Big Google ranking factors in 2023 and what this means for 2024

Online marketing, particularly SEO is quite volatile in terms of what Google wants. Although the core principles should always be followed, there are many updates to Google’s algorithm and how often they check websites for best practice search engine optimisation. Any SEO pro must always be up to date with these updates to remain ahead of the competition. In 2023 we saw several Google algorithm updates which stood out as quite the turning point in SEO strategies. As 2024 has just begun, it is important to consider what these updates mean and how they will continue to affect the SEO landscape.

In 2024 it is expected more core updates are intended to improve the search user experience. Webmasters are advised to be proactive, keep updated on the latest from Google, and adjust their SEO strategies accordingly. We all understand that SEO is not something done only once but it needs a continuous trend toward optimisation. It is an unending process that needs constant vigilance and flexibility. In 2024, webmasters should consider SEO more as a process than some sort of arrival point when updating their website.

Below we have very briefly listed some of the ranking factors of 2023. Your SEO company should be able to go into this with you in detail.


Prioritising Authenticity in Reviews

In 2023, Google had a laser focus on reviews and their authenticity. There are many factors that Google looks at when determining the authenticity of a review and whether or not it is fake or not legitimate. As a result, many companies were complaining that they lost many positive business reviews, and in some worst cases, their Google My Business listing was removed. However, authentic reviews are much larger than being fake a not, it should include a bit of a story as well as the customer’s experience. If a customer was really happy with your service they would have no issue in going into detail on what they loved about your company and talk about their experience in a bit more detail, as compared to only leaving a 5 star review and just writing a few words. Detailed, positive reviews not only create trust for future clients but also can assist in your GMB rankings.

On the other hand, negative reviews are not the end of the world and do not impact your rankings – however, use it as a chance to reply to the customer, in detail about their negative experience and come up with a solution to benefit both sides. Most of the time they will end up deleting their negative review and sometimes even replace it with a positive one!



User Experience, Authority, and Expertise

The same could also be said with the introduction of the Topic Authority System in May 2023 since it tended to prove Google’s desire to provide content from authoritative sources. The human fingerprint will be so important for content in 2024 especially now with AI generating a lot of irrelevant content and pasted onto websites. Websites that show expertise in certain topics are more likely to rank higher on searches. Such sort of content that can tackle pressing concerns, provide more insights into a problem, and appeal to the audience’s emotions is most likely to create lasting connections.

Adaptability in the Face of Volatility

The ranking volatility witnessed in 2023 during overlapping updates highlighted the importance of versatile SEO strategies. Webmasters in 2024 will need to respond quickly to fluctuations in rankings. This does not mean changing the work that has been done, but acting quickly to identify any issues and act accordingly. If you feel you have done everything correctly there is no need to make any changes as results will most likely bounce back. This is something we see a lot.  Thus, continuous monitoring and prompt adjustments (only if necessary) will be crucial to keep a strong online presence.


Diverse and High-Quality Content

Since the mentioned strategy seems to promise a lot of efficiency in generating traffic that will favor organic growth, Google puts a strong emphasis on having diverse high-quality content which would remain relevant in 2024 and the future. Content types should include forms such as text, images, and video. Overall, a carefully crafted content strategy serving different kinds of user preferences would probably achieve favorable search rankings. We humanise content creation, meaning we recognise that users consume information differently. At least by 2024, businesses will step aside from only text-based content and learn more multimedia to fit people’s needs for learning. Specifically, engaging videos and informative visuals as well as interactive content are the essential components that make a user experience sharper.

AI and Machine Learning Integration

This is an important one! Google’s rising usage of AI and machine learning becomes very apparent in 2023 and has caused a lot of issues for people relying too much on AI as part of their SEO strategy. In 2024, keeping up to date with AI developments and using machine learning methods for SEO campaigns may provide a competitive advantage but also a disadvantage if abused. AI can be seen as an assistant that improves efficiency because it enables people to concentrate on creativity, strategy planning, and being more proactive as either a business owner or SEO professional. The human touch in harnessing the tech aspect makes a perfect concoction that is on par with algorithms and the audience. We have to understand how Google is valuing content through these technologies and how we can improve on them, which in turn will affect our success.


Optimising for User Intent

Optimising based on user intent should remain the core principle with the continued evolution of Google’s algorithm. In 2024, marketers should go deeper into user queries and intent to customise content that will deliver the most relevant answers and search results.

Looking into voice search on both Google Chrome browsers and even Siri or Alexa should be part of your business strategy. Anticipating and satisfying user intentions through their voice search will assist in higher conversions due to correctly optimised content that matches the user’s search and intent.

Businesses can take advantage of the dynamic nature of SEO by being in touch with what is happening around them within their target markets, they should also be proactive in at least having best practices to avoid missing out when there are algorithmic updates. Businesses must also have an understanding of the cross-over between technology and human behavior, making sure that strategies comply with both algorithms as well as all of the different kinds of people they serve. As we venture into 2024, the human aspect of SEO will be that navigation system that leads companies to genuine online success.

Overall, each of the topics we have spoken about above can be discussed within their post which we will look into soon!


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