A year raced by for some and unfolded right on schedule for others. It was the year we truly embraced AI as our new colleague, bringing forth new beginnings and a learning curve on efficiency.
Yet, what lies ahead? This article will look into the concerns and predictions surrounding SEO and content creation from seasoned professionals.
A glimpse into the search generative experience
Search Generative Experience (SGE) is Google’s way of using AI to provide quick and concise summaries of search topics, enhancing the overall search results. The goal is to offer users a more refined search experience and contribute to the evolution of future search capabilities.
While it isn’t automatically integrated into every person’s search engine, it can be used by anyone and does influence SEO (search engine optimization), potentially impacting businesses.
Simonas Steponaitis, an SEO leader at Kilo Health, explains:
“Here are the main problems that might occur with SGE in 2024: Websites might get fewer visitors from search engines because SGE (Search Generative Experience) goes beyond answering simple questions and handles advanced queries, resulting in zero-click searches. This makes the competition for the top spot on Google even tougher since SGE will be taking the lead, Google Ads in the middle, and regular search results will be pushed lower.
However, websites can adapt by making content that’s usually longer and well-researched. The key is to add unique insights from personal or work experiences, linked to a specific person with a strong social presence. Simply put, mix all your natural marketing efforts, especially on social media, with SEO. This helps your audience know your content creators better, making them more likely to trust and connect.
In the end, there is also a rhetorical question of ‘what will happen if websites start to block SGE or if the government applies new policies that significantly limit the possibilities of using information from other sources.”
SGE seems pretty impressive — it can generate visual content, personalize searches based on what you like, and give interactive results. But, the twist is that SEO specialists need to switch gears and figure out how to help websites thrive in this new setup. It’s a bit like updating the playbook for a different game.
The problems and benefits of AI
Another question SEO people may ask for the upcoming year is how Google will continue to handle AI-generated content. As Steponaitis explains, there are a few challenges in this space:
“The significantly increased volume of content compels Google to utilize more resources for processing, indexing, ranking, etc. Also, with the substantial growth in content, it’s hard to tell between high-quality and low-quality content.”
Marija Kontrimaite, a SEO Content Editor at Kilo Health, discusses AI and content with a positive perspective, highlighting an upcoming trend to keep in mind in 2024:
“You probably noticed that companies are not just looking for regular writers but AI content creators. Artificial intelligence is taking up more and more space: with its help, SEO specialists can not only generate content but also optimize headlines, fix factual errors, and improve grammar. The most important thing is not to lose common sense and focus on the user and their expectations.”
It seems like almost every department can benefit from AI, and there’s no need to fear it. Instead, try to understand how to use it to your advantage. The same applies to working with SEO.
4 important factors SEO specialists should keep in mind
Kontrimaite also wants to emphasize the 4 important aspects SEO people should focus on in 2024:
- The upcoming year will bring an increased focus on the user.
“The Google algorithm is changing and gaining a better understanding of user needs. Hence, in the near future, we can expect to see even more personalized and precise search results for each user. For those working with SEO, the primary focus should shift from keywords to ensuring that the created content is not only useful and valuable but also relevant to the user. By closely observing Google’s changes, it’s evident that blogs and websites using excessive keywords in their texts — such as repetitively using the same keyword or its variations — are swiftly disappearing from search results. In short, you can’t fool Google.”
- People will seek information through voice rather than text, even more.
“Virtual assistants (such as Alexa, Cortana, or Siri) are rapidly advancing, and users willingly pose queries verbally. SEO specialists, adapting to changing user habits, should optimize content based on spoken language terms and characteristics. For instance, in a text search, we might likely type “benefits of bananas for health,” but in a voice query, we might modify it to “Siri, what are the health benefits of bananas.” With virtual assistants, we communicate as we do with people, so queries are often longer and presented in the form of a question.”
- The increasing importance of visual information.
“Let’s acknowledge that in the era of TikTok and reels, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to force ourselves to read long texts. Visual information (infographics, photos, video content) is becoming more crucial and relevant for users.”
- People will seek information using their phones even more than they will using a computer.
“Optimization for mobile phones is no longer a choice but a necessity. Google also indexes content for mobile devices first and then for computers. It’s essential to ensure a mobile-friendly design. This involves not only appropriate fonts, colors, and visual material but also the speed of website loading and clear, understandable page navigation. Once again, the focus is on the user.”
Ultimately, we can’t hop into a time machine and get a glimpse of exactly what 2024 will bring. Nonetheless, listening to the experts’ predictions helps us get ready and reach our goals more efficiently.