- The hot-button topic of 2024 SEO predictions is artificial intelligence – what should we expect, and how will human-generated content stack up?
- While AI will continue to prove prominent, we predict that original, informative, and authentic content will come out on top.
- Social media changes, including video content integration, may alter how brands approach their marketing strategies.
Another year is in the books, and with it goes the changes that 2023 brought to the world of SEO. Through Google algorithm updates, the changeover from Google Analytics to GA4, and AI’s continued rise to prominence in online creation, there are plenty of things to talk about as we unpack the year that was.
While we reminisce about the past, it’s always important to look forward to the future – especially regarding digital marketing. We asked members of the Redefine Marketing Group team to scry into the future and lay out their predictions for what we might be able to expect as 2024 rolls onward in the world of SEO.
All eyes on AI
As we look back at 2023, the phrase on everybody’s lips is artificial intelligence (AI). A few Redefine Marketing Group team members had an opinion to share on it.
“From a content standpoint, I think,” and she clarifies that she’s actually certain, “2024 will bring a lot of questions about AI.”
“We can expect questions like: “Is this content I paid a freelance writer for actually written by AI?” “Can Google tell if content is written by AI?” “Will clients pay more for content that’s written in-house, by us, and without the use of AI?””
While AI’s ability to write content is still speculative, its abilities are slowly improving, and Redefine Marketing Group hopes to find the answers to these questions eventually. In fact, we recently put ChatGPT to the test to see just how good it was at creating a blog post.
However, Stephanie posits: “Only time will tell how Google interprets AI-assisted content, or if it can even determine if the content is AI-generated.”
Write with passion, and find what works
From a general content perspective, the outlook suggests that more informative, long-form, and in-depth content will reign supreme, particularly over, quote, “shorter, ‘fluff’ pieces, especially since it’s difficult for current AI technology to write the former.”
“Generally speaking, I think SEO that’s done by passionate people like us will continue to shine. Staying on top of trends and testing what works (and doesn’t work) is even more important than ever in the current landscape, and our clients will see the difference it makes.”
Finally, Stephanie laughingly adds that she’s positive that in 2024, we’ll be inundated with the same influx of clickbait articles sounding the bugle for “THE DEATH OF SEO,” just as we’ve been seeing for the last ten years.
Account Manager and Content Specialist Michael Gomez also shared a few words about AI, its prevalence, and how search engines may handle it.
“The elephant in the room is AI,” he begins, “It’s gotten to the point that “integrated AI” is a buzzword where it feels inevitable that your blender will soon have AI integration to improve the consistency of a smoothie by 5%.” Though he meant it in jest, he might not be wrong about AI moving into the kitchen as ‘smart appliances’ make their way onto countertops worldwide.
“Jokes aside, its effect on content is undeniable. From AI-generated images to blogs and on-page copy, it’s changing the face of the internet and marketing.”
Though, much like Stephanie, Michael reminds us that at the end of the day, Google and other search engines will have the final say about what ranks and what doesn’t. “Google has been emphasizing content with real hands-on experience, which will continue to be a point of emphasis in algorithm updates moving forward.”
Authenticity will rule 2024
It’s not just the almighty algorithm that prefers hand-written content over the work of an artificial intelligence platform. Michael suggests that the general public will trend toward the more ‘organic’ content option, and he does so while referencing the online sensation that swept through the summer of 2023.
“Authenticity seems to be a rarity, and people flock to it. That’s why the Barbenheimer phenomenon was a thing: it just happened. It wasn’t planned, and as much as marketers will try to force the next Barbenheimer for the next few years, people want something genuine.”
“People still shop and look for information much the same way they always have. They’re looking for authentic messaging and want to know others have used it and can attest to its quality.”
He rounds out his thoughts by keeping the human audience in mind, which Google also emphasizes. “2024,” he says, “will be all about finding how to appeal to humans with the tools available, be it AI, videos, informative think pieces, et cetera.”
Finally, he leaves us on a poignant note: “You start seeing that as things change, they tend to stay the same.”
James Taylor, SEO Specialist at Redefine, also weighed in on artificial intelligence. In his vision for 2024, he foresees that language learning models (LLMs) will be “slowly integrated into most of the internet.” LLMs are vast, ‘deep-learning’ models used in creating artificial intelligence outputs trained on immense quantities of user data. It may be true that, in the interest of scooping up more data to train an AI on, we may see these systems lurking in the background of many user interfaces.
As with his peers, James goes on to press on the importance of writing original, engaging, and quality content. He speculates that search engines may place a more significant value on this: “as an over saturation of bad AI content will flood the internet.”
Jason Martinez, Redefine’s Brand Marketing Manager, kept up the trend of AI speculation for 2024.
A boon to productivity…
“In 2024, I believe artificial intelligence will begin to make more of a headway into the day-to-day lives of digital marketers. 2023 seemed to be an inflection point for artificial intelligence, and it made significant strides in organizational workflows.” He’s not wrong; organizational tools powered by artificial intelligence are leaping into the B2B and SaaS landscape, changing how everyone, including content and SEO teams, works. This may continue as 2024 presses onward.
…and to creativity
Jason goes out with an optimistic prediction for AI in 2024: “I believe more digital marketers will become more open and comfortable with harnessing these tools in completing tedious tasks, or to help spark creativity. For example, content marketers may use it to build blog outlines, and social media managers may use it to develop broad trending content themes to explore within monthly social media posts.”
Casey Lea Pridemore, Redefine Marketing Group’s Content Manager and the writer of this blog post, will stop speaking about herself in the third person to share her thoughts on AI’s prevalence in content marketing and management.
I will be candid here and share that I am not the biggest fan of AI-generated content. While it has incredible potential and outstanding capabilities, it is not bringing any ‘new’ thought to the table at a time when originality is key – especially in SEO.
While I don’t believe it will fade away – it’s here to stay whether any of us like it or not – I do believe that in 2024, we will begin to shift AI’s functionality away from creative spaces, like creating web content or art and music, to solving more complex problems on a broader scope, thus redirecting SEO’s focus away from the looming threat, or promise, of computer-generated content.
As others pointed out in their 2024 SEO predictions, I firmly agree that helpful, authentic, high-quality content will always come out on top in the eyes of search engines who aim to deliver the best content possible to their users.
BARD may pose challenges – and opportunities
“Getting picked up by Google’s search engine AI BARD will become a new piece in the search engine marketing puzzle. Although in its infancy, its popularity as a web surfing tool will likely grow as its ability to curate information improves. This will probably bring new ranking factors to consider or, at the very least, adapt how we think about our current strategies. “
For the uninitiated, BARD is how Google is getting on the artificial intelligence train. If you were looking up that niche hobby of your cousin’s while holiday shopping last December and noticed a popup asking if you were looking for gifts, you had a run-in with Google BARD. It aims to act as a sort of ‘search assistant,’ with the official site suggesting the tool will help “brainstorm ideas, spark creativity, and accelerate productivity.”
We can only speculate how getting one’s site chosen as the lucky few recommended by the virtual assistant will turn the tides of SEO, but we’re sure we’ll hear more about it in future algorithm updates.
Regarding the algorithm, massive changes to the search engine can upheave even a solidly built content plan, so we always encourage marketing teams to stay ahead of the curve of those updates.
Social media changes
Social media still has the internet in an iron grasp. It’s essential for marketing, can be an SEO goldmine, and is a fantastic way to connect people worldwide. Here’s what members of the Redefine team are predicting for the realm of social media in 2024.
Jason notes the importance of social media for SEO, especially regarding platforms like TikTok and Instagram, which he believes will “play a larger role in user search behavior.”
Furthermore, Jason believes that “more online users will prefer to use social media to search for things like tips and tricks, recipes, or design ideas.” This harkens back to Michael’s 2024 SEO prediction about authenticity – people on social media are usually not writing with a search engine in mind, and, in some cases, are simply sharing their thoughts and ideas into the faceless void of the net. With that comes much-needed candidness in a world of salesmanship.
“Web developers and search engines should embrace this,” he says, “and figure out how to wield social media content or native video content to their advantage.”
2024 may be all about video content
Jason had thoughts to share on video content on social media as well. “I believe video will play a larger role in web content overall, and be an extremely beneficial tool for influencing purchase decisions. In 2024, brands and business owners should reconsider how to leverage bite-sized, social media-style, video content to sell products on their own sites while not impacting critical SEO factors like site speed.”
We think this has potential – including a short video clip to help show off a product or service might make a huge difference, not only in landing a sale but in how ‘helpful’ and relevant a search engine considers a page.
Returning to chime in about social media, I believe that through this year, we’ll see the continued decline of Twitter/X, as more users grow frustrated with the platform’s changes, limitations, and volatility. This may leave brands who have relied on Twitter for getting the word out about their products or services scrambling to either jump to the newest thing and hope it sticks, like the short-lived Threads or new players on the scene like BlueSky, or keep a foothold in other social media hubs like Instagram or TikTok.
Finding out where to focus a social media presence is crucial. Brands who are worried about the future of Twitter/X should ensure that, for the time being, they’re balancing their efforts across multiple platforms.
The fate of TikTok
While opinions on the video platform vary, with one of James’ 2024 predictions being that TikTok will collapse under its staggering weight, it did see a 16% increase in users over the previous year, and its trajectory doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
What will 2024 bring to your brand?
No matter what 2024 brings, beginning the year on the right foot will lay a foundation for a successful twelve months. By partnering with Redefine Marketing Group, brands can proceed through the shifting online landscape armed with a passionate, experienced team that knows how to stay ahead of any SEO bombshells that might be coming down the road. We equip our clients with the tools, strategies, and support to foster organic growth and SERP success. Contact us today to see how our team can support yours!