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Google announced a while ago that the changes they have made in the way its search engine rankings are calculated would be implemented in 2021.

Here we are at the beginning of 2022, which means SEO managers and agencies need to pay attention to their rankings and make sure they aren’t caught off guard by changes that can affect SEO requirements. Here’s what you need to know about Google Search Algorithm changes implemented in 2021 and what you can do about them this year to prepare yourself for the future.

1. How Google Updates its Search Algorithm

Most people are not aware that Google releases one or more changes per day to its search algorithm. Thankfully, most of these are not noticeable when it comes to search results and keyword rankings. These are referred to as “Incremental Changes”.

2. Understanding Webpage Evaluation in 2021

It’s been a while since repeating keywords in a clever way multiple times on a web page could affect your ranking. Google’s search engine is a lot more clever today and is looking for quality rather than frequency when it comes to keyword rankings.

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Counting the appearance of keywords is easily quantifiable, but how do you determine the quality of content in reference to a keyword? This is really what the changes implemented in 2021 are all about. Understanding these criteria will take you a long way towards maintaining - and hopefully improving your ranking going forwards.

When analyzing web pages, Google relies on what is referred to as a Page Quality rating better known as PQ. In their official Search Quality Evaluation Guideline, Google makes it pretty clear what it takes for a web page to receive a high PQ rating.

The most important factors to consider when determining the overall Page Quality rating include:

●  Purpose

Does the page clearly state and reflect its purpose?

  Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness (EAT)

Can the sources of information and publisher of the website be trusted?

●   Main Content Quality and Amount

Does the landing page provide sufficient information presented in a clear and friendly manner?

●   Publisher Information

Is information pertaining to the publisher and content provider readily available?

●   Website Reputation

Do the publisher and content provider have a reputation for honesty and reliability?

You should also take into account that Google has announced that traffic related to specific content on social networks will also figure into their rankings.

Changes in the way people consume information have also influenced how Google ranks pages. For example, faster loading times and adaptability for mobile devices have been incorporated into the algorithm and have become important factors in determining page rank.

With all that said, the real key to high rankings remains quality content. Emphasis should be put on following the basic rules of using clever titles, writing engaging content, carefully using focused keywords and providing valuable information for your audience.

3. Preparing for 2022 and Beyond

Now that we understand that rankings are based on Page Quality and not keyword frequency, what steps do you need to take regarding changes in the search algorithm and your SEO strategy?

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According to Danny Sullivan, Google’s Public Liason for Search, if you want to keep your ranking high in light of Google’s incremental and core updates, then you need to honestly answer 20 content-related questions. We’ve formulated those questions into a set of rules that can help keep your ranking high, regardless of updates to the search algorithm in 2022 and beyond.

Content Quality


Ensure high quality by making sure your content provides:

  • A substantial and comprehensive description of the topic.
  • Insightful analysis or interesting information that goes beyond the basic topic.
  • Original value-added commentary or analysis when drawing on third-party sources.
  • Descriptive titles and headlines that help visitors find the information they want without using exaggerated language
  • A good reason to be bookmarked by users who are interested in this topic.
  • The potential to be referenced by reputable journalists and industry experts.

Domain Expertise


Ensure you are regarded as an expert in your field by providing:

  • Trustworthy information with clear sourcing, evidence of expertise and easily accessible information about the author and publisher.
  • Third-parties that reference your site as a reliable industry source.
  • Evidence showing the domain expertise of the author and publisher with no obvious errors or omissions.



Your content must be  presented in a professional manner by:

  • Making sure there are no spelling or stylistic issues.
  • Avoiding sloppy or hastily produced content that shows it was not given the proper attention.
  • Limiting the number of ads that may distract from or interfere with the user’s ability to consume content.
  • Testing and ensuring the content is presented properly on mobile devices.

Comparative Analysis


Make sure your content stacks up when compared to alternatives by:

  • Providing substantial added value when compared to similar search engine result pages
  • Serving the genuine interests of visitors to the site rather than manipulating the content for better search engine rankings


The effect of Google's search algorithm changes is still being measured, but that can be used to your advantage. Now is the time to try out new tactics, to see what works best in light of the recent changes.

Take your SEO results to the next level. Call KeyScouts.

One important change to note is that even sites that have good content but are considered thin or incomplete, will be penalized. Therefore it's important to remove low-quality content if you want to keep up your rankings.

You should already know that credible links to and from your webpage carry weight when evaluating search criteria. So make sure links to your site are reputable and working and remove links to non-reputable sources as Google evaluates link quality and penalizes sites where there is suspicion of link manipulation.

As mentioned previously, Google also uses information from social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to help determine search rankings for web pages. This is a trend worth noting and a good incentive knowing that promotion of your content on social media, does not only help sell your product or service but also improves your search rankings.


As with any major changes to Google's algorithms, many site owners may see some traffic decline simply because their ranking tactics are based on the previous algorithm.

Our educated guess for 2022 and beyond is that emphasis will be placed more heavily on sites offering personalization, convenience, easy navigation and accessibility. That basically means a better overall user experience that meets the expectations of today's - mostly mobile - website visitors.

Make sure you're optimizing based on these criteria, otherwise you could find yourself at a serious disadvantage as the recent changes go into effect.

As Google's algorithms evolve it becomes more challenging than ever to implement a successful SEO campaign that shows results. That's why it's probably a  good idea to contact KeyScouts, the SEO professionals, for a free consultation and update on the best way to cope with the latest changes in Google's search algorithm.

Analytics, SEO, Content Marketing

About Tomer Harel

Tomer Harel is founder and CEO of KeyScouts, and co-founder of He has been practicing Internet marketing for over a decade, helping hundreds of businesses to thrive online. If you'd like to contact Tomer or have him speak at a conference, meeting or event, please drop him a line via email (tomer.harel at keyscouts dot com).

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