Emina vs 馃 Machine: Impact of AI on SEO

Picture courtesy of DALL-E! As much as it pains me to use it, it proves a point in the blog. There is a danger that these tools are learning from a place of misogyny and other biases that lurk online. 

Let鈥檚 see who can write a better blog on how AI is changing SEO.

I鈥檝e got my boxing gloves out and got ready to face ChatGPT in a blog writing battle. 馃挭

The process was simple, write a blog and then using prompts get ChatGPT to write one on the same topic.  You can decide which one is better and who won the battle!

First up… my post! 馃憞

The Rise of AI 馃: SEO Harbinger of Death or an Opportunity

That morning started like any other; with a cuppa in hand, I opened my LinkedIn app. But rather than learning about many topics, I faced a neverending feed of the same: ChatGPT鈥

In revolt, I posted a sarcastic post鈥.

Today, the feed is looking a bit more varied, but the fact remains: things have changed.聽

The emergence of accessible AI tools and the race between Google and Microsoft have expedited what we in the SEO community knew was coming. The question is whether the change is an opportunity to improve things or a harbinger of death that we should all rise against. And, like every question in SEO, the answer is: IT DEPENDS鈥

In just a few months, AI tools have changed the face of SEO in two broad areas:

  1. How we, the SEO-ers, do our job
  2. How you, the users, search the web

Will the bot take my job?

ChatGPT didn’t help me put my daughter to bed, but it has been making life easier when it comes to my job. And before you ask, no it won’t be taking my job any time soon!

Here鈥檚 what I鈥檝e used my trusted 馃 assistant for so far:

  • Brainstorming聽

From initial seed keywords to content ideas and headlines, ChatGPT has been a great companion in getting the ideas flowing. It鈥檚 not about taking the ideas and just running with them. It鈥檚 more about using ChatGPT to get you going and to bounce ideas with.聽

  • Writing聽

No, not writing complete blogs and just copy-pasting! I鈥檝e used it to get bullet points for a topic, sections of a blog, meta tags and headings, a head start on a content blog brief, grammar checks鈥 All of this was reviewed and heavily edited based on the client’s needs and brand guidelines (ok, maybe not the grammar checks!).聽

  • Summarising聽

It鈥檚 been a God-send for someone who usually just scans long pieces!聽

  • Technical SEO聽

As an SEO specialist, you will need toget into the code at times. ChatGPT has been super useful in helping me understand issues with code and explaining some of the more technical areas of my job.

There are already a ton of resources out there for SEO-ers to help them speed up almost every aspect of their daily work. One plugin I鈥檓 currently testing is AIPRM which gives you ready-made prompts for a large number of tasks, such as writing meta descriptions, headings and much more. But yet again, you don’t want to just copy-paste what you get from ChatGPT!聽

I鈥檓 also learning to write better prompts. No, I鈥檓 not planning to change my title to Prompt Engineer, but there really is some art in it. You can critique my prompts when you see them below!

Will it take my job tomorrow? IT DEPENDS鈥. It might take some of my clients away, those who believe that it can do my job. But even if that happens, I think they鈥檒l come back.聽

With 15 years of experience, I鈥檓 not worried it will replace me or any other great SEO specialist. It will, however, help separate the fakes. Using AI to support your work is not the same as using AI to do your job. Eventually, the fakes will tank your rankings and get you penalised鈥β

Search and you shall find鈥. SGE?

Microsoft has already integrated ChatGPT into Bing and, as a response, made Google Search Labs speed up their AI efforts with Bard.聽

Both are new ways of searching the web – what Google calls the Search Generative Experience (SGE). In a nutshell, it means that users will see an AI response as the first result when they search the web. So, no more paid search results at the very top features snippets (if any)聽 and then organic search results below. SGE rules the SERPS.聽

Bard is still in the development stages and the SGE is only available to test in the US at the moment (We want it in the UK, Google!!!). But there is already a lot out there that gives us a clue about what will change and how. People with way more experience, for example, Lily Ray, Senior Director, SEO & Head of Organic Research at Amsive Digital, had a play already and came back with some really interesting findings.

I won’t go into detail, but one thing is for certain: search will never be the same again. The question is, to what extent will it change in the short term and in the long term?

At the moment, what jumps out to me, is that SGE currently sits behind a CTA button (as in a user needs to decide that they want to see the AI response) and does not show for all queries. If that remains the case, the impact will be much smaller.聽

I鈥檓 sure Google will be watching the CTA engagement closely if it does launch in that state. My prediction is that they will open this up and show the results without the CTA. This is when the impact will increase. Those diminishing organic clicks will tank even more and the race will be around getting your website somehow featured in the SGE response.

All search engines experimenting with AI are being cautious (having accuracy disclaimers and mostly don’t show for YMYL and some other questionable queries), but mistakes will occur and fixing it in time, due to the scale involved, seems almost impossible.

IT DEPENDS鈥

We can’t really answer the question of how positive, if at all positive, is the rise of the machines for SEO. It really does depend on a number of things, such as how people and search engines decide to utilise this remarkable technology.

Personally, I can鈥檛 see a world where a bot takes my job but it will (and does already!) make me more efficient and motivates me to focus on future skills that will make me a better SEO-er. How we search the web is changing but it is way too early to draw any conclusions on how things will look when it comes to SGE.聽

I鈥檓 still looking at this as an opportunity to grow my SEO skills. I鈥檓 hopeful that SGE will bring a better user experience and more helpful answers to queries. It鈥檚 becoming a bit samey out there with most first positions regurgitating the same advice.聽

But, the anxious side of me is worried about the impact this might have on accuracy and giving even more visibility to the sexist and racist bias we see online.

Long-tail effects of generative AI remain to be seen but we all should keep our eye on how it develops and try and keep pace.

And, now let鈥檚 see how ChatGPT wrote this article鈥. I used two prompts for this. My initial prompt was below.

This seemed a bit unfair towards my trusted assistant since I wrote in the first person and used a more casual tone and more of a storytelling approach. So I followed up with鈥

Below is what ChatGPT had to say鈥 Whether it is better or worse than my opinion piece above is up to you to decide. 馃槈

Title: “From Keywords to Conversations: My Journey with AI in SEO”

Introduction: Imagine being on a quest to conquer the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing. As an SEO specialist, I found myself faced with an intriguing challenge: harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to transform the way we approach Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Join me on this captivating journey as we explore how AI is revolutionizing the world of SEO, reshaping strategies, and unlocking new possibilities.

Chapter 1: Unleashing the AI Algorithms It all began when I discovered the incredible potential of AI-powered search algorithms like Google’s RankBrain. No longer limited to mere keywords, these algorithms delved into the depths of user intent, unveiling the secrets behind personalized search experiences. With awe-inspiring precision, AI deciphered context and understood natural language, transforming SEO from a guessing game to an art of understanding the hearts and minds of users.

Chapter 2: Embracing the Voice of Change In the midst of my SEO expedition, I encountered a rising trend that demanded my attention: voice search. Virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa had taken the world by storm, and SEO needed to adapt. Conversational queries became the new norm, and the days of rigid keywords were fading away. AI-powered algorithms evolved, and I embarked on a quest to optimize content for the voice-driven era, crafting answers that resonated with the questions of the curious.

Chapter 3: The Rise of Intelligent Content As I ventured further into the realm of AI, I stumbled upon a treasure trove of possibilities: intelligent content generation. Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms danced through mountains of data, transforming themselves into writing companions that could craft engaging articles, blog posts, and product descriptions. With AI’s guiding hand, I discovered how to amplify creativity, optimize existing content, and create an immersive digital experience for users.

Chapter 4: Personalizing the SEO Adventure One fateful day, I realized that AI had become my trusted ally in the pursuit of exceptional user experiences. By analyzing user behavior and preferences, AI algorithms enabled me to personalize content, recommendations, and product offerings. The journey became more delightful as I tailored SEO strategies to cater to the unique needs of every adventurer who landed on our digital doorstep. The conversions soared, and the bonds with our audience grew stronger.

Chapter 5: Unlocking the Visual Wonders In the enchanted realm of digital visuals, AI held the key to unlocking hidden treasures. Image recognition and video analysis technologies enchanted me with their ability to understand visual content. With AI as my guide, I ventured into optimizing images and videos, enhancing alt tags, refining metadata, and transcribing the untold stories within each frame. The visibility of our visual wonders soared, captivating a wider audience and weaving a visual tapestry of success.

Chapter 6: Insights from Competitive Rivalries As my journey continued, I found myself armed with AI-powered tools that revealed the strategies and secrets of our rivals. These tools bestowed upon me the gift of competitive intelligence, unraveling the tapestry of our market landscape. I could track trends, uncover opportunities, and make data-driven decisions that guided our conquest of the digital frontier. With each insight gained, we edged closer to becoming a true force in the SEO realm.

Chapter 7: Embracing the Local Charms In the final chapter of my AI-fueled adventure, I set my sights on conquering the local terrain. AI’s machine learning algorithms became my compass, helping me navigate the intricate paths of local SEO. By understanding geolocation data, user behavior, and search patterns, I discovered the power of hyper-targeting. The stories we told resonated with the hearts of local communities, driving foot traffic to physical establishments and leaving a lasting impression.

Final musings and battle outcome

It really all comes down to the prompt.聽 The first response I got was too dry. But when I added the word 鈥渟torytelling鈥 ChatGPT went too far in a cheesy direction.

I鈥檇 need to play around a lot more to get the prompt right. Eventually, I might be able to train it to write very similar to myself and likely even better. But even then I will need to check the output before publishing! The battle might have been rigged but I’m still claiming victory!聽

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