Google’s constantly evolving its algorithm features to improve the search experience for users.
Each update, however, impacts SEO strategies, as they can change the way that websites are ranked and displayed in search results.
In the past, updates such as Panda and Penguin have targeted low-quality and spammy websites. Updates such as Hummingbird and BERT have instead focused their attention on the algorithm’s ability to understand search intent and the context of user queries.
It’s important to stay informed about any upcoming changes to the platform to adjust our SEO strategies accordingly.
This article provides an overview of the updates and predictions coming to Google in 2023 and how they may affect your SEO efforts.
What's coming in 2023: key takeaways
#1 Visual search to improve Google Images
As Generation Z continues to grow and become more active online, they are visibly shifting towards social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram to search for content online.
This effectively bypasses the use of traditional search engines.
Recognising this trend, Google is actively working to adapt and evolve in order to remain relevant in this new landscape.
So we predict that they’ll keep up with the trend by incorporating visuals into their search results to create a more engaging and immersive search experience.
This shift will affect Google images and videos by rewarding content creators that incorporate visual content in their websites.
To benefit from this, an SEO strategist should focus on creating high-quality images and infographics and video content. You could even focus your attention on optimising your content exclusively for social media.
#2 Google could focus on multi-channel search
Google is rolling out a ton of gadgets and devices in 2023, from a Google Pixel tablet to smartwatches.
In order to promote their devices and ensure a great user experience, it’s very likely that Google will favour websites that are optimised for mobile.
#3 A new E in EEAT
The famous EAT acronym is an indicator of how Google ranks content based on Expertise, Authority and Trust.
Well, Google is now adding a new E: Experience.
Google expects content creators to have first-hand experience in the topic they are talking about.
For example, we can ask our SEO manager to create content about SEO, and it’s going to be stellar. However, if we were to ask him to create content about pharmaceuticals, that would undermine the authority of that content, since we don’t have any medical professionals in our team.
How these new E works is still a bit of a mystery, but we’ll inform you about any new updates as soon as Google releases them – which is why it’s a good idea to sign up to our newsletter.
#4 ChatGPT might change Google forever
In case you have been living under a rock for the past few months, ChatGPT is an AI model created by OpenAI that can understand and respond to human language.
It’s been trained on a ton of text, so it can have a conversation with you and even generate new text on its own. It’s pretty smart and can even understand what you’re asking based on the context.
It can also be tailored to specific tasks like helping with customer service or writing content.
Pretty cool, right? Even cooler fact for you, this description above was written by ChatGPT using “Describe ChatGPT in a few sentences. Use a casual tone” as input.
ChatGPT is as innovative as it is dangerous for Google’s engines. Why would you google something, then dig through the internet for an answer, when you can simply ask a question and read what the bot tells you?
Alternative search engines such as Neeva and You.com have already introduced a chatbot feature that allows for similar functionality.
So, we predict that Google will include a chatbot feature, as a battle for AI supremacy is essentially declared between the two companies.
What a Google-owned AI-powered chatbot implies for SEO specialists out there is still a mystery to us, but nonetheless, the potentials are very exciting.
#5 SEO specialists may struggle financially due to a stiff economic climate - so it’s time to diversify
It has been a tough year for the economy, and the bear market is not slowing down as of now.
This has affected everything, including marketing. Companies have been cutting their budgets left and right. And it looks like this trend will continue in 2023. So what does this mean for SEO? Will it become more popular as a cost-effective way to market or will businesses cut back on it to save money?
It’s the easiest way for companies to save some cash in the short term. And with SEO, it can take a while for you to see an increase in traffic, up to 4-6 months. So, some brands might move their budget from SEO to paid search to see quick results.
#6 Optimising keywords for voice support is essential
Optimising keywords for voice search on Google is becoming increasingly important as more and more people are using voice assistants to search for things online. In fact, in 2023, it’s estimated that 27% of people will be using voice search on their devices, and this statistic doesn’t account for the number of people owning a Google Home device.
Here are a few tips on how to optimize your keywords for voice search:
– Use natural language: when people speak into a voice assistant, they often use phrases and sentences that sound more like everyday conversation than typed queries. To optimise for voice search, you’ll want to use keywords that reflect how people actually talk.
– Focus on long-tail keywords: these are longer, more specific phrases that are less likely to be used by someone typing a query. For example, “best Italian restaurant near me” is a long-tail keyword, while “Italian restaurant” is shorter and more general.
– Use location-based keywords: voice search is often used when people are on the go, so it’s important to include keywords that reflect the user’s location. For example, “pizza delivery in York” is a location-based keyword.
– Use question words: many voice searches are in the form of a question, so including question words like “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” and “how” in your keywords can help optimize your content for voice search.
– Be concise and clear: when people use voice search, they expect a quick answer. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and that the information they need is easy to find.
By following these tips, you can help make sure that your website shows up when people use voice search to find businesses or services like yours.
#7 And a crazy idea: what about a “social” search vertical option?
This one is definitely a bit more of a wild card, rather than a prediction.
With the rising popularity of social media, it’s very much possible that Google could create a “social” search vertical to allow users to filter search results based on what has been shared by their friends and connections on social media platforms.
This could be beneficial to see recommendations and find trustworthy results through social proof.
For example, someone searching for “restaurants near me” could find which places their friends have recommended, rather than relying solely on traditional search results and local SEO.
On top of that, a social search vertical could increase the visibility of smaller and lesser-known businesses as it effectively allows word-of-mouth to become a fully-fleshed SEO signal.
The most unique trait of this feature is that the results would be personalised and tailored to the user’s specific needs. As we all know, personalisation leads to higher engagement rates and conversions, which would benefit the search engine giant massively.
Google updates its algorithm every day. In 2022 alone, there were two core updates that changed everything we knew about SEO.
2023 shapes up to be a big year for the search engine and it’s important to keep up with all the changes happening in SEO and social media.
And yes, we know how hard it is to stay on top of all that.
This is why big international brands like love using topflight Agency for all their SEO & Performance Marketing affairs. Do you want to join the gang?