Let’s not make this intro any longer, after all the news review won’t write itself: what’s up in January?
Mass Layoffs, Because… Google Is Focusing on AI
Google has fired hundreds of employees (engineers, Voice Assistant developers), to focus more on AI, cutting the hardware development teams for Pixel, Nest or Fitbit. What does it mean to us? AI will not slow down in 2024.
New Data Regarding SGE
We’ve just seen perhaps the largest study to date on SGE (AI-generated Google search results). It’s interesting and transparent. The authors of the study show all the phrases they checked and what domains ranked for them. The key insights from this study are:
- Google displays a Search Generative element for 86.8% of all queries.
- On average, there are 10.2 links in the SGE content post-click from 4 unique domains.
- 93.8% of generative links (in this dataset at least) came from sources outside the top-ranking organic domains.
10 UX Laws
- Mr. Christoper Nguyen (you may know him from the UX Playbook), posted his list of the 10 UX Laws on LinkedIn, which are his subjective ranking of what’s currently most important in UI design.
- Though subjective, it’s very insightful, and the ranking is based on everyday examples.
- Transparency, feedback, dopamine, error prevention and intuitiveness are mentioned a lot. So, what can we learn from it? UX must be based on connecting with users and making their digital journeys even better.
Search Results Are Getting Worse
The Germans conducted a study of search results and concluded that… they are getting worse and worse.
- The new study by German researchers confirms that search results, especially those for product reviews, in the main search engines like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo are increasing dominated by low-quality, spammy content.
- The study found an inverse relationship between the prevalence of affiliate marketing and content complexity, indicating that sites with more affiliate links and SEO-optimized text provide lower-quality content.
- Popular search engines find it difficult to combat SEO spam, and the situation is expected to worsen with the development of generative artificial intelligence algorithms that can produce large amounts of low-quality content to manipulate SEO.
96.55% of Online Content Doesn’t Generate Traffic
Ahrefs conducted a study which showed that 96.55% of content does not generate traffic. This shouldn’t be a surprise, since we already saw signs of that back in 2015. What are the 3 most important findings?
- Not all content has to be tailored for SEO, but if it’s so, what channels should it use to generate traffic? Creating content without a plan how to distribute it is a waste of time and money.
- All content distribution channels other than SEO require constant activity. Only the traffic from search engines can be generated passively – you create content and let it do the job. In the case of newsletters, posts on FB and LinkedIn, or other reels, if you don’t regularly upload about a given content, no one will come across it after just a week. But, if you have a lot of content that requires active distribution, most of it will collect dust waiting on the server, as you can’t upload posts about all your blog articles at once. Advertising might be a good alternative (as long as it pays off to pay for them, pun intended), but this also requires constant engagement on your side, i.e. paying.
- It’s not enough to make SEO content, publish it on a website and enjoy more organic traffic. As Ahrefs shows, – more and more often, the organic traffic does not grow. Thus, you need to monitor your content regularly, to see if it’s doing its job.
We’ll Be at BrightonSEO!
We couldn’t forget this news: Wojciech Urban, our R&D Specialist, will speak on stage at the UK’s BrightonSEO conference. He’ll talk about creating your own tools based on GSC and Looker Studio (and occasionally Google Sheets, because why not!), and he’ll try to convince you why these are the only tools you need in your SEO work. Although, knowing Wojciech, he’ll probably also mention Screaming Frog 🐸.
239 Were Analyzed Based on Their UX Performance
The Baymard Institute has prepared an analysis of 239 sites, based on more than 700 UX-related elements. It’s a fascinating compilation where we find an overview of:
- Homepage and categories/navigation.
- Product tabs.
- Cart pages.
Everything is described with screenshots and good/neutral/bad solutions presented on each step. For example, we have a Louis Vuitton product card rated high or an Adidas shopping cart – it’s worth taking a peek at the report and finding inspiration in these valuable benchmarks.
So much for the first SEO 2024 press review! As you can see, it’s not just onsite and link building, but also content, UX, and analytics. Stay tuned and see you in the next news review! 👋