July 2022: What's New In SEO?

What happened in SEO in July 2022? My monthly digest will help you cut through the noise, stay current & save time.

July 2022: What's New In SEO?

New Search Console Video Index Report

Google announced a new Video Indexing Report that will soon become available in your Google Search Console.

According to Google, it'll help answer questions such as:

  • In how many pages has Google identified a video?
  • Which videos were indexed successfully?
  • What are the issues preventing videos from being indexed?

This very nice addition will make debugging issues with videos much more effortless.

I don't see it available for any of my accounts, but it should become available in the upcoming weeks or months.

E-A-T: Updates to Search Quality Rater Guidelines

Google has updated its Search Quality Rater Guidelines. These guidelines contain core information on what Google considers YMYL content. And also signals of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (EAT).

Google changed their definition of which type of content is considered to be YMYL - now looking at it mainly from a perspective of possible harm (how severe harm could misinformation cause?).

Lily Ray provided a detailed overview of changes in her article:

You can download the full PDF here (167 pages).

Page Indexation Data in Search Analytics for Sheets

Search Analytics for Sheets is my favorite addon for Google Sheets. This addon lets you export significantly more data from Google Search Console and is very easy to use.

Just recently, they added the possibility of exporting URL Inspection data as well - making it the easiest way of checking if there are any issues with the indexation of your content 🙌  Highly recommended!

Product Reviews Update

On July 27th, Google began to roll out an update related to product reviews. They finished the rollout on August 2nd. This update is affecting English-language product reviews only.

So far, there's limited information about the impact of this update, and I haven't noticed any significant changes on any websites with reviews.

Keyword Grouping in Rank Tracker

Rank Tracker from SEO PowerSuite will now help you with keyword grouping (clustering), making keyword research a bit faster.

Thanks to this new feature, it'll analyze your keywords and group those that are similar. You can tune the level of similarity according to your preference (you'll either get a lot of smaller groups or fewer groups of less strictly related terms).

Connect Search Console Insights with a GA4 Property

You can now connect Search Console Insights with a Google Analytics 4 property. That's a handy update for newer sites that don't have any Google Analytics Universal data.

Google Delays Third-Party Cookies Removal Till 2024

Google pushed back the timeline for removing third-party cookies in Chrome to the latter half of 2024.

Bounce Rate in GA4

Google announced new metrics that will be available in GA4:

  • Bounce rate
  • UTM term and UTM ad content
  • Conversion rate

Especially the introduction of the bounce rate is very controversial - it's probably best to quote Simo Ahava's newsletter:

In the most bewildering twist of product design logic, Google Analytics 4 has reintroduced the Bounce Rate, the most ridiculous, misunderstood, misused, unnecessary, and abstracted aggregate metric in the history of such
Simo Ahava

In any case, please keep in mind that bounce rates in GA4 and GA Universal are calculated differently, so they aren't comparable.

Signed Exchanges Launched for Desktop Sites

Google announced that over the next few months, they'll:

  • start supporting Signed Exchange (SXG) for desktop cross-origin navigations on Chromium browsers,
  • Google Search will have support for SXG from Top Stories and News
  • Server side personalization will be supported as well

SXG is a delivery mechanism that can help significantly improve your LCP times and hence improve your Core Web Vitals.

Cloudflare, a leading Content Distribution Network (CDNs), ran an experiment to measure the impact of Signed Exchanges for its customers of the 500 sites they tested:
- 85% saw an improvement in LCP.
- 98% observed reduced Time to First Byte (TTFB).
- Median 20% improvement across these metrics.