Welcome to the first SEO update of 2024! As we enter the new year, the ever-evolving landscape of SEO presents exciting challenges and opportunities. In this update, we will explore the latest developments in SEO. From algorithm updates to emerging trends, join us on this journey to navigate the evolving SEO landscape in 2024.

Google Starts Phasing Out Third-Party Cookies

Google has officially started to phase out third-party cookies. A new feature called Tracking Protection, which restricts third-party cookies by default, began rolling out to 1% of Chrome users globally on January 4, 2024.

The best way to know if you’ve been exposed to this is you will receive a notification when you open Chrome letting you know you’ve been affected.

If your marketing heavily depends on targeted advertising with third-party cookies, it’s time to reconsider your tactics. Begin preparing your websites now before Google completely retires third-party cookies in the latter half of 2024.

Google is Closing Websites Made with Google Business Profile

Google has made it known that websites made with Google Business Profiles will be turned off in March. Customers attempting to visit your website will be automatically redirected to your Business Profile until June 10. Beyond this date, visitors will encounter a “page not found” error.

Businesses wanting to maintain their own website must create a new site using alternative tools then update their Business Profile with the new site address before the deadline to ensure a smooth transition. If you’re in this position and are looking for an alternative website builder, consider the following:

  • Wix
  • Sqarespace
  • GoDaddy
  • Shopify
  • WordPress

Google Tests New Local Search Feature: Nearby Events and Deals

Google is testing a new local search box called Nearby Events and Deals. The new SERP feature, which is only visible for local searches on mobile devices, displays Google Business Profile (GBP) posts promoting deals and events from nearby businesses.

The new feature displays four tiles that display the company name, a promotional photo, and a review rating.

google-nearby-events-and-deals

If you click on one of the tiles, Google will take you to a full-screen view of the offer that includes more detail. There, you’ll find the name of the business, where it is located on a map, an image of the promotion, and some text. However, the feature has not yet been spotted on Google Maps.

What’s the Future of SGE?

The use of Google’s SGE has been a topic of conversation the past few months. Near the end of January, more talk accumulated about SGE and whether or not it’s going to stay or happen. The buzz started when Elizabeth Reid, Google VP, Search, wrote in a blog post:

“This week’s launch of AI-powered insights for multisearch is the result of testing we began last year to see how gen AI can make Search radically more helpful, with SGE in Search Labs. We’ve gotten lots of useful feedback from people who’ve chosen to join this experiment, and we’ll continue to offer SGE in Labs as a testbed for bold new ideas.”

People are speculating based off this paragraph that SGE wont launch and that it will never be more than just an “experiment” in Labs.

However, Google is known to not announce things one way or another. With this in mind, nothing has officially been announced that SGE may not launch. It is up to waiting and seeing what will happen with SGE.

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Ansley is the Content Marketing Manager at Boostability. Since graduating from Utah State University with two degrees in Communication Studies and Journalism: Public Relations, Ansley specializes in creating engaging and informative SEO content for readers, customers, and partners through different marketing channels. Along with creating new content, Ansley works to keep content organized and creates and executes new content strategies. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, visit National Parks, and loves all things Disney.