The Future of Search – 2023 Trends

For years the main focus of search was the results – or more specifically, the positioning of your brand on the results page. Every business was fighting to get to the top of the SERPs, with first-page ranking being the backbone to search society. However, thanks to Google’s algorithm changes and a rise in consumer awareness, this has since changed. And, rather begrudgingly, we’ve seen the industry pivot towards user experience (UX) – prioritizing user centric content over ranking centric content.

Joe Comotto

Exacerbated by Google’s introduction of the Helpful Content Update (and their mission to show content ‘by people, for people’) the move to user centricity has since been fast tracked, with the search engine increasingly favoring high-quality material that matches searcher queries. 

Which bodes the question – what does this mean for the digital marketing landscape in 2023 – in line with the rise of generative AI? Which is exactly what we asked our SEO specialists to answer…

Top Search Trends in 2023

There are three top search trends we believe are set to shape and dominate the digital marketing landscape across 2023; Generative AI, E-E-A-T and the Helpful Content update.

Generative AI 

AI has the ability to stipulate genuine value to the user, and in the near future we can expect to see tech giants using the growing power of intelligence to streamline day to day activities across search. There’s even scope for Google to integrate Bard into their SERP, making search more intuitive for consumers, and more beneficial for marketers, without damaging Google’s paid search profits. 

Within this, there are three key areas where generative AI can be a useful tool for advertisers to utilize:

  1. Improve targeting and Segmentation – AI can analyze a nearly infinite scale of consumer activity in order to segment groups based on a host of factors from their demographics to their interests to their observed behaviors.
  2. Better Messaging Personalization & Product Recommendations – The use of AI for personalization can drive more predictive and intelligent product recommendations based on consumer browsing habits and observed preferences.
  3. Optimizing Digital Ad Spend – By leveraging AI, advertisers can automate their bidding strategies for each channel to maximize efficacy and better manage budgets.

Learn more about AI and intelligent digital marketing integrations in our latest whitepaper; Humans / Robots – 30 Ways to Use AI in Digital Marketing.

Access Our AI Playbook Here


With the developments in AI demonstrating first-hand experience is more important than ever for Google Search rankings. This is because Google has introduced an upgraded version of the E-A-T concept, adding an ‘E’ for experience. The new E-E-A-T acronym stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

  • Experience: To what extent does the content creator have the necessary first-hand or life experience for the topic.
  • Expertise: Does the content creator have the necessary knowledge or skill for the topic. Different topics require different levels and types of expertise to be trustworthy. 
  • Authoritativeness: To what extent is the content creator or the website is known as a go-to source for the topic.
  • Trustworthiness: How accurate, honest, safe, and reliable is the page/ content.

With brand voice holding greater significance than ever before, demonstrating E-E-A-T in 2023 will be prevalent. As generative AI models facilitate the creation of a massive volume of content, maintaining brand voice and consistency can serve as a distinctive approach to establish trust with both users and search engines. Content that is challenging to produce using AI, such as thought leadership content, videos, and interactive content, will provide a competitive edge. By investing in unique, informative, and engaging content, your brand can establish itself as a credible source, and search engines will acknowledge this effort.

Helpful Content Update

The objective of Google’s new algorithm is to reduce the performance of certain ‘ranking focused’ websites while promoting more useful websites, designed for humans over search engine optimization. Google’s helpful content update applies to the entire website, unlike other algorithms that operate at the page level. If Google determines that your site produces a high-level of unhelpful content primarily aimed at search ranking, it will affect your entire site.

2023 will see a rise in human-first content, as brands look to complement Google’s Helpful Content Update. And this can be done by asking yourself a number of questions:

  • Specific Audience
    • Do you have an existing or intended audience that would find the content useful if they came directly to you? 
    • Are you using extensive automation to produce content on many topics?
  • Expertise
    • Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?
    • Does the content provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results? 
  • Trust & Credibility 
    • Does the content provide original information, reporting, research or analysis?
    • Was the content produced well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • Meet the Wants & Needs of the Searcher
    • Does your content leave readers feeling like they need to search again to get better information from other sources? 
    • Will someone reading your content leave feeling like they’ve had a satisfying experience? 

For more information, or details on how Incubeta can help – get in touch… Or why not register for our upcoming event ‘The Search for Total Search‘ where we’ll be delving into the age-old questions of search and explore how machine learning can help answer them.

Register Now

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