SEO Job Listings Reportedly Down 37% Year-Over-Year

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In the initial quarter of 2024, job postings for SEO positions saw a notable decline of 37% compared to the previous year.

Research conducted by specialized job platform analyzed data from a pool of over 80,000 job listings contributed by 4,700 employers throughout 2023 and early 2024.

The report highlights the growing influence of AI in search algorithms as a significant element influencing the demand for SEO professionals.

Mid-Level Roles Hardest Hit

In the first quarter of 2024, senior SEO roles experienced a 3% uptick year-over-year, while entry-level positions saw a modest 1% increase. However, mid-level SEO positions faced a 6% decline compared to the same period in 2023.

Nick LeRoy, the proprietor of, links this variation to the integration of AI automation in handling routine tasks. This shift implies a demand for professionals capable of handling more advanced tasks.

According to LeRoy:

“The tasks traditionally assigned to entry-level positions are now being expedited and made cost-effective through AI technology…

…These entry-level SEOs are now expected to possess a fundamental understanding of search principles along with the interpersonal skills to compete with mid-level counterparts boasting over three years of experience.

…Companies are seeking to optimize their resources, hence the inclination towards hiring junior personnel at lower costs and investing in seasoned expertise and proven outcomes with senior SEOs.”

On a brighter note, LeRoy notes a resurgence in remote SEO opportunities in the first quarter of 2024 following a decline towards the end of last year.

Lack Of Salary Transparency

The SEO job report underscored the industry’s demand for salary transparency.

Merely 18% of job listings offer detailed salary information, indicating a significant gap in wage disclosure. However, this trend may shift as more states enact legal requirements for salary transparency.

Economic Pressures

In addition to AI-driven disruptions, wider economic factors seem to be impacting SEO employment.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that the decline in job listings aligns with a slowdown in job growth within the U.S. labor market.

The recent BLS report indicates that “employment remained largely unchanged across major industries,” which encompasses professional and business services, a category under which SEO roles often fall.

6 Ways SEO Professionals Can Stay Competitive

As the influence of AI in search continues to expand, the most effective SEO professionals will likely be those who can integrate technical expertise with strategic foresight, analytical capabilities, and a dedication to continuous learning and career advancement.

Here are several potential tactics to distinguish yourself in the current job market:

  1. Cultivate AI Proficiency
    Given the significant impact of AI on search operations, acquiring expertise in AI technologies becomes indispensable.

Professionals who harness AI tools such as natural language processing, content generation, and semantic analysis will gain a decisive advantage.

  1. Emphasize Strategic SEO
    As AI assumes responsibility for numerous technical and operational SEO functions, companies will increasingly value SEO specialists with strategic acumen.

Professionals skilled in competitive analysis, audience insights, content strategy formulation, and conversion optimization could witness heightened demand.

  1. Enhance Analytical Skills
    In the era of AI-driven search dynamics and user interactions, proficiency in deriving insights from data becomes increasingly pivotal.

Mastery of analytics platforms, statistical analysis techniques, data visualization tools, and adept communication of data-driven insights can distinguish you from your peers.

  1. Pursue Specialization
    While some SEO practitioners adopt a broad skillset, the trend towards specialization within niches such as local search, e-commerce optimization, enterprise-level SEO, or specific industry verticals may attract greater attention from prospective employers.
  1. Highlight Soft Skills
    As automation takes over technical tasks, soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, creativity, and adaptability are likely to gain prominence in hiring decisions.

SEO experts who excel in teamwork and can effectively communicate strategies will stand out.

  1. Establish a Personal Brand
    Crafting a strong personal brand by blogging, public speaking, sharing authoritative content, and active participation on social media platforms can elevate your visibility. This heightened exposure often translates into new career prospects.

Parting Thoughts

While the immediate future may present challenges, it’s crucial to recognize that the role of the SEO professional is evolving rather than vanishing altogether.

Individuals who can adjust their value proposition to meet emerging needs and align with evolving demands stand a good chance of discovering viable career paths amidst this transformation.

Original news from SearchEngineJournal