8 SEO Trends and Predictions for 2023
Because 2023 is quickly approaching, we decided to research some SEO trends for 2023 and beyond. While SEO predictions are still largely “it depends,” it’s useful to know what to expect from Google and what to prepare for.
So, we began SEO research but were surprised to find that the majority of “SEO 2023” posts were recycled from previous years. Google Spam Update was the only new event covered.
So, in order to avoid repeating things, we conducted our own research on the upcoming 2023 SEO trends. And (yeah!) we were able to find some interesting information and obtain expert opinions to share with you in this post. So there you have it — enjoy.
TREND 1: GOOGLE ADS SUCCUMBS TO ORGANIC SEARCH
Looking at recent Google Search ad revenue reports, you’ll notice a clear downward trend. According to a report published in October 2022, Google Ads revenue increased by only 4.25%.
Microsoft Bing ad revenues are slightly better, but not growing steadily: the October 2022 report shows only a 16% increase.
In addition to declining ad revenues among search moguls, many marketing agencies report lower average bid costs. We checked our own ad campaigns to make sure this isn’t just a rumour. In comparison to the same period in previous years, we saw a bid price decline of up to 50%. The United States was the only region that was unaffected.
The IMF’s economic forecast is also pessimistic: finance experts predict that 2023 will be the year of the Great Recession. According to previous years, paid promotion is the first thing businesses cut when a financial crisis threatens to reduce profits.
Aside from pessimistic economic forecasts, keep the human factor in mind. People are less likely to click on snippets that are clearly labelled as advertisements. This occurs because most users regard paid advertisements as less valuable than organic results (paid = less trustworthy). By the way, this could be one of the reasons Google is considering changing the Ad label to Sponsored, which sounds less intentional.
The decreasing popularity of paid advertisements can only mean one thing: businesses will work harder to succeed in organic searches. In other words, SEO is still essential.
What To Do?
If you believe your company must reduce its reliance on paid advertising, you must optimize for organic search.
On the contrary, if you want to overcome the recession by increasing your advertising spending, you should carefully review your ad campaigns. Because bid prices have fallen in some niches and regions, you may discover new advertising opportunities that were previously out of reach.
TREND 2: HIGHLIGHTED SNIPPETS AND ZERO-CLICK RESULTS
While paid promotion declines, SEO continues to evolve. To stay competitive in organic search, businesses will need to keep up with the latest SERP trends. Regardless of how difficult this may be. Also, keep an eye out for unexpected Google updates.
Today and in the future, featured snippets and zero-click results appear to dominate the SERPs. These are often the same things — search results that appear at the top of the SERP and feature the information a user is looking for.
To be honest, SEOs are still undecided about how to handle zero-click results. On the one hand, they steal clicks and traffic from other search snippets by providing users with the information they require right away. However, studies show that Google users click on featured snippets more frequently.
It is important to note that different studies report different results depending on the research methodology. But, in any case, the trend remains clear: zero-click results receive the lion’s share of clicks. They are very appealing and appear at the top of the SERP, so the likelihood of a user clicking on them to get more information is quite high.
What To Do?
Google frequently uses structured data to pull information from your website and display it in zero-click results. So, the first step is to use schema markup, such as FAQ markup, wherever it is applicable on your site.
You can also investigate which keywords trigger SERP features more frequently than others and update your site’s content to win more snippets. Create a project for your site in Rank Tracker and navigate to Target Keywords > Rank Tracking.
Take note of which keywords activate Google SERP features. If those keywords have the potential to generate a large number of clicks but your pages do not yet rank for them, you have room for improvement. With years of experience and a dedicated team, Aiwa Digital, a result-oriented SEO agency in Dubai, has achieved plenty of zero-click results for clients and helped them to get genuine traffic and leads.
TREND 3: E-A-T IS STILL IMPORTANT
Expertise, authority, and trustworthiness are evergreen trends that remain current year after year. And 2023 is not going to be any different. Especially if paid advertising becomes less popular and everyone’s attention shifts to organic search. Furthermore, Google recently confirmed that E-A-T is applied to all queries.
Many factors contribute to E-A-T signals, including author expertise, backlinks from credible sources such as Wikipedia and relevant niche websites, and so on. Mentions from niche experts and opinion leaders can also boost your site’s E-A-T. For example, if you write about cooking and restaurants, mentions from restaurants, food bloggers, and chefs (both local and internationally renowned) will suffice.
The desire to rank higher on SERPs using E-A-T signals will eventually lead to an increase in the cost of SEO services because:
- Expert-authored articles will become more expensive.
- Outreach and other link-building services will be more expensive.
- Authoritarian media will raise the cost of paid post placement.
- SEO firms will charge more.
What To Do?
When creating and developing personal brands, you should be more attentive and conscious. The new reality necessitates not only developing your professional expertise but also informing people and search engines about it. Participate in public events in your niche and take part in conferences, interviews, podcasts, and other activities that will help you and your brand become well-known. This is also true for your content authors’ personal brands.
TREND 4: OVERUSE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE CONTENT
As the cost of good authors rises, SEOs will try to save as much money as possible on content creation. Because AI content-generation tools are less expensive than real authors, they will become more popular (some AI writers are even free). Although AI content writers are improving on a daily basis, they are still incapable of completely replacing humans.
Yes, expel your breath.
Lazy SEOs who rely too heavily on AI content are vulnerable to Google’s helpful content update, which is designed to penalize low-quality and spammy content.
What To Do?
While AI content writers cannot completely replace humans, they can greatly assist us. So denying the future and ignoring AI is a bad idea — the future has already arrived. Make AI content creators work for you, but keep an eye out for Google penalties.
For example, you can use AI to generate some content that you can manually edit — add missing information or delete obvious nonsense. As a result, you add value while avoiding the risk of being hit by a helpful content update.
AI tools can also be used to machine-localize web pages. It should be noted that machine translations require manual editing as well, so uploading a large number of raw machine translations to your site is not a good idea.
Choose the AI content tool wisely. Currently, Chat GPT is the talk of the town. Many digital marketers are taking benefit from this AI-based tool and creating some good content paragraphs. You can give it a try and use it wisely.
TREND 5: KEYWORDS ARE TAKEN OVER BY ENTITIES
Google appears to be favoring pages that are optimized for entities. As a result, entity-based optimization is outperforming traditional keyword SEO. We believe the reason for this is related to the development of the Knowledge Panel, and here’s why.
Google’s NLP algorithms help it understand the content. The NLP API, for example, analyses text, identifies the most meaningful terms (entities), and defines what the text is about. The information obtained in this manner is then added to all other data Google already has on this or that entity. When there is enough information, Google can connect the dots and grant an entity a knowledge panel:
Google’s BERT and MUM algorithms are also trained on NLP, making it easier for Google to understand the context and form SERPs based on this information.
For local queries, entity-based SEO is especially important. Google evaluates how relevant a query (entity) is to a specific location in local search, and this is one of the key factors in how local SERPs are formed.
What To Do?
You must make Google understand your entity in the way that you require, so make your entity as meaningful as possible. And here are some tips to help you make your entity more visible:
- Enrich the content on your website with other entities related to the target one so that Google has enough context. For example, using entity association, our user improved the performance of his local business search. Even if your business is not local, you can find some general SEO tips there.
- Make and expand your Google Business Profile (for local businesses). Use every feature available, because the more information you give Google, the more it knows about you.
- Create backlinks. This is a connection signal between your entity and other relevant entities. Create local backlinks if you have a local business.
- Encourage customers to leave feedback about your company.
- To generate more interest in your company, try offline marketing. Offline events are frequently discussed on social media, which Google appreciates.
By clicking on the three dots next to your search snippet, you can see what Google already knows about your entity:
Then, click More about this page:
If the information is insufficient, you should update the content of your website (especially pay attention to the About us, Our history pages, etc.).
You can also use Google’s NLP API to scan your content to see how Google understands the text and what entities it discovers:
TREND 6: GOOGLE SHOPPING IS GROWING
While offline shopping is increasing as people are finally free of COVID-19 restrictions, Google is consolidating eCommerce facilities into one space and actively developing and scaling shopping features such as Merchant Center, Products, Google Shopping, and so on.
Google is now more than just a search engine; it’s also an eCommerce aggregator with products, descriptions, and reviews. The only thing it does not do is sell goods directly; instead, it has a where to buy section with links to sellers’ websites.
This trend suggests that eCommerce sites should begin adding services like Google Shopping. As a result, shops will be highlighted in the Where to Buy section.
The good news is that you can now easily compare your pricing strategy to that of your competitors and adjust to remain competitive.
The not-so-nice thing is that Google Shopping will undoubtedly capture the lion’s share of clicks from eCommerce sites and disrupt marketing funnels. Previously, users would click on a site snippet, navigate to the site, and continue their customer journey there. Users will only be directed to a specific product’s page if they decide to purchase an item from that site. Nonetheless, this is the new reality of eCommerce.
What To Do?
If you run an eCommerce site, you have no choice but to incorporate Google Shopping features. Some SERPs include Google Shopping snippets, which work similarly to the featured snippets described above, capturing clicks from organic results. So, by incorporating Google Shopping, you can recoup the clicks you would have lost through organic search. Otherwise, your organic clicks may be directed to your competitors.
TREND 7: VISUAL SEARCH IS GETTING POPULAR DAY BY DAY
Have you ever used Google Lens? The buzz surrounding this feature appears to have died down recently, but this is just the calm before the storm. This “calm” is most likely related to the refinement of MUM artificial intelligence, as Google wants the new feature to be near-perfect.
We should point out that Google Lens visual search now performs significantly better than it did, say, a few months ago, and that there is still room for improvement. Following that, Google will finally launch its multimodal search, allowing the MUM algorithm to do what it was designed to do.
Google needs to be able to clearly “see” images (and possibly videos soon) in order to understand what’s on them and find similar objects on the web. To make Google see the object in detail, your site’s visuals should be of high quality.
However, there is a problem that could cost you rankings. High-quality visuals are extremely heavy, resulting in poor Core Web Vitals and PageSpeed metrics. As you are aware, this will completely degrade your site’s UX and may have an impact on your rankings.
Well… Can we anticipate Google becoming less demanding of CWV and shifting benchmarks in some way? This is the question that has yet to be answered.
What To Do?
Make images a part of your SEO strategy — top Google Images results never hurt anyone. Take care of the quality of your visuals and create a brand style to differentiate yourself from the competition. Instead of using stock images, create your own and ensure they are properly sized to fit device dimensions.
Keep in mind that you must adhere to Google’s CWV benchmarks. Setting up a CDN to reduce server load is a good idea. Loading times will also benefit from lazy loading.
By including schema markup on your pages, Google will be able to better understand what’s on the image (a dish, a photo of a person, etc.). We have a detailed post on how to properly set up structured data on our blog, so you can learn something from there. Also, don’t forget to include appropriate alt text for your images.
TREND 8: AI-GENERATED IMAGES ARE BECOMING MORE POPULAR
We believe there was no official statement on AI-generated images, but We did learn some interesting facts about the subject.
First, AI image generators such as Mid journey have recently gained popularity. People on the internet talk a lot about them and try to create images on any topic they can think of.
Second, AI tools are capable of producing really nice images if given a detailed prompt. The more information you provide, the better the image.
Finally, We used Google’s Cloud Vision API to test a couple of AI-generated images. The results were quite interesting, as Google was able to successfully recognize the objects. Furthermore, it discovered items that were not initially specified in the prompt.
Cafe restaurant was the prompt We gave Mid journey. Then, using the API, We searched for a Cafe restaurant in Google Images and scanned a real photo of a cafe restaurant. Here’s what We have:
As you can see, Google recognized the same objects in both an artificial and a real image. As a result, AI-generated images are detailed enough to appear in image search results if the query is relevant. AI-generated images, it appears to me, will be used more frequently than they are now.
What To Do?
Actually, there’s nothing to do here but watch. Of course, you can experiment with AI tools for your website, but We would advise against overusing them. At least not yet, because Google is unsure how to treat AI images and how they will affect SEO.
When it comes to Google and SEO trends for the coming year, it’s difficult to predict how things will unfold. The only thing that is certain is that quality will triumph over quantity. So, don’t neglect SEO and invest enough resources in it. Remember that, unlike paid ads, SEO is a long-term investment with long-term results.
Aiwa Digital is one of the leading digital marketing companies in Dubai. We have been in the business for many years and have successfully helped plenty of companies with our digital marketing strategies. Contact us to get genuine traffic and leads from your targeted counties.