Google Search, AI and how SEO will be affected

Google is more than the little engine that could.

With Google announcing their new AI generative search tool, how should your approach to SEO change?

SEO managers across the globe are already very aware of how their approach to SEO is constantly evolving. The constant efforts of SEO managers includes having to adapt to the different ways the world of search is changing.

It is a constant war of attrition, with trends and algorithm changes stoking the flames of constant one-upmanship. These, however, are simply speed bumps in the road to your destination, top ranking. So what would happen if instead of overcoming a speed bump, a fallen tree blocks the road?

At their 2023 ‘I/O’ event, Google showed off their new, unnamed Generative AI search assistant. The tool uses PaLM 2, a smart language model, to save you time on research and reaching conclusions. Google will generate unique answers for you based on your input by quickly analysing pages containing information relevant to your question.

It will help users to understand topics faster, providing definitive answers on almost any topic. Previously, Google would provide the information, then you would come to a conclusion based on an assessment of that information.

Moving forward, the way people use search engines will change dramatically. For 30-odd years, you would have to click on a few pages for the answer. If you couldn’t find the information you were looking for, you would then have to rephrase your search.

AI is looking like it will change that, while also better understanding your question. You will receive a detailed answer, and there are also other websites available to help you explore the topic further.

Google AI search integration would cause a rapid shift in how we use search tools. How we interact with technology in the age of AI is something that many people are currently struggling to adapt to. Without the necessary information available, people may continue to struggle with it going into the near future.

You will need to adapt your approach to content marketing and find a balance between SEO and high-quality content.

What will change?

In the past, you would develop an SEO strategy based on trends in search. What was your target audience looking for? After finding out, you would modify website copy and generate new content that would appeal to-and provide answers for audiences.

An increase in searches would act as an incentive to write a blog post on that topic. SEO meant you had to cover your ground, discussing an extensive range of relevant topics at a consistent rate.

Now, the focus will shift, making sure you are putting out detailed and relevant content. Focus on perspectives competitors may not have considered.

Tap into these alternative viewpoints. They will help you to cast out your net, catching any searches with a hyper-specific focal point. AI search SEO will change how you approach search marketing.

In its current state, SEO is like panning for gold. We sift the mud (aka irrelevant content) in the search for gold flakes (clicks). Getting more visitors is important, even if they don’t stay long. However, it’s not necessary to make an effort to keep them on your site.

Content written with the aim of top-ranking search result positions may shoehorn-in relevant necessary keywords and phrases. This solely ticks boxes and appears ahead of competitors.

Many articles will become a word soup as a result. Instead of aiming to inform, educate and assist, the focus shifts to getting clicks from those in the pursuit of knowledge. Many websites think that if they bring in a large amount of clicks, a fraction of them will stay. As such, the more clicks, the bigger the number that fraction represents.

Adapting to AI-Powered Search: A New Era in SEO Strategy

An AI powered Google enhances the new era of search. We will build the new approach to search marketing around pushing Google’s new AI tool to recommend your site.

After providing users with a carefully catered answer, Google will highlight pages that have more detailed information relevant to the search. Is the AI answer not as in-depth as you had hoped? Here are some pages that can provide you with more information. This is where your new approach to content marketing comes in.

Shift your goal from forcefully including a checklist of keywords and hot topics. Instead, aim to understand and discuss a topic with factual, carefully considered points. This approach helps AI search perceive your website as a relevant and educated source of information.

Taking that extra time to fully understand the topic you are writing about will make all the difference. Users look to have a fulfilling experience with search. When having to sift through a 1500 word article looking for a 2 sentence answer to their question, it deters them from coming back to your website in the future. Their experience should be concise, with them delving into any additional information at their own accord.

The rapid advancement AI tools have seen over the course of the last 18 months is a sight to behold, but one that many people have feared. It is a space in technology rife with experimental implementation, and opportunity the world hasn’t seen since the introduction of the smartphone. The convergence of AI with Google search has already shown great potential through what we have seen in demonstrations and press releases.

What does the future hold for content on websites?

AI will be even better at creating different kinds of content, from articles and social media posts to product descriptions and video (such as the new Sora AI tool). This could mean websites churn out more content, faster and potentially at a lower cost.

It can already analyse user behaviour to understand what kind of content they engage with. Websites can personalise the content users see, tailoring it to their interests. Examples include Amazon Recommendations, Spotify, Google Search etc. It will likely be more integrated for websites to enhance user experiences and drive engagement.

Enhanced user experience: AI chatbots and virtual assistants can answer user queries and make recommendations, improving how users interact with websites.

However, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider:

Content quality: AI-generated content might lack the creativity or nuance of human-written content. There are also concerns about plagiarism and the spread of misinformation.

Job displacement: As AI gets better at content creation, there’s a risk that some content creation jobs could be automated although human creators won’t be replaced. The AI will instead give them a more competitive edge.

Overall, AI is likely to be a powerful tool for website owners. The key will be to use it effectively to create high-quality content and improve the user experience, while being aware of the potential drawbacks.

One thing you can be sure of though, is that Think will have a unique and effective approach to marketing in this new territory.


Written by

Alan Attias

SEO Manager

Data driven with eighteen years’ experience as a Digital Marketing and SEO Manager, Alan is our expert for our customers search engine optimisation, search engine marketing and PPC, employing integrated analytics for on-going ROI optimisation.

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