Nothing gets the internet talking more than an apocalypse. So it’s no surprise that every year, some pundit say SEO is over.

With the rise in AI programs, voice search, and an ever-evolving SERP, it’s hard to know what the future of SEO looks like. We’ve gathered a few theories about future SEO trends to keep your content marketing efforts moving in 2023 and beyond.

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of SEO

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of SEO

In 2022, it seems like everyone was talking about AI content. People claimed AI would kill content writingAI would make writers obsolete, and even that AI writing isn’t real. But the truth is that AIs like ChatGPT are useful for helping the content process, but not a replacement for a human writer.

Content marketing success comes down to real emotional intelligence, a skill no machine has learned (well except for the main character in Blade Runner). An AI program can provide research, create bulk content like glossaries, or help with brainstorming— but it’s not likely the end of SEO.

In February 2023, Google released a statement saying the algorithm will always prioritize quality content, regardless of if it was created by humans or AI. However, using AI to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results violates Google’s spam policies.

Key takeaway: Artificial intelligence can create a starting point for creating SEO content. Think of AI as an on-demand brainstorming partner. When you put in prompts like keywords or potential user questions, a machine learning program can give you a quick dose of inspiration. But incorporating your brand, boosting authority, or creating something unique should be left to a real writer.

Voice Search and the Future of SEO

Voice Search and the Future of SEO

In just the first year of being readily available on the market, from 2014 to 2015, voice search skyrocketed from a statistical zero to around 10 percent of global search volume. That amounts to about 50 billion voice searches every month. In 2022, 50% of U.S. consumers use voice search daily, and another 34% use it weekly.

Key takeaway: The ever-growing popularity of Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant means content marketers aren’t just aiming for SEO, they need to aim for VSO (voice search optimization). So will voice search kill SEO? Of course not. Now, it’s important to seize your share of voice search by treating every content piece as a potential voice search. Some tips for voice search optimization include:

  • Incorporate questions and keep your content conversational
  • Make your website mobile friendly
  • Prioritize local SEO
  • Increase site speed
  • Aim for featured snippets

SEO and “Zero-Position” or “Zero-Click” Searches

zero-click search occurs when a user finds their answer without needing to visit any website outside the search engine results page (SERP). The majority of zero-click searches are a result of Google’s SERP features. This could be a featured snippet, the Local Pack for businesses-near-me searches, carousels for recipes, or the expanded Google Shopping features.

A featured snippet, sometimes called “position zero” is a rich result at the top of the page. It’s often in larger text. Google shows a sentence or two directly answering the search query from an organic result.

Key takeaway: SEO experts worry about position zero because it can eliminate website traffic. But I believe the future of SEO is to embrace the featured snippet. When faced with zero-click searches, try to build content that is helpful and makes people want the long answer. Even though they have the short one right there.

  • Answer frequently asked questions
  • Incorporate question words
  • Structure information naturally
  • Include imagery
  • Use schema markup

The Future of E-E-A-T in SEO

The Future of E-E-A-T in SEO

SEO experts started talking about EAT as early as 2014—and not their lunches. E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Effectively, it is one of the many guidelines Google uses to determine whether content is valuable to readers and should rank well.

In 2022, Google added another E into the mix. E-E-A-T (sometimes called double-EAT in the business) now stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. The addition of “experience” shows that an author’s real-world experience is another important part in determining the value of content.

According to Google’s guidelines, great content should be:

  • Helpful to users
  • Created by an expert
  • Posted on an authoritative sit
  • Trustworthy
  • Updated regularly

Key takeaway: Trust is the core component of SEO content going forward. With AI-bots, content farms, and other blackhat practices on the market, you need to really build authority around your subject to earn readers’ (and Google’s) attention.

  • Be transparent and show your sources.
  • Spend time writing author bios for your blogs. Prove that you know your stuff.
  • Write for the user, not the algorithm. E-E-A-T is a factor considered by real testers, not the Google bot. Google works with 16,000 Search Quality Raters who assess content.

Will AI Chatbots Replace Search Engines?

Chatbots like Bing’s ChatGPT or Google’s Bard don’t just create content for writers or websites. These bots use natural language processing to answer queries for their related search engines as well.

Google already answers many queries through featured snippets instead of sending the user to an outside link. The rise in chatbots could make it so search engines create all their own answers.

While this sounds like yet another harbinger of doom for SEO, the outlook isn’t so bad. Chatbot optimization looks very similar to snippet optimization. Going forward, just make sure you’re focusing on accurate and relevant content.

How to Prepare for the Future of SEO

How to Prepare for the Future of SEO

As long as there are search engines, there will be SEO.

Search engines like Google continue to tweak their algorithms to better serve users by anticipating intent, language, and preferences. When you’re building an SEO strategy, the best bet is to put the user first. The same advances in technology that make people fear the future of SEO—machine learning and voice search—allow algorithms to understand content from a human perspective. Your content should be helpful, trustworthy, and written by humans for humans.

Stay prepared for the changes ahead. ClearVoice SEO content experts can help you stay ahead of the curve. Connect now to learn how.