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SEO 2024: 7 Trends to Navigate the Future of SEO

SEO
January 25, 2024
12 mins
Content

With the advent of artificial intelligence and search chatbots, as well as the growing popularity of video content, it’s critical to analyze the future of search engine optimization and latest in SEO.

The Promodo team has compiled the 7 most important 2024 SEO trends that businesses need to pay attention to. Their implementation will make it possible to be published more often and receive more attention from users.

The Future of SEO in 2024

In 2024, search engine optimization algorithms are moving towards even greater technology and user orientation. Why? The development of artificial intelligence and machine learning now allows search engines to understand user intentions better and deliver more relevant results. And Google itself prioritizes the E-E-A-T factors, advocating ethical and quality content production.

Data from the Search Engine Journal research in the end of 2023 led to these conclusions about changes in SEO:

Content quality. Survey respondents indicated that content creation is the biggest challenge and latest SEO trends they will focus on in 2024. Google has updated its guidelines for evaluating content quality, adding experience to the E-E-A-T factors. So, although generative artificial intelligence can optimize the content production process, creating competitive materials becomes more difficult.​​

Generative artificial intelligence and software using AI. As many platforms integrate it more and more deeply, massive changes will continue. However, most respondents are positive about its potential in terms of their work processes and business results.

So, to the point, moving in which direction will help you rank higher in search results, generate more traffic, and connect with more potential customers in 2024? Let’s view the new SEO trends to consider in 2024. 

SEO Trend #1: Google’s Search Generative Engine (SGE) Continues to Evolve

Search Generative Experience (SGE) is an artificially generated response to a user's query that appears at the top of the search engine results page. SGE enhances user interaction by providing clear and concise answers to search queries. The system also incorporates relevant visual information and a dialog model for interaction.

This innovation will undoubtedly change the conventional patterns of user interaction with search engines. Therefore, there will be a need to alter the approach to website optimization.

Google's generative AI
The answer of Google's generative AI to the question "Why is Popcorn Associated with Movies?"

To be clear, this is not a chatbot like ChatGPT. When a user searches for something on Google, a result generated by artificial intelligence appears. The output usually contains relevant links to some primary sources and additional hints for further study of the topic. That is, with the help of AI, Google turns into an interactive assistant.

Testing this approach means moving to a more user-friendly search, where the algorithm understands and anticipates the user's needs and intent. This is not just a fashionable idea. Businesses are investing heavily in this technology — the artificial intelligence market that powers SGE-type services is estimated at nearly $100 billion. It is expected to soar to nearly two trillion dollars by 2030.

How to Adapt for SGE?

The generated output fragment, created by artificial intelligence for SGE, contains links to the relevant content and resources from which it likely generated the response. However, it is not yet clear what factors influence the fact that the AI chose these resources.

AI-generated responses
Links to resources that go into the AI-generated response

However, these sites still have similar characteristics:

  • It appears that the SGE synthesizes information from various sources when forming its response. Therefore, providing expert analysis or opinion on a topic should increase the chances of landing an AI answer.
  • The created fragment links to complete sections and blocks of text. Therefore, structured material with sections, lists, and bullet points is more understandable for SGE.
  • The sites to which there are links in the fragment are more niche, and thematic. This may indicate the continued importance of topic authority as part of SGE optimization.
  • SEO specialists from the US indicate that SGE more often cites sources with fresh information on the topic. This may mean that in the future, it will be more important to publish new information than to compile existing information.
  • For the future, it is worth thinking about how to take these factors into account in your content strategy. However, this does not mean that traditional SEO approaches should be abandoned due to SGE. Although AI-generated results can change user behavior, Google's output will still include traditional search results.

“SEO specialists are not too worried about SGE, because, firstly, it will most likely be displayed only for informational requests. And, secondly, it is something like a featured snippet, when the most relevant answer is pulled from one site and displayed above all other search results. If earlier the answer was taken from one site, now it will be combined from several — that's the whole difference. According to our forecasts, the changes should not affect eCommerce. However, teams working on information resources will have to adapt a little. However, SEO is always about adapting to change”.

Oleksandr Utkin, SEO Team Lead at Promodo

Promodo team expects that the implementation of the Search Generative Experience can potentially reduce the number of conversions to websites that will be below the AI-generated fragment. However, it's still too early to say how often users will rely on SGE for answers — many of them may decide to switch to traditional search results.

"Your success will depend on whether you can create content that is much better than AI-generated content".

Oleksandr Utkin, SEO Team Lead at Promodo

SEO Trend #2: Evolution of Ranking Factors

Ranking factors continue to evolve. However, their complete list and relative importance over time are more variable than ever. According to a Statista survey, the top three factors are:

  • Machine learning/AI (11.3%)
  • Core Web Vitals (10.8%)
  • E-E-A-T factors and reliability of information source (10.2%)

SEO is increasingly focusing on strategies that demonstrate clear expertise in a specific topic. This entails becoming a source of information on a particular subject or within a specific niche, ensuring that your content comprehensively covers all aspects of the subject area. Search engines, especially Google, are gradually prioritizing such content.

The E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) concept from Google is officially not considered a ranking factor but is a crucial component in the Guidelines for Search Quality Evaluators. However, it holds significant importance.

It has been in existence for over 10 years, and in 2023, Google added a parameter to it. Now, during ranking, the experience/expertise of the author is also taken into account. This is crucial because artificial intelligence cannot accumulate real-world experience in the same way humans do. Therefore, the new parameter gives a preference to human authors and emphasizes once again the importance of involving experts in content creation.


“Artificial intelligence can perform many routine and technical tasks for SEO, but the human factor and the accuracy of information still remain paramount”.

Valeria Sorokoletova, SEO Specialist at Promodo

So, when working on your content strategy:

  • Always, avoid the commonplace – choose topics to create expert and high-quality content on a specific subject.
  • Create a comprehensive catalog of content on relevant topics and subtopics.
  • Build a website architecture that allows people and bots to easily find relevant content.
  • Don't forget to include evidence in your materials that the author or commentator has relevant knowledge on the topic, personal experience, and trust – in other words, deserves to be listened to.

“Certainly, the importance of E-E-A-T factors varies across different niches. For instance, they are crucial for medical topics and content/news sites – so much so that they can outweigh considerations like backlinks and website speed. However, for an article like "What is a leap year?" these factors may not carry the same weight. Nevertheless, a complete lack of attention to E-E-A-T factors can lead to a significant loss of positions and traffic after a Google core update. As our experience shows, for any business, it is much "cheaper" to consider the specifics of E-E-A-T and implement the necessary changes on the website”.

Vladislav Trishkin, SEO Team Lead at Promodo

How To Improve User Experience on a Website?

While the definition of a good user experience evolves from year to year, Google consistently prioritizes it over other factors. The Promodo team believes that this will continue in the future. Therefore:

  1. Publishing high-quality content has always been important, but in 2024, it has become even more crucial. Your success will depend on your ability to create materials that are far superior to those generated by artificial intelligence.
  2. Enhance the user experience on your site by optimizing it for Core Web Vitals. Nowadays, you cannot afford slow page loading speeds.
  3. Recently, there have been rumors that backlinks are becoming less relevant. In reality, the latest interviews with Google employees only confirmed that backlinks are not among the top three ranking factors. However, the Promodo team believes that they will continue to be a signal of popularity for Google.

SEO Trend #3: Site Cleanup from "Junk"

If your website has many indexed pages that hold no value, receive no impressions, and get no clicks, it's considered clutter. Google continues to expend resources processing them, and over time, this can result in a decline in your rankings. The solution is to save Google's resources by having only useful content on your site, eliminating the clutter.

Getting rid of unnecessary pages is obligatory. If you want consultation on this matter or a quality SEO audit, feel free to reach out to our team.

Google “penalizes” not only for having such pages indexed but also for forcing its bots to scan them. So, even if you close them from indexing, it won't help avoid a loss in positions, as the bots will still see them.

SEO Trend #4: Brands Dominating Search Results


Websites that include a brand keyword in their name now occupy top positions, displacing even long-established giants that have been there for years. For example, for the query "Bosch hairdryer" now only official dealers and stores with the word "Bosch" in their site name appear at the top.

All marketplaces and large online stores have been pushed down. Dealing with this trend will also be necessary in 2024. The trend is not random—it's a standard approach to shaping search results, common in the U.S. market. Now it is being extended to other regions as well.

The Power of the Brand and the TikTok Phenomenon

According to Newswitch Media Guide, 60% of people make purchases by analyzing trends. For 40% of them, TikTok has become the first platform that motivates them to buy a product. An illustrative example is the fidget dimple toy, which gained popularity due to trends on the platform.

What conclusion can we draw? Videos on TikTok provide an additional opportunity to increase brand awareness and visibility in search results for key queries. Companies that focus on being searched on Google using their brand name consistently secure top positions.

If the store "Marko’s" utilizes TikTok's visibility to encourage people to search for "buy iPhone at Marko’s," it will also contribute to improving the website's rankings for the query "buy iPhone."

SEO Trend #5: Maximum Focus on SEO for Video Content


By the end of 2023, the number of viewers of digital video worldwide reached almost 3.5 billion, and search engines have taken notice.

User habits are changing—people today are more likely to watch a video than read text. Therefore, it is worth paying more attention to video SEO.

According to a report by Wyzowl, the popularity of video content will continue to grow in 2024:

  1. In 2023, 91% of companies used video as an online marketing tool, a record-high figure in history.
  2. 89% of people say that watching videos convinced them to purchase a product or service.
  3. 87% of marketers say that YouTube videos helped them attract potential customers and increase sales.


How to Use SEO for Video Content to Boost Business Growth? 

  1. Formulate a list of relevant keywords on YouTube and optimize key elements with them: video title, headline, description, and tags. Don't forget about the channel's keywords.
  2. Don't ignore subtitles. They enhance video accessibility, allow for the placement of important keywords easily caught by YouTube algorithms, and provide context while filling gaps in audio that users might skip. According to a Verizon Media survey, 80% of people are more likely to watch a video if it has subtitles.
  3. Add target keywords to metadata. This helps search engines quickly understand your video content and leads to higher rankings.
  4. Include timestamps. In Google search results, they appear under video search results in the "Key Moments" section. If a user searches for a specific phrase, and Google sees that it's used as a timestamp, the algorithm will direct them to that specific part of the video with the answer to their query.
  5. Promote your channel and videos on various websites, forums, and social media platforms to reach a wider audience.
  6. YouTube videos can rank on Google as well. So, if you manage to combine SEO optimization methods for video platforms and search engines, your channel's visibility will increase. Your videos will be displayed in the main search results and in the "Videos" and "Images" tabs.
  7. Use informational prompts and end screens. Have you ever noticed a small white icon with the letter "i" in the upper right corner of a video or a semi-transparent strip of text with a subscription offer? These are informational prompts. You can place links to your website, links to other thematic videos, surveys, etc. on them. From an SEO perspective, such prompts and end screens increase viewer engagement.

SEO Trend #6: New Search Patterns Requiring Different Optimization Approaches


Artificial intelligence and chatbots are changing information search patterns. Instead of scrolling through links in search results and browsing information on various websites, users now instantly receive unique, well-packaged answers. SEO professionals, in turn, adapt their content.

Answer Engine Optimization (AEO) is the process of optimizing content for search engines. It's a subfield of search engine optimization (SEO) where experts create content that provides direct answers to specific user queries.

AEO emerged due to the introduction of generative chatbots with artificial intelligence (ChatGPT, Bard, Google SGE, Microsoft’s Bing chatbot) and the popularization of voice search assistants (Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant).

SEO and AEO are not exactly the same, but aligning both strategies is possible.

How to Optimize Content with AEO?

Businesses should focus on developing an AEO content strategy that complements traditional search engine optimization methods (or may even become more crucial than them).

What can be done:

  1. Add keywords and phrases to the content that users might use in conversational search.
  2. Structure content to be answers to common questions or queries related to the topics you are targeting. This type of content is more likely to be picked up and used in AI-generated responses.
  3. Create content in a format suitable for snippets, using marked lists, tables, or short paragraphs.
  4. Implement schema markup to help search engines understand the context and content of your page better.

SEO Trend #7: Google Zero-Click Pages


The number of search queries without clicks is increasing. This means that users are not clicking on any of the displayed results. According to Semrush research, 57% of mobile device users and approximately a quarter of desktop users enter a search query and are satisfied with the information provided without clicking further.

Why is this happening? There are various reasons. For example, users may be searching for:

  1. Local businesses: Google often provides necessary information (such as location, contact details, or business hours) directly in the search results.
  2. Quick conversions or calculations: For such search queries, Google also offers a calculation tool directly in the search results.
  3. Information about public figures or celebrities: Responses to search queries about public figures or celebrities often appear directly in the search results and contain concise, essential information.

Google's informational block
Google's informational block that instantly appears in response to the user's query

Advanced features of Google search results, such as Knowledge Panels, local packs, and direct conversion tools, instantly fulfill user intent by providing concise and accurate answers.

How Business Can Benefit from Featured Snippets?

If you are not Wikipedia or a popular informational resource, adjust your content strategy and focus on appearing in the so-called "zero position" for queries relevant to you.

Getting into the featured snippets block for your important keywords increases the chances of getting clicks from users and enhances brand awareness.

Key recommendations to help get into Featured Snippets:

  1. Identify relevant search queries that have a Featured Snippet block (you can conveniently do this with Ahrefs).
  2. Analyze the Featured Snippet block for the identified queries (in what format is the content presented in this block; is it a bulleted list, or, for example, a sentence with a short description, etc.). It is also necessary to determine the intent of the queries—what specific information users expect to see for a particular query.
  3. Adjust the information on the relevant pages of your site. The goal is for the content on your page to address the user's query in a compact and convenient format. Also, make sure the content on the page matches the current format in the Featured Snippet block: if it's currently a bulleted list, add a bulleted list with information to your page. But be sure to work on it, don't copy it entirely from a competitor.
  4. Promote the page. It is also crucial to work on improving the page. Work on its structure, and content. Analyze competitor pages to generate new ideas and theories. Improving positions for queries will help get into the Featured Snippet block.
  5. Getting into the Featured Snippets block is possible for sites on the first page of the search results in most cases. Therefore, if you are currently in 27th place, it's better to focus on increasing positions rather than getting into the Featured Snippets block.

Taking into account the latest trends in SEO is essential, but it is always necessary to start with a technical audit of the website. If you need help with search engine optimization or any other digital marketing services, get in touch with our team of professionals.

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Written by
Nataliia Raskopa

PR & Marketing Manager at Promodo

I am a former journalist and an ardent follower of the "Cut to the chase" principle.

Together with Promodo's marketing team, I tell about the most interesting things in the world of Ukrainian digital. No stories of successful success – only tips, figures, and working case studies from the leading performance marketing agency. By the way, I talk about our failures as well.

Written by
Vladislav Trishkin

SEO Team Lead at Promodo

Vladyslav has been working as SEO Specialist for over 5 years.His portfolio of projects includes: Ukr.net, Sinoptik, Concert.ua, etc.

He is a fan of Ahrefs, enjoys reading Google's Assessor's Guide, and is always ready to have a discussion about SEO.His main specialization is promoting content and media projects, and he has numerous successful case studies.

Beneficial link on Vladyslav's expertise:

1. https://www.youtube.com/live/2hGEmklt7ZM?feature=share

2. https://www.education.ua/trainings/trainers/20215/

3. https://wordfactory.ua/4-stati-ot-wordfactory-o-faktore-avtorstva-dlya-ranzhirovaniya-ymyl-sajtax/

Written by
Oleksandr Utkin

SEO Team Lead at Promodo

I have been working as a SEO expert since 2018. I've passed from the Middle SEO expert to Team Lead.
I work with the largest Ukrainian eCommerce clients. Furthermore, I am an expert in Core Web Vitals and HTML5 semantic pivot. Now I manage my own team.


Written by
Valeriia Sorokoletova

SEO Specialist at Promodo

With over 5 years of SEO experience, I have been an integral part of the Promodo team for the last two years. My expertise extends to managing projects in both the US and European markets, collaborating with startups as well as established ventures.

Published:
January 25, 2024
Updated:
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