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The year of 2021 in SEO was a year of updates and volatility. Last year was actually a record year in search result volatility. It was also a year of continuous updates with some rankings changing by the hour. This looks to be the trend for 2022 as well.

Google Algorithm Updates

Between late November and December 8th, Google announced a local search update. The update was a reweighting of ranking factors for local results. It seems that proximity was given some more weight. This can include distance, prominence, and how well-known the business is in the area. https://twitter.com/googlesearchc/status/1471546117125029889?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1471546117125029889%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.boostability.com%2Fcontent%2Fdecember-2021-seo-update Continuing to update your Google Business Profile regularly is an important local search practice. Respond to reviews, update holiday hours and add photos on a regular basis. These can help separate your business from your competitors.

Additional Volatility

There were reports from several SEO tools throughout the month of December. This included the December 11th weekend, the following week 17th-19th and then after the holiday break on Dec 27th and 28th. These suspected updates were unconfirmed but speculated by the SEO community as we saw abnormal ranking fluctuations during this time.

Looking Forward

In June of 2021 Google release the Page Experience Update which focuses on great user experience on mobile devices. This is measured by securely delivering great content with good page speed. We have begun migrating all of our websites onto faster servers and optimizing them to score well in the Core Web Vitals test. This will be rolling out to desktop results as well by the end of March 2022. We do not expect any drastic ranking changes with this update. It is great however to get ahead of the curve when more weight is given to page speed experience. All indications is Google values giving users great experiences and page speed is a part of that.