As alluded to at the end of the November 2022 update, a big update hit in December, with several other newsworthy items impacting the search landscape ending the year with a bang. Google continues to place more and more emphasis on good content, with a second Helpful Content rolling out just a couple months after the first. And that ties into E-A-T (now with an extra E!), and how to help your website rank now integrated into the Quality Rater Guidelines. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know to help set your 2023 strategy up for success.
December 2022 Helpful Content Update
Google released its second Helpful Content Update of the year on December 5th, 2022 and finished rolling out on January 12th, 2023. If you couldn’t tell from the length of the rollout, it’s very impactful to the overall search landscape.
The Dec. 2022 helpful content update was released Dec. 5, starting to become more visible today & will take about two weeks to fully roll out. It improves our classifier & works across content globally in all languages. Our help page explains more: https://t.co/MS7hbcBTsp
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) December 6, 2022
The purpose of the Google Helpful Content Update is to help individuals see original and beneficial content in their search results. Google’s sole purpose is to help users find what they’re looking for online. With that in mind, this update hopes to help satisfy their experiences with the helpful content they need.
Doing things such as removing unnecessary, duplicate, or unhelpful content can help your content rankings improve with this update. Overall, it’s important to create helpful, reliable people-first content on your website.
Continuous Scroll on SERPs for Desktop
Also on December 5th, Google announced its use of continuous scroll on SERPs for desktops.We had inklings and hints this was coming for a while. Google first brought continuous scroll to mobile search back in October 2021, and it was only a matter of time before it came to all iterations of it’s search results. Now pages are no longer necessary for search engines with the use of continuous scroll. Or in SEO, the term “reach the first page of Google” is now irrelevant.
Starting today, we’re bringing continuous scrolling to desktop in English in the U.S. so you can continue to see more search results easily. When you reach the bottom of a search results page, you’ll now be able to see up to six pages of results. pic.twitter.com/xIuVP24FFm
— Google (@Google Drive) December 5, 2022
Google Search Topics Tool
In what proved to be a very busy week, Google created an easier way to help explore more on search with search topics released on December 6th.
Today, we’re making it easier to explore topics that are related to a search. A new easy-to-scroll list of related topics will appear alongside filters at the top of the search results page, for those searching in English on mobile or app in the US. More: https://t.co/MJ3xki4VHs pic.twitter.com/hzyYkwciF6
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) December 6, 2022
When you search on Google, you might see additional categories that can help define your search more.
Adding these categories to search results can hopefully help users find a more detailed answer to their search queries. For example, if you’re searching for “dinner ideas,” you might see topics like “healthy” or “easy.” Tapping on a topic adds it to your query, helping you quickly refine your search results with less typing.
Year in Search 2022 Google Trends
At the end of every year, Google creates a trend report that showcases the most popular types of trends individuals searched for in the past year. Whether the searches are based in a country or globally, you’re able to review certain trends about different categories.
This year, Google announced a new addition to their trend report which focuses on more local trends. With a new Local Year in Search addition, you can type in your zip code or click a populated city to see the popular search trends that happened in your local area!
Visual Elements Gallery
On Tuesday, December 13th, 2022, Google introduced the Visual Elements Gallery to help users identify the most common and impactful visual elements of a SERP page.
Not sure what a certain search feature is called? The new Visual Elements Gallery is here to help! With this illustrated guide to the most common & impactful UI elements of Google Search, learn what they’re called & how to optimize your website for them: https://t.co/K0jHaN7rSN pic.twitter.com/w0mzpuaShW
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) December 13, 2022
There are 22 visual elements that Google considers for visual elements. Attribution, text results, video and image results, and exploration features are a few of the most important elements.
This new set up makes it easier for people to add new visual elements to the gallery as well as talk and learn about the elements that appear in SERPs.
Google Search Status Dashboard
On December 14th, 2022, Google introduced a tool to help individuals understand the most current status of systems that impact search (such as crawling, indexing, and serving).
Today, we’re introducing the Google Search Status Dashboard to communicate the status of Search systems going forward. https://t.co/wsPyMH67Ni
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) December 14, 2022
Rolling this tool out is a hope for Google to be more transparent when disruptions happen online. Introducing this Search Status Dashboard to communicate the status of search moving forward.
December 2022 Google Link Spam Update
This Google spam update was released on December 14th, 2022 and finished rolling out on January 12th, 2023.
Today, with our December 2022 link spam update, we’re leveraging the power of SpamBrain to neutralize the impact of unnatural links on search results. The update launches today & will take about two weeks to rollout. Learn more: https://t.co/ACO2Ut8wmi
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) December 14, 2022
The purpose of this Google link spam update was to fight link spam with SpamBrain. SpamBrain is Google’s AI-based spam-prevention system which helps detect spam directly. With this spam update, it can now detect both sides of buying links, and sites used for the purpose of passing outgoing links.
E-A-T gets an extra E for Experience
E-A-T has always stood for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. On December 15th, 2022, Google updated their quality rater guidelines to add an extra E for experience.
To better assess our results, E-A-T is gaining an E: experience. In addition to expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, does content demonstrate some degree of experience? Learn more about how E-E-A-T is now part of our search rater guidelines https://t.co/8hCj1Gk49S
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) December 15, 2022
Now known as “E-E-A-T” or, “Double E-A-T”, these are now known as the new updated search rater guidelines. The new E standing for experience focuses on the well-rounded knowledge someone has when creating content. Google hopes these updates better capture the nuances of how people look for information and the diversity of quality information that exists in the world.