Google Brand Strategy Predictions 2023

Scaling through AI and forecasting tools: 4 ways to optimize search marketing in 2023

By Hugo Whittaker, SEO executive



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January 20, 2023 | 7 min read

Hugo Whittaker of Impression reflects on SEO updates of the past year, and predicts what strategies will be the biggest game changers in 2023.


Same same, but different: the core tenets of SEO will remain unchanged in 2023 / Misael Moreno via Unsplash

2022 was an eventful year for the SEO industry. From Google's Helpful Content and Product Review Updates, to even a Spam Update in the last few weeks, we’ve seen plenty of algorithm changes for SEOs to stay on top of in 2023.

Though these changes will influence SEO tactics to a degree, in many ways the updates reiterate the focusses that SEO strategies have had for years now: build fast websites, showcase expertise, and create useful content. What, then, will set the best SEO strategies apart from the rest?

Scaling through content automation

A trend that will continue this year is leveraging AI for creating content at scale. SEOs have been experimenting with both short- and long-form content creation by adding simple requests in tools like OpenAI, potentially shaving off thousands of hours from copywriting projects.

Despite the clear advantages of working with AI-generated content, we must remain cautious. Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller has said that AI-generated content is seen as spam by Google’s webmaster guidelines. Whether Google’s systems are intelligent enough to identify auto-generated content is unclear, but there are AI-powered systems out there that can identify suspect examples, such as the Giant Language model Test Room.

The best SEOs will become adept at leveraging these tools to generate content and metadata at scale while still adhering to Google’s content quality guidelines. Human intervention is essential, and SEOs must establish a proofing stage at the beginning, middle and end of the copywriting process to create content that reads naturally while also being keyword-targeted and distinct from competitor content.

Attributing performance to activity

There are many levers and activities that can contribute to upturns and downturns, and these activities often work in tandem rather than in isolation. To build an accurate picture of SEO’s contributions, we must also consider also other factors affecting performance, such as other marketing campaigns and wider economic trends.

The best SEOs will build dashboards that can accurately show the impact of different activities on traffic and rankings, but more importantly goal completions. Not only will this help quantify the value of SEO to key stakeholders; it will also help SEOs to test theories and use the findings to improve their strategies. This will be particularly useful when A/B testing different approaches to content automation.

Aligning SEO activity with paid search campaigns

Another differentiator will be how SEOs and paid search professionals share data to deliver ROI. The best SEO strategies will consider search term conversion data from Google Ads to influence keyword optimization. Though a big portion of conversion data at the search term level is hidden in Google Ads, there are still valuable insights to be drawn from blending data between the two platforms.

The most effective SEO strategies will align activity with paid advertising so that budget can be prioritized for low-performing organic keywords. By the same token, SEOs should share organic ranking data with those managing paid advertising campaigns to they can pull back on keywords where organic performance is strong and reallocate it toward campaigns that deliver better ROI.

Building tools to provide more agile forecasting

Agencies often struggle to build accurate, unified processes for forecasting. This can lead to difficult conversations with clients when predicted performance is too far removed from reality. SEOs should explore forecasting solutions that automatically draw historical data from Google Search Console to predict clicks across different product and/or services.

These dashboards will then highlight pages at risk of underperformance and enable SEOs to take action sooner to improve performance. If necessary, building a forecast in this way will also speed up re-forecasting should an unforeseen event occur, keeping it useful as a reference point for the wider business when deciding SEO budgets.

The core tenets of SEO will remain unchanged in 2023: build a fast website; consider expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (EAT); and most of all, build good content. However, the SEOs that set themselves apart will be those who scale activity through AI, attribute performance to activity, align with paid search campaigns, and prioritize agile forecasting.

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Google Brand Strategy Predictions 2023

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