Will AI Kill SEO? We Asked ChatGPT

It happens every two years.

First it was Jason Calacanis and Mahalo, then the early social platforms.

We’ve seen it again with voice search and smart assistants. For a minute, it was The role of TikTok. Then the metaverse jumped on the line.

Now, it’s ChatGPT and AI.

I’m talking of course about “SEO killers”.

Every now and then, new technology comes along, and three things inevitably happen:

  • Thousands of SEO professionals publish posts and case studies declaring themselves experts on the new thing.
  • Each publication dusts off its “SEO is dead” article, changes history, and researches and replaces new technology.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is still stronger than ever.

Rinse, repeat.

Search seems to have more lives than a cartoon cat, but the simple fact is: search is immortal.

How we search, what devices we use, and whether the answer is a link to a website will be forever debated.

But as long as users have tasks to complete, they will turn somewhere for help, and digital marketers will influence the process.

Will artificial intelligence replace research?

There’s a lot of noise right now about AI replacing both search engines and search professionals – I just don’t see that happening. I consider ChatGPT to be just another tool.

Like a knife: you can butter your bread or cut yourself. It’s all in how you use it.

Will artificial intelligence replace search engines? Let’s ask ourselves!

Screenshot from ChatGPT, March 2023

This is a good answer.

Many SEO professionals (myself included) have been saying for years that the days of algorithm spoofing are long gone.

Search engine optimization (SEO) has been slowly turning into digital marketing for a long time now. SEO can no longer be done without considering user intent, personas, use cases, competitive research, market conditions, etc.

Well, but doesn’t AI just do it for us? Will AI take my job? Here’s a crazy idea: let’s ask ChatGPT!

ChatGPT routerScreenshot from ChatGPT, March 2023

Artificial intelligence will not take your work. But the SEO who knows how to use AI to be more efficient might as well

Why? Let’s dig deeper.

I still see a lot of SEO pros writing articles asking AI to do things it simply can’t – and this comes from a basic understanding of how large language models actually work.

AI tools like ChatGPT don’t pull any information from a database of facts. They do not have an index or knowledge graph.

They do not “store” information the way a search engine does. They simply predict which words or sentences will come next based on the material they have been trained on. But they do not store these training materials.

They use word vectors to determine which words are most likely to come next. That’s why they can be so good And also hallucinations.

Artificial intelligence cannot crawl the Internet. She has no knowledge of current events and cannot cite sources because she does not know or maintain this information. Sure, you could ask her to cite sources, but she’s really just making things up.

For really common topics that are discussed a lot, they can be pretty close – because the odds of those words popping up next are really high – but the more specific you are, the more hallucinating you will get.

Given the huge amount of time and resources it takes to train the model, it will be a long time before the AI ​​can answer any queries about current events.

But what about Bing,, and the upcoming Google Bard? They can do all this, right?

Yes and no. They can cite sources, but that depends on how they are implemented. To greatly simplify, Bing does not require a pure chatbot.

Bing searches for your query/keyword. It is then fed in all the webpages that normally return for this search and asks the AI ​​to summarize those webpages.

You and I can’t do it on public-facing AI tools without hitting token limits, but search engines can!

Well, this will definitely kill your SEO. Artificial intelligence will answer every question, right?

I disagree.

All the way back in 2009 (when we were listening to Black Eyed Peas on iPhone 3Gs and updating MySpace top 8 on Windows Vista), a search engine called Live was renamed to Bing.

Why? Because Bing is a verb. This prompted Bill Gates to declare, “The future of research is action.”

I love sharing this quote with clients every chance I get because that future is now.

Gates wasn’t talking about people typing business words into search engines. He meant that people are trying to “do” something, and the function of research is to help facilitate that.

People often forget that search is a form of pull marketing, where users tell us what they want — not push marketing like a billboard or TV ad.

As digital marketers, our mission is simple: to give users what they want.

This is where the confusion comes in.

For many queries with simple answers, linking to a website with a pop-up cookie policy, notification alert, newsletter sign-up window, and advertisements was not what the user wanted.

It’s the best thing we had at the time. Search engines have never set the ultimate goal of providing links to websites. They set out to answer questions and help users get things done.

Even from the early days, Google has talked about its goal of being a Star Trek computer; She didn’t have the technology to do that at the time. Now, it is.

For many such inquiries, eg [how old is Taylor Swift?] or [how many megabytes in a gigabyte?]Websites would lose traffic – but they probably never should have had it.

Who owns this answer anyway? These are questions with simple answers. The user’s task is simply to get a number. They don’t want a website.

Smart SEO professionals will focus on the type of queries where the user wants to do something – like buy Taylor Swift tickets, get ratings for her album or concerts, chat with other Swifties, etc. And here AI will not be able to kill SEO or search.

What ChatGPT can do vs. What you can’t

ChatGPT can do a lot of things.

It’s nice to show me how to write an Excel formula or a MySQL query, but it will never teach me MySQL, sell me a course, or let me talk to other developers about database theory.

These are things a search engine can help me do.

ChatGPT can also help answer many “general knowledge” questions, as long as the topic is undisputed and old and popular enough to appear in the training data.

Even then, it’s still not 100% accurate – as we’ve seen in countless memes and with one bank famously calling out its article written with an AI that doesn’t know how to correctly calculate interest.

AI may list the most talked-about bars in New York City, but it can’t recommend the best place to get old-fashioned like a human can.

Honestly, all the SEO pros who talk about using AI in content creation are starting to bore me. Answering questions is nice, but where ChatGPT really excels is in text manipulation.

In my agency, we already use the ChatGPT API as an SEO tool to help generate content summaries, classify and group keywords, write complex regular expressions for redirects, and even generate XML or JSON-LD code based on the given input.

These are based on a lot of input from various sources and require a lot of manual revisions.

However, we do not use it to create content. We use it to summarize and examine other pieces of content and then use it to gather ideas. It’s less of an SEO alternative and more of a time saver.

SEO is here to stay

What if your work is based on presenting facts that you don’t really “own”? If so, you’re probably worried – not just about AI.

Boilerplate copy tasks can be handled by AI. Recent tests I’ve done on personal sites have shown some success here.

But AI will never be able to generate insights or generate new ideas, stay on top of the latest trends, or provide the expertise, expertise, authority, or confidence that a true author can.

Remember: it does not reason, cite, or even pull data from a database. It’s just looking at the possibilities for the next word.

Unlike the thousands of SEO professionals who have recently updated their Twitter resumes, I may not be an expert in artificial intelligence, but I do have a computer science degree. I also know what it takes to understand user needs.

So far, no data shows that people prefer auto-generated, paraphrased content over uniquely curated content written by a real human being.

People want new ideas and insights that only people can provide. (If we add me to EEAT, where should it go?)

If your business or content delivers value through insights, curation, current trends, recommendations, problem-solving or action execution, SEO and SEO aren’t going anywhere.

It may change its look from time to time, but that just means job security to me — and I’m good at that.

More resources:

  • Will ChatGPT take over your job?
  • 7 tips to land your dream SEO job
  • ChatGPT Examples: 5 Ways SEO and Digital Marketers Can Use ChatGPT

Featured image: Elnur/Shutterstock

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button