Richard Hayes Digital

Rethinking SEO. A new way of thinking for 2024 and beyond


Is it time to rethink Search optimisation for 2024?

Google's Search Landscape is Evolving

Recent developments suggest Google’s algorithms and search functionality may undergo a significant transformation in 2024. These changes have the potential to fundamentally alter how users interact with Google and discover websites organically. While the impact remains to be seen, a proactive approach is essential.

Rethinking Traditional SEO Strategies

These advancements necessitate a reevaluation of current digital marketing strategies. The singular focus on achieving the coveted “top ranking” on Google may need to be reconsidered.

For e-commerce businesses, high search visibility remains paramount. However, B2B companies may find success by exploring alternative channels like targeted email marketing campaigns, strategic social media engagement, or even tried-and-true sales outreach methods.

Understanding Google's Search Generative Experience (SGE)

Our research has identified a growing concern among marketing professionals regarding Google’s SGE. This innovative feature leverages AI to generate summaries that directly address user queries. The primary concern lies in the potential for reduced website traffic as users find their answers readily available on the search results page itself. Imagine a prominent colored box positioned at the top, potentially overshadowing your website listing.

Early indications suggest a March 2024 rollout of SGE for specific searches. For instance, a recent search for “Malbec grape” resulted in an AI-generated response explaining the grape’s characteristics and flavor profile. While undoubtedly convenient, the potential impact on website click-through rates remains a pressing concern. Could Google’s brand be taking center stage, leaving yours in the background?

Understanding SGE's Algorithm

Here’s a crucial detail: SGE utilizes information from various websites, including yours! The extent to which Google’s AI draws from each source to create its response remains unclear. This aggregated content is then presented in the aforementioned search box.

The impact on traditional search rankings is undeniable. Given the limited screen real estate, your website listing might find itself buried beneath the AI answer, followed by Google Ads, YouTube videos, and finally, the organic search results (where your specific ranking within those results holds even greater importance).

Content still remains king, however video is taking over

The key takeaway? While maintaining high search rankings remains desirable, the focus should now shift towards creating exceptional, informative content that truly resonates with your target audience. By providing unique value and establishing your brand as an authority in your niche, you can mitigate the potential downsides of SGE. Remember, even if Google presents an answer box, users seeking deeper dives will still be compelled to visit your website. The key lies in adaptation, crafting compelling content, and staying ahead of the curve in this ever-evolving SEO landscape.

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