With 2024 already on our doorstep, we know that this year’s SEO trends aren’t far away. But what’s on the horizon? Will we see AI taking over the industry? Or will websites need to revert back to basics in order to rank? To find out, we asked 10 leading SEOs what they think 2024 has in store for us.
I think SGE will become more about facilitation than actually providing answers. For starters, SGE, as it is now, is a response to Bing pulling ahead in the initial days of "AI", not user needs. On top of that, the novelty of AI-generated answers is wearing off. And just to throw gas on the fire - there is increased skepticism around AI content and a desire for first-person experience when consuming content. None of this bodes well for SGE as it is currently constructed. However, with the advent of Google's Gemini and what it can do when crafting custom experiences in its output, there's room for SGE to turn into a fabulous facilitator of content. SGE as a facilitator I think is where it ultimately ends up.
In 2024 Google will push YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) and other websites to continually improve their E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) in order to remain or gain better visibility in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). Not only for the sake of users but also for SGE (Search Generative Experience) result quality. Users will start adopting new ways of searching, hence SEOs will need to apply new strategies and prepare their stakeholders for an era of new organic metrics and a data revolution.
It's become clear that one of the good use cases for LLM-based systems like ChatGPT has been for summarising information, and for some queries, GenAI results such as Google's SGE may be more helpful than a traditional search result. As that proves true, I think we'll see more users moving to GenAI results for specific types of queries, as the SEOs will follow the money with tactics starting to gravitate towards optimizing for brand visibility within these systems.
Digital PR will become one of the most in-demand SEO services as people look to gain backlinks and mentions. With the focus on semantic search, businesses feeling the cost of increased paid search costs will revert back to organic, but start to see how publicity fuels search. It's no longer going to be about the link, but about what the link says about your business and does for your business.
Google’s SERPs have been declining in quality recently, yet the number of ads has been increasing. With searchers having to hunt for reputable information, I don’t think it will be long until users get fed up and start using AI technology more like a search engine.
I see two things happening in 2024:
I think there will be a rise in “quick-win” tactics that will lead to short-lived results when they aren’t part of a solid long-term strategy. Basically, the SERPs will become a bit like Bitcoin. I also think that we’ll be seeing more social signals on the SERPs like follow counts etc., and who knows, maybe those dreaded LinkedIn badges!
LocalSEO is going to thrive in 2024. Businesses are becoming more aware that their customer's journeys typically begin with a search. With Google focusing more on search experience (E.E.A.T), I'll be suggesting to my clients to really push reviews with pictures, customer videos, and utilizing the "Update" features on Google Business Profiles. Google Discover is going to be a game changer, especially for businesses. The Helpful Content Update will also help SMBs break through in the SERPs, whilst before, businesses with the budget to spare for spammy, irrelevant content are now being pushed back.
I’m going to be the boring one and say that nothing game-changing will happen. For most industries, we’ll keep on doing the same fundamentals as always.
Everyone is talking about E-E-A-T and whilst displaying experience, expertise, authority, and trust is vital to any SEO strategy in 2024, you cannot let technical SEO fall by the wayside. It doesn't matter how great your content is, or how much authority you have, if crawlers are blocked from crawling important pages, or are enduring long response times before they can see the fully loaded page, you're going to encounter problems growing your organic revenue.