The announcement from Google regarding AI-powered search through Bard, and Bing’s chat model integration, have certainly caused a stir in the SEO industry. We’ve already put forward our thoughts on how these new technologies might affect search in the future. However, clients still have questions about how AI might impact their digital marketing.
How will AI change Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)?
Over the years, Google and other search engines have evolved their SERPs with UI improvements and new features. We have seen different layouts year to year but also see layouts changing dynamically based on different queries and changing search intent. Similar to what we might expect with an AI-powered chat within SERPs, Google Knowledge Graph made a big impact on SERPs. We can expect that organic listings will lose real estate to these new features, making the top rankings positions all the more valuable. We’ll also likely see changes around how ads are displayed – if not immediately, then certainly, as soon as Google learns how users interact with these new technologies, they’ll want to incorporate their ad model.
Is content still an important ranking factor?
Google has stated that brands and businesses should always be focused on creating high-quality content for humans, not search engines. Google has confirmed they care less about how the content is created and more about its quality, referencing their EEAT guidelines. While we’re anticipating an increase in the amount of content produced in general, the SEO goals of content creation will remain relatively similar. With a higher content output across industries, the bar for quality will be raised. As it did with cheap content farms pre-panda, Google will likely adapt their algorithm to find and reward the best content.
Will AI disrupt search?
In short, it already is. The capabilities of AI are pretty mindblowing. Nevertheless, it’s obvious to see that some elements are still in their infancy. While it’s certainly changing some aspects, we’re not expecting an earth-shattering revolution just yet. Particular issues around accuracy and adoption are just a couple of areas where improvements are needed.
AI-powered search is on the horizon, and we’re eagerly awaiting information from Google and other search engines on how current formulas will be affected. While AI is poised to bring new opportunities and challenges for SEO, the basics will remain the same. For more information or advice, get in touch.