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SEO vs AI

With AI’s emergence in our digital world, it needs to be discussed and spoken about.

For example, how will it change our behaviours and how we approach things? What will it mean for search engines and optimising content in this uncertain future?

Well, change is coming, and in three years, the Google interface we know and are familiar with today will be gone.

While this might feel like an inconceivable prediction, back in 2004, when Google overtook yahoo.com, no one ever thought it would happen, but it did. For 10 years, Yahoo was the big player, providing the best user experience until Google came along and provided a better one. 

Do you remember Ask Jeeves (ask.com), which fetched answers to any question you asked back in the day? Now, can you imagine that you could have your very own Ask Jeeves, who was at your beck and call to answer and provide information across every topic in the world, which is helpful, friendly, personalised and thoughtful? Would you ever pull up Google’s Search box ever again? Would you have a reason to?

Seeing as 70% of searches don’t go past the first three Google results, it’s expected that this 70% will be the first to flock to AI for answers instead. 

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Zero-click search might just be the future

When Google introduced featured snippets in universal search results in 2019, Moz.com co-founder Rand Fishkin sounded the alarm on the rise of zero-click searches. In fairness to Google, these searches were brought about to enhance the user experience and provide faster answers for people who did not want to wade through result after result.

Some informational questions just need an answer, not an article or video. 

But what does this mean for SEO – should we be worried?

We’ve survived in the industry long enough to keep up with how often the mainstream media has declared SEO dead. However, as long as humans search for something or need more information about a certain product, SEO will never be dead. 

While the definition of a search engine will certainly change over time, as it’s gone from the Dewey Decimal System to Archie to Yahoo to now Google, next, will it be ChatGPT, Gemini, Grok, or something new entirely?

Time will tell, but if there’s one thing we’re confident in, the world will need a lot more SEO. Forbes recently reported that digital marketing is currently the fastest-growing in-demand skill and is predicted to be worth $1.5 trillion by 2030.

Discover why human copy is preferred by Google.

SEO needs to brace itself

The only way in which we can imagine the world of SEO evolving over the next decade, especially if we’re moving towards an AI model, is that we’re going to move away from a 1-4 keyword search to long-tail keywords. 

For example, since the 1990s, we’ve been conditioned to search this way, for example, “seo near me.” However, if you’re conversing with AI, you’ll likely have a conversation as people move to ask more specific questions to achieve more specific answers. As we’ve learned ourselves with ChatGPT, you have to be specific.

But as AI is not quite ready, we have time to enjoy the current landscape and prepare for what will come next. 

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