The rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the landscape of search engine optimization (SEO). As AI advances, many SEO professionals wonder what impact it will have on their industry and the future of SEO in general. In this article, we will explore the potential future of SEO in the world of AI.
Organic Traffic from Search Engines
The launch of ChatGPT by OpenAI on November 30, 2022, was seen by many as the first real attack on Google’s dominance as the primary search engine in the Western world. In response, Google introduced its own AI chat tool, Bard, which will be integrated into Google search gradually.
However, the implementation of Bard in the search engine and the growing market share of ChatGPT plus its implementation in Bing, form a direct threat to informational search queries. Websites that rely heavily on informational search queries, such as “how do I cook pasta carbonara,” may lose a significant amount of traffic over the next 12 months. However, money keywords such as “health insurance” or “buy a Nike sweater” are likely to remain unaffected by these developments in the next few years as AI chatbots can’t answer those questions. At least not yet.
Furthermore, the development of AI models like Bard may not be as fast as anticipated. As Google rolls out Bard, we may see a lot of kickback from publishers, as Google might not link to the sources that Bard bases its content on. Additionally, hallucinations are still a significant problem for AI models, with instances where non-existent books have been recommended. A complete fabrication by AI.
More Link Value in the Short Term?
While the development of AI content generation may lead to Google attaching less value to content, Google might need to look to other external factors that determine the value of a website. For that reason backlinks might become an even more critical ranking factor for SEO. As a result, in the short term, there could be more value placed on building high-quality links.
In the Long Run
In the long run, AI chatbots are expected to become better at assisting consumers in fulfilling their tasks, including buying or recommending products or services. This development could pose a significant threat to SEO as a traffic channel but it is too early to tell how fast this development is going and if you can also optimize search results for this. After all, the responses from an AI chatbot have to come from data gathered from somewhere.
Optimizing your website for AI bots
In the future SEO might get a whole additional layer of optimization. Optimizing your own or your clients’ websites for AI chatbots. One important factor for that is if these tools are going to link to the original sources that they used to create their content. For now, it seems like Bing is doing this. However, for Googles Bard, that is not totally clear yet.
As AI continues to develop, the future of SEO remains uncertain. It is, however, clear that AI will play an increasingly critical role in how search engines function, and SEO professionals must adapt to these changes if they wish to remain competitive. It is essential to embrace the development of the technology to make our work more efficient and effective. The key to success will remain a focus on creating high-quality content, building high-quality links, and monitoring changes to search engine algorithms. By doing so, SEO professionals can ensure that their work remains impactful in the ever-changing world of SEO and AI.
Dennis Akkerman is CEO of Seeders Group. He has built up the company from one, small office in the Netherlands, to an international marketing agency with offices across the globe. Dennis specializes in link building, SEO, SEA, Digital PR & leadership.