There is a lot of discussion in SEO right now about SEO vs AI. I see debates daily on Twitter and LinkedIn.
For example this question on LinkedIn:
And here is my perspective:
AI = SEO
AI is part of the SEO game and it already has been for a while.
SEO is that my company gets mentioned by a search or prompt. I would say both Google and ChatGPT are AI answer machines. So maybe it should be called AEO (Answer Engine Optimization) but that’s irrelevant to me.
I don’t care if people find answers on ChatGPT or Google. I am optimizing to be included in the answers everywhere.
One example of how Google already uses AI
“featured results” is powered by AI in many cases. I just did this search:
- Intelligently highlighting texts from a website in the search results. Google understands what you want to know even if you don’t give a lot of details
- Your search is also intelligently categorized. So now Google can find other relevant monuments and even include their answer (see the height is shown below them)
- And finally will give you relevant further info. Again, this info is semi-intelligently chosen. AI could be involved here too.
Here is the proof that AI = SEO
The picture below is a user in our system that signed up yesterday. We asked where the user found us and “chatgpt” was mentioned. We see this weekly by now.
This means ChatGPT went in and selected our tool (among 300 competitor tools) and displayed it to the user. I magine the user prompted “give me a list of the best SEO tools”.
To be fair “Google search” appears roughly 50x more. So it’s still a small trend we are observing.
SEO will transform into the discipline of being relevant for an AI chatbot like ChatGPT or Googles own Bard (currently in beta).
And I think this shift will be very undramatic. I predict Google will remain the search engine of choice for a long time, and if ChatGPT should win significant market share we will just dedicate more ressources to optimize for that too.
Maybe the biggest change, will be the rise of AI writing tools to help out with SEO. It’s kinda ironic that the claimed SEO killer becomes a boost for SEO instead 😀
Why ChatGPT text answers will not be better than Google search in many cases
There are many searches where it still makes sense to get results in the format Google is doing it right now.
Someone searching for “Grocery store Copenhagen”
You really just want an intelligent Google Maps view here. Not an AI chatbot text.
Someone searching for “Best laptops for coding”
You probably would like to see what real humans say on Reddit and Qoura for example. You might also be interested in experts like Toms Hardware etc. An AI answer might be interesting too as part of the mix. But won’t stand alone.
In general, with Google you get images/videos/maps and even graphs as part of your search. This visual experience is often superior to text output. And it’s way faster than AI prompts.
I get a bit old MS-DOS days vibe when I use ChatGPT. It’s this text input/output machine. It’s an amazing format for coding advice for example. Not so much for discovering beautiful flowers for the garden.
Thanks for reading this opinion post. Always happy to connect on LinkedIn and hear your thoughts abot this topic.