Retail, Strategy, Experience, Performance Marketing

Top 10 SEO Trends and Considerations for 2024

Though AI remains top of mind for everyone entering 2024, there are many other trends and considerations emerging relating to SEO that are worth take note of as the new year gets underway.


PUBLISHED: 1/18/2024

As we enter a new year, it's essential to understand SEO's state of transformation. While AI is undoubtedly commanding the charge, a symphony of trends is emerging. From a refined user experience to integrating paid media and organic search strategies, this article explores the subtle SEO strategies shaping the competitive digital terrain in 2024.

Generative AI Experiences

The first and most obvious trend of 2024 is AI in search. 

In February 2023 (around the same time as Bing Chat), Google announced BARD, an “experimental conversational AI service powered by LaMDA.” In what some may call a dual approach to AI dominance, they soon thereafter launched the experimental “SGE,” or Search Generative Experience. Powered by the same large language model, or LLM, as Bard, SGE is an AI-backed search experience, providing overviews and follow-up options in Google search and touting benefits that include things like “Improving search…”, “Helping you shop…”, “Easily explore and take next steps,” and “Taking a responsible approach…” 

It wasn’t until December of 2023 that Google announced their biggest AI upgrade/update: Gemini. Gemini is said to be ‘the most capable AI model yet’; a sophisticated multi-modal LLM, bringing “ waves of innovation and economic progress to drive knowledge, learning, creativity, and productivity on a scale we haven’t seen before.” 

Gemini currently only powers Bard and Google Pixel 8. That said, broader integration with live applications like Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE), Google Assistant, Google Ads, etc. could have huge implications for search in 2024 and beyond. 

If you’re part of a very small faction of SEOs NOT using AI for SEO already (e.g. research, copywriting/editorial, list building, small coding enhancements, etc.), it may be time to reconsider your strategy for the months ahead. It’s likely we’ll see even more disruption in SERPs as teams behind Gemini continue to weave AI into the fabric of their product(s).

Paid Search and SEO Will Come Together More than Ever

More than ever before, Google is starting to weave components of its traditional paid experience into standard web results. One of the more recent and substantial changes was making shopping experiences (i.e., product grids, knowledge panels, and more) eligible for search via structured data. The change provides “expanded eligibility for websites that directly sell products” and isn’t product listing/merchant-fed only. 

The change also involved adding a dedicated reporting section for shopping in GSC or Google Search Console. These reports (Merchant Listings + Product Snippets) allow users (SEOs or Paid Search strategists) to identify issues with shopping visibility in organic web results. 

While there’s not much out there on how SGE will affect traditional paid ads, SEO and Paid Search teams may want to consider a tighter shared management strategy moving forward, as this change alone may suggest major implications for each channel (i.e., general visibility, seller ratings, etc..). 

Visual Search and Shoppable Media

While Lens was introduced in 2017, it wasn’t too long ago that Google announced the integration of Lens with BARD. As the backbone of SGE, the Gemini-powered AI integration seeks to improve the Lens experience by allowing users to interact with BARD via photos. Users can now upload pics to get more information, create memes, shop for products, etc.

While the tool cannot yet create art, it still has significant implications for SEOs, creatives, and general asset strategies, especially with the more recent LLM upgrade to Gemini. For companies that haven’t yet, it’s important to start thinking about SEO best practices for 2024, including everything from creating elegant product photos to choosing accurate and concise alt text.

UGC and First-Hand Experience

How we represent our content and its accuracy/quality is one of the bigger things Google looks at when determining how to rank us. These factors could be anything from expert authors to how we moderate UGC. While Google’s pushed themes of quality since the early days of their QRG, they started to ramp things up with the introduction of E-A-T back in 2014, and even further when they recently added an E for ‘Experience’: E-E-A-T - Experience, Expertise, Authority & Trust.

Reactive or not, this correlates with the inevitable rise in visibility for sites like Reddit or Quora. In other words, Google says there’s something valuable in first-hand experience or perspective. Pursuing content with such will likely become even more critical in 2024.

Focus On Quality Reviews

Whether it’s aggregator reviews, blog posts, seller ratings (displayed in shopping results), or self-hosted product reviews, feedback is a vital component of search and the ranking algorithm.
While it doesn’t account for the latter, Google Reviews Updates have doubled in frequency as of late, with the latest as recent as early November. These systems are designed to “... better reward high-quality reviews”, targeting “...articles, blog posts, pages or similar first-party standalone content…” 

The increased frequency of these updates is a big sign that Google is paying closer attention to the review space. Planning your review strategy for 2024? Think originality, accuracy, and first-hand experience. These may be a key to success for high-performing SEO.

Local SEO and Voice Search

Technological advances have allowed voice and voice-to-screen search to grow exponentially. This trend is likely to continue.

With this comes growth in local SEO (e.g., iPhone store near me). And the more people search this way, the more critical it becomes to create and maintain local listings. A business without a sound regional strategy – everything from conversational content to NAP management – may fall on the losing side of SEO in 2024.

Less Than Favorable SEO for Sites With Poor Content Management Strategies

Poor SEO as a result of things like index bloat should be a surprise to no one. Whether it’s reviews, spam, or core updates, an underlying theme of all algorithm updates from Google is serving the best results to their users. Generally speaking, the more proactive site owners are about updating and managing content, the better.

Especially true for larger sites, having little to no content management (large-scale canonicalization, user agent commands in robots.txt, etc.) or content management strategy will likely translate to losses in SEO momentum in 2024.  

Enhanced Link Spam Detection/Reporting

Perhaps more speculative than the others in this list, due to the long-standing track record of Google “letting things slide,” is enhanced link spam reporting. Over the years, Google’s efforts towards combating spam (e.g., links built with the intention of gaming SE rankings) have evolved and somewhat improved. Much of the improvement is said to be within what Google coined as “Spam Updates.” 

Although it may not be game-changing, we may see improvement in spam reporting in 2024 – especially concerning the frequency of Spam Updates. And for those engaged in link building, pay close attention to your backlinks, schedule audits, look to disavow, etc. The more proactive, the better.

Video Results Winning

Creating videos and uploading them to the internet is as easy as ever. Just recently, Google announced an expansion of Bard’s abilities regarding YouTube. While Google’s SERP layout now includes features like chapter points, key moments, etc., AI integration is likely a game changer for search.

Combined with the fact that there are more video results in search than ever before, this is sure enough reason to have a sound video SEO strategy in 2024.

Technical Experience Signals: INP

Lastly, Google is said to be changing one of its key CWV (Core Web Vitals) from FID (First Input Delay) to INP (Interaction to Next Paint). Unlike FID, which essentially measures input lag, INP encompasses all processing tasks (event processing + painting) and looks at responsiveness as a whole.

While this may be less impactful than the rest in this list, it’s again a sign that Google is taking page speed seriously and that we should pay attention. For those that haven’t, think about shifts in the auditing process and how to communicate these new changes to your dev team.


Propelled by a blend of technologies like AI, natural language processing, machine learning, etc., 2024 beckons quite a paradigm shift in the SEO landscape. As we anticipate trends like SGE, the need for a holistic and adaptable SEO strategy is more evident than ever. 

Finding an adept agency with a keen understanding of user experience and an unwaveringly creative eye is just as significant. 

To learn more, visit MERGE to help you pave the way for a dynamic and resilient online presence in the years to come.