Similar to the sporadic algorithm updates Google releases, the SEO outcomes in 2023 of the industry are unpredictable.
Because there isn’t another industry that is as dynamic as SEO, we are aware that one of the topics that needs to be updated frequently is SEO trends.
The trends that were so successful a few years ago, such as voice search, are no longer popular because algorithms are getting smarter all the time.
We need to stay current with trends as SEO professionals. While we’re doing it, we want the community to pick up on it so that the industry can set new standards and respond harshly to those who dismiss SEO as a finished and dusty industry.
But are these actual trends or merely conjecture?
The trends listed below have received support from some of the top industry experts over the past few months.
You can be sure that we practice what we preach because we have put the following SEO strategies into place for both our brand and the countless clients we serve.
But until Google makes all the ranking factors public, which they won’t, SEO is naturally a combination of data-driven speculation.
In 2022, we took Voice Search off of this list because the pandemic had seriously harmed its chances of expanding.
The widespread use of masks may be to blame for this. We’re not sure, but the fact is that people aren’t communicating with their smartphones and computers as much as they once did, and the only time they use voice search is while they’re driving.
The keyword trend for voice search is also declining, according to Google Trends.
Over the past few years, SEO has undergone significantly altered. It’s no longer enough to simply have a website and climb the search engine results pages. The Google algorithm has evolved significantly over time, and as a result, so have the ways in which businesses use SEO strategies. It’s critical to comprehend the most recent SEO trends and how your marketing strategies will change as a result if you want to maintain your position at the top of search results.
By staying up to date with the latest SEO trends, businesses and website owners can ensure that their websites are optimized for the latest algorithms and best practices, which can help to improve their search engine rankings, increase their organic traffic, and ultimately drive more revenue and conversions.
SEO trends can also help businesses stay ahead of their competitors by identifying emerging trends and strategies that can give them a competitive advantage. For example, if a new type of content or a new approach to link building emerges as an effective strategy for SEO, businesses that are quick to adopt it may be able to outrank their competitors and capture more organic traffic.
Overall, keeping up with SEO trends is essential for any business or website owner that wants to maximize their online visibility and drive more traffic and revenue from search engines.
AI-based content is becoming increasingly popular on websites due to recent improvements in AI-generated content. Google’s algorithms are struggling to differentiate AI-generated content from human-generated content, which may lead to a new competition between Google and Bing-funded OpenAI.
While Google is using natural language understanding to improve its machine learning algorithms, OpenAI’s GPT3 technology aims to empower the public to create AI content. Google has discouraged the use of AI-based content and has launched two updates to crack down on sites that use it.
However, AI content generators like Jasper and Copy Ai are using OpenAI to scale content creation. It’s not recommended to create content without any human intervention, but AI can produce useful content with human input. OpenAI’s ChatGPT intends to offer users quick answers without browsing multiple pages, and the future of AI-based content looks promising.
A random AI blog generated using GPTChat was given an average quality score of 7.5 out of 10 by SEOs and writers with more than five years of experience, but they noted the content lacked the first-hand experience only a human author can offer.
Despite Google’s attempts to crack down on low-quality AI content, the quality of AI content is likely to improve, making it difficult to distinguish between AI and human-generated content.
Google has begun testing a beta version of its latest AI language model called BARD, which is expected to be a strong competitor to other large-scale language models like GPT-3. BARD has been in development for a while and has been trained in a diverse range of data sources to improve its natural language processing abilities.
Unlike other models, BARD has a unique pre-training process that involves training on web pages, books, articles, and scientific papers to gain a more comprehensive understanding of language and the world. Although still in beta testing, BARD is highly anticipated by natural language processing researchers and developers.
Google is also expected to release MUM, a new language model, soon, and it could have a significant impact on search results. The integration of MUM could mean a new type of results that combines information from various sources to provide more specific answers, leading to more 0 click results. To optimize for MUM, webmasters should focus on structured data, natural content, and highly readable content without jargon.
Additionally, understanding LaMDA, another language model introduced in 2021 for dialogue applications, could be beneficial for SEOs as it sets new benchmarks for natural AI conversations. LaMDA is trained to produce sensible and specific responses to carry on an open-ended conversation with users.
Since the 2018 medic update, the term EAT has been frequently mentioned in the Google Quality Rater Guidelines. EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, and Google has recently added Experience to make it EEAT.
All four factors are used by Google to assess the accuracy, honesty, safety, and reliability of content for search rankings. If your website falls under the YMYL category (Your Money or Your Life), such as health or financial topics, it requires higher EEAT weightage to be deemed trustworthy.
Google also checks for EEAT factors for online stores and product review sites, ensuring secure payment systems, reliable customer service, and honest, in-depth reviews. The new Experience signal added to EAT helps Google evaluate if the author, brand, or website has first-hand experience with the topic being conveyed in the content. This could potentially lead to more “Helpful Content” updates in 2023.
Google has been warning about penalties for building backlinks, but in reality, they have been unable to completely crackdown on practices like blogger outreach, guest posting, and link exchange. These strategies often involve sharing high-quality content on relevant websites, and while there may be some incentivization involved, it’s difficult for Google to trace the origin of these links.
However, Google’s SpamBrian algorithm has become more efficient since its introduction in 2018, with the company claiming it can keep 99% of spam results out of search results as of December 2022. Despite this, link building strategies like manual blogger outreach and guest posting can still be valuable if the content is posted on relevant, industry-specific websites with a targeted audience.
For example, links on reputable sites like Kinsta and MarketingPros are more valuable than those on sites with a broader focus. SEO agencies like Stan Ventures may focus more on brand mentions as a ranking factor in the future.
It’s been confirmed that Google has significantly reduced the frequency of crawling and indexing websites, which prompted the introduction of IndexNow as one of the SEO trends for 2022.
However, unlike Bing and Yandex, Google has not yet implemented a similar protocol to IndexNow that informs search engines of content changes on a page to expedite the crawling and indexing process, saving resources. John Mueller from Google mentioned a possible adoption of such a protocol, but it has not materialized yet.
The reason behind limiting the frequency of crawls is to reduce the environmental impact of indexing and crawling, which could contribute to greenhouse gas emissions if powered by non-renewable sources. Google is committed to its carbon-neutral policy and aims to eliminate its carbon footprint entirely by 2030 by using renewable energy sources or optimizing their algorithms and technologies to reduce energy consumption during indexing and crawling.
Google’s ultimate goal is to make crawling and indexing more sustainable while maintaining efficiency.
Since Google introduced various SERP features that offer direct answers to users’ queries, there has been a noticeable decline in CTR. Google’s instant answers provide users with the answers they need without having to navigate away from the search results, which keeps them within Google’s ecosystem. By doing so, Google can offer more relevant information and sell more ads to users.
For example, when searching for a product like “buy iPhone 14 Pro Max,” ads appear on the first fold of the search results page. While the top-ranking site gets about 43% of clicks, the CTR to organic pages should be lower due to the new search result page dynamics, with traditional organic pages appearing lower in the SERP rankings. We believe this trend will continue to grow as Google wants users to spend more time on its associated verticals.
According to analyzed data sets from 2020, an estimated 64.82% of Google searches result in no clicks, which may have increased in the last three years due to Google’s efforts to keep users within its ecosystem.
Did you hear about Google’s new algorithm, Passage Indexing? It uses natural language processing to understand the meaning of individual passages within a web page, allowing specific sections of long-form content to appear in search results for relevant queries. This will have a significant impact on the ranking of holistic content, which takes an in-depth look at a topic and addresses pressing questions.
Passage Indexing will also benefit long-tailed and question-based search queries, as it enables Google to display the best answer from a wide variety of legitimate sources. The algorithm will not be a separate indexing process but will occur as Google crawls and indexes pages using its advanced natural language processing algorithms.
Structuring content will become as important as the quality of it when Passage Indexing is live, with multiple sections discussing sub-topics to give Google an understanding of the depth of content. Short articles may not benefit as much from Passage Indexing, as they are less likely to cover sub-topics and smaller passages.
Top-ranking pages on Google for competitive search queries are typically long-form content exceeding 2000 words, and a table of contents is recommended for better user experience.
The introduction of Google Passage Ranking will bring about a significant change in the way content is presented on websites. Rather than having numerous pages about a topic, it is now recommended to have a single page dedicated to that topic. This change is expected to become a major SEO trend, as passages are crucial in allowing Google to extract the precise information that users are seeking.
To optimize passages, it is important to have a strong page and schema structure, as well as readable text that is easily evaluated by NLP. Google has been experimenting with various layout changes, such as more inclusive autosuggestions that provide users with information without requiring them to click the search button or scroll through results.
In addition, Google is likely to introduce infinite or continuous scrolling to search results, a feature that has already been implemented on mobile search results in the US and could soon be available in other regions and for desktop searches as well.
Algorithms are better able to group semantically related keyword variations because they can now comprehend the purpose behind a user’s search. In order to better align content with search intent, similar content pieces will be combined in 2023 rather than new pages being created for every single unique keyword variation.
The long-tail keyword approach may seem counterintuitive in light of this. However, a comprehensive SEO strategy in 2023 will focus on the whole rather than just the parts. As a result, for some businesses, the new year will require spending on content cleanup and consolidation.