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Beyond SEO: The Growing Demand for Genuine Content Written by Real People

Recently, there’s been growing discourse suggesting that we may be moving beyond the traditional SEO era—and not just due to AI innovations.

Google has long influenced us to craft content optimized for search engines. However, a significant shift is underway: users are increasingly seeking out content written by real people, for real people—sources they can trust.

In my own experience, I’ve found myself appending “Reddit” to my Google searches. Why? Because I’m looking for insights from real people, individuals I can trust.

It appears Google is catching on to this trend. When I searched for “leg injury at work benefits,” I didn’t use jargon like “workers’ compensation” because many everyday users wouldn’t either. They describe their situations plainly and seek straightforward answers.

The search results were telling. The top result was from the Washington Labor and Industries site about workers’ compensation benefits. But more interestingly, the second set of results fell under Google’s “Discussion forums” category, featuring links from Quora and Reddit about work injuries and compensation benefits—a clear nod to the public’s preference for user-generated content.


This evolution in search results may reflect a broader transition towards valuing authenticity and peer advice over keyword saturation.

As content creators, especially in the legal field, we must adapt to this shift by prioritizing the authenticity and reliability of the information we provide. This doesn’t just help our content rank better; it builds trust with our audience.

Could we be headed to a “post-SEO era,” one where the emphasis is on real conversations and genuine advice? Google’s recognition of our desire for person-to-person connections in search results may be just the beginning.