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SEO in 2024

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SEO in 2024 - Myths, Google Updates, and Strategy

SEO in 2024 – This year started with some buzz and excitement about the potential of A.I. and what it was going to do the SEO world. 

As early as February, people were posting YouTube videos of websites that were built just to rank for a single keyword and were built by programmatic SEO. Basically, someone used A.I. to write tens of thousands of articles and put them all on a website, and that content ranked at the top of search engines. 

Some of our friends in the SEO world were forecasting that this would be the end of SEO companies. I listened to this with skepticism. I have been practicing SEO since before SEO was a word. I’ve seen these types of “cheats and hacks” come and go. One thing I can tell you for certain after watching Google for over 20 years – they don’t put up with cheaters for very long. 

The Myth That Was Programmatic SEO

One good thing, it doesn’t take Google long to spot people who are using hacks or are using the laziest method possible for generating lots of content. And once they find out about them, they change their algorithm and punish these people by pushing their content down. 

What was the first major Google Update of 2024? 

You guessed it – they decided to not rank programmatic SEO. They also said in their own special way that they will not rank low quality content or content that has “already been done” by someone more qualified. 

What does this mean? It means that writing tons of “puff pieces” using ChatGBT or whatever A.I. software you are using is not going to cut it if you want your SEO content to rank well on search engines. 

A.I. and SEO in 2024

The other thing everyone predicted is that A.I. is going to take over. 

Well, being a forward thinking SEO company, we didn’t want to wait to find out if that was true. We wanted to see what it was all about and figure out how we can – if we can – use these tools. 

So we purchased some A.I. – and good A.I. too. We own A.I. that makes ChatGPT look like a 3rd graders tool. How good is our super high tech and expensive A.I. in my opinion? It’s all right. 

I can tell you this, our A.I. has not produce one single piece of content I would put on our website without plenty of editing. 

At this phase, it produces a very acceptable rough draft and it is no better than that. 

Plus, we know that Google can spot content that is written by A.I. and will not rank that content as well, so one more reason we would not use it to publish articles. 

If That is True - Why is Everyone So Excited About A.I. for SEO in 2024?

Why are people so excited about A.I. if it isn’t that great? Because people are lazy. That’s why. 

And one thing I can tell you from watching Google for over 20 years is: they punish two groups of people:

#1: Cheaters

#2: Lazy People

And if you ask me, this is how it should be. The world is a punishing place for lazy people. Why should the internet be any different. 

SEO Companies loved the possibility of replacing cruddy writers with a machine – writers who are paid a couple dollars per article to write 500 word puff pieces. And you know what? I don’t blame them. Why not – the A.I. can produce too word cruddy articles in a matter of seconds and at least the output is grammatically correct. 

These are the writers and content producers A.I. is definitely going to decimate. Those writers who churn out content in choppy 500 word articles that are 100% copied off the internet, and altered slightly. 

Search engines were already getting better at seeing that kind of regurgitated content and were starting to rank that content lower. 

What is it you think A.I. does? It goes out on the internet, and regurgitates things that have already been said, and in a lot of cases, they’ve been said thousands of times. That is not great content for the end user. 

Until A.I. starts churning out content that has some new insights, or a unique perspective on something old, that content is not going to rank well. 

Don’t believe me – See What Google Has to Say About Low Quality Spammy Content in 2024

What You Really Need to Focus on for SEO in 2024

What you really need to focus on for SEO in 2024 is producing content that is unique, has a unique perspective, is interesting, and if you can manage it – new! 

But let’s fact it – producing original research is not always easy. Often it is expensive and takes years. Most of us are not going to do that just for SEO purposes. So what can you do? 

You can read some research and offers new, different, or unique insights, or add some personal experiences that corroborate the research. That is VALUE ADDED. 

But guess what – it is also work. It is a lot of work to conduct research, learn about a topic or event or person, and then develop some unique insights or share your own personal experiences. 

Again, back to being lazy. The world doesn’t reward people for being lazy. SEO is the same way. If you want the rewards of having top ranked content on search engines, then you need to work hard to produce content someone might actually want to read. Content that is helpful to someone. Content that resonates with someone. 

Otherwise, your writing is going to be just like A.I. – only 500,000 times slower. 

The days of the wild west in SEO are over. Which is great – pioneers… they get the arrows. Settlers get the land. In 2024 and beyond, SEO is a game for professionals. Those people who have put in ten years or more of work trying to understand what makes content great, that search engines will pick up and rank for you. 

Google has gotten so good at catching cheaters and lazy people now that by the time you hear about some new “SEO Strategy or hack” it has already been caught and killed by Google. 

I for one am happy about this. Google has always said the same thing, almost from day one about what they want – they want to provide users the best possible answers from the best possible sources. That is it. That is everything you need to know and have ever needed to know about SEO. 

But what do most people do? What are most people talking about when it comes to SEO? The latest trend, which is almost always the latest “cheat” or “hack.” Very few people are talking about how to produce good content that someone might actually find helpful if they read it – or – actually enjoy reading what you’ve written. 

Summary - SEO in 2024

In 2024 more than ever, SEO requires you be willing to produce content that is helpful to the end user, unique, offers unique insights, or offers a personal experience. 

People ask all the time how to produce good content.

Here is the answer: 

#1: Start by asking yourself – would I want to read this? 

#2: Who does this article help? 

#3: Is this article unique relative to other articles on the same topic? 

#4: Have I offered any unique or different insights on the topic? 

#5: Have I offered a personal experience related to this topic. 

If you write something, or video something, and you cannot answer YES to at least 4 out of 5 of the above questions, you should not expect that content to rank well on search engines. Simple as that. 

In summary, SEO in 2024 requires that you put in work. Research your topic well. Offer unique insights. Offer personal insights. But more than anything else – always ask yourself: Why do I believe anyone would want to read this? 

If nobody would want to read it – chances are they won’t read it, and Google will spot that, and push your content down the rankings. 

About the Author

Tim Vanderkamp is co-owner of Stay Wild Digital Marketing. He began studying and experimenting with SEO at the University of Tampa in the early 2000’s and has been a student of SEO for over 20 years. 

All of our clients rank well on search engines as the result of our SEO Expertise. If you’d like the same outcome for your company or business, please reach out to us so we can being strategizing to take your SEO in 2024 to the top.