2023 is almost here, so I decided to find some SEO trends for 2023 and beyond. It's nice to know what to expect from Google and what to prepare for.

Well, I started my SEO research, but I was surprised that most of the posts “seo 2023” turned out to be reused from previous years. The only new event that was reported was the Google Spam Update.

So, not to repeat what has been said many times before, I conducted my own survey of the upcoming SEO trends 2023. And (yes!) I managed to find some interesting things and get expert opinions, which I will share with you in this very post. So there you have it.

Trend 1. Google Ads is giving way to organic search

If you look at the recent advertising revenue reports in Google search, you will see a clear downward trend. A report published in October 2022 stated that Google Ads ad revenue grew by only 4,25%.

Google's revenue decline

Revenue from advertising on the Service Microsoft Bing they are doing slightly better, but they are also not showing steady growth: the October 2022 report shows only a 16% increase.

In addition to the decline in advertising revenue for the search moguls, many marketing agencies report that the average cost of many bids has decreased. To make sure it's not just a rumor, we've tested it with our own ad campaigns. We have actually seen bid prices drop by up to 50% compared to the same period in previous years. The only region unaffected was the United States.

Even the IMF's economic forecast is far from optimistic: according to financial experts, 2023 is likely to be the year of a major recession. Judging by previous years, paid promotion is the first thing businesses cut back when a financial crisis is about to hit profits.

In addition to pessimistic economic forecasts, you should also keep in mind the human factor. People are less willing to click on snippets that are explicitly labeled as advertising. This happens because most users consider paid ads to be less valuable than organic results (paid = less trustworthy). By the way, this could be one of the reasons why Google plans to change the Ad designation to Sponsored, which sounds less purposeful.

The declining popularity of paid ads can only signal one thing – businesses are putting more effort into succeeding in organic search. In other words, SEO remains a must.

What to do

If you feel that your business needs to cut back on paid promotion, then you have no choice but to better optimize for organic search.

AIf you want to beat the recession by investing more in advertising, carefully review your advertising campaigns. As bid prices have dropped in some niches and regions, you may find new advertising opportunities that were previously too expensive for you.

google drop primes

Trend 2. Featured Snippets and No Click Results

While paid promotion takes a backseat, SEO is constantly evolving. And companies will need to catch up with the latest SERP trends to stay on top of organic search. No matter how challenging it may be. Plus, don't forget about unexpected Google updates.

Today, SERPs seem to be dominated by featured snippets and zero-click results. In many cases, these are the same things - the search results that appear at the top of the SERPs and contain the information that the user is looking for.

Honestly, SEO optimizers they are still of two minds about how to handle zero click results. On the one hand, they steal clicks and traffic from other search snippets because users get what they need on the spot. On the other hand, studies show that Google users are more likely to click on featured snippets.

It should be emphasized that different studies report different results depending on the research methodology. In any case, however, the trend is still clear - results with zero clicks actually take up a large share of clicks. They are really eye-catching and are placed at the top of the SERP, so the probability that the user will click on them and get more information is quite high.

What to do

Google it often uses structured data to pull information from your website into click-free results. So the first thing you should do is use schema markup, like FAQ markup, wherever it's relevant on your site.

Additionally, you can research which keywords trigger SERPs more often than others and update your website content to get more snippets.

Pay attention to which keywords trigger Google's SERP features. If these keywords have the potential to get you a lot of clicks and your site isn't ranking for them yet, you have room for improvement.

rich snippet

Trend 3. EAT remains important

Expertise, authority and credibility is an evergreen trend that remains relevant year after year. And 2023 will not be an exception. Especially if paid promotion becomes less popular and everyone focuses on organic search. Additionally, Google recently confirmed that EAT is applied to every single query.

There are many factors that contribute to EAT signals: author expertise, backlinks from trusted sources such as Wikipedia and relevant niche websites, etc. Mentions from subject matter experts and opinion leaders also greatly benefit your website's EAT. For example, if you write about cooking and restaurants, then mentions from restaurants, food bloggers and chefs (both local and world famous) will suffice.

Trying to get higher in the SERPs with the help of EAT signals will eventually lead to an increase in the price of SEO services because:

  • Articles from professional authors will be more expensive;
  • Link building services such as outreach will be more expensive;
  • Authoritative media will increase the price of placement of paid posts;
  • SEO agencies will charge more.

SEO experts also agree that content quality and expertise will matter more than ever. This is what Olga Zarr, SEO consultant at SEOSLY, says:

With the recent useful content update, spam update, and product review update, Google has given us clear signals about what it's looking for in content. They want content helped users answer their questions and satisfied their needs. They want more than just rehashing what everyone is already talking about. They want originality and your insights. I believe that only with stellar content you will succeed.

Olga Zarr, SEOSLY

What to do

You should be more attentive and aware when building and developing personal brands. In the new reality, it is very important not only to build your expertise, but also to let people and search engines know about it. Be active in public events in your niche and participate in conferences, interviews, podcasts, etc., all of which will help you and your brand become known. This also applies to the personal brands of the authors of your content.

Cultivating a personal brand takes time. A lot of time actually. If you don't feel like you're willing to invest a lot of time and effort into brand management, outsourcing expert content creation is also an option. But don't hesitate – outsourcing of content creation it will definitely be more expensive than now.

EAT signals

Trend 4. Excessive use of content with artificial intelligence

Since good authors will be more expensive, SEO optimizers they will try to save as much as possible on content creation. Therefore, AI content creation tools will become more popular because they are less expensive than real authors (some AI authors are even free). Although AI content writers are getting better every day, they still can't completely replace humans.

Yes, take a breath.

Lazy SEOs who rely too much on AI content are likely to fall into the trap of updating useful content from the company Google, which aims to downrank low-quality and spam content.

Here is the opinion of Lukáš Železný, an expert on Search Engine Optimization at SEO London, on AI content in SEO:

AI capabilities to create content and update useful content are like two zones that should not be forgotten.

First, there is a significantly high risk that AI will be overused. These days access to tools like https://jasper.ai is very affordable. And these tools are fantastic as a supplement, but not a replacement for human content creators.

And this is where the content update comes in handy: the algo update tries to remove this low-quality content from the top positions in the SERPs.

Lukasz Zelezny, SEO London

What to do

Content creators with artificial intelligence can't replace humans, but they can help us a lot. So denying the future and ignoring AI is not the best idea – the future is already here. Let AI content creators do the work for you, but be careful not to get your site penalized by Google.

I'm not trying to say that AI is bad. What I'm saying is that AI makes it possible to create a huge amount of unique but low-quality content, [… that] is nothing more than "grammatically correct fluff". Content that does not add any value.

Lukasz Zelezny, SEO London

For example, you can use artificial intelligence to generate some parts of the content that you can manually edit - fill in missing information or remove parts that are clearly nonsense. This way you add value and avoid the risk of being hit by a useful content update.

AI tools can also be used for machine localization of websites. Please note that machine translations also require manual editing, so uploading tons of raw machine translations to your site is not the best idea.

artificial intelligence AI

Trend 5. Entities replace keywords

It looks like Google has turned towards sites that are optimized for entities. Thus, the entity-based optimization approach becomes more efficient than the traditional one SEO optimization for keywords. I think the reason lies in the development of the knowledge panel, and here is why.

Google understands content using its NLP algorithms. For example, the NLP API analyzes a piece of text, identifies the most significant terms (entities) and defines what the text is about. The information obtained in this way is then added to all the other data that Google already has about this or that entity. When there is enough information, Google can connect all the dots and award the entity with a knowledge panel.

BERT algorithms a MUM Googlers are also trained to NLP, therefore it is easier for Google to understand the context and build SERPs based on this knowledge.

Entity-based SEO is especially important for local queries. In a local search, Google evaluates how relevant the query (entity) is to a certain location, and this is one of the decisive factors in the creation of local SERPs.

What to do

You need to get Google to understand your entity the way you need it to, so make your entity as meaningful as possible. And here are some steps to help you make your entity stand out:

Enrich your website content with other entities related to the target entity so that Google has enough surrounding context. This is how our user boosted local business search performance using entity association.

Create and grow your business profile on Google (for local businesses). Take advantage of all its features, because the more data you give Google, the more it knows about you.

Build backlinks. It is a signal of connection between your entity and other relevant entities. If you have a local business, build local backlinks.

Encourage users to rate your business.

Try offline marketing to create more buzz around your subject. Offline events are often discussed on social media, which Google also appreciates.

Tip:

You can also scan your content using Google's NLP API to see how Google understands the text and what entities it finds.

NLP algorithm

Trend 6. Expanding the Google Shopping service

While offline shopping is on the rise as people are finally freed from the restrictions of COVID-19, Google is consolidating e-commerce facilities into one space and actively developing and upscaling shopping features such as Merchant Center, Products, Google Shopping, etc.

Google is now more than just a search engine – it's an e-commerce aggregator that includes products, descriptions and reviews. The only thing it does not do is sell goods directly; instead, it has a Where to Buy section where the websites of the sellers are displayed.

This trend is a cue for e-commerce sites to start adding services like Google Shopping. The stores will thus be displayed in the section where to buy.

The nice thing is that you can now easily compare your pricing strategy with your competitors' pricing strategy and adjust it so that it remains reasonable.

The not-so-pleasing thing is that Google Shopping is sure to grab the lion's share of clicks from e-commerce sites and break up marketing funnels. Previously, users clicked on a page snippet, went to the page itself, and continued their customer journey there. With Google Shopping, users only get to a specific product page if they decide to buy the item from that page. Nevertheless, this is the new reality of e-commerce.

What to do

If you run an e-commerce site, you have no choice but to add Google Shopping features to it. Some types of SERPs have Google Shopping snippets, and these snippets work just like the featured snippets I wrote about above, i.e. they get clicks from organic results. So if you add Google Shopping, you can get back clicks that you might have lost in organic results. Otherwise, your organic clicks could go to your competition.

google shopping / purchases

Trend 7. Visual search is becoming widely used

Have you heard of Google Lens? It looks like the hype around this feature has slowed down recently, but it's just the calm before the storm. Most likely, this "peace" is related to the improvement of MUM's artificial intelligence, because Google wants the new feature to be almost perfect.

It should be said that visual search Google Lens it works much better now than say a few months ago and there is still room for improvement. Then Google will finally launch multimodal search so that the MUM algorithm actually does what it was designed to do.

Google needs to clearly "see" images (and maybe soon videos) to understand what's in them and find similar objects across the web. Therefore, in order for Google to see the object in detail, the visual elements on your page should be of high quality.

However, there is a problem that can cost you the location. High-quality visuals are heavy on file size, which means poor Core Web Vitals and poor PageSpeed ​​metrics. As you know, this will XNUMX% damage the UX of your website and it can also affect your ranking.

Well… Can we expect Google to be less demanding on CWV and shift the benchmarks somehow? That's a question that doesn't have an answer yet.

What to do

Make images part of yours SEO strategy – the best results in Google Images never hurt anyone. Take care of the quality of your visuals and create a brand style to stand out from the competition. Design your own images instead of using stock photos and make sure they are the right size to fit the device dimensions properly.

Remember to keep up with Google's CWV benchmarks. It's a good idea to set up a CDN to reduce server load. "Lazy resource loading" will also benefit load times.

Adding a schema markup to your pages will help Google better understand what's in the image (food, photo of a person, etc.). Also, don't forget to write proper alt texts for your images.

G lens search

Trend 8. Images generated by artificial intelligence are becoming popular

I don't think there has been any official statement on AI generated images, but I found out some interesting things on the subject.

First, artificial intelligence image generators like Midjourney have become hype recently. People on the Internet talk a lot about them and try to create images on all kinds of topics.

Second, AI tools can create really nice images provided you give them a detailed challenge. The more details you provide, the better the picture.

Finally, I tested some AI-generated images using Google's Cloud Vision API. The results turned out to be quite interesting, as Google was able to recognize the objects quite successfully. What's more, he even found those items that were not originally listed in the challenge.

The challenge I entered Midjourney was a coffee shop. I then searched for the cafe in Google Images and scanned an actual photo of the cafe using the API.

Google recognized the same objects in both the artificial image and the real photo. Thus, AI-generated images are detailed enough to appear in SERP image search engines if the query is relevant. In my opinion, it looks like AI-generated images will be used more often than they are now.

What to do

There's really nothing to do but look. Of course, you can try artificial intelligence tools for your site, but I recommend not using them too much. At least not yet, as Google is not sure how they will treat AI images and what impact they would have on SEO.

image of a girl generated by AI

summary

When it comes to Google and SEO trends for the next year, it's hard to be sure how things will pan out. The only thing that is XNUMX% clear is that quality will take precedence over quantity. Therefore, do not neglect yours SEO optimization and devote enough resources to it. Remember, unlike paid advertising, SEO is a long-term game with results that last longer.

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