As Google’s algorithms (systems) continue to evolve, so does search engine optimization. If you need an SEO tutorial, we recommend our comprehensive guide at the link, which will show you the ins and outs of technical search engine optimization, from keyword research to SEO.
In this article, however, we take out our magic ball and look to the future. Although we can’t make predictions, the trends give us an idea of what to expect from SEO in 2023. Let’s take a look!
#0 Helpful content launched globally
It is fresh, almost crisp, news that 2022. Helpful Content Update was also launched worldwide on 5 December. The Helpful Content System was already available in English in August and has now been rolled out globally to all languages.
And what is the Helpful Content System?
A site-wide, comprehensive new ranking signal that changes the way content is ranked. There has been a lot of content in recent years that has been “written for SEO”, full of keyword stuffing, often with mechanical, particularly nasty phrases.
The current update is intended to put an end to this, with an even greater focus on content that is specifically relevant to the visitor.
And why is this important in our current article?
This is because we believe that globally extended helpful content will have a profound impact on SEO trends in 2023. Maybe we can finally say goodbye to the “million and one” articles, and finally the star of keyword stuffing will finally set.
The so-called E-A-T (expertise-authoritativeness-trustworthiness) will therefore continue to be a priority.
#1 Decreasing traffic from Ads and increasing organic traffic
The decrease in the cost of Ads is the result of a not so unexpected economic twist, as 2023 is already predicted by leading financial experts to be the year of recession.
For example, Link Assistant has tested that, compared to last year, about 50%
bid prices have dropped, showing that companies are actually spending less on Ads.
This is not surprising, since when there is a recession, it is mainly in advertising and advertising costs. Of course, this is only one side of the frying pan; there is another factor, namely the consumer layer.
The recession is hitting ordinary people even harder, as they tighten their belts and optimise their spending. That’s why they are less likely to click on snippets that are specifically aimed at making a purchase.
And that’s where good old organic search comes in.
It’s no coincidence that SEO experts say, and we like to say, that although Ads can be integrated into a well-functioning marketing strategy (and even further: for some marketers it’s essential), organic search is the evergreen hit.
#2 Featured snippets continue to conquer, but take away clicks
Featured snippets are even shared by SEO experts.
Highlighted extracts both improve the user experience and make it easier for them to find what they are looking for, and in many cases, that’s enough information to stop them clicking through.
This is what a featured snippet looks like in Google SERPs:
But there is another study, using a different methodology, which finds the opposite, that users click on featured snippets more often than other content.
As in many cases, the truth lies somewhere in between.
In this case, it’s worth using a schema on your page, for example for the FAQ page, so that Google has a better chance of pulling our content as featured content and we can be ranked at the top. You can see first-hand how this affects click-through rates later on.
#3 The overuse of artificial intelligence
It is no secret that many people use AI (artificial intelligence) generated content, especially in English. The tools on the market are so advanced that you can hardly tell the difference between machine-generated text and moderately written content.
Of course, on the one hand, this is a cost-saver, as you don’t have to pay the money to the writers, and on the other hand, you can actually produce content that can be useful and relevant.
However, it should be kept in mind that this is still just machine-generated content, which does not reflect expertise or competence, and can easily lead you astray.
For example, according to a London-based SEO expert, you can easily create content using AI, but you’ll need to proofread it as an expert and fill in the missing information.
#4 Entity-based search
It really seems that Google is turning towards entity-optimized sites.
Ennek oka, hogy a Google az NLP (Natural Language Processing – természetes nyelvek feldolgozása) algoritmusai segítségével érti meg a tartalmat.
The way this actually works is that the NLP API analyzes a text, for example, and then identifies the meaningful terms (entities) and determines what the text is about.
This information is then added to all the other data Google already has about that entity. If enough information is available, Google can connect these dots to create a so-called knowledge panel.
Google’s BERT and MUM algorithms also use NLP-based recognition because it makes it easier for Google to understand the context and develop the SERP more efficiently.
Entity-based SEO is particularly important for local queries. In local search, Google evaluates how relevant a query (entity) is to a particular location, and this is one of the deciding factors in the shaping of local SERPs. That’s why when you type in pizza, it shows not only pizza as an entity, but also places where you can eat pizza.
You can do this most effectively by expanding your Google Business profile, building backlinks, especially with local content, and getting more reviews about your business.
Offline events (e.g. gastropics, competitions, etc.) can also be effective, as they are often talked about on social media and Google appreciates this.
#5 Visual trends and AI-generated images
Have you heard of Google Lens? The hype around the feature seems to have slowed down recently, but believe me, it’s just the calm before the storm. This “calm” is probably related to the refinement of Google’s MUM artificial intelligence, as the search giant wants the new feature to work perfectly.
The truth is that the Google Lens visual search works much better now than it did, say, a few months ago (but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement).
Google clearly needs to “see” images (and soon maybe videos) to understand what’s on them and find similar objects on the web. So for Google to be able to analyze your visuals in detail, you need to upload high-quality images in the first place.
Sure, sure – you might say – good quality pictures, but what about dimensions? This is because the size of a single image can exceed several mb, which slows down the page, which has a bad effect on the UX, which in turn drops you down in Google’s search results.
The solution to this is to upload your images in WebP or .AVIF, which take up much less space than JPEG without any loss of quality.
You can use your own photos instead of stock photos, and you don’t even need a professional photographer (unless you’re selling a product, of course). There are already AI generators, such as Midjourney, that can generate some pretty amazing images.
And the tests show that they are also recognised by the Google Cloud Vision API, so there’s no obstacle to using them.