Search Engine Journal has just released its State of SEO 2023, revealing astounding facts and figures that could help search engine optimization (SEO) experts forge their way into 2023 with great insights.
The survey data was collected from 3,600 SEO professionals, offering feedback on technology and consumer-related factors in the industry.
Below are some of the most interesting insights from the SEJ report:
For more great SEO insights, be sure to download the SEJ State of SEO 2022.
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Evidence Shows Users Are Dissatisfied With Google Search Results: According to recent data based on a SEMRush study, 30 percent of users feel compelled to retry their search queries to get what they’re looking for. This indicates that users are dissatisfied with their search results, finding that they have to refine their search queries to get relevant results. A tweet went viral last month on October 25, when a user (Emily Velasco @MLE_Online) tweeted that Google isn’t living up to its usefulness as it was once renowned for in the past and wasn’t producing relevant results and that users shouldn’t have to be left using advanced search options to find what they’re looking for. The tweet received more than 7,000 retweets and 60,000 likes, as many agreed with her sentiments, including SEO professionals. According to Search Engine Journal, Sarah Carling, VP of Growth at Buoy Health, echoed this, saying that it seems Google is getting less smart every day. SEMRush data shows that 30.1 percent of desktop searches. In comparison, 29.1 percent of mobile searches use five to 11+ keyword phrases in searches, indicating that users have to use more specific keywords to actually find what they’re looking for. For more insights, check out the SEMRush Zero-Clicks Study results here.
Google Clarifies Whether Alt Text for Logos and Buttons Impacts SEO: The latest Google Search Off the Record podcast reveals some interesting feedback on image-based buttons and alt text for logos. Google Search Liaisons Lizzi Sassman and John Mueller clarify the best ways to handle these attributes. When it comes to functional images, like a logo or arrow image, it makes sense that the alt text describes its function; however, for SEO purposes, it’s unnecessary as users aren’t likely to search for a checkout button, for instance. When it comes to Alt text for buttons, there are no SEO benefits to adding alt text to a button, said Muller, but instead, accessibility functions. When it comes to logos, it really comes down to whether the image is a link or not. For instance, if the logo links back to the homepage, it makes sense to add alt-text describing its function, especially for users using screen readers. For more in-depth insights, see the Search Engine Journal article here or check out the Google Search Off the Record podcast here.
Google Adds New Search Features In-time for the Holiday Shopping Rush: Google has made it easier for shoppers to find the best deals just in time for the holiday shopping rush! Now, when using Google Search, you’ll find coupon and promotion labels, deals side-by-side, as well as pricing information to help you find the best discount or gift this holiday shopping season. Google has a promotion badge that indicates if an item is on promotion, as well as a clipping feature that allows users to click and copy/save a coupon link. In addition, to help shoppers find the best deals, Google Search displays offers side-by-side to allow users to compare deals on similar items. In terms of pricing, a new feature called Price Insights gives users the best insights, allowing you to determine if an item is reasonably priced by comparing prices to similar products offered by competitors. Although it’s uncertain if it will impact the discoverability of eCommerce sites, it sheds light on whether or not you may want to add structured data or additional information to the Merchant Center. This is the perfect opportunity to leverage these features as online shopping ramps up this festive season. Read the full Search Engine Land article here.
Google’s Core Web Vitals Replace Previous Page Speed Algorithms: It’s no secret that Google has ramped up its algorithm updates over the past few years. Most updates have focused on page speed ranking and page experience algorithms. However, John Mueller confirmed via Twitter that Google is now only using core web vitals – meaning that only the most recent page speed ranking algorithm update, mainly the most recent Page Experience update, is relevant. Previous updates, like the 2010 and 2018 page speed updates, are no longer being used, Mueller said. Although page speed is a ranking factor, it has a minor impact on your ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). It is, however, good to know which algorithm to focus on and that Google wouldn’t likely have two algorithms working simultaneously. You can read the full Search Engine Land article here.
Google Search Bug Impacts Top Stories & Other Features Reports: Google recently posted a short update in Google Search Console about a bug that had affected Google Search, particularly search features like the Top Stories feature. SERoundtable reported on the bug, which became evident around October 18 and 19. Google pushed a fix on October 28; however, it will take a week to roll out fully. As a result, you may experience some anomalies in your performance report. Barry Swarts of Search Engine Roundtable has speculated whether this may be linked to the recent drop in the number of rich results, particularly People Also Ask and FAQs rich results, reported on October 25; however, this is yet to be confirmed. Stay tuned for more updates over the coming weeks.
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