Head of SEO at leading law firm digital marketing agency in the UK, Conscious Solutions, looks into predicted trends for search engine optimisation (SEO) in 2023, and discusses what law firms should be looking out for.
The world of search and SEO is ever-changing, with 2022 being a big year in search – not just in terms of Google updates. Head of SEO at, Jamie Stevens discusses some of the most interesting changes that we can see happening in search in 2023 that will impact UK law firms (and other sectors) in this article.
More Competition for Google
In 2023, we expect that both new (ChatGPT anyone?) and not-so-new search engines will take some of Google’s market share, as users cool on Google over privacy issues and decreasing quality of search results.
Google’s share of search traffic has dropped by about 1.5% since the beginning of 2022 (but still has 84% market share) and we expect it to drop further through 2023.
While there is very little chance of anyone taking Google’s crown as the top search engine over the next few years, other search engines are slowly increasing their market share, with Bing now accounting for almost 10% of global searches and DuckDuckGo now accounting for almost 1% of searches worldwide.
Some interesting search engines were either created in 2022 or started to gain more popularity, so there are some interesting ones to watch out for, including:
AI is Here to Stay
We expect to see more artificial intelligence (AI) in search, perhaps even seeing search engines creating AI-generated text and images in search results.
This could significantly change the search landscape, especially if Microsoft can throw their significant resources behind improving OpenAI’s models so that it can give users answers to simple questions without having to visit a website. Therefore, it’s important that your firm is answering the questions your clients are searching for.
Declining Value of Citations for Local SEO
Local directories and larger directories, such as Yell, have been declining, while signals from Google’s own Google Business Profile continue to climb.
In the past, citations were a strong signal for local search as they were more likely to be up-to-date and contain the correct information than other sources. However, the business model of many citation services is no longer profitable, so citations are a much less reliable source of a business’s details than they were in the past.
As businesses are much more likely to keep their Google Business Profile (GBP) up to date, other citation sources are now less relevant, and it makes more sense for Google to use their internal data rather than data from other businesses. So, if your law firm hasn’t updated or checked its GBP recently, it’s time to do so.
In 2022, we saw the helpful content update aimed at giving users the information that they wanted in a digestible way. In 2023, Stevens suggests we’ll be seeing more smaller broad core updates, but we shouldn’t be surprised by one or two larger updates, probably targeting “spammy” content and link-building.
A big part of the helpful content update was to identify content that was created by AI, and we expect that, with the increasing popularity of ChatGPT, which can write very believable content that many people may not be able to tell is written by AI, Google will release an update that is designed to target this kind of content.
Some companies, such as originality.ai, claim that they can detect AI-written text with 94% accuracy; can we expect better from Google? If Google is unable to detect AI-written content with almost 100% accuracy, it could lead to legitimate websites and businesses being harmed.
Although ChatGPT can definitely have its benefits to law firms in terms of ideas generation and research, steer clear of copying and pasting those articles directly onto your website because you might be penalised in the near future!
For more detail surrounding the 2023 predictions for SEO, Jamie’s article can be found here.
So how can your law firm stay up to date and make the most out of the upcoming trends in search? Conscious Solutions offers free webinars for law firms in our monthly Conscious Conversations where we discuss upcoming trends that could impact and support your law firm through SEO, PPC, digital PR and more.
In February, we’ll be running a session on Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and this will discuss updates coming to how your law firm will track its analytics and deal with the reported changes to cookies. You can sign up for our free webinars here: https://www.conscious.co.uk/site/events/law-firm-marketing-training-webinars/
Other websites we use to stay up-to-date with current trends include ahrefs, Search Engine Land and Google.
If you need support with your law firm’s SEO, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.