Here’s Some Expected 2023 Google Algorithm Updates

After eight reported major updates on Google’s algorithm in 2022 with great implications on site rankings and SEO strategies, it’s important to anticipate and prepare for what’s to come in 2023.

Google’s main goal is to be the preferred search engine for online users – after all, it can’t be the only one.

To do this, Google decided it would focus on providing a seamless user experience.

You can see this in several past updates. For example, in July 2021, Google confirmed the Helpful Content Update, which ensured that users are able to find the most helpful content when they search for something on Google.

This and other updates have impacted the search algorithm and platform features on both Google desktop and mobile.

While some of the updates were aimed at improving user experience, some of them have come to the detriment of publishers and marketers who have watched several of their web rankings descend into the abyss at the end of a rollout.

What Is A Broad Core Algorithm Update?

Major Google algorithm updates are large, noticeable, and get rolled out in stages over a few weeks. 

Google will announce several Core Algorithm updates a year. These updates are changes made to different elements of Google’s algorithm to enhance the search engine’s ability in matching user search queries.

Major Google algorithm updates are usually significant and rolled out in stages over several weeks. These updates can affect existing SEO campaigns, impacting both marketers and SEO professionals. 

It’s crucial to keep an eye out for these updates to anticipate changes in website rankings for you and your client’s website rankings.

What Is A Minor Google Update?

Not all of Google’s updates are announced – there might be too many! The search algorithm is regularly undergoing maintenance and fixes.

Minor updates differ from core updates because they influence fewer indexed web pages. A google update to core web vitals may affect 5% to 10% of all searches, but a small update may affect only 0.15% to 1% of all searches.

Most of these tiny updates are so minuscule that you may not even notice a difference. For example, the July 2022 Product Reviews Update was focused on English language queries on webpages with product reviews.

How Do Google Updates Affect Search Queries?

Broad core algorithm updates can impose penalties that cause significant decreases in your website’s search rankings before suddenly improving after the rollout is complete. Suffice to say, the effects are usually volatile (and unpredictable).

During an update, Google may send thousands of signals to its machine learning system, which determines the factors it weighs or considers when ranking and indexing pages. These updates can make a previously effective SEO strategy ineffective. Furthermore, any core rollout could take up to two weeks, during which, marketers may need to play a waiting game to see if rankings worsen or improve. 

Essentially, marketers have no other choice but to wait it out to understand the full impact.

Expected Google Algorithm Updates for 2023

Experts predict that, in 2023, Google may attempt to provide updates that would cater to newer trends and consumer patterns. There are many changing trends in how users search for, use, and consume information online.

Prediction #1: Even More Volatility

It is a given that Google will continuously test new features and algorithmic improvements.

Experts believe there may be more algorithm changes happening in succession, resulting in increased  volatility when updates are rolling out one on top of another in a shorter time frame.

Google’s priority may not be SEO professionals and digital marketers, as long as users get the best experience on its platforms.

It’s important to stay vigilant on updates as it’s up to you to catch up. So, buckle up and be prepared to act fast!

Prediction #2: Visual Search Taking Centrestage

It’s an understatement that younger generations connect with visual content – 40% of Gen Z users prefer using TikTok and Instagram for search, bypassing Google.

This indicates that many users don’t necessarily start their customer journey on Google anymore.

That might mean that certain improvements Google has been making, especially in organising and recommending localised businesses, along with its discovery tools inside Google Maps, might eventually go to waste.

In response to this trend, experts believe Google will place greater emphasis on visual search in upcoming core updates. The shift is already underway – Google confirmed in 2021 it was working on deals that would allow it to index Instagram and TikTok videos in Search.

Try searching for a keyword followed by the word “TikTok”, and Google will return rows of results of TikTok videos before displaying a list of links.

Search results if you google a keyword (“cat”) followed by “TikTok”.

Prediction #3: Organic Search > Google Ads

According to recent Google Search ad revenue reports from October 2022, there is a decreasing trend with revenue only up by 4.25%.

Recent Google Search ad reports from October 2022 show a declining trend. Source:

There may be various factors to blame – perhaps it’s the gloomy global economic forecasts, or maybe shifting consumer trends towards greater transparency. Whatever the cause, it’s quite clear that fewer people are clicking on links that are tagged as “Ads”.

Many users consider paid ads less valuable than organic results (or paid = less trustworthy). This could also be one of the reasons why Google is planning to change the “Ad” label to “Sponsored”, which is perceived as more subtle. In response, marketing agencies also reported that the average costs of many bids have also decreased.

As a result of this perception, businesses may invest into organic search traffic, making effective search engine optimisation (SEO) all the more crucial.

To improve your company’s SEO strategy so your online presence will stand the test of time, reach out to an SEO agency like us to see what you can do!

Prediction #4: Featured Snippets And Zero-Click Results

Google is expected to improve their featured snippets and zero-click results feature.

In 2023, Google is expected to improve their featured snippets and zero-click results feature. These terms refer to search results that appear at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). They feature information from a webpage that Google thinks best fits what a user is looking for.

Currently, both already dominate the SERPs and receive the majority of clicks. To increase your chances of being featured this way, make sure to apply schema markup, such as FAQ markup, wherever relevant across your site.

Google seems to be favouring pages optimised for entities. In fact, some SEO experts believe that entities will surpass other ranking factors in the years to come.

Prediction #5: “Entity” Association Increasingly Important

Google seems to be favouring pages optimised for entities. In fact, some SEO experts believe that entities will surpass other ranking factors in the years to come.

Although links are still important, they are becoming just one of the many signals the algorithm uses to assess an “entity”. As such, entity-based optimisation is becoming more effective than traditional keywords.

So what is “entity optimisation”? Well… entity optimisation is the process of using Google’s machine learning algorithms to understand the content on a webpage. As defined by Google, “an entity is a thing or concept that is singular, unique, well-defined and distinguishable.” 

Machine learning helps Google understand a piece of text on a webpage by firstly identifying the most meaningful “entities” and linking these to other data Google already holds on the subject.

Keywords are now seen as “entities” that are interlinked with each other. Entities have enabled Google to better understand user intent more accurately.

Because of this, the main keyword is no longer the sole focus of a piece of content – marketers need to understand the various entities on their site and their relationship to other entities to increase the chances of getting ranked on the top of SERPs.

Feeling a little lost? Contact Primal Digital Agency today and make sure you’re on top of your SEO game this year.