds to return to more general results
- Improved understanding of poor spelling and grammar
- Improved understanding of the key moments in video content
- Google Lens and image recognition visual searches
- Translated results from multilingual content
- Subtopics for users to explore topics. No need to type additional queries
- A ‘Things to know’ section highlighting key details of the topic users search
2) Page experience and Core Web Vitals
After a long countdown, Google finally rolled out the page experience signal midway through 2021. It incorporated several existing signals with three new Core Web Vitals. Page experience places those signals into a single ranking factor for Google to score the user experience of individual pages. It’s worth noting that the page experience update has already rolled out but Google has stated we should expect further changes to Core Web Vitals.
The three Core Web Vitals signals are:
- Loading times: Google is changing the way it measures this with a new standard called Largest Contentful Paint (LCP).
- Interactive: Measures the responsiveness of interactive elements on your page after users click them.
- Visual stability: Detects the movement of elements after they’ve loaded on the page and any instability this causes.
3) 2021 core updates
With the three core algorithm updates coming in the final 6 months of 2021, it was the surprise update in November that made the biggest waves – just in time for Black Friday. Google’s expectations for content quality continue to become more demanding, and there are no signs of this stopping in 2022. Throughout the updates, websites and pages often considered Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) were disrupted the most, suggesting Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness (EAT) continues to play an increasingly important role in algorithm updates.
To ensure smooth sailing in the search marketing space, contact an expert in the field for all your marketing requirements.