The latest State of SEO report from the Search Engine Journal (SEJ) has been released, with a wealth of trends and predictions for 2023. The report delves into the latest research and expert perspectives to understand the key challenges that SEO professionals have faced this year, and what the biggest expected changes in SEO will be for 2023.
While many people may hope that 2023 will be vastly different from the last two years, the truth is that in order to achieve success with your SEO strategy next year, you will need to account for any potential challenges that may arise. To help you do that, SEJ has distilled the main takeaways from their report into the following key areas: machine learning & AI, Google updates, third-party cookie deprecation, Google zero-click pages, and talent competition.
Machine Learning and AI Machine learning and AI are set to play a major role in SEO in 2023, with 18.7% of respondents to SEJ’s survey highlighting it as one of the three biggest changes in SEO over the next few years. These technologies are already being used in various aspects of SEO, such as content optimization, link building, and keyword research. Even AI-generated content is being created today.
However, it’s important to remember that not all AI-generated content is created equal. When Google released its August 2022 helpful content update, which aimed to ensure that people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results, there was some speculation that it was targeting AI content tools. According to Google’s webmaster guidelines, AI-generated content is considered spam by the search engine.
The key to success with AI and machine learning in SEO is to use them as productivity assistant tools, while never losing sight of the human touch. By understanding your audience inside and out, you can create content that will be well-received by both search engines and users.
Google Updates Google is constantly releasing algorithm updates, and SEO practitioners must stay up-to-date with the latest changes in order to ensure that their strategies are beneficial in 2023 and beyond. 18% of respondents to SEJ’s survey identified Google updates as one of the three biggest changes in SEO over the next few years.
Updates such as BERT (Natural Language Processing) and E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) have already changed the SEO landscape, and we can expect more changes to come in 2023.
Third-party cookie deprecation – Third-party cookie deprecation will bring more data privacy and consent management challenges. 13.9% of respondents to SEJ’s survey identified this as one of the three biggest changes in SEO over the next few years.
In the future, cookies will exist in two different forms: cohort-based marketing and first-party relationships. Both of these present great opportunities that should be considered when planning an effective marketing strategy. The good news for SEO is that personal data gathering isn’t necessary for SEO, providing a fantastic opportunity for marketers to bring more website traffic without relying on third-party cookies. Remember that SEO takes time, so it’s better to start sooner than later.
Google zero-click pages – Approximately half of all searches end without a click on an organic search result. These are called zero-click searches and occur in search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yandex. 12.9% of respondents to SEJ’s survey identified this as one of the three biggest changes in SEO over the next few years.
With more and more new SERP features that allow users to access a variety of widgets alongside organic results, zero-click searches