Search engine optimization (SEO) is nothing new. Businesses have been vying for visibility practically since the Internet began. Yet, the quest for higher rankings has hardly remained static. On the contrary, the SEO landscape changes all the time, driven by variables such as changing consumer preferences, evolutions in technology, and modifications to the search algorithms themselves.
In other words, ensuring SEO success requires you to keep an eye on how SEO is shifting, and to adapt your strategy accordingly. This is one of many reasons why it's helpful to partner with a digital agency like enCOMPASS, which can help you stay one step ahead of industry and technological trends.
Where is SEO Headed in 2024?
As we head into a new year, it may be helpful to think ahead to some of the trends most likely to shape the SEO landscape. Here are a few SEO trends the enCOMPASS team is keeping an eye on.
The Advent of Google Search Generative Experience (SGE)
SGE is a new AI-powered search experience, coming down the pipeline from Google. It provides AI-generated results to select queries, positioned at the top of the search engine results page (SERP).
SGE is intended to provide users with clearer and succinct answers to their queries, delivered in a more conversational way. It’s sure to change the way people interact with Google, and as a result, we expect it to ultimately change the way businesses optimize their sites.
The Rise of Zero-Click Searches
Historically, SEO has largely been focused on generating clicks and increasing website traffic. In recent years, though, we’ve seen a significant rise in zero-click searches. These are queries where the user gets all the information they need from the SERP itself, without the need to click through for further details. Think business hours, contact information, and other basic queries.
We expect zero-search queries to become all the more popular in 2024, something that has big implications not just for your optimization but also for how you evaluate your SEO efficacy.
Increased Focus on Topic Authority
Over the past several years, Google has placed more and more emphasis on the notion of topic authority. In other words, the algorithms put a lot of weight on sites that are perceived to be one-stop, comprehensive authorities for a particular query.
This trend is likely to continue well into 2024 and beyond, making it more critical than ever to create comprehensive and high-quality content that demonstrates real expertise concerning a particular topic.
More Opportunities for Video SEO
The SERP isn’t all about websites and written content. In fact, more and more of the SERP is devoted to video content. This is sure to continue into the coming year, providing plenty of new opportunities to rank your content and spread the word about your brand.
Keep in mind that this trend isn’t just about getting video content onto the SERP. It’s also about ranking videos in YouTube, which remains the second most-used search engine in the world. Make sure that’s part of your 2024 SEO strategy.
Changing Ranking Factors
It’s important to remember that the search algorithms themselves change constantly. Often these changes are fairly minor, but their cumulative trajectory is toward rich, comprehensive content that demonstrates subject-matter expertise. In short, Google always wants to provide users with relevant answers to their queries.
In pursuit of that goal, Google has shifted weight toward a few notable ranking factors, including Core Web Vitals and their E-E-A-T rubric for validating trusted, credible sources. As you think about your own 2024 SEO strategy, it's incredibly important to stay abreast of the factors that Google’s algorithms are prioritizing.
Shorter Content Life Cycles
One additional trend worth noting: Because the search algorithms increasingly favor fresh, new, relevant content, the shelf life for any given blog article or web page is decreasing. To put it differently, it doesn’t take long at all for a perfectly good piece of content to become out of date, perhaps replaced by something with more up-to-date statistics or superior formatting.
An implication of this is that there is much to be gained through simple content refreshes. Taking the time to update or revitalize your “evergreen” pieces can be a good way to keep up with the current, high-velocity SEO landscape.
Work with a Trusted SEO Specialist
Keeping up with these trends is practically a full-time job unto itself, which is why businesses and marketing teams depend on agency expertise. At enCOMPASS, we take pride in helping our clients remain on the cutting edge, generating meaningful results from strategic SEO investments.
We’d love to talk with you about where SEO is headed, or to discuss options for a partnership headed into 2024. To learn more about the state of SEO, reach out to the team at enCOMPASS Agency today.
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