Google is changing ... and your approach to search marketing needs to follow suit

Google is changing … and your approach to search marketing needs to follow suit

Google’s ever-evolving algorithms present a constant struggle in the world of search engine optimisation (SEO), where the strategies that worked yesterday are probably not as effective as they are today. The rise of AI, for instance, has fundamentally changed how Google understands and ranks content, making it crucial for SEO professionals to adapt their tactics to stay ahead of the curve.

Google Search in 2024

Google has recently been experimenting with integrating generative AI into its search result pages (SERPs), giving rise to an AI Overviews feature. This provides users with a quick answer to their queries based on the search results, turning mere searches into a conversational experience. 

It will not be long until other players in the search engine industry follow suit. Generative AI will soon play a key role in searches, and the expectations are optimistic on the user’s side. In particular, it will empower users through highly personalised, accessible search results, often for queries involving a combination of images and keywords. 

At present, though, content remains king. However, this content needs to be highly relevant to search queries if it is to make it to the top of the SERPs. According to Google, the search engine determines content relevance through the following signals:

  • Keyword relevance. The article will need to have the same keywords as your query.
  • In-content factors. Google takes a look at the content and determines its relevance through the presence of information related to the query, like relevant images, data, and videos. 

The integration of AI into Google searches will only improve the way the search engine vets content relevance and ranks search results to better serve its users. Gaming the search results based on observed algorithm behaviour may no longer be the best strategy in this case. 

Adapting your search marketing strategy

Businesses need to keep pace with Google’s changes if they are to remain visible in the search results. This will require a two-pronged approach, which involves the following:

  1. Create high-quality content that provides value to users. Gone are the days when you have to write content that caters to whatever makes the algorithm tick. Your content needs to talk to Google’s human users, and it should provide them with the information that they’re looking for. Of course, the quality of writing needs to match that of the information – who would even consider checking out poorly crafted content?
  2. Build brand authority the multi-platform way. Do links still matter? Of course, but let’s not forget other ways to send Google signals of your brand’s authority. With high-quality content in hand, you can further build your business’s reputation through social media and content syndication, among others. 

Avoiding SEO pitfalls

It is easy to overdo SEO and end up on the wrong side of Google’s enigmatic search algorithm. While there are no clear rules regarding the dos and don’ts of search engine optimisation, here are quick guidelines that you should follow:

  • Don’t over-optimise your content. Overdoing content optimisation might give your rankings a spike in the long term, but it will definitely hurt your search visibility once your bad practices become apparent to Google’s algorithm.
  • Focus on user experience. Create content meant for human readers. Ensure that it is human-readable and shares information that can help the search engine user find the knowledge they seek.
  • Create content that users will enjoy. Make your content fun, and have fun creating it! After all, if users want pure facts, they can all just go to Wikipedia. 

Conclusion

The SEO game changes fast, with AI on the rise. Focus on valuable, engaging content for users, not just algorithms. Build brand authority across platforms. Prioritise user experience – great informative content that users enjoy always wins in the end.

About Sam P

EnterpriseZone Staff Writer

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