News and Research

Latest SEO news you need to know - January 2023

Author: Iveta Osobová
4 minutes of reading
31. 1. 2023
Table of contents

Another SEO News roundup is here! Let's take a look at all the news in the digital world that left its mark on January together. We have covered the Google updates, the Yandex code leak, Microsoft's investment in ChatPGT, and many other useful guides and interesting reads.

Google Optimize sunsetting

The tech giant will sunset Google Optimize and Optimize 360 on September 30, 2023. Google Optimize allows you to run experiments that help digital marketers and webmasters increase visitor conversion rates and overall visitor satisfaction. If you are currently using Google Optimize, you can continue to run your experiments and personalizations until the sunset date. 

To help businesses improve their user experience, Google also announced that it is working on A/B testing in Google Analytics 4.


Massive Yandex code leak

A Yandex source code repository containing over 21,000 ranking factors was allegedly leaked by a former employee. It's important to say it's not just for Yandex Search. It's also for Maps, Mail, Pay, its Taxi service, or the unknown "SkyNet". Without proper context and the data related to it all, we may not understand how it all works.

Although Yandex is not Google, there is a lot that SEOs can learn about how a modern search engine is built by taking a look at this codebase. In this comprehensive article on SEL, Michael King summarized all his learnings to expand our thinking about modern search.

Yandex's documentation clarifies that they have three classes of ranking factors: Static, dynamic, and those specific to the user's search and its execution. Yandex rating consists of tens of thousands of factors and is adjusted to each search query. Analyzing the various factors and features from the Yandex data breach can suggest new hypotheses to consider and test for ranking in Google.

If you want to know more details, I also recommend following @iPullRank, @RyanJones, or @RobOusbey on Twitter. 


Google ranking signals: A complete breakdown 

Most articles about Google ranking factors suggest that there are at least 200 of them that affect a website's performance in the search engine results pages. Or that's what Google suggested in 2009, and here we are in 2023, over a decade later. Since then, Google has evolved dramatically and we now know several confirmed ranking factors that definitely affect your results in Google's search engine to varying degrees. This new easy-to-understand analysis by Brad Smith summarizes all the confirmed, rumored, and absolute myths of Google ranking factors.

Google updates finished rolling out

On January 12, 2023, Google confirmed that the December 2022 link spam update and the December Helpful Content update were both completed. 


In an attempt to compete with Google Search and other tech giants, Microsoft has begun exploring the possibility of integrating OpenAI's popular chatbot, ChatGPT, into its Bing search engine. The tech giant did not disclose a financial figure, but rumors are that the investment will be $10 billion as Microsoft accelerates AI breakthroughs that will benefit the world.

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ChatGPT won’t replace Google Search (yet)

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TikTok knows you're using it as a search engine

TikTok is becoming a prominent source of news and information for consumers. Nearly 40 percent of young people use TikTok or Instagram to search, avoiding Google. This will slowly eclipse Google and other traditional search engines. Last year, TikTok was also named the fastest-growing source of news for adults, while already having significant influence among younger users.

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