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2024 SEO Trends: Taking a Proactive Approach to SEO

How can SEOs stay ahead of search engine updates this year? We explore how to take a proactive approach to SEO in 2024.

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Keeping Up With Rapid Search Engine Updates in 2024 and Beyond

Search engines are always evolving. But with the introduction of new AI SERP features like Google’s SGE and Bing’s adoption of GPT-4 in recent months — not to mention new core algorithm updates like Google’s Helpful Content System and its prioritization of first-person “Hidden Gems” in search results —  it feels like the changes in search are coming at an accelerated pace.

With a rapidly evolving search landscape, SEOs who narrowly rely on a set of well-trodden tactics rather than focusing on the bigger picture and creating websites that are poised to best serve their users are already behind.

As Google Search Liaison Danny Sullivan put it on Twitter/X:

“Perhaps we need to speak more clearly that our systems are chasing what people like, so if you ‘chase the algorithm,’ you’re behind. If you chase what people like, you’re ahead of the algorithm.”

While Google and Bing may not reveal their exact ranking algorithms to the wider world, these search engine giants are not shy about flagging what is important to them — and what they look at when evaluating website quality. Google regularly publishes guidance about what they are focusing on and what they value in web content. Unsurprisingly, it’s generally centered on identifying websites that serve their users well. It makes sense that their future search algorithm updates will aim to promote websites that adhere to their stated quality guidelines. 

Sullivan points out on the Search Liasion account that many of Google’s recent core algorithm updates were built on guidance the company published years ago.

blog article banner - pull quote from Matt Hill that reads - Just as Google aims to serve its end-users, we should also be optimizing our sites for the benefit of the users.
— Matt Hill, Senior SEO Solutions Consultant, in “Why SEOs Need to Understand Website Accessibility”

SEOs who want to stay ahead of algorithm updates that could potentially tank their traffic in the future should focus, first and foremost, on building high-quality websites that offer a great user experience and genuinely helpful content.

Read the search engines’ published guidance — like Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines — to understand what signals they look at to determine a website’s quality. Even if not every quality marker they describe is included in the search algorithms today, chances are future algorithm updates will aim to find ways of incorporating these signals.

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This post is an excerpt from our much larger guide, “2024 SEO Trends to Watch” — download the full eBook here.

 

Addressing site quality in 2024

We’ll dig into specific UX and content aspects of high-quality websites in more detail in the next chapters [Note: download the full eBook, “2024 SEO Trends to Watch,” to access the later chapters]. 

But as a quick overview, SEOs who want to ensure their websites are deemed ‘high quality’ enough to rank well in 2024 should aim to review and improve:

Column Header graph - text reads: Great User Experience
  • Site Speed: Does your page (and all of its components) load quickly? 
  • Core Web Vitals & Page Experience: Is your site passing the following CWV metrics?
    • Interactivity & FID (First Input Delay) 
    • Load Time & LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) 
    • CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) & Visual Stability
Column header graph - text reads: High-Quality Content
  • Helpful Content: Does your content clearly answer a user’s query? Does it go above and beyond to provide useful, accurate information?
  • EEAT: Does your website content demonstrate the following?
    • Experience
    • Expertise
    • Authority 
    • Trustworthiness
  • First-Person Perspectives: Does your content showcase authors’ first-hand experiences?

While these site quality aspects of SEO will help website teams stay ahead of new search algorithm updates, you will of course need to do some work that is more Google-focused than user-focused. 

This is because your website first needs to be easily crawlable and indexable by search engines to be evaluated and ranked in the first place. 

That’s where technical SEO takes center stage. 

 

Addressing technical SEO factors

Stylized quote image. Text reads: "If overall site quality is key to ranking well in the arena of organic search, technical SEO is the price of admission."

In Lumar’s recent survey of global website professionals, 49% of all respondents felt that businesses are not paying enough attention to technical SEO

If overall site quality is key to ranking well in the arena of organic search, technical SEO is the price of admission. To even be considered for search engine rankings, your site first needs to be found, crawled, and indexed by the search engine. 

As a foundational step in any SEO strategy, digital teams need to ensure their technical SEO is in good shape. This means reviewing and addressing any issues in HTTP availability, site architecture, crawlability, and indexability, among other aspects of your website’s technical health. 

Technical SEO elements to review this year:


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Lumar for Technical SEO

For businesses looking to ensure their site’s technical SEO is poised to support their broader search strategies and improve their websites’ overall technical health, Lumar’s enterprise technical SEO platform provides a full suite of tech SEO analytics, website accessibility reports, and connected SEO workflow tools.  

Book a Lumar platform demo to see the latest features in action.


Avatar image for Sharon McClintic
Sharon McClintic

Senior Content Lead at Lumar

Sharon is a resident wordsmith at Lumar, where she serves as the team’s Senior Content Lead. With a background that bridges both business strategy and creative writing, she’s enthusiastic about bringing an editorial mindset to B2B communications. Sharon brings 10+ years of marketing and writing experience across industries as diverse as SaaS, fintech, architecture, healthcare, and the arts to her content leadership at Lumar. She holds an MBA in marketing, an MA in creative writing, and undergraduate degrees in journalism and literature. When not writing or editing work by an excellent team of contributors, she’s often listening to (and making) podcasts, reading, or re-watching old episodes of Poirot. You can find her on LinkedIn.

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