Are you wondering what to expect in 2023 from Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Curious where you need to make some tweaks or do things differently?
While SEO best practices aren’t going anywhere next year, there are a few items you’ll want to be aware of when planning your SEO for 2023.
Driven by the requirements laid out in Google’s Page Experience and Core Web Vitals updates — such as page load speed, page layout and interactivity — technical SEO came into sharp focus this year. In fact, SEO professionals reported it as the top priority in 2022:
These new requirements are critical to ranking well in organic search, so it’s no surprise SEOs pushed most resources to addressing website performance issues. Page load speed is so critical to the search user experience that Google’s John Mueller recently included it as part of the definition of content quality. That’s because page speed contributes to how Google views content quality as it directly influences the user experience and how information is delivered to site visitors.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
While AI and machine learning are not new for SEO in 2023, search engines will continue to look to these technologies to improve their services and functionality. Especially as users take their searches beyond the traditional search bar.
In 2022, for example, we saw the Google MUM update change the way the search engine understood and served information on text, images, and videos when Google Multisearch was introduced. Multisearch enables users to perform searches with text and images at the same time and ask questions about objects by combining the users’ photos and search queries. For 2023, Multisearch will be expanding to additional languages.
Google Maps also expanded its 3D and immersive capabilities this year, giving users some exciting advancements to explore destinations before even traveling there. For example, users can get a neighborhood vibe check, view aerial videos, and interact with places on the map with Live View. Predictive modeling leverages historical data to help users plan for their visit ahead of time, showing details like parking garages, expected weather, and where to go eat or stay for the weekend. It’s a much more interactive experience, and it’s only going to get better in 2023.
Finally, AI will heavily influence shopping next year with the Shopping Graph in organic search. Speaking of shopping…
Searchable Shopping Experiences
When consumers want to find a new product, they start with search. Google knows this and created the Shopping Graph to give consumers a more personalized, intuitive shopping experience online.
While not brand-new, Shopping Graph is expected to expand SEO for 2023 by offering users more visual ways to shop and compare products. Thanks to Google’s advancements in machine learning, this will soon include the technology for brands to create 3D images quickly and easily. Based on your previous shopping habits, Google will soon offer up more personalized shopping recommendations. The search engine can even help to coordinate outfits by suggesting pieces you can put together and order right from search.
Google Analytics 4
Announced earlier this year, Google Analytics 4 (or GA4) was originally slated to replace Universal Analytics (UA) in 2023. However, the search engine recently announced it will push the go live date another year, to July 2024.
This move gives SEO professionals more time to switch over to the new platform, so in 2023 it’s going to be important to use this time wisely. Over the next 18 months, Google also plans to add new features to make building reports in the new GA4 better than ever. And the earlier you switch over, the more historical data you’ll have once the change is complete.
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While not every update and feature listed here is entirely brand-new to search, each one is nascent and coming into sharper focus this next year. Marketers should spend time understanding how these will influence the strategies they’re planning and what it means for their priorities regarding SEO in 2023.
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