February 2022 SEO Update
February was one of the quieter months in the last year but we still saw some changes. The Page Experience Update rolled out to desktop and there were some suspected algorithm changes. It also became easier for small businesses to manage their Google Business Profiles in Search and Maps.
Local Search News for February 2022
The biggest February updates relate to Google Maps and Google Business Profile.
Reviews are important to your business and they are actually a ranking factor for your website. It is important to collect reviews on your Google Business Profile. Google released a new video detailing how they curate reviews for your Google Business Profile. Their goal is to weed out spammy and fake reviews to improver user experience, which helps end users to trust Google reviews more. Google is trying to weed out reviews that violate its policies and make sure there’s not a ton of good or bad reviews posted in a short time as that indicates bot activity. Google Maps is used by over 1 billion people every month to check out businesses and Google wants to make sure the reviews are reliable.
If you do not yet have a way to prioritize reviews you need to get started now. You can request reviews from customers via email and social media. The best method is via a text message though. You can encourage reviews on Google but also on other sites like Yelp and Facebook. We can help you do this by seeing if your current software has review generation features or finding a solution to fit your business.
Google Maps Q&A
Google Business Profiles (formerly Google My Business) has always had Q&A features. Now this feature has been added to Google Maps which will give it more visibility. You can take advantage of this and seed your profile with questions you get frequently. Doing so can help optimize your profile and help answer questions for local customers.
Google Algorithm Updates and Speculation for February 2022
The norm now at Google is to release changes without announcing every update. Many SEO experts suspected a change to the algorithm at the beginning of February.