a road stretching into the distance representing the future of SEO
Sean Flamand

2024 SEO Trends: The Future of SEO Is Still Human

We’re constantly keeping a finger to the SEO pulse to help our clients maximize their return on investment. Here are our 2024 SEO trends to watch for and predictions for the future.

Prepare for the Future of SEO with These 2024 Trends to Watch

Most businesses understand by now that the digital landscape is constantly changing. And while this is true every year, the recent emergence of AI in the content realm has accelerated change and scrambled this landscape more than ever. Keeping an eye on 2024 SEO trends and attempting to anticipate future changes in the search realm will be crucial—and difficult.

That said, there are a few areas where new best practices seem clear—and where making improvements can help improve your brand’s online presence and marketing success regardless of how much they help with SEO. 

At Alter Endeavors, we’re constantly keeping a finger to the SEO pulse to ensure our clients maximize their return from arguably the most cost-effective lead generation strategy there is. So today, our SEO team is revealing a handful of 2024 trends to watch out for and predictions for the future. Let’s dive in.

robot's outstretched hand representing ai and seo

Visual Content on the Rise

Google’s search results are getting richer and richer. No, not their income—but in terms of the type of content being returned for a given query. 

For many searches—nearly all, in fact—Google is serving much more than just a list of websites to serve its users. Most SERPs will include images, videos, lists of common related questions, and sometimes local features depending on the search.

This trend is only going to continue, as Google features more and more visual content near the top of search results. While this doesn’t mean you have to produce videos to succeed at SEO, it’s certainly an angle companies may want to consider. 

Turning blog posts and other content into video format can help serve both your need for on-page written content and meet increasing demands for video.

AI Joins the Search

While plenty of major events happened in 2023, it really was the year of AI in the online world. However, it turns out that ChatGPT was just the tip of the iceberg (and we’ll have more on generative AI in a second).

Google has been working on various AI tools for years, and now they’ve begun experimenting with Search Generative Experience (SGE). This is a new form of search results where, rather than presenting you with websites or even the visual content mentioned above, Google will attempt to source the direct answer to your question or query through AI.

This is an experimental feature right now, available only to a limited number of people in the English-speaking world. But it’s important to be aware of its existence and stay up to date on when it begins to roll out in full.

How can companies optimize for these types of searches? Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough data yet to say. 

However, since this functions much like Google’s other zero-click or “People Also Ask” features, brands should approach it similarly for now. Anticipate and answer potentially related user questions directly and concisely as you create content around a given keyword.

Google May Devalue AI Content

While this may be more prediction than trend, we feel it’s important to consider. As AI has emerged and demonstrated its ability to create—or, well, curate—content, Google has been all too aware of its potential for gaming search engines. 

As we discussed, Google has been working to integrate AI into its search engine. They even launched their own language tool, Gemini, that has similar capabilities to ChatGPT.

That proximity to AI will almost certainly make Google wary of search results that are not only chosen by their AI-driven algorithm but also created either solely or largely by AI. 

It seems likely that Google will consider (if they haven’t already) factoring the “AI-ness” of search results into their ranking algorithm, placing greater value on genuine, human-created content.

At the moment, we’ve seen no direct signs of this. In addition, Google claims they are agnostic to how content is created and focused more on quality than AI vs. human creation.

However, Google stated in the same breath that they consider AI content created solely to manipulate search rankings to be a form of spam. As this type of content becomes more ubiquitous, high-quality human-created content may indeed become preferred.

How do you protect against this? Simple: if you’re using AI to generate content, make sure the content is genuinely relevant, tied to your brand, and substantively edited by a real human being. After all, assuming you’ve created a recognizable brand voice, that’s something AI simply can’t replicate (yet).

person writing in a notebook showing the value of content

(Quality) Content Is King

All this is to say that content still really matters. Not only that, but it will be more important than ever for businesses to produce genuine value with their created content, whether it’s blogs, service pages, or otherwise.

As more and more AI content emerges, there will be a slew of rote posts surrounding keywords across many industries. The best way to stand out, then, will be to produce content that is genuinely better and provides real, tangible value to readers.

Lean into your industry expertise. That’s what helped you succeed as a business in the first place, after all! Speak from this expertise, provide examples from your own body of work, and overall provide value to users that they simply can’t get anywhere else.

While the inundation of AI content may be well underway, we think one of the key SEO trends in 2024 will hinge on how businesses are able to elevate their content above that generative deluge.

Be Genuine

At the end of the day, your business is your business. It’s you, your team, and all the things that make your brand tick. 

We’re here to tell you: that’s an advantage. If you have a distinct brand voice, that’s something that separates you from the pack.

If you work on unique projects, create unique products, deliver talks and write content on unique topic areas—these are all advantages that should be identified and worked into your SEO and content efforts.

We’ve talked before about the advantages of featuring your team in your content. It’s a great way to show your personality and differentiate your business from the crowd.

But there are plenty of other ways to be genuine that happen to have the added benefit of boosting your SEO. 

A major example of this for local businesses is to feature products in your target service areas. This is huge for local signals, as this type of content will inevitably include mentions of the area, images geotagged with that location, and other indicators that will improve your local footprint.

It all stems from being proud of the real work and your real team. The internet is often anonymous, but the more you can put your business’s true personality out there and match your brand to your work and expertise, the better off you’ll be.

SEO Will Still Matter

No matter how much the SEO landscape changes in 2024 or years in the future, one of the enduring trends we’ve seen is that SEO matters. 

Gone are the days of black hat tactics like hiding keyword-stuffed white text on white backgrounds, it’s true. And it’s also true that Google may reward certain best practices significantly less as we move forward and their algorithm gets better at identifying value beyond optimization.

But ultimately, no matter how much the strategy evolves or shifts, achieving visibility in search will still be a skill that requires practice, expertise, and agility.

As 2024 SEO trends continue to emerge and the digital landscape keeps shifting, our team at Alter Endeavors is always ready to anticipate and respond for our clients. If all of these shifts and changes feel like a lot to keep up with, we’re here to help! 

Putting your SEO and digital marketing in the hands of our team will help free you up to work on the things your business does best. Book your exploratory today to jumpstart your digital marketing strategy.


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