The rise of SEO can be directly connected to the rise of eCommerce. Customers and companies want to find one another, and search engine optimization can help the perfect products get into the right consumer’s hands. It’s not only a practice that can be learned and honed, it’s a tool that’s developed over time. Like websites, cell phones, and the internet itself, SEO has grown as more companies and individuals are realizing its benefits and creating new and effective ways to take advantage of it.

While The 215 Guys have spent some time digging into the history of SEO, it’s also important to stay on top of the latest trends and innovations. The only way you’re going to keep up with the Joneses, or your competition, is to utilize all of the tools at your disposal - and there are a ton of new trends and advances in the SEO world that we can’t wait to tell you about. These are the top SEO trends of 2023.

AI: Artificial Intelligence

If you haven’t been living under a rock, and we’re pretty sure you haven’t, you have heard about just how advanced artificial intelligence has become in the past couple of years. Now, it’s at the center of news stories as a savior in some fields and a thief in others. While some companies are being sued for using copyrighted material to “educate” their systems, many others are pivoting to other industries which are leading to key advancements. SEO is a major part of that innovation.

While there’s still a long way to go, programs and software like ChatGPT, Semrush, and Surfer SEO are using AI to create refined keyword lists, unique web design options, personalized chat and FAQ pop-ups, and even write web posts and content. While this very human writer can tell you that there’s still a lot of work to be done, AI is optimizing content and making a lot of SEO work easier.

Genuinely Helpful Website Content

We spend so many hours writing and optimizing our web content for search engines that we often forget we’re writing for people, but you can do both! Creating helpful web content has a ton of benefits that you should be putting to good use. Don’t you want to show potential customers that you’re an expert? There’s no easier way to do that than creating beneficial content that establishes authority in your industry while driving traffic to your website and landing pages.

What is important, though, is that your content is well-crafted and well-written. Remember, this isn’t about writing College essays that sound rigid and wooden as they force-feed information to the reader. Even an AI program can have a more human voice than some entrepreneurs these days. We’ve had a few clients who were adamant about wanting to write their own blog content. Good intentions are really important, after all. Well, so is good writing.

After a couple of months of their SERPs tanking because of their content, they quickly came to their senses and realized they needed a more qualified hand to do that writing.

Widgets, Widgets, and More Widgets!

Google results showing widgets and organic results at the bottom

Another thing I've noticed lately: there's an ever-increasing number of widgets appearing at the top of Google search results. Whether it's "People Also Ask," shopping ads, or image results, these features seem to be expanding, which inevitably pushes the organic search results further down. It's becoming quite clear that for certain searches, especially those related to e-commerce, visibility is becoming a premium commodity.

This emphasis on widgets, while arguably enhancing user experience with immediate, interactive content, also appears to be a strategic move by Google to prioritize its revenue from paid advertisements. As someone deeply invested in the SEO and digital marketing field, I can see the challenge this presents. The traditional reliance on organic search performance is being undermined, as prime digital real estate is increasingly allocated to those who pay for advertising.

The reality of this trend suggests a push towards a pay-to-play model, where the likelihood of being noticed is tied to advertising spend. It's a bit concerning, especially for smaller businesses or those with limited advertising budgets. The playing field doesn't seem as level as it used to be, and the implications for the future of search engine strategies are significant.

Google Bard

While it’s technically part of the “Artificial Intelligence” category, Google Bard is proving to be miles ahead of any of its competitors. Google Bard has many, if not all of the benefits you’ll find under the AI section of this list. It can help optimize web content, it can give you immediate keyword search results, and it can rewrite content and converse with you in a more human-like way. There’s a massive difference between Bard and ChatGPT though - up-to-date information.

Google Bard’s content is largely comprised of information from Google Search. Bard is constantly being fed new information about keyword search results, online traffic, and many more analytics. That means there is a direct and constant connection between Bard and the live internet, making it one of the most important tools created in the last few years.

Speaking of analytics, do you want to know what your competitors are doing? Bard can help with that too. Whether you’re looking to identify your competitors or to identify the keywords they’re using, Google Bard is ready with the numbers.

Whether it’s AI, Blog Content, or other new trends the world of SEO is constantly growing. Though they continue to get more advanced we’ve used tools like these for years, and we’ll continue to use them more as SEO evolves right along with technology.