Last year, two of the largest search engines rolled out updates and changes that affect how digital marketers advertise. Unless you’re paying close attention, many of these updates may have slipped by unnoticed and your business’s digital marketing may not be as effective as it could be.
We’ve put together a list of the most important search engine updates that happened in 2022 for Google and Bing, and some to prepare for this year so that your digital marketing strategies don’t miss a beat!
Google makes changes to their algorithms constantly and doesn’t always publish information about all of them. However, the ones that will directly impact digital marketing strategies typically get press. Google is the number one search engine, so paying close attention to their every move is important for businesses and marketers to keep their campaigns effective.
Here is a list of the 5 major updates Google rolled out last year (from vizion.com). Google’s Helpful Content update is probably the most important update to pay attention to. You can read all about it in our blog, but the summary is that Google elevated their standards for content that gets served first in search results. It’s also penalizing content that’s secondhand information, doesn’t seem to have a clear niche, and doesn’t offer any real or helpful value.
Combing over your site’s content and touching base with your copywriters to make sure your content is in alignment with the Helpful Content update will set you up for success this year.
What’s coming in 2023?
In addition to these past updates, experts suspect that visual search will become more important and hold a larger market share this year. Visual search is similar to shoppable content as it primarily leverages images and visuals to sell and advertise.
Google Analytics is sunsetting Universal Analytics to create space for Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Beginning July 1, 2023, all website data will be measured and interpreted by GA4. For more information about this update, read our blog!
Bing is the next largest search engine. If you advertise on Bing, here are the important updates from 2022 and what to expect this year. If you don’t advertise on Bing, we recommend starting!
In step with Google’s Shopping updates, over the summer Bing added more details and information for products listed in the shopping search results. Bing users can now see a product's price history, available coupons and if the company has any ethical badges or information like using recycled materials, carbon-neutral operations, or cruelty free testing.
Anonymous Sitemap Submissions
Microsoft used to accept anonymous XML sitemap submissions, however, after spammer abuse, they only accept sitemap submissions through the following portals:
- Bing Webmaster Tools
What’s coming in 2023?
Right now, the most important Bing update will be their new user-agent, BingBot.
A user-agent is a software that crawls and retrieves data from websites. It also renders and generally allows online users to access and interact with internet media.
Adding this new user-agent code to your site can help it be more easily crawled and indexed by Bing this year. This change was announced in 2019, but if you haven’t prepared for it, here is the new user-agent code:
For desktop - Mozilla/5.0 AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko; compatible; bingbot/2.0; +https://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm) Chrome/W.X.Y.Z Safari/537.36
For mobile - Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 6.0.1; Nexus 5X Build/MMB29P) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/W.X.Y.Z Mobile Safari/537.36 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +https://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)
This new code is particularly important for websites with advanced bot detection installed. If your business’s website doesn’t have advanced bot detection, you may not have to take action on this update. Check with your developer or CMS host for a definitive answer!
Did you keep up with all the updates in 2022? If not, now is the perfect time to make any adjustments and go into 2023 ready for anything.
If you need help with your business’s digital marketing this year, RevLocal has you covered. RevLocal handles digital marketing for small businesses and multi-location brands. To learn more about what it’s like to have RevLocal as your business’s trusted digital marketing partner, contact us for a free consultation or check out our resources!