The Biggest Google Algorithm Predictions for 2023

2022 has been far from a peaceful year as regards Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you’re in any way active in the field, using SEO to drive organic traffic, you likely know this well. Major and minor algorithm updates were made for an uncertain SEO landscape, especially in slower rollouts. Unfortunately, 2023 will likely not see a change to this trajectory. Google retains its commitment to a great user experience, first and foremost.

In addition, it has new competitors and market elements to deal with and respond to. We recently saw the explosive rise of ChatGPT, most notably, but also the slow rise of TikTok. Its earnings also fell below expectations, for that matter, despite still rising. These, and other factors, make Google algorithm predictions for 2023 vital. Knowing what to expect and preparing in advance can benefit attentive marketers and businesses. As such, let us explore what the future likely holds.

Google algorithm predictions for 2023

While nobody has a crystal ball, and Google’s plans are their own, some notable trends and developments bear noting. Through them, experts have mapped out Google’s likely routes forward – with five key takeaways thus far.

A close-up of a human eye reflecting Google’s logo.
Google may not be under immediate, direct threat, but it needs to adjust to match the competition

#1: More volatility will keep rolling out

First, Google algorithm updates will most likely remain volatile moving forward. 2022 was quite tumultuous, as it saw no fewer than 10 major updates, including:

  • The page experience update for desktop
  • The helpful content update
  • The link spam update, which completed rollout in January 2023

Beyond their scope and rollout periods, these also constituted ranking updates Google deemed “relevant to website owners.” As such, one can only guess how many minor or “irrelevant” updates came alongside them to shape up 2022’s SEO landscape.

This trend does not seem to be slowing down, either. Conductor finds that updates are becoming increasingly more frequent and overlapping more substantively. For instance, September’s core update and product reviews update shared five days of overlap, and both completed rollout on September 26. With Google’s current challenges, as outlined below, there’s little reason to assume this trend will dissipate this year.

#2: User Experience will remain a key focus – including Zero-Click Search

Second, User Experience will almost certainly remain Google’s top priority. As Search Engine Journal outlines, it has consistently remained one across a wealth of features over the years. And given Google’s dedication to Core Web Vitals, alongside their adoption across industries, Google algorithm predictions for 2023 should reflect this likelihood.

SEO-wise, the sum of Google’s features that facilitate zero-click searches bear noting. For reference, these already include:

  • The Knowledge panel
  • Local, branded, and personal panels
  • The Answer box
  • Featured snippets
  • The People Also Ask box
  • Rich features, most notably snippets fueled by schema markup

That certainly doesn’t mean established SEO best practices will fall out of favor. On-page, off-page, and technical SEO will all likely remain highly relevant as they inform the user experience. However, while website loading speeds will still matter, fewer users will likely click on results to land on websites. As Google algorithms continue to favor these conditions, SEOs must follow suit and adjust. 

A photo of a person using a laptop to make a Google search query.
Google’s user experience remains a key priority, so Google algorith predictions for 2023 will continue to reflect this mission.

#3: Visual search will take center stage as Google competes with TikTok

Third, visual search will most likely continue to gain prominence. This prediction relies not only on Google’s past trajectory but also on emerging competition and its need to adjust.

Indeed, Google has been losing Gen Z users to Instagram and TikTok. That has not been a modest loss; roughly 40% of young people turn to these platforms for their search needs. In doing so, they bypass both Google Search and Google Maps, which Google has not failed to notice. Prabhakar Raghavan, a Google senior vice president, noted this last July, and Google does seem to be pursuing solutions.

How exactly they do so remains to be seen, of course. TikTok does maintain user engagement through such offerings as editing tools so that Google might entertain incremental but drastic changes. Beyond noting this likelihood, Google algorithm predictions for 2023 may not offer more accurate forecasts.

Still, established best practices should remain an SEO staple. As Google focuses on visuals in Search, valuable, engaging visuals with appropriate alternative text should only thrive. So should video content, which continues to show its effectiveness in marketing.

#4: AI might shake up search results, too

Fourth, and perhaps unsurprisingly for many, AI may soon become more prominent than ever before. Google has noted the rising star of ChatGPT, and CNBC reports it is already testing its own “Apprentice Bard” alternative. According to CNBC, “Google’s AI chief, Jeff Dean […] and CEO Sundar Pichai teased at the time that Google may launch similar products to the public sometime this year”.

How this relates to SEO bears noting, as “Apprentice Bard”’s “sibling” chatbot seeks integration into search engines. With Google’s push of LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), AI’s future role in Search seems virtually certain. Thankfully, marketers and SEOs won’t have to wait long to see the first steps.

A selective photo of a human hand reaching out to a robot’s hand.
As AI evolves, there can be little doubt that Google will rise to the challenge – likely also as regards Search.

#5: SEO will maintain its human focus

And fifth, despite AI’s likely involvement, one should expect Google’s focus to remain on humans. Last August’s Helpful Content update all but spelled this out, urging content creators to prioritize offering value over content quantity. In line with Google’s mission, it urged creators to “avoid creating content for search engines first” and to avoid trend-chasing. Most of last year’s significant updates followed this principle, cementing Google algorithm predictions for 2023.

In turn, unpredictable drastic changes aside, SEO best practices that enhance the user experience will likely remain highly valuable. On-page SEO will still produce better engagement signals and increase time on a page; off-page SEO will still drive traffic and enhance authoritativeness; technical SEO will still offer a healthy interaction along the user journey. Many aspects of SEO may see some changes in 2023, but its fundamentals should remain firmly in place.


To summarize, 2023 will likely remain as tumultuous as 2022 was for Search and SEO. Google maintains a commitment to the user experience and has excellent new market conditions to address. The rise of TikTok and ChatGPT, in their respective fields, are among the main concerns of Google but are far from the only ones.

Between last year’s and years-long trends, Google algorithm predictions for 2023 seem cautiously optimistic. Delivering valuable content should remain at the algorithms’ core, but how they meet this goal may vary. As such, SEOs should remain attentive, diligent, and proactive where necessary to find success.

About The Author:

My success in the field is an uncanny product of having a Bachelor with Honors in Mechanical Engineering, Psychology, and Psychotherapy. With all these skills under my belt, I turned my focus to understanding and mastering Programming & Developing and improving other processes. In 2019 I co-founded Digital Dot, a digital marketing agency based in New York. I adore WordPress, and I’m dedicated to a loving relationship with search engines and social networks.

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