March 18 2024

The Future of SEO: Navigating Evolving Search Engine Ranking Factors

In the ever-evolving realm of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), it’s important to stay ahead of the curve as a business to achieve high rankings and drive organic search traffic.

According to a Statista survey of over 3500 prominent SEO professionals, the three leading emerging SEO factors for search rankings globally are:

1. Machine learning /AI (11.3%)
2. Core Web Vitals (10.8%)
3. E-E-A-T & trusted sources (10.2%)

Let's delve into these factors and explore how businesses can leverage them to enhance their SEO strategies effectively, impacting their online visibility and success.

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Machine learning and AI are the powerhouses behind search algorithms, revolutionising the way search engines deliver results to their users.

Google's algorithms, such as RankBrain, rely on machine learning to interpret and understand user search-bar queries, thereby providing more relevant search results. As AI continues to evolve, businesses must stay abreast of its developments to implement SEO effectively.

To leverage machine learning/AI for SEO success within your business, look to focus on:

Content Quality and Relevance: Creating high-quality, relevant content remains fundamental. Machine learning algorithms are designed to prioritise content that provides value to users and aligns with their search intent. Ensure to offer something a little different to elsewhere on the SERP; this could be your business’s USP or own expert insight and keep it relevant to your prospective searchers.

Businesses must invest in creating comprehensive, engaging content that addresses users' needs effectively.

User Experience Optimisation: Machine learning algorithms also consider user experience signals, such as dwell time, bounce rate, and mobile friendliness, when ranking websites.

Optimising website performance and usability is essential to ensure a positive user experience, which in turn boosts search rankings. Ensure your website is configured properly to facilitate this and include relevant internal links to your category pages to help users find what they’re searching for.

Core Web Vitals: Elevating User Experience to the Forefront

Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics introduced by Google to assess and measure the overall user experience provided by a website. These metrics include loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability.

In 2024, Core Web Vitals have become a pivotal factor influencing search rankings, highlighting Google's emphasis on user-centricity.

To optimise Core Web Vitals and improve SEO performance, look to prioritise:

Page Speed Optimisation: Fast-loading websites are favoured by both users and search engines. Minimising server response times, optimising code and leveraging caching mechanisms can significantly enhance page speed and positively impact Core Web Vitals.

Mobile Responsiveness: With the increasing prevalence of mobile browsing, ensuring that websites are mobile-friendly is imperative. Responsive design, fluid layouts, and mobile-specific optimisations are essential for delivering a seamless user experience across devices.

E- E-A-T & Trusted Sources: Building Authority

Google’s E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) has emerged as a critical factor in determining a website's credibility and authority in the eyes of both users and search engines.

Establishing E-E-A-T through your web activity not only enhances search rankings but can also foster trust and credibility among visitors.

To bolster E-E-A-T and become a trusted source in your respective industry, focus on:

Expert Content Creation: Publishing authoritative, well-researched content authored by subject matter experts can significantly boost perceived expertise in the eyes of search engines. Providing valuable insights, thought leadership and expertise demonstrates a commitment to delivering high-quality information to users and is essential to building topical relevancy.

Backlink Profile: Building a diverse and reputable backlink profile from authoritative sources signals to search engines that a website is a trusted source within its respective niche. Quality backlinks from reputable websites – such as media outlets and partner businesses - can enhance both E-E-A-T and search visibility. Look to implement an effective outreach strategy with your SEO provider to achieve this.

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