2024 will be a make-or-break year for search engine optimisation strategy, and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) teams will face new challenges.
Central to navigating these changes is the role of proxy servers, a vital component in SEO web scraping software that enables SEO teams to acquire data at scale.
From keeping pace with frequent algorithmic updates from major search engines like Google to adapting to the increasing use of AI-generated content, the agility and responsiveness of SEO strategies have never been more crucial.
All of this, however, hinges on reliable and accurate data, and SEO teams should ensure that the proxy servers they're using in their data scraping software are the right ones.
Here are four reasons why SEO teams will benefit from reassessing their proxy solution in 2024.
In 2023 alone, Google's search engine algorithm updated nine times. In some instances, updates were rolled out simultaneously, with big implications for SEO companies and teams each time.
For example, publishers were hit hard. According to Press Gazette, some websites' traffic dropped by several million, and another business collapsed entirely only a few weeks after the update.
After each update, SEO teams must adapt quickly to these changes. While Google will issue some guidelines during and after each update, the best information comes from the real world, in real time.
This often means web scraping many Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), which teams probably already do with in-house, custom software.
If so, it's crucial that the proxy solutions can scale to handle volume increases, or teams risk being IP blocked and losing access to much-needed data entirely.
Likewise, your proxy solution should enable your software to extract SERPs and keywords rapidly so that you can deal with any post-update problems sooner rather than later.
Google Core updates don't kill SEO strategies, but they force businesses to adapt. Making sure you have the infrastructure to do so is key.
At the end of last year, Google changed their communication policy, stating that it would no longer announce future updates to the review system. Instead, updates will be more fluid, discrete, and constant.
Though not confirmed, it's possible that Google will extend this system to other parts of its algorithm, meaning that vigilance and proactivity will be crucial in 2024.
Any proxy solution must, therefore, maintain constant uptime to ensure real-time and informative data feedback that signals any otherwise invisible changes.
While proxy solutions are necessary, many aren't self-healing. This means that if one IP gets banned, the whole software can falter until it's manually switched. Good proxy solutions switch addresses automatically.
Likewise, in the instance of any issues, your proxy solutions provider should maintain 24/7 support in case of any problems.
No solution is completely foolproof, but finding a provider with self-healing infrastructure, a good track record, and a stable customer support strategy puts your operations in safer hands than other providers.
Tracking SERPs is the cornerstone of SEO teams, and a reliable strategy hinges on having accurate and up-to-date information.
As always, search engine results pages (SERPs) will continue to change rapidly and without warning. Sometimes, Google's web crawler, Googlebot, updates results in 30 seconds. Other times, it takes several weeks.
While this has always been the case, the proliferation of AI content adds a new dimension. Previously, it was unclear whether AI content would be penalised by Google's algorithm. Following the October 2023 update, it looks like it won't be.
So, with generative AI, organisations can produce more content and website pages faster than possible. With more content and more web pages, SERPs have the potential to change more rapidly and with greater effect.
In this context, staying on top of relevant SERPs and adjusting strategy accordingly will become even more crucial within a new content-competitive environment.
With a reliable proxy server, SEO teams can access up-to-date information, track competitors' movements, and observe SERP changes as they happen. This allows for more agile and responsive monitoring and planning, crucial in a more dynamic context.
It's well known that SERPs vary by location. Therefore, seeing different results depending on the geographical region is key to optimising content, tailoring strategies, and improving local rankings.
While you can include keywords relating to specific geography in searches, this won't give the same results in the same way as actually searching from a specific region.
As a result, a proxy solution with endpoints in different parts of the world is key. They enable teams to simulate searches from various locations, aiding in competitor analysis, tracking SERPs, backlink monitoring, and understanding market-specific trends.
A good proxy solution must be able to send requests from local IP addresses, or your results will be inaccurate when operating outside your immediate location. Globalisation will likely continue throughout 2024, and SEO teams should take advantage of this with infrastructure that works internationally.
As one of our customers said: "The reliable local search results we can determine thanks to these proxies helps us to differentiate our services from most of our competitors".
The landscape of search engine optimisation in 2024 demands a renewed focus on the capabilities and performance of proxy servers.
SEO teams must prioritise proxy solutions that can handle increased volume, extract data rapidly, maintain constant uptime, and offer robust support.
Ultimately, the success of SEO strategies in 2024 will hinge not just on adapting to algorithmic changes but also on ensuring that the technical tools, particularly proxy servers, are optimised to support these strategies in an increasingly dynamic landscape.