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Search Engine Recap - Week 17 (2024)

Here’s your weekly roundup of the latest updates in SEO, so you can keep your strategy ahead of the competition. Welcome to Week 17.

Welcome to Week 17, where we'll be discussing Google's push on AI content, the value of links, and other updates from the search engine world. Here’s an overview.

Google with an Important Message: Fact-check All AI Content

Google has emphasized the importance of fact-checking AI-generated content and expressed its concerns about the reliability of content solely created by AI.

Google therefore urges users and businesses to always verify AI-produced content due to the risks of errors and misinformation.

This has been particularly noted recently, which the core update and the spam update in March have paid extra attention to.

search off the record on ai content

Google's announcement comes as more and more AI tools emerge, which, despite their effective features, can also pose a threat to businesses when used without a critical approach.

Therefore, companies - that continuously use AI tools for content - should review how these are utilized.

Google Updates Favicon Documentation

Google has updated its Search Central favicon documentation to clarify and define terms more clearly and address user inquiries about favicons.

The revised documentation distinguishes between legacy and modern favicon versions, which are small icons linked to websites that can enhance visibility in search results.

text result favicon

The update simplifies the description of "rel" attribute values used to link favicons, such as "icon" and "apple-touch-icon," in line with HTML standards and Apple's documentation. It also continues to support the obsolete "shortcut icon" method.

Google has once again delayed the removal of third-party cookies in Chrome to 2025, emphasizing the need for more industry engagement.

This latest postponement, announced in collaboration with the UK's Competition and Markets Authority, is part of ongoing efforts to align feedback from various stakeholders and ensure thorough testing.

cookies chrome update

The extended timeline gives businesses more time to adapt to Google's Privacy Sandbox APIs, aimed at enhancing privacy.

The extension includes temporary allowances for certain non-advertising cookie uses, facilitating a smoother transition away from traditional cookie-based tracking and addressing the challenges that publishers and advertisers face.

We conclude with a discussion on the value of links. Gary Illyes from Google recently stated that Google today requires far fewer links to rank pages, signaling a shift in SEO where links are becoming less valuable and content is gaining more strength.

gary illyes on links

Over time, links have been crucial for establishing authority, but this has become less critical due to Google's algorithmic developments, including changes in how Google combats link manipulation and spam.

With Google's Core Update in March, links' role was further reduced through new spam policies.

Here, relevance is far more focused than other metrics, which is why digital PR is the recommended way to gain authority rather than purchased links that only have a high domain rating and no other value.

Takeaways and Recommendations

Another week in the sign of the search engine has passed. A week that brought updates to favicon documentation and another postponement of Google's removal of third-party cookies in Chrome.

Still, the most important takeaways are probably Google's statements on areas such as AI and links.

But in an SEO world that both uses AI for more content than ever and still places a significant focus on links, I think it's especially important to listen to Google's advice.

If you want to make the most of your resources, you must understand how to work with AI content and not blindly trust the output.

If you want to work with links, you need to understand how they create value today and likewise how they no longer hold the same strength.

Understanding this in your SEO strategy and building on it gives you the right foundation for rankings in 2024 and the years ahead.

Need help with your SEO strategy? Feel free to reach out to Bonzer. As a specialized SEO agency, we work every day to ensure businesses are at the top of the search engine.

Thomas Bogh

CPO & Partner

Thomas er CPO samt Partner, hvorfor fokus til dagligt ligger i evig analyse af Googles algoritme og udvikling af SEO som produkt. Thomas har arbejdet med SEO i flere år med stor passion for at sprede know how på, hvordan man som virksomhed implementerer SEO bedst i sin forretning. Ved siden af Bonzer bidrager Thomas med viden til læserne hos bl.a. Search Engine Journal, DanDomain og Detailfolk. Herudover har han også undervist i Digital Mediestrategi på Copenhagen Business School i København. Har du ønsker eller spørgsmål vedr. SEO universet, kan du altid kontakte ham på [email protected].

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A brief meeting, where we review your position in the market and present the opportunities.