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Mastering SEO in 2024: Modernizing Age-Old Tactics for Peak Performance

Discover how to adapt and elevate traditional SEO practices to align with the latest trends and algorithm updates of 2024, ensuring your website not only competes but excels in today’s digital landscape.
Mastering SEO in 2024: Modernizing Age-Old Tactics for Peak Performance

Organic Search

I just read an article about the March Google Search algorithm update and I decided to update my, apparently, classic, decade-old, blog post, "Google is a Lying Liar that Lies." There, I spelled out best practices. Best-practices haven't changed since 1998, and a lot of the same rules that came with the academic paper that born what turned out to be Google Organic Search. I will rewrite that decade-old classic with 2024 eyes, removing things that have aged the article such as mentions of meta keywords and Google+, RIP. I have been working with SEO clients on a daily basis on UpWork and via UpWork since 2018, so I actually do the daily work on a daily basis. It turns out that nobody is going to read all of this preface so I will make sure I place this at the end of the article as part of "why should you believe me about that" section.

Site Speed

There's nothing more important to Google than your site speed, though it's like running from a bear: you don't have to be the fastest, you just have to be faster than everyone you want to better, organically, on the first page of Google. All things being equal, speed will win because organic search is a relay race: Google is the fastest runner on the track and always prefers to pass the baton to the fastest runner she can. All things being equal, meaning there's no X-factor such as a dominant domain authority or domain age or being a notable part of the news cycle or virality or being a major brand like Nike--all of which suggests these others are the antithesis of being equal--the initial response, the quickness of loading, and the time it takes for the visitor to get to work without deciding to either bounce or bail, can tell a lot about the other, secondary, thoough also very important, issues, such as accessibility, best practices, and SEO. They really all flow from the performance. There's a reason why it's the first one. The order, Performance, Accessibility, Best Practices, and SEO, aren't arbitrary at all. From my Experience.

CloudFlare is my Go-To for my Clients

My personal website,, runs on a non mobile native Plone template circa 2003. Though Plone has come a long way, I am stuck in the past. While my front page is very textual and doesn't rely on more than two small images, Google has professed, again and again, that it reviles mobile non-native web pages; however, Google has given my site a hall pass and I really need to thank CloudFlare. I pay at least $50/month for their CloudFlare Pro, along with Argo and Edge Caching and I have all of their compliance, best practices, and performance tools set to 11. CSS and JSS minification are low-hanging fruit. Coverting my images to Lossy WebP highly-optimized is a no brainer, and would probably even be so were my site that of a photographer's: like I said, you don't need to be the fastest runner, you just need to outrun the bear. So many shooters refuse to diminish their galleries at all, always losing the race for sold images and services to more business-savvy shooters and, let's be honest, schlock-sellers who are less pure about the integrity of their art.

Mobile Optimization: A Necessity, Not an Option

Mobile optimization is no longer just a nice-to-have, but a critical necessity. With the majority of searches now conducted on mobile devices, Google emphasizes mobile-first indexing. This means that Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. To stay competitive in the search rankings, it’s imperative to ensure that your website is fully responsive and provides a seamless experience on all devices, not just desktops. This involves using fluid grid layouts, adjustable images, and touch-friendly navigation. Every element on a website must be accessible and navigable, whether it's tapped with a finger or clicked with a mouse.

Content Is Still King

Despite all the technical optimizations, content remains the cornerstone of SEO. Google’s algorithm continues to prioritize high-quality, relevant content that answers the user's intent. Your content should not only be well-written and informative but also updated regularly to remain relevant as search trends and information evolve. Incorporate keywords naturally, focus on creating value for your readers, and ensure that each piece of content is thoroughly researched and fact-checked. Remember, engaging content not only helps keep the visitor on the page but also encourages them to explore your website further, reducing bounce rates and increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Authority Building through Backlinks

Backlinks are still one of the strongest signals to Google regarding the authority and trustworthiness of a website. However, the focus should be on quality over quantity. Gaining links from reputable, high-authority sites in your niche can significantly boost your search engine rankings. Participate in industry forums, create shareable content, and consider guest blogging on respected platforms to enhance your backlink profile. Always aim for organic link growth as artificial ways of link building can lead to penalties from Google.

Voice Search Optimization

With the rise of digital assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, optimizing for voice search is more important than ever. Voice search queries tend to be longer and more conversational than text-based searches. To capitalize on this trend, include long-tail keywords that mimic how real people talk and ask questions in everyday life. Also, crafting content that answers specific questions can help your site become a go-to source for information when these devices perform searches.


Revamping your decade-old SEO strategies with a 2024 perspective means adapting to the technological advances and changing user behaviors. By focusing on site speed, mobile optimization, high-quality content, backlink authority, and voice search optimization, you can ensure that your site not only survives but thrives in the competitive landscape of modern SEO.

FAQs for the Article

1. What is the March Google Search algorithm update? The March Google Search algorithm update refers to Google's latest refinements to its search algorithms aimed at improving the relevance and quality of search results. These updates can affect website rankings across the board and require webmasters to adjust their SEO strategies accordingly.

2. Why is site speed critical for SEO in 2024? Site speed is crucial because it affects user experience and SEO rankings. Google prioritizes faster websites as they provide a better user experience. Being faster than your competitors can give you an edge in search engine rankings.

3. How has mobile optimization changed over the years? Mobile optimization has shifted from being optional to mandatory due to the increase in mobile device usage. Google now uses mobile-first indexing, meaning it predominantly uses the mobile version of content for indexing and ranking.

4. What role does content play in SEO? Content remains a key component of SEO, as it determines the relevancy and value of a website to the user's search intent. High-quality, well-researched content that fulfills user intent is favored by Google and can improve search rankings.

5. How can backlinks affect my website's SEO? Backlinks from reputable and authoritative websites signal to Google that your content is trustworthy and valuable, thus improving your site's authority and search rankings. The focus should be on acquiring quality backlinks rather than quantity.

6. What is voice search optimization? Voice search optimization involves tailoring content to be more conversational and question-based to cater to voice search queries, which tend to be longer and more natural in language compared to text-based searches.

7. Why is updating old SEO strategies important? Updating old SEO strategies is essential to keep up with the evolving algorithms and user behaviors. Techniques that worked a decade ago may now be obsolete or less effective, so modernizing your approach can help maintain or improve your SEO performance.

Glossary for the Article

Algorithm Update: Changes made by search engines like Google to their algorithms to improve the accuracy and relevancy of search results.

Site Speed: A measure of how quickly a website loads for users, which can significantly impact user experience and SEO rankings.

Mobile Optimization: The process of adjusting your website to ensure it looks and works well on mobile devices, considering aspects like responsiveness and touch-friendly navigation.

Content: The information and experience directed toward an end-user or audience, including text, images, and multimedia. In SEO, content must be high-quality, relevant, and updated regularly to meet search engine standards.

Backlinks: Links from other websites pointing to your website. High-quality backlinks can improve a site’s authority and rankings in search engine results.

Voice Search Optimization: The practice of optimizing your content to better align with the conversational queries used in voice search, often focusing on natural language and question-based content.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization): The practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

Domain Authority: A search engine ranking score that predicts how likely a website is to rank on search engine result pages (SERPs).

Responsive Design: An approach to web design that makes web pages render well on a variety of devices and window or screen sizes.

Long-Tail Keywords: Longer and more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to a point-of-purchase or when using voice search.

Image by WOKANDAPIX from Pixabay