For those just joining us, every day during this challenge, I’m going to try and do something different or better, using currently available Artificial Intelligence tools.
It’s Day 13 of the #30DayAIChallenge and it’s time to imagine just what AI can do for the realm of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The rise of generative AI tools like ChatGPT has prompted a burning question: Will AI make SEO obsolete? In today’s challenge, we’ll explore the potential impact of AI on SEO and discuss what it means for companies and professionals who rely on SEO for their livelihood.
AI and SEO aren’t strangers:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) itself isn’t new to search. It already plays a significant role in the way search engines find and deliver the most relevant results to users. Through machine learning algorithms and natural language processing, search engines like Google have become smarter at understanding user intent, deciphering context, and analyzing content. These advanced capabilities enable search engines to serve up highly accurate and relevant search results. As the AI technology behind search engines continues to improve, users can expect even more precise and personalized results, making it essential for SEO professionals to adapt and align their strategies with the ever-evolving search landscape. But what about generative AI tools like ChatGPT…will they put SEO workers out of a job?
Generative AI: A Threat to SEO?
At first glance, it may seem like AI could render SEO irrelevant. After all, as AI tools like ChatGPT become increasingly sophisticated, they can generate search-optimized content in a matter of seconds. Moreover, voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri can provide users with immediate answers to their queries, bypassing the need for a traditional search engine altogether (especially when you combine current voice assistants with the power of generative AI, working behind the scenes). It all depends on how quickly user behaviour changes and the quality and variety of responses these technologies can deliver. For those looking for variety and focused research, improved search (perhaps with AI as an assistant) still seems like the best option. For those looking for quick and easy answers to easy questions, skipping the search engine altogether makes complete sense.
So, does this spell the end for search engines and SEO as we know them today Maybe not. While AI will undoubtedly change the way we search and access information, there are several reasons to believe that SEO will remain an essential part of the digital landscape.
- The Need for Human Touch
Although AI tools can create search-optimized content pretty quickly and efficiently (and they’ll keep getting better), they still lack the human touch that is often necessary to create genuinely engaging and relatable content. Readers tend to connect with content written by real people who can empathize with their emotions and experiences. As a result, the human element in content creation will continue to be valuable in the SEO world. Search ranking algorithms also prioritize originality and subject matter expertise, so being different in a sea of sameness has its advantages.
- AI as a Tool for SEO Professionals
Rather than seeing AI as a threat, SEO professionals should consider it as an opportunity to enhance their skills and work more efficiently. AI tools can help with keyword research, content optimization, and even link building, allowing SEO experts to focus on more strategic tasks and create higher-quality content that resonates with their audience.
- The Importance of Content Curation
As AI-generated content becomes more prevalent, the sheer volume of information available on the internet will continue to grow. In this vast sea of content, the role of SEO will become even more crucial in helping users find the most relevant and valuable information. SEO professionals will need to focus on content curation, ensuring that their content stands out and is easily discoverable by search engines and users alike.
- Evolving SEO Strategies
The rise of AI means that SEO strategies will need to adapt to stay effective. This might involve focusing on aspects like user experience, structured data, and domain authority to ensure that their content is prioritized and delivered by search engines and AI bots.
SEO – So What Can Generative AI Actually Do?
To figure out what’s possible, I asked ChatGPT about the types of prompts and outputs it could possibly help with…and I was a little surprised by the depth and range of capabilities. Here it is, verbatim:
As an AI language model, I can help you with various aspects of search engine optimization (SEO). You can provide me with information about your website, target audience, niche, and desired keywords. Based on this input, I can assist you with the following SEO tasks:
- Keyword Research: I can help you identify relevant and high-traffic keywords for your niche, considering search volume, competition, and user intent.
- On-Page Optimization: I can provide suggestions for optimizing your website’s content, including title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and image alt tags. This will help improve your site’s relevance to your target keywords and enhance user experience.
- Content Creation: I can generate content ideas for your blog or website that align with your target keywords and audience interests. I can also help you write well-structured, informative, and engaging content that follows SEO best practices.
- Internal and External Linking: I can help you identify opportunities for internal linking within your site, as well as potential high-quality external backlinks. This can boost your site’s authority and improve its search engine rankings.
- Technical SEO: I can guide you through optimizing your website’s technical aspects, such as site speed, mobile-friendliness, and URL structure.
- Competitor Analysis: I can help you analyze your competitors’ SEO strategies, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and provide insights on how to outrank them.
- Local SEO: If you have a local business, I can offer advice on optimizing your website for local searches. This includes optimizing your Google My Business listing, generating and managing local citations, and creating locally-focused content.
- SEO Audit: I can help you conduct a comprehensive SEO audit of your website, identifying areas of improvement and providing actionable recommendations.
- Schema Markup: I can guide you on implementing schema markup (structured data) on your website, which can help search engines better understand your content and potentially improve your search result appearance.
- Tracking and Analytics: I can help you set up and analyze key SEO metrics using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. This will enable you to monitor your website’s performance and make data-driven decisions for further optimization.
To get started, provide me with information about your website, target audience, niche, and desired keywords. You can also share any specific SEO goals or challenges you’re facing. Based on your input, I can provide tailored suggestions and assistance to help you improve your website’s search engine visibility and organic traffic.
Now, to be fair, some of the above would still need some technical expertise and a change in the way tools like ChatGPT currently work. But as their range of inputs and plugins expand, plus they have the ability to crawl entire websites, I can see a lot more possibilities for automation and time saving. For the “SEO Copywriters” out there though, generative AI is a mortal threat.
Let’s try a couple of tests
First, I asked it for a general SEO plan for a remote island resort:
The above is pretty good, though nothing you couldn’t find through a simple web search…plus someone still has to do all the heavy technical lifting here to bring this all to life.
How about some simple SEO copywriting though?
This was pretty quick and impressive…and free! Ordinarily, companies shell out quite a bit of money for copywriting, plus the costs only keep multiplying as you add more content and languages to the mix. I can totally see this area rife for some disruption.
What Does This Mean for SEO Companies and Professionals?
AI is clearly going to bring its share of challenges and opportunities for the SEO industry, necessitating adaptation and constant learning. On the one hand, by embracing AI tools and staying updated with the latest trends, SEO professionals can enhance their efficiency, optimize content, and focus on delivering better user experiences.
As AI-generated content becomes prevalent, focusing on high-quality, engaging, and creative content is going to be crucial to stand out and remain relevant. Investing in skill development and staying informed about SEO and AI advancements ensures continued value in the industry. Lastly, diversifying SEO services to include comprehensive digital marketing solutions content & social strategy, web solutions and paid media services may help maintain a competitive edge in the evolving landscape.
One thing’s for sure though…those making a living from “basic” SEO (think quantity over quality, keyword stuffing, etc.) that users or AI can tackle themselves are going to be out of job pretty soon.
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