The SEO landscape is ever-evolving due to the ongoing changes by Google, the impact of AI and the increasing use of voice searching technology.

SEO 23-24

When was the last time you reviewed your organic strategy?

The SEO landscape is ever-evolving due to the ongoing changes by Google, the impact of AI and the increasing use of voice searching technology. Google’s algorithm constantly evolves, with updates occurring up to 600 times a year [1]. As a result of these changes, organisations that want to ensure they have a strong, effective online presence must review their SEO strategies.

In this article, we consider four areas that are essential to building a strong SEO strategy in 2023.

The Impact of voice search technology and how it changes the use of language for seo

Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant voice searches are now utilised daily by a large percentage of the population. There are also appliances such as Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apple Homepad which are also driving the increasing use of voice search technology [2].

The impact of voice search technology has seen the rise of conversational queries rather than typed search queries. 

What does this mean for seo?

SEO must be optimised for voice search. Voice search focuses on natural language processing (NLP) which is different to typing a search query.

Google has launched LaMDA to understand natural language better.  LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) is a machine-learning model designed to understand dialogue better and deliver more efficient results. As LaMDA becomes more proficient, the emphasis will continue to switch to voice search rather than typed search queries.

How to optimise for voice search

Organisations can optimise their SEO for voice search in the following ways.

  • Targeting phrasing: For example, a customer may type “best hiking boot brand” but verbally search “what’s the best hiking boot brand?” Optimising for these verbal searches is a great way to target conversational keywords.
  • Keeping answers short: If you optimise for conversational keywords, it is essential to keep your answers concise to deliver helpful information quickly.
  • Considering the vernacular: Different countries and different states within countries use specific phrases to describe objects or places. Knowing the vernacular words can help you optimise for more conversational keywords [3].


The increasing use of ai

The increasing acceptance and use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and its impact on SEO are associated with the rising use of voice search technologies.

Search engines such as Google rely on sophisticated algorithms. AI-powered algorithms can improve search engines’ algorithms, making search results more accurate, personalised, and efficient. As AI improves and becomes more mainstream, search engines will likely adopt similar technologies, resulting in a more accurate understanding of user queries and better search results [4].

Consequently, organisations need to consider how they use AI as part of their SEO strategy. To refuse to consider using AI will ultimately negatively impact the organisation’s online presence.

Video marketing

Consumers are increasingly using videos to help them make purchasing decisions, and Google is also rolling out features to help users find information faster in videos [5]. These features include:

  • Clip markup - enabling companies to highlight critical points in their video so users can go straight to those parts. YouTube also provides an autocomplete feature that provides an easy way to find video keywords.
  • Seek Markup – this tells Google how your URL structure works, which enables Google to display critical moments of your video immediately.

With the increasing use of videos, they become an essential component of an organisation’s SEO strategy to increase its market presence.

Since users spend 88% more time on pages with videos, incorporating videos in the content can boost engagement, rankings, and traffic. It is also essential if using clip markup or seek markup to use keyword-rich markups [6]

This brings us to the third area to build a strong SEO strategy in 2023.

The Importance of Keywords

The purpose of keyword research has changed in recent times. It used to be that keyword research was done for a website to ensure it appeared first in the search results. However, this is no longer the primary objective as SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) are often taken over by adverts and snippets from other articles that are thought to be more relevant to the searcher. For this reason, keywords are now being optimised for SERP marketing [7].

What this means is that keywords are related to clusters of topics or phrases that are similar. The advantage of this is that by linking to similar keywords, the subject the reader is interested in is expanded, providing more context and value. This is a more holistic approach to SEO where content is created not just to rank but also to cover relevant subtopics.

The shift from keywords to the idea of the searched phrases and cluster topics provides more value to the person. It also means focusing on the user’s intent and considering “questions people also asked” around the topic.

User intent can generally be broken down into four areas:

  • Navigational – This refers to when someone is trying to visit a specific website online.
  • Informational – These searches are done to find an answer to a specific question or to find information about a particular topic.
  • Transactional – This occurs when someone is looking to make an online purchase; and
  • Commercial – When people intend to make a purchase but need more time or want to make an informed decision.

The increasing importance of expertise

The final area is the importance of expertise. In other words, showing first-hand experience with your content is essential.

Search engines want to provide users with the most valuable content to answer their queries and provide the necessary solutions. The best way to do this is by showing users content from creators that have relevant, real-world experience on the topic [9].

This means the content that is shared across your social channels must be within the area of your organisation or business expertise and practice.

It also means the content that you provide must give value to people.  In the early days of SEO, content would be written to ensure ranking rather than providing value. Using such a strategy in 2023, where the only intent is to achieve ranking, is no longer effective. The advances made by search engines and the use of voice searches and AI mean that SEO strategies must be aimed at providing value to clients and potential customers.

It is about providing a great user experience and demonstrating first-hand knowledge of the topic.

Google's e-a-t is now e-e-a-t

Google has produced E-A-T guidelines that will continue to be used to determine higher Google search rankings. E-A-T was introduced as a document for human search quality raters to assess the quality of web pages. 

The acronym stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. To this has been added E, which is experience [10]. Google wants to see pages that demonstrate an experience with the product or service they provide or sell rather than just generic information.

Using these E-E-A-T guidelines enables pages to achieve a higher ranking.

SEO is not static. It is continually evolving and changing in response to changing technologies and updates by search engines. This means organisations need to constantly review and revise their SEO strategy to ensure they adapt to these changes and maintain their profile and relevance to clients and users of their product.