How will SEO Change in 2024?

Google constantly updates its search algorithms, and with these changes come new SEO trends. Some sail through the tides of updates, and some don’t. The major core update that took place in March 2024 is considered the most significant one. The rollout for this update resulted in more ranking fluctuations than usual. Following the March update, there have been several reports of volatility in search rankings throughout May and June 2024. Let’s understand what has changed so far and how SEO will change in 2024.

What led to changes in SEO in 2024?

The biggest driver of SEO changes in 2024 can be attributed to a combination of two main Google initiatives: The March 2024 Core Updated with Integrated Helpful Content Signal and Evolving User Search Behavior and the Search Guarantee Experiment. 

March Core Update 2024

The March 2024 Core Update, with its integrated Helpful Content Signal, sent shockwaves through the SEO world. Google promised significantly reducing unhelpful content and a rise in user-centric websites. The impact of this update was so seismic that many marketers woke up to see their website gone from Google’s search results. 

While Google themselves announced that their update is aimed at reducing the “unhelpful” content by 40%, later, they reported achieving a 45% reduction, highlighting its effectiveness.


Google started optimizing its ranking system in 2022 to reduce irrelevant content in search results. However, the practical implementation came in March 2024 with a series of significant algorithm changes. Google’s March 2024 update was a two-pronged attack on low-quality content in search results. It consists: 

Revised Spam Policies

Along with improving the core ranking system, they introduced three new spam policies targeting specific emerging techniques used to manipulate search rankings:

  • Expired Domain Abuse

Google’s algorithms can detect significant shifts in content type and quality after a domain expires and is repurposed.

But what If I have acquired an expired domain but have to intention to violate Google’s guidelines?

Google aims to differentiate between abusive practices and legitimate uses of expired domains. If you acquire an expired domain and build a new website with high-quality content relevant to the domain’s niche, it shouldn’t be flagged.

  • Scaled Content Abuse

Scaled content abuse has been around for a while, but the advent of LLM amplified it to unbearable levels. Many people started using LLM-generated low-quality content with the sole purpose of manipulating search engine rankings. Google, with its revamped policies, have explicitly outlined clearer guidelines for website owners and help deter abusive practices. 

  • Site Reputation Abuse

Some websites allow low-quality content from other sources to be published on their platform. This content is primarily meant to trick search engines into ranking the website higher, not to provide any real value to users. For search engines like Google, this type of manipulation is unfair to other websites and hurts the user experience. They have policies in place to identify and penalize sites that engage in site reputation abuse.

Search Guarantee Experiment (SGE)

The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has changed how SEO works in 2024. The Search Guarantee Experiment (SGE) and shifting user search behaviour have been major drivers of this change. SGE uses advanced AI to understand what users are searching for and how satisfied they are with the results. This helps search engines better understand user needs and determine which web pages are helpful.

SGE is changing how people search, but it won’t steal all your traffic

Google Search is evolving! They’re rolling out a new feature called AI Overviews, which uses artificial intelligence to provide summaries directly in search results.

Users who have complex queries, like “What’s the best national park for a family with young kids and a dog: Bryce Canyon or Arches?” With AI Overviews, they’ll see a quick summary highlighting the pros and cons of each park. They’ll also have links to relevant websites with in-depth information and reviews from real people.

So, does that mean AI Overviews will hurt your website traffic?

No, most likely not. While AI Overviews offer summaries, they still direct users to high-quality content for a deeper dive. People will continue to visit full articles, especially for crucial decisions like product reviews or vacation planning. 

This focus on user satisfaction solely means SEO professionals will now have to change their strategies. Keyword stuffing and creating content just for search engines don’t work anymore. Now, high-quality content that truly addresses user needs and provides value is crucial.

AI-powered content creation tools have brought both opportunities and challenges. While AI can help generate content, Google’s March 2024 Core Update focuses on the “Helpful Content Signal,” penalizing content that isn’t original, accurate, or engaging. This pushes SEOs to ensure AI-generated content meets the same standards as human-written content.

Recapping 2023 up to the latest update

As we look back at 2023, a lot of important things happened. Let’s go through them one by one:


While the concept of EEAT was introduced in 2023, it remains highly relevant in the current scenario. The concept focuses on creating content that demonstrates first-hand experience and expertise while also establishing authority and trustworthiness. It sets your content apart from generic, irrelevant content and saves you from getting caught in the turmoil of penalties.

For those wondering how to craft E-E-A-T content, Gary Vaynerchuk has a great tip: “Document, don’t create.”

He suggests that instead of making content from scratch, start documenting what you have been doing. 

Now, it’s natural for you to ask what I will document if I have no hands-on experience with any topic. Well, in such a case, you can gather insights from experts and write content based on them.

New Algorithm Updates – Why Authors Matter More

The latest algorithms favour author entities more than ever. Google can now better recognize and regard the authors behind the content. This means that the more recognized and experienced an author you are, the more likely your content is to get ranked, as it gives users a sense of trust and credibility. 

There have been instances when credible sites got caught red-handed, creating fake writer profiles to publish LLM-generated articles. This raises serious concerns for search engines. Google took it as a lesson that they can no longer rely on the site’s authority as this would lead to bypassing low-quality generated content.

In response, Google has started recognizing the author with relevant experience and expertise. 

How can you use Auhtor Entities? 

  1. Create author pages on your website. Detail your area of expertise, popular works and links to social media/portfolio/highly acclaimed work.
  2. Get the same author published on some other websites as well. This can help Google and users recognize whether the author is genuine or not.
  3. Make sure to include subject matter experts (SMEs) or skilled writers in the byline, and then distribute the content together with them. This adds credibility and clearly shows that knowledgeable humans are creating the content.
  4. Invite experts who have written successful guest posts for you to come back a few more times. Also, publish articles for authors who are already well-known.

Modern SEO practices are all about users loving your site!

When Google faced a big antitrust case, they had to disclose how their search algorithms work. It turned out that Google heavily relied on user signals to rank the content apart from deep content analysis. It means Google really care whether your content is satisfactory for the users or not. They can analyze what users feel about your content. 

This indicates the significance of optimizing SEO strategies for user engagement and other signals. You cannot deceive search engines for a long time, as they can find out if you are annoying your visitors by using some wrong practices in disguise. Here are some specific examples of how Google catches deceptive SEO practices: 

  1. It can analyze the keyword density of your content. If a keyword shows up unreasonably quoted a number of times compared to the content length, it can signal something is fishy. So, be mindful while using the keywords. Use them naturally throughout the content; don’t try to force them into headings, subheadings and meta descriptions. 
  2. Google can detect hidden text by matching it to the background colour. This is a common black hat practice but Google algorithms can see through it. It can even detect the content hidden through CSS or Javascript code which makes text invisible to users but readable by search engines. 
  3. Googlebot identifies itself as a specific user agent. If a website shows different content based on the user agent, it’s a sign of cloaking. 
  4. Google also compare content indexed by its crawlers with what users see on the website to keep a check on cloaking attempts.
  5. Google analyzes the quality and relevance of links pointing to your website. A sudden surge in links from unrelated websites can signal you’re buying links.
  6. Google examines the anchor text used in links to your website. If all the links use the exact same keyword phrase repeatedly, it appears unnatural.
  7. Search algorithms are advanced enough to analyze content quality and relevance. Factors like keyword density, content length, originality, and engagement metrics play a significant role in the determination of whether the content is thin/scraped/doorway pages. Google also employs human quality raters who can evaluate websites based on a set of guidelines. The assessment is carried out based on the value and depth of the content.
  8.  Google holds Search Engine Roundtables (SERPs) where they discuss webmaster guidelines with SEO professionals. This helps Google gain insights into emerging manipulative practices. 
  9. If users leave your website immediately after landing it, this tells Google your content might not be relevant.
  10. Google uses User Clues, which are basically clues left behind by users interacting with results, to understand how relevant and useful the website is. 

Below is a great example that demonstrates how Google places higher in ranking, which satisfies the user query.


This tells in the future, SEO strategies must be focused on how they can keep users happy and even go beyond their expectations to be successful.


How can you optimize for User Signals?

It all comes down to optimizing pages so that users spend time interacting with your page. And, infact, impressed they recommend others using your website. Here is how you can do it:

  1. Leverage the metrics like bounce rate, interactions with features, clicks, time spent to gain a clearer picture of how are users finding your website. Then, modify your website to make it super convenient for users and boost interaction. 
  2. Your strategy should be wholly based on user intent. Make things easy for them; they will make optimizing on search engines easy for you.
  3. Add graphics as they help users take less time to consume the content and guide them with how to take action. 
  4. Add polls, quizzes and comments for more interaction.

Boost Domain Authority With Genuine Backlinks

Earlier domain authority used to talk about having more links. This is not the case anymore. 

Google now assess your site based on topical relevance. It means it checks how much authority your content holds regarding a specific subject. So, creating content is not enough now; you have to establish your expertise in that field. 

Google also evaluates the quality of links. By quality, we mean how relevant those are. 

To establish your authority, you can follow these practices: 

  • Guest Posting: It’s a way to share your expertise by writing informative guest posts for high-quality websites in your field. It’s a symbiotic relationship that benefits both parties. The host website gets access to valuable content from a knowledgeable expert in their niche, attracting and engaging their audience. In return, you gain exposure to a new audience relevant to your field and potentially drive targeted traffic back to your own website through well-placed backlinks within the guest post.
  • Link magnets: Instead of seeking backlinks for every piece of content you create, focus on developing resources so valuable that other websites naturally want to link to them. These “link magnets” can take many forms like original research & data, unique tools and resources, in-depth guides and tutorials.
  • Make portfolio: Your portfolio showcases your work on relevant websites that can demonstrate your expertise and credibility. When potential clients or collaborators see your portfolio linked from high-quality, industry-respected websites, it reflects well on your domain. But at the same time, the quality and relevance of the portfolio website matter. Links from spammy or low-authority sites can actually hurt your domain authority. Focus on getting your portfolio on established, industry-specific platforms or websites with a good reputation.
  • Triangular link exchanges: It’s a way to create a three-way link exchange where website A links to website B, website B links to website C, and website C links back to website A. This is believed to boost the link profile for all three websites. But search engines look for natural linking patterns. Triangular exchanges create a closed loop that doesn’t reflect organic linking behaviour, so make sure to exchange links with reputable sites that are relevant to your content. Seek out websites with content managers who genuinely assess whether the links provided will be beneficial to the reader.

UX Factors will continue to be a key factor in SEO strategies

As we talked about user signals, one of the factors that affect it the most is user experience. Think about it: what majorly makes up the experience of a user? It’s mainly site speed, ease of navigation and interactive elements, and all these are part of UX; that’s why it is called so. 

Core Web Vitals, which are directly related to UX, became an important ranking factor in 2021. It’s basically a set metric that defines web page experience. Let’s know about them in detail:

  • Largest Contentful Paint

It’s a measure of how long it takes for largest piece of content on the page to load.

  • Interaction to Next Paint

It’s a recent development in Core web vitals. It measures the time between a user interaction (click, tapping, hover, keypress) and the next time the browser can update the content on the screen in response. A low INP means the user sees a visual response on the screen very quickly after their interaction. This provides immediate feedback and makes the website feel more responsive. A high INP can lead to frustration as users interact with the site but don’t see confirmation for a noticeable amount of time.

  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

It measures how much the layout of the page unexpectedly shifts while loading.

All these metrics indicate how users will experience loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability on a website.

How to Optimize the User Experience? 

To optimize your UX, you will have to look after the following things:

  • Limiting the popups 
  • Outline page in a way that it’s easier to navigate
  • Improve the site speed
  • Place contextual CTA
  • Only link the content that’s actually helpful to a user

Finding local businesses online is easier than ever!

  • Almost everyone uses the Internet to find businesses near them.
  • Searching for local businesses is getting better, with features like:

            a) Ads for nearby businesses when you search online.

            b) Businesses caring more about online reviews – good and bad!

            c) Star ratings show how good a business is.

            d) Special codes that help search engines understand your business website.

  • Even apps like TikTok are becoming popular for finding local restaurants, especially for younger folks.

How to get your business noticed in local searches:

  • Make sure your Google Business Profile is awesome! This is like your online shop window. Add pictures and descriptions, and keep your hours updated.
  • Get great reviews! Most people check reviews before choosing a business. Ask happy customers to leave a review and respond to both positive and negative ones. There are even tools to help you get more reviews.
  • Talk to search engines in their language! Use special codes on your website to tell them more about your business.
  • Be on social media! If your customers are on TikTok, Instagram, or Snapchat, so should you. Share cool stuff and make sure people know where you are.

Lessons to take

Google’s algorithms are rapidly evolving to favour websites that prioritize user experience. It’s time to shift your focus to user satisfaction alongside search engine optimization. Chasing search engine optimization alone can leave your efforts vulnerable to future updates and spam policy changes.

By focusing on creating a website that users find valuable, trustworthy, and easy to navigate, you’ll ensure long-term success regardless of algorithmic updates or spam surges. 

Forget robots & focus on real eyes. User satisfaction is the new SEO gold.

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