What happened in search June 2022

Google Search Updates – June ‘22 Changes  

A slightly quieter month for big Google updates in June, however, there are still some need-to-knows coming out of the woodwork, from Google offering up YouTube ad space to third parties, to growing TikTok privacy concerns leaving Google and Apple under fire. 

Let’s have a look at what’s been going on this month in the world of search… 

Google Offers to Show Third Party Ad Rivals on YouTube 

As part of the ongoing EU antitrust investigation, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has made an offer to let third parties advertise on YouTube to avoid costly fines (reportedly as much as 10% of its global turnover) and settle its case.  

The European Commission’s investigation was opened in 2021, as Reuters reports, to “examine whether the world’s largest provider of search and video was giving itself an unfair advantage in digital advertising by restricting rivals’ and advertisers’ access to user data.” 

However, many involved seem to think that Google will need to offer more than this.  

All we know is, if this were to come into play, it will give advertisers more opportunity to compete for market share, benefiting not only themselves, but consumers too.  

Google May 2022 Core Update is Finished Rolling Out

As of June 9th, Google’s latest confirmed Core Algorithm Update finished rolling out after 15 days. According to Semrush, the verticals which saw the greatest increase in rank volatility were as follows:  

  • Real Estate 
  • Books & Literature 
  • Hobbies & Leisure 
  • Travel 
  • Pets & Animals 

…and on mobile: 

  • Real Estate 
  • Pets & Animals 
  • Hobbies & Leisure 
  • Books & Literature 
  • Health 

If your business falls under the umbrella of one of these verticals, it’s a good idea to check how much this update may have impacted your visibility, whether positively or negatively.  

Remember, don’t make any hasty changes if you have been negatively impacted, as Google tweaks its algorithms all the time, and you may find big ranking drops pick back up. As always, and as we said last month, keep your focus on overall quality. Search Engine Land has compiled a list of helpful content questions to help you measure how good your content actually is.

person holding lgbtq+ flag

Google Adds LGBTQ+ Owned Business Label for Its Business Profiles 

Another new label has been added to Google Business Profiles (US only at present) – an LGBTQ+ owned label. U.S merchants can now use this attribute to showcase a label displaying ‘Identifies as LGBTQ+ owned’ on their business’ profile.  

This attribute sits amongst other selections, including ‘Identifies as Black-owned’, ‘Identifies as Latino-owned’, ‘Identifies as veteran-owned’, and ‘Identifies as women-owned’. Mackenzie Thomas, Product & Marketing Inclusion Lead at Google, says that they ultimately “want to make it easier for others to find LGBTQ+ owned businesses in their own community”.  

Though only currently rolled out in the US, it’s likely that this will be available to businesses in the UK in the future.

person holding a phone with a video player

Google & Apple Told to Remove ‘Sheep’s Clothing’ TikTok from App Stores 

A concerning tweet made by the US Federal Communications Commission Leader, Brendan Carr, shows him calling on Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores due to “its pattern of surreptitious data practices”.  

In a following tweet, Brendan Carr quotes: “TikTok doesn’t just see its users dance videos. It collects search and browsing histories, keystroke patterns, biometric identifiers, draft messages and metadata, plus it has collected the text, images, and videos that are stored on a device’s clipboard.”.

Having posted a letter addressed to Apple CEO, Tim Cook, and Alphabet CEO, Sundar Pichai, the FCC leader documents reports and instances that have made TikTok non-compliant with each app store’s policies. If it is not removed from their app stores, they must provide statements explaining reasoning by the 8th of July.

For brands who have gone to the effort of building an established presence on TikTok, this will come as a potentially huge blow if TikTok were to go away, so businesses should strategise and prepare for such situation.

Google Refreshes its Guidelines for Product Pages and Rich Results

In June, Google updated its product rich results support page, clarifying how rich results can be used for product variants where each has a unique URL.

Where previously, the documentation said:

“Use markup for a specific product, not a category or list of products. For example, ‘shoes in our shop’ is not a specific product. Currently, product-rich results only support pages that focus on a single product. We recommend focusing on adding markup to product pages instead of pages that list products or a category of products.”

It now states:

“Use markup for a specific product, not a category or list of products. For example, ‘shoes in our shop’ is not a specific product. Currently, product rich results only support pages that focus on a single product. This includes product variants where each product variant has a distinct URL. We recommend focusing on adding markup to product pages instead of pages that list products or a category of products.”

Google's merchandise store

So, if you have a lot of product variants in your inventory, you can still make the most of rich features, so long as the unique URL uses a path segment /product/product-variant/, or a query parameter /product?color=red. If your product variants share the same URL, they may be ineligible for product rich results – something to bear in mind for all ecommerce webmasters out there.

Get more out of Google 

Our experts can help you maximise your visibility through SEO and PPC, and because we keep on top of the latest news and updates, we’re always working with best practice in mind. Speak to us today. 

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