This year, Google seemed to be constantly evolving. In fine-tuning its algorithms and rolling out multiple 2023 core updates, Google prioritized providing legit, high-quality content and staying on top of search engine optimization (SEO). Let’s recap some of the most important updates and touch on what will most likely be coming in 2024.
May 2023 Web Vitals Update
Google highlighted three specific metrics as the most important Core Web Vitals: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). With these updates, they aimed to give visitors to any website a more pleasant and more secure page experience. At the end of the day, if your site wasn’t quick, responsive, and visually stable, you wouldn’t be seeing as much traffic. So, sites had to make a great impression and make it fast.
August 2023 Passage Ranking Update
The August 2023 core update aimed to look for SEO-optimized content that included pre-applied long-tail keywords and other tactics and allowed systems to identify individual sections or passages of a web page to understand better how relevant the page was to a Google search. It was a game-changer for long, juicy articles and shook up page rankings quite a bit, honing in to show only relevant search results. Structure and organizing content shot to the top of priorities, enabling search engines to find and flaunt the best passages.
October 2023 Spam Update
In a nutshell, this update targeted spammy tactics (in multiple languages) like keyword stuffing, cloaking, and sneaky redirects and aimed to reduce low-quality sites and reduce spam. This was a win for authentic, quality content creators and a reminder to those who teeter on the edge, just how vital it really is.
December 2023 Helpful Content Update
Just as we all thought the updates were done for the year, google dropped the helpful content update. The helpful content update rewarded content where visitors had a satisfying experience, and the content actually helped them due to the page’s expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T). Google decided fluff was out, and content needed to truly serve a purpose and became the golden standard.
All of the recent core updates shook up marketing a little but ultimately required creators to maintain high content standards and follow some of these basics. Make sure your content meets these new standards by first understanding the user intent and writing with that intent in mind. Is the user seeking information? Trying to complete a task? Tailor your writing to meet those needs. Showcase your knowledge and expertise on the topic you are writing about. If you aren’t an expert, consult someone who is and cite some credible sources. You will add weight to your content and help build trust with your audience. Also, remember that trustworthiness counts, quality is more important than quantity, and update your content regularly, always using clear and concise language.
What to Brace for in 2024
In 2024, we expect to see a continuation of trends prioritizing user experience, authority, and content value. We’ll likely witness further changes and enhancements around E-A-T, with a probable new “T” for transparency, making it E-A-T-T. As AI continues to advance, Search Generative Experience might become a buzzword, where search engines could generate summaries or answer questions directly in SERPs.
So, what should you do? Continue focusing on creating top-notch content that’s easy to navigate, ensure your site is fast, and don’t use shady SEO tactics! If those feel like daunting or exhausting tasks, reach out to us at Volume Nine, and we’ll craft a unique and dynamic SEO strategy perfect for your brand.