What We Can Expect From Google In 2024

30-Second Summary:

  • 2024 will see AI and machine learning deeply influence Google search and digital marketing, enhancing personalisation and content relevance.
  • A strong focus on user privacy and sustainability will shape Google’s strategies, impacting digital marketing approaches.
  • Significant advancements in Google Ads automation and the growing importance of social commerce will redefine SEO and advertising strategies.

If 2024 is certain about anything, Google will remain at the forefront of Search and continue to significantly influence how we navigate the internet and shape our digital marketing strategies. For website owners and marketers in general, understanding Google’s trajectory is beneficial and essential for staying competitive in an increasingly online marketplace.

Anticipating the changes Google is likely to introduce, especially with search and marketing, could range from algorithm updates to new features in Google Ads, so here we’ll take a look at the latest insights and predictions, offering a glimpse into what Google might have in store for us in 2024. From AI-driven innovations such as Bard, Gemini, and Google SGE, to the evolving SEO landscape, let’s see what we can expect from Google in 2024.

Evolving Search Algorithms

With Google consistently refining their search algorithm, we saw plenty of updates throughout 2023. These included updates aimed at enhancing the user experience by prioritising mobile-friendly websites, improving the relevance of search results through a better understanding of user intent, and penalising low-quality content.

Looking forward, the following trends are likely to shape Google’s algorithm updates in 2024:

  • Increased Emphasis on AI and Machine Learning – Google is expected to continue integrating advanced AI and machine learning capabilities. This could mean algorithms that are more adept at understanding natural language, predicting search intent, and providing more personalised search results.
  • Focus on User Experience (UX) – With the digital world becoming increasingly user-centric, Google’s algorithms are likely to place even greater emphasis on UX. This means website speed, mobile responsiveness, and user-friendly design could play even more significant roles in SEO.
  • Enhanced Mobile-First Indexing – As mobile usage continues to dominate, Google’s mobile-first indexing is expected to become more sophisticated, further prioritising mobile-optimised content in its rankings.

Businesses will need to continue to focus on creating high-quality, user-focused content, optimising for mobile devices and ensuring content is written for users, not just to please the bots, to ensure the best UX possible.

Advancements in AI and Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are where Google has been making significant strides, and 2024 will continue to see further groundbreaking developments. These advancements are reshaping how we approach search and digital marketing.

Google’s AI and ML technologies have already begun to transform various aspects of search and user interaction. The integration of AI in Google’s search algorithms, as observed in the 2023 updates, has improved the understanding of user intent and the relevancy of search results.

We can expect Google to continue to use AI in enhancing search result accuracy, refining natural language processing, and offering even more personalised user experiences. Google Gemini was introduced in December 2023 with the aim to “make AI more helpful for everyone”, and is continuing to roll out to different Google products throughout 2024.

Implications for Digital Marketing

  • Content Creation and SEO – With AI’s increasing role in understanding and ranking content, SEO strategies will need to evolve. Marketers should focus on creating high-quality, informative content that is helpful and user-first above all else.
  • Data Analysis and Insights – AI and ML offer powerful tools for data analysis, enabling marketers to gain deeper insights into consumer behaviour and preferences. Leveraging these tools can lead to more effective and targeted marketing campaigns.

Emerging AI-Driven Features in Google Services

  • Search Enhancements – We can expect Google to introduce new AI-driven features in search, with Google SGE rolling out in further countries this year offering more intuitive and context-aware search capabilities.
  • Automated and Personalised Marketing – Advancements in AI could lead to more sophisticated automated marketing tools within Google Ads, providing personalised ad experiences based on user data. Demand Gen Campaigns started rolling out to Ads accounts in October 2023, so expect this to further shape how you capture user attention this year.

Enhanced Focus on User Privacy and Data Security

Google has been proactive in enhancing user privacy, evident in the changes and updates made throughout 2023. This includes modifications to data collection and processing methods to align with global privacy standards.

Ongoing developments in data protection and privacy laws will likely prompt Google to introduce more robust privacy features and policies. This could involve more transparent data usage practices and enhanced user control over their data. For example, from February 2024, the Personalised Ads policy will have new limitations on personalised advertising, specifically relating to consumer finance products and services.

Impact on Digital Marketing Strategies

  • Data Collection and Usage – The tightening of privacy regulations and Google’s adaptations will require businesses to rethink their data collection and usage strategies. There will be a need for more consent-based and transparent methods in data handling.
  • Adaptation to New Norms – Brands will need to adapt to a landscape where less personal data might be available. This could involve a shift towards first-party data collection strategies and exploring alternative targeting methods that respect user privacy.

What to Expect From Google Ads and PPC Campaigns

The past year saw updates focusing on automation and smart bidding strategies, aiming to enhance ad performance and efficiency. These changes highlighted the importance of data-driven decision-making and the need for advertisers to embrace more sophisticated campaign management tools.

  • Increased Automation – Expect further advances in automation, simplifying campaign management and optimising ad spend.
  • Smart Bidding and AI Integration – Smart bidding strategies will likely become more refined, utilising AI to predict better bidding opportunities and enhance ROI. Generative AI was added to Performance Max in November 2023, enabling AI-powered assistance to enhance assets, so this will continue to roll out this year to all accounts (currently US only).
  • Audience Targeting Innovations: Google may introduce more sophisticated audience targeting options, leveraging data analytics and machine learning for more precise targeting. AR beauty shopping ads are one feature that allows users to virtually ‘try-on’ products such as hair colouring and lipstick, which was added in October 2023, directly from ads, helping to create more engagement.

Adapting PPC Strategies for 2024

  • Embrace New Technologies – Businesses should be prepared to adopt new tools and technologies that Google introduces, ensuring they remain competitive.
  • Focus on Data Analysis – A strong emphasis on data analysis will be crucial for understanding audience behaviour and optimising campaigns.

The anticipated changes in Google Ads and PPC campaigns for 2024 suggest a more automated, data-driven approach, requiring brands to stay agile and informed, essential for maximising campaign effectiveness and maintaining a competitive edge.

Google’s Integration with Social Media and E-commerce

Google has already started integrating more deeply with social media platforms, leveraging data for targeted advertising and content distribution. Further integration can lead to more sophisticated marketing strategies, utilising social media insights for enhanced targeting and campaign optimisation on Google’s platforms.

E-commerce Enhancements

  • Google Shopping Developments – Google Shopping and other e-commerce features within Google’s ecosystem are likely to see advancements, offering more seamless shopping experiences.
  • Integration with Online Retailers – Expect closer collaboration between Google and online retailers, possibly leading to new features like direct purchases from search results or enhanced product discovery through AI.

With the growing influence of smart devices, social media, and e-commerce integrations, keeping pace with these changes will be crucial for businesses looking to leverage Google’s platforms effectively in their marketing strategies.

Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility

Google’s continued focus on sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) is likely to have a significant impact on its products and marketing strategies. Google has been actively working towards reducing its carbon footprint and promoting sustainable practices. This includes investing in renewable energy and implementing eco-friendly changes in its operations and product designs.

Expect further advancements in Google’s sustainability initiatives, possibly integrating eco-friendly features into more products and services. Google even released a list of sustainability measures they are making, so it’s a big push for them. Businesses can align with Google’s eco-friendly ethos in their digital marketing campaigns, potentially reaching a more environmentally aware audience.

Adapting Business Strategies

  • Eco-Friendly Practices – Companies may need to adopt more sustainable practices to align with Google’s eco-friendly policies and appeal to the growing segment of eco-conscious consumers.
  • Green Marketing – There’s an opportunity for businesses to engage in green marketing, highlighting their own sustainability efforts in conjunction with Google’s platforms.

Predictive Analytics and Customised UX

The use of predictive analytics and its role in creating customised user experiences is another area where significant developments are expected by Google in 2024.

Google currently uses predictive analytics in various forms, including search predictions and personalised content recommendations, with GA4 beginning to replace Universal Analytics in 2023. These capabilities are likely to become more sophisticated, leveraging AI and machine learning to predict user needs and preferences more accurately.

Personalisation in Marketing

  • Enhanced User Experiences – Predictive analytics can lead to more personalised user experiences, with content, ads, and product recommendations tailored to individual preferences.
  • Strategic Implementation – Businesses can leverage these insights to create more effective and targeted marketing campaigns, enhancing user engagement and conversion rates.

Google in 2024 – Lots to Expect, Plenty of Opportunities

From advanced AI and machine learning enhancing search and user experience to a stronger emphasis on user privacy and sustainable practices, Google’s evolving ecosystem offers both challenges and opportunities for businesses.

The key to success will be how well your business can adapt to these changes, embracing new technologies in Google Ads and new opportunities with AI and AR shopping. Businesses must stay informed and agile to maintain a competitive edge in 2024, and we’re here to help.

Reach out to the team at Absolute today and discover why we’re a multi-award-winning digital marketing agency that can help boost your organic visibility and drive conversions.

For more insights, please visit our blog, where you can discover 5 common website problems and how to fix them, as well as how to effectively use colour psychology for your brand.

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