Or at least, what we wish SEO would stand for.
In 2023, a Hidden Gems Google update went under the radar. At least in terms that it was certainly not as visible as, for example, the Medic update, which instantly shook the very foundations of many websites and search itself.
The Hidden Gems update might be attributed to the rising global popularity of TikTok, which focuses on authentic, real-life experiences shared by individuals. This authenticity has rapidly built trust, especially compared to the content that was seen as fake on platforms like Instagram, which has even impacted the self-esteem of many.
YouTube, known for its long-standing role in sharing real-life experiences and knowledge, continues to be a key player in this evolving online environment. It definitely was the key in setting the stage for this shift in content creation, especially when ordinary people realized that creating quality video content isn’t just reserved for big media houses.
However, YouTube still faces challenges, such as simplifying creator interaction with the platform and monetizing content without compromising user experience.
This move towards valuing genuine, personal experiences likely played a role in Google’s algorithm update.
Yet, it’s not the sole factor.
Searching for almost any keyword today predominantly shows results from major players. Even new local businesses find it challenging to appear in Google’s top results, as the Local Pack is often reserved for well-established businesses with dozens, and in many cases, hundreds, of reviews.
So now it’s up to Google to do what they always did best – displaying results people find to be and are actually valuable.
Their approach to ranking has always been rooted in gaining insights into real human behavior. Let’s take a look at link building, where the most effective strategies show natural patterns. One key way websites get organic backlinks from real people, without any solicitation, is through the creation of high-quality, valuable content. When a website consistently publishes informative, engaging, and original content, it naturally attracts attention from other site owners, bloggers, and users who find the content valuable. They, in turn, link to this content from their own websites or social media platforms. This organic method of earning backlinks is a testament to the power of content quality and relevance. It not only aligns with Google’s algorithm preferences but also fosters a genuine and sustainable web ecosystem.
Read also: SEO Audit Made Simple
So what changed? The definition of what valuable content is.
It’s insightful to recall Steve Jobs’ prediction from 1985 about the post-industrial revolution, where he envisioned a world where knowledge, much like energy did with the Industrial revolution, becomes free. And not only that, where you are able to understand this knowledge and its true purpose.
My hope is someday, when the next Aristotle is alive, we can capture the underlying worldview of that Aristotle.Steve Jobs
This was actually said in a context of AI, highlighting how the concepts of SEO and AI sync nicely. But this example still perfectly illustrates what people expect – from AI or from real people generated content.
Going one step further, in the years to come, the job of Google will be to search for instances of knowledge being put to use by real people.
And since Google will be searching for it – it’s the job of creators, SEO experts, and web developers to provide it.
Because in 2024, we wish that SEO would stand for optimizing digital content with a focus on authenticity, user engagement, and real-life relevance, in response to search engines prioritizing genuine usefulness and trustworthiness in their ranking algorithms.
Looking to stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of SEO? Turn to SEO services from SEO Impact for expert guidance and strategies tailored to 2024’s focus on authenticity and user engagement. Elevate your digital content with us today!