SEO year in review 2023: The year of generative AI - Search Engine Land

The year 2023 was unlike any other I’ve seen in SEO and Search. I say this as someone who has been in this industry since 2007. Many others I spoke to expressed similar sentiments at various points throughout 2023.

By March, Search Engine Land had published multiple stories that, in any other year, all could have been the story of the year.

And the news and updates kept coming, day after day, week after week and month after month. Until at last, here we are, with no more year left to go! Although, with how this year has gone, I may be tempting fate – it’s entirely possible that a major Search story will break on Dec. 31.

Search Engine Land has covered all the biggest stories for 17 years, and we did it again in 2023.

Here’s our look back at the biggest SEO news and updates of 2023.


Search Generative Experience

The all-new, AI-powered Google Search — officially: Google Search Generative Experience — was announced May 10 after months of speculation and rumors. It was powered by multiple large-language models (LLMs), including PaLM2 and MUM.

It came with a waitlist (a recurring theme in 2023). Google opened access May 25. Here’s our SGE hands-on and early reactions.

Dig deeper. Test driving Google’s Search Generative Experience

The AI-generated answers are presented in a variety of forms via a snapshot, with links, images, videos and the ability to ask follow-up questions. SGE has received countless feature updates and expanded to 120 more countries, all while its ...

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