Since the launch of ChatGPT and the subsequent advancements in AI technology, the field has seen significant developments. Google introduced the Search Generative Experience (SGE), an AI-powered search beta, while ChatGPT integrated powerful search capabilities through the Bing plugin. Google also unveiled its own AI chatbot, Bard. While AI discussions continue, the initial excitement has cooled down as we gain a clearer understanding of its capabilities and limitations.
Despite the decreased search interest in ChatGPT, total traffic to chat.openai.com remains on an upward trend, with mobile traffic possibly being affected due to the introduction of a mobile app. However, AI’s potential remains immense, with a new generation of models boasting higher training parameters becoming increasingly prevalent.
AI’s presence is expanding across various domains, with AI tools focusing on content editing, summarization, and creation. This trend is indicative of a future where AI will be integrated into all software, fundamentally transforming marketing and business landscapes. Even AI sceptics acknowledge that AI is becoming a necessary component in the tech world, raising three key questions:
- What does the AI future hold?
- How will it impact us?
- What can we do to adapt?
These questions are particularly relevant to the field of SEO. Here’s an exploration of the implications and strategies for SEO in the context of AI evolution:
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Understanding the Implications of Search Generative Experience (SGE)
Search Generative Experience is still in beta, and while assumptions are based on its current state, the public version set to launch in December may differ. Search Generative Experience’s impact is noteworthy due to its potential to provide answers directly within search results. This could potentially decrease traffic to websites ranking for keywords, as users may engage in deeper conversations with AI instead of clicking through to websites.
The implications of Search Generative Experience are complex:
Decreased Traffic: Search Generative Experience could potentially lead to reduced organic traffic for many sites ranking for specific keywords, as users may find answers directly in search results.
Carousel Effect: Websites featured in the carousel format might experience increased traffic, as users are more likely to engage with carousel results.
YMYL Advantage: SGE might avoid answering sensitive Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) queries due to potential risks, creating opportunities for YMYL content to drive organic traffic.
Future-Proofing Strategies for Businesses
Given the uncertainties around Search Generative Experience and AI’s impact on SEO, businesses can adopt the following strategies to prepare for potential changes:
Build Direct Traffic: Cultivate a strong direct traffic source, as direct traffic indicates popularity and offers optionality in case organic traffic is affected. Strong product experiences, messaging, advertising, and content can enhance direct traffic.
Source User Intent: Experiment with paid search to understand how keywords convert since traditional search volume metrics might become less reliable. Engage with customers and prospects to learn about their search journeys and preferences.
Leverage Human Expertise: Focus on creating content that leverages human experiences and expertise. Authors deeply connected to a topic can provide unique insights that AI cannot replicate.
Embrace Angles: Craft content with different angles, as AI might highlight specific angles about topics. This differentiation can help content stand out and resonate with users.
Accelerate Work with AI: Leverage AI to expedite content creation. Experts can use AI to generate drafts quickly, leaving more time for editing, personalization, and enhancing content quality.
AI’s Dual Impact
AI’s influence extends beyond changing search algorithms—it’s transforming how we work and collaborate. AI offers speed and efficiency, enabling experts to create content rapidly and then refine it with a personal touch. It’s important to engage with AI, experiment, and explore its capabilities rather than relying solely on hearsay and headlines.
In this era of AI evolution, staying proactive, adapting to changes, and continuously innovating are the keys to future-proofing your business.
In the dynamic world of AI-driven SEO, the emergence of the Search Generative Experience (SGE) underscores the need for adaptability. While its impact on traffic distribution remains uncertain, businesses should focus on building direct traffic sources, understanding user intent through experiments, and embracing AI alongside human expertise.
The synergy between AI’s efficiency and human creativity empowers content creation. In this era of AI transformation, agility and innovation are paramount. By proactively engaging with AI, experimenting with strategies, and embracing its potential, businesses can navigate the evolving SEO landscape and secure a resilient digital presence. The key lies in balancing AI-driven capabilities with human insights for a forward-looking approach.