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How Algorithm Predictions for 2024 Might Affect Your SEO Strategies

In 2022 alone, Google launched eight algorithm updates, confirmed and otherwise. Unfortunately, these updates make search engine optimization (SEO) all the more volatile. While there are universal SEO truths, especially the basics — URL to heading and alt texts, it can be challenging to keep up with these changes. Nevertheless, SEO experts predict that evergreen strategies will keep the websites — and the business — afloat. But first, let’s brush up on our algorithm knowledge. 

Search algorithm defined

Search engine algorithm finds, ranks, and returns a relevant result for a particular set of keywords or search terms.

For a website to appear on the first page of the search engine, especially Google, it must apply strategies and techniques geared toward this specific purpose. SEO is an effective solution to target search ranking and, of course, traffic, complementing one’s overall digital marketing strategy. 

SEO can breeze through target searches such as local search and media format searches (image and video). Meanwhile, SEO concerns user behavior based on the keywords used in searching online. Therefore, these terms are fundamental to the search algorithm.

Hence, it is essential to consider Google’s constant updates on its search algorithm. Thus, SEO techniques must adapt to the updates despite not being fully disclosed to the public for the website to retain its rankings.

Running the risk of being penalized by Google

It is important to note that with each major change in Google’s algorithm. Updates on these algorithms may penalize a site, and there are four signs to determine if Google penalized your site.

  1. Rank demotion
  2. A decline in organic traffic
  3. Manual rank change
  4. A ban from Google

A drop in SERP’s ranking is the ultimate and apparent sign of a penalty. Docking off a site from the first page results in a sudden drop in traffic. Therefore, rank demotion and organic traffic go hand in hand with a site’s ranking. 

Declining ranks are not only the result of the search algorithm. In some instances, a violation of the search engine’s guidelines against using black hat SEO techniques, for example, receives manual actions and penalties from Google.

Further, the search engine may blacklist a page or website if it employs shady activities (buying links, directory spam, and excessive keyword stuffing). Distributing a virus or malware are examples of illicit activities to avoid.

Recovering from a penalty

When a site is penalized, its traffic slowly declines and stays at a low value. Observing the behavior of the site’s ranking and traffic or the overall movement helps gauge potential penalties. In addition, Google itself provides tools that help you diagnose problems and potential issues that need fixing. 

Google algorithms are everchanging and evolving. It changes hundreds of times yearly, although some are confirmed and unconfirmed. As a result, the site’s penalty brought by the newest update differs from the last update’s. This also explains why site performance varies with each update, creating winners and losers. 

For a website to re-appear on the first page of the SERP or on the results page at all, it requires SEO techniques that target search algorithms. In addition, each site will require customized solutions once Google releases an update in the future.

Laying the groundwork for appearing on SERP

  • Integrate SEO from the ground up.

One way to sneak SEO techniques into website development is through HTML source coding. Various content is optimized to become search engine-friendly. However, optimization is different for each website. As a result, each site encounters individual problems regarding its performance on the search engine results page (SERP). 

Observe how algorithm updates work by searching for key terms and how Google displays the results. The goal is to develop ideas on how algorithms affect websites, though this will depend on the type of update. Use SEO tactics that positively affect SERP ranking as organically as possible.

  • Take keyword research seriously.

The challenge for SEO specialists comes when they try to gain a higher ranking for keywords with tough competition. It is simple and more convenient to obtain a high rank on keywords with low competition. Search algorithm positioning enables the page to rank several times in the SERP despite having limited to no visitors.

Another SEO technique involves targeting search terms using keywords. The focus shifts from the search algorithms to the popularity of the page or website. A popular website does not only have a high ranking in SERP. It may also have a high volume of traffic. If it has a mobile site, it must be user-friendly to maintain its ranking.

  • Publish fresh and original content.

Besides optimizing the site with the right keywords and relevant terms, it’s also beneficial for a page to have fresh content. Well-researched and long-form content is sure to boost rankings by improving organic visitors. Other than timeliness, the time between each post is crucial for remaining on the first page of the results. Some blogs or websites publish content daily to stay ahead of their competitors.

These may sound like hard work for SEOs: to maintain the website or page ahead of the game. However, evergreen content also contributes to making a website algorithm-proof.

Algorithm predictions in 2024 that might affect SEO

To continue, here are the algorithm predictions that, according to Patrick Reinhart, you should prepare for (or not) SEO-wise.

1) Visual search will be more prominent

From Instagram to TikTok, these social networking sites have become search engines in their own right. However, these quasi-search engines are technically more visual. 

Nonetheless, Google’s results pages are increasingly becoming visual too. For instance, when you search for a product, images appear along with the actual result. Also, the knowledge graph almost always contains images. The same applies to related searches, wherein keyword suggestions are accompanied by a photo.

With this, it is crucial to keep up with the following tactics.

  • Optimize images
  • Make video content
  • Publish short and long videos

2) Technical SEO will equally intensify

As part of Google’s commitment to providing a seamless browsing experience to users, you need to ensure that your website is working at a technical level. Thus, constant monitoring of your website is essential.

This is where a technical audit helps. Here’s our Technical SEO Audit Guide to help you with the process. We can do the audit for you if you are not familiar with this or not tech-savvy enough. We will tell you what can be improved technical-wise. 

Still, it helps to monitor these things:

  • Site health
  • Overall SEO approach
  • Algorithms being targeted

3) Search engine will remain volatile

With all these, Reinhart and we at Optimind understand how volatile organic search can be. Indeed, this is the ‘new normal in SEO.’ As a matter of fact, it has been our SEO reality since time immemorial. Considerably, updates are becoming closer to one another as Google is constantly testing new results formats and types, and features. So it is critical to make optimization a priority.

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