January 2022 in SEO

SEO roundup featured image pink and green swirl

Hello readers! We’re at the end of the first month of 2022, and we’re here with a brand-spanking new monthly roundup of SEO news. We’ll go through a few of the top stories from January, and share some advice from the Supersede vaults.

January 2022: the top stories

There’s no denying the rise of e-commerce when our top story of the month concerns Shopify SEO. We’ll also be taking a look at the latest update to Google Search Console and the acquisition of Backlinko by Semrush.

Yoast SEO plugin comes to Shopify

In recent years, Shopify has become known as the go-to platform for e-commerce sites. There are now over 5 million Shopify-built sites, and statistics from BuiltWith indicate that its usage has more than doubled in since 2017.

Of course, to get customers through the (virtual) door, they need to be able to find you. That’s why SEO is just as important for Shopify businesses as it is for any other site. With this in mind, Shopify SEO has begun to receive serious interest from the search marketing community.

The latest sign of the times is the launch of a Shopify-specific Yoast SEO app. This works in much the same way as the Yoast WordPress plugin used widely by SEOs. A key difference, however, is that the Shopify version costs $29 a month, while the WordPress app has both free and premium tiers.

Page Experience reports now have a desktop section

Screenshot of the Desktop Page Experience section of Google Search Console

While mobile-first has become one of the guiding design principles of our time, desktop visitors still account for around a third of all internet use. When designing your site, ensuring a good experience for both sets of users is crucial.

Though this quality might seem somewhat nebulous, Google has taken steps to turn it into hard statistics. These include earlier measures such as Page Speed and mobile-friendliness through to the more recent Core Web Vitals. These figures, taken together, help to provide an overall picture as to the user experience on a given page, and they have informed search rankings on mobile since May 2021.

Now, that ranking update is coming to desktop, too, in a rollout expected to take place next month. In preparation, marketers can now use a new desktop-specific Page Experience section on Google Search Console. This includes information on how many URLs are failing CWV tests, and allows you to view which pages are in need of improvement.

Semrush acquires Backlinko

If you work in search marketing, it’s likely you’re familiar with the resources offered by Backlinko. Founded in 2012 and spearheaded by Brian Dean from the beginning, the site has proved popular amongst beginner and experienced SEOs across the globe. More than half a million visit every month to access articles on everything from email marketing to landing pages.

It’s perhaps little wonder, then, that other businesses have had their eye on Backlinko. This month, well known SEO platform Semrush announced they were acquiring the company for an undisclosed sum. Founder Brian Dean will continue to play a role in the business, albeit on a part-time basis.

The news has garnered a mixed response, with some suggesting that Semrush’s primary motivation was to gain control over Backlinko’s link profile. Others, meanwhile, have hailed the move for its potential to double Semrush’s traffic value.


There are plenty more stories where they came from! Here’s some other news from across the world of search marketing that was on our radar in January:

SEO advice we love

There’s never a bad time to work on your site’s SEO. So, whether you’re planning for the rest of the year or are just taking the opportunity to turn over a new leaf, a couple of tips are always useful. Here are a few from some of our favourite SEO sites:

Tip of the month

iPhone near a pen and annual planner

“Starting a new year can be both exciting and daunting for any business. Though it’s a time for new opportunities, it’s often difficult to know where to start with your strategies and campaigns.”

We’re right at the beginning of a new year, and while some of our plans are already in full swing, others need more work to get off the ground. If you’re still trying to figure out how to start 2022 on the right foot, then check out our guide to 10 Ways to Prepare for Digital Marketing in the New Year. From ways to repurpose your existing content through to spring-cleaning tips, we’ve got plenty of useful advice you can use!

We’re already done with our monthly roundup! Stick around, though—we post helpful advice here every single week so that you can become an SEO superhero.