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The Spring SEO Update: What's Happening in the World of Search?

We’re nearly out of the woods and into springtime. So what’s happening in the world of search?

In our previous articles, we discussed what to expect in the SEO world in 2024. Since then, the discussion on AI integration with search (SGE rolls on) and there are a number of updates to discuss.

Here’s what we’re seeing on the ground:

What’s the situation with SGE?

Search marketers, webmasters and site owners are still eagerly awaiting the rollout of AI in search engines. Need an update on what SGE will mean for your website and traffic? Catch up with our latest articles here:

Google Announces Magi
Google reveals AI search results
SEO industry round up

However, the recent chatter has plunged the release into doubt in the eyes of many marketers.

Is Google having second thoughts?

Rewinding to 2023, Google’s development was a knee jerk reaction to the integration of ChatGPT in Bing, with AI seemingly looking to ‘replace’ traditional searches via search engines. So has this meant that the masses are flocking to Bing and that Google’s market share has tumbled?

Not exactly.

According to the latest data from Statista, Bing’s market share has risen slightly to 10.51% compared to 8.58% in February 2023. The integration with ChatGPT hasn’t caused any radical shift in behaviour – so Google is taking additional time with the rollout. To be clear. Google has not announced SGE may not launch, but Google is seemingly under no external pressure to release such a disruptive product as quickly as possible. We can still expect SGE to launch, but maybe not in its current guise.

This means site owners should continue to keep their ears to the ground to stay ahead of any changes.

Meanwhile, the copyright debate rolls on, with Google seemingly giving webmasters the option to prevent their content from being used to help ‘train’ language models.

TikTok Touted as a new ‘search engine’

Is TikTok a search engine? Ironically, this subject seems to have exploded on Linkedin – just like a TikTok trend.

In July 2022, a notable statistic from Google concerning Generation Z and their utilisation of social platforms for searching garnered significant attention. The New York Times declared, “TikTok is becoming the preferred search engine for Gen Z,” while Business Insider reported that “almost half of Gen Z opts for Instagram and TikTok over Google for search queries”.

Since its emergence, this statistic has been widely disseminated as evidence of a significant shift in search behaviour and the approach to sourcing information online among younger demographics. Typically, the cited statistic indicates that 40% of youths now favour TikTok and Instagram over Google for conducting searches.

This has given rise to a debate as to whether TikTok can be considered a search engine and whether marketers should switch their attention to video content on TikTok.

Ultimately, while it’s true that TikTok may not be conventionally considered a search platform, overlooking its potential for audience search queries could result in missed opportunities for brand visibility.

It’s essential to focus on platforms aligning with our brand’s strategic objectives and invest in creating searchable content on TikTok to maximise our presence and engagement.

Algorithm updates?

At the time of writing, Google has remained relatively quiet in terms of major updates. Unlike the flurry of activity witnessed in the previous year, particularly during February and March, where significant algorithm updates shook the digital marketing sphere, 2024 has seen a notable absence of such announcements.

While the absence of major updates from Google thus far may seem unremarkable, it’s essential to note that past patterns often serve as indicators of future trends.

The fact that Google rolled out significant algorithm updates around the same time last year suggests that there could be similar developments on the horizon for February and March of this year.

For businesses and digital marketers, this potential upcoming update underscores the importance of staying vigilant and adaptable in their strategies.

While it’s uncertain what specific changes Google may introduce, being prepared to adjust SEO tactics and content strategies accordingly can help mitigate any potential impacts on search rankings and visibility. Moreover, staying informed and proactive in monitoring industry news and updates will be crucial in navigating any shifts in the search landscape that Google’s forthcoming updates may bring about.

If you’re concerned about future Algorithm updates, get in touch with us today.

Other updates that you should know about:

Google has updated its SEO Starter Guide with a renewed focus on beginners in the field, offering insights into the key topics that newcomers to SEO should prioritise and why they are important.

Save the date! Google has announced that on 12th March, the Core Web Vital metric, First Input Delay (FID), will be replaced by Interaction to Next Paint (INP).

If you’re concerned about how this will impact your website and page speed, get in touch with us today.


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