How SEO Actually Works in 2024

This article will walk through how SEO actually works in 2024.

First, let’s start by clearing the dust off some outdated SEO tactics and shine light on the truth.

The Keyword Density Delusion

Keyword density was the holy grail of SEO. Pages were stuffed to the brim with keywords, turning content into a jumbled mess. But in recent years, and especially now in 2024, it’s clear that this tactic has not only expired, but it can actually have a negative impact on your efforts. Search engines like Google have kicked keyword counting methods to the curb for a more sophisticated understanding of language, context, and intent. The takeaway here? Keyword stuffing is out. Crafting content that naturally integrates keywords while delivering the real value is what’s in.

The Page Length Paradox

The debate over the “perfect” SEO-friendly content length feels as old as the internet itself. Some say longer content remains king, but here’s the 2024 update: Google is now laser-focused on user engagement and relevance, not just word count. It’s not about how long your content is, but how effectively it answers a user’s query. Quality trumps quantity every time. Aim for content that’s engaging, insightful, and, above all, make it useful.

Disavowing Spammy Backlinks

Any site doing anything is going to have its share of spammy links. And disavowing spammy backlinks was once a routine task. But times have changed. Search algorithms are smarter and capable of identifying and ignoring these links without your help.

So instead of going through your link profile with a fine-tooth comb, focus on earning high-quality backlinks that naturally enhance your site’s authority. Build relationships, create compelling content, and let the quality of your work speak for itself.

Ok… With these myths debunked, let’s pivot to the strategies that are actually moving the needle in 2024.

Leverage Google Discover

Google Discover represents a major shift in how users interact with content. It kind of represents a social media newsfeed but unlike traditional feeds that are curated based on social connections, Google Discover will prioritize content relevance and personal interest.

And this approach has the potential to funnel substantial traffic to your site. For instance, one of my clients saw huge traffic numbers over the course of a couple of months, all because they showed up in Google Discover.

Google Discover traffic

Now, Google says that you can’t optimize for Discover. But there are some strategies to enhance your visibility and have the chance to capture this traffic. Having high-quality imagery can’t be overstated. Each piece of content in Discover is accompanied by a prominent image, making visual appeal a critical factor in attracting clicks. In my testing, a high quality featured image around 1800–2000 pixels wide tends to work best.

Here are some other factors that help you show up in Discover:

How fresh the content is. Meaning, when was the last time it was updated?

Use original, high-quality images, including charts and graphs, to make your content stand out.

Social media engagement on platforms like Twitter (now X), which Google indexes, can influence your Discover presence.

A high volume of page traffic to a specific page can signal relevance and quality.

And trending topics: that is, content that’s aligned with users’ existing interests. 

Sticking to these strategies can help you leverage Google Discover’s potential to significantly increase traffic to your site.

Find Low Competition Keywords on Reddit

Discovering low-competition keywords can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. But, there is a strategic approach using Reddit and Ahrefs that can simplify this process. Here’s how:

Start by selecting a subreddit that aligns with your industry.

Input the chosen subreddit into Ahrefs to analyze. Ahrefs will then reveal a plethora of keywords that pages within that subreddit are ranking for, unveiling a jackpot of low-competition keywords.

And although Reddit has a dominant domain authority, the platform’s threads often suffer from a lack of organization and a bunch of irrelevant comments. This presents a unique opportunity to outperform these threads by enhancing the quality of your content. You can achieve this by:

Structuring information: organize your content into clear, logical steps.

Incorporating multimedia: enrich your posts with relevant, unique images and videos to enhance engagement and understanding.

Add external links: provide links to additional resources, offering more depth and context.

Updating content: ensure your content includes the latest techniques, strategies, and information.

In essence, a well-crafted blog post has a strong chance of surpassing a Reddit thread in search rankings due to its superior organization and value.

But do keep in mind that not all keywords a subreddit ranks for will be relevant or valuable to your objectives. What you can do is employ a CPC (cost per click) filter within Ahrefs that can help refine your search. You can set a minimum CPC threshold at around $2, and that can help identify the most viable keywords, filtering out less relevant options. This method ensures your keyword discovery process is both efficient and focused on high-potential opportunities. This is something we do often when looking for these low competition keywords.

High Quality Backlinks Are King

It’s often stated that “content is king.”. But when it comes to boosting your site’s authority and search engine rankings, there’s another undisputed monarch: high-quality backlinks. These are not just any backlinks; we’re talking about links from reputable, authoritative sites that signal to search engines your content’s credibility and value.

Here are 4 ways you can acquire these types of links to give your site a major boost:

Create Link-Worthy Content

The foundation for earning high-quality backlinks is to produce content that is genuinely worth linking to. This could mean original research, comprehensive guides, insightful analyses, or resources packed with actionable tips. Content that adds value and offers unique insights stands a higher chance of being referenced and linked to by authoritative sources, especially now as any Joe can spin up an article with AI.

Guest Posting

Guest posting isn’t a new tactic, but your approach does matter. Instead of mass-producing low-quality content for any site that will take it, focus on contributing meaningful, high-value articles to reputable sites within your industry.

Like the content creation method mentioned in the last tip, you’ll want to consider the same type of content here. Offering up this type of content to  others not only ensures quality backlinks but also enhances your brand’s visibility and credibility.

Leverage Broken Link Building

This tactic involves finding broken links on relevant websites and suggesting your content as a replacement. It’s a win-win: you help website owners fix frustrating dead links on their site, and in return, you get a backlink from a relevant, authoritative site.

Utilize Competitor Backlink Analysis

Analyze where your competitors are getting their backlinks from and identify opportunities where you could also gain a backlink. Tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush make it easier to conduct this analysis, uncovering potential sites that might link to you as well.

Just remember to always prioritize the quality of backlinks over quantity. 

A few backlinks from highly authoritative sites are far more beneficial than numerous links from low-quality, irrelevant sites.


If you need help driving more sales and growing your business while completely eliminating your competition in the process, then click here now to see how we can help you achieve winning results like we’ve done with 100’s of other businesses like yours.

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Antonio Calabrese GHAX

Hey, I’m Antonio Calabrese, Founder at GHAX. We love working with businesses who are serious about growth.

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