AI: Is This the End of SEO as We Know It?
The latest proposal by Google is to include an AI generated answer to your question at the top of the search results. Is this the end of SEO as we know it?
Whatever you do online to generate in income, you will know what AI is and how it impacts much of what you do.
You're probably already using an AI text generator like ChatGTP to generate a lot of content for your website or blog. Maybe even to create images too.
Since Google has stated that it is OK with AI generated content on websites, it might have seemed that the flood gates have been opened for trillions of words of content to appear.
Imagine that. Back in the day, Google was on the warpath to stamp out the ton of spun content that was being published by spammers.
All change. Let's not fool ourselves here and fall into the trap of believing that all this AI content is going to be carefully edited and fact checked by the many spammers that are still very much out there.
Most of the AI content published will be copied and pasted straight from the AI generator as is and used for whatever spammers like to use content for.
However, that's not the big potential problem I'm talking about here. I'm talking about Google using AI to answer questions put to the search engine.
AI Answers Your Questions
The proposed new change to the search engine results will see a complete, AI generated answer to the question posed to the search engine in a box at the top of the first page of the search results.
That's great for people searching for answers, for sure.
It means they don't have to waste time scrolling past all the ads to find real websites that contain those answers. Who needs websites and blogs any more?
For that matter, why bother clicking on any of those ads either, when the answer to the question is right there in front of the viewer?
Do you see the problem with that?
Google Scores an Own Goal
The problem is not only for website and blog owners who will lose a big chunk of whatever organic traffic their listing produces, along with a lot money made online.
While Google may not care too much for websites that run product reviews or provide research results that include monetization methods designed to pay the website owners for their work, the search engine giant DOES care about the revenue it gets from those ads!
It will care a whole lot more when a large percentage of the visitors to its search engine stop clicking ads because they already have their answer, thanks to AI.
Advertisers will also lose out, because if they can't generate the revenue needed to make a profit from those expensive ad blocks, they're almost certainly going to take they money somewhere else.
I have a feeling someone just shot themselves in the foot!
Why This Kills SEO
The other side of this problem is for website owners who rely on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to help their websites rank in a high enough position to attract some of those search engine visitors to their sites.
We (I am included in this debacle) have already lost a lot of traffic to the ads Google places at the top of the page. That's when we can manage to rank at or near the top of the page 1 listing.
We are losing more traffic to big players who manage to magically outrank most smaller websites for most search terms that attract anything like enough traffic to make it worth anyone's while producing content for it. What's left are mere scraps, but even those scraps can produce enough income to make it worth the time and effort it takes to produce the kind of high quality web content that Google keeps telling us it wants.
Imagine those traffic scraps also being taken away when the vast majority of people using search are provided with their answer right at the top of the page. There's no point in them visiting our websites for that answer, as Google's AI has just given it to them.
So for those of us who work from home, what's the point in putting time, effort and money into SEO when there's going to be almost no traffic to generate revenue to pay for it?
The Positive Side to AI Search Engine Armageddon
Is there a positive side (for us website owners) to this up and coming problem?
Some so-called experts are already talking about this and seem to think it won't be as bad as it sounds. Not all search queries will have an AI answer.
OK, that's something good, except the search queries that won't have an AI answer will also be the ones that have low search volume and are not ″buyer″ questions. By that I mean they won't be queries from people that are looking to buy something and are searching for info on certain products or product comparisons.
There are things that websites written by real people are very good at providing for people who want and demand human researched and written content.
So there isn't much of a positive side if this thing really rolls out to cover most popular, high traffic and buyer-oriented search queries.
And there's nothing, not a damn thing any of us can do about it.
If Google rolls this out for real and allows AI to answer all the popular search queries, it may spell the end for SEO, websites and blogs.
It may also spell the end for Google. Its monumental growth and domination of this sector of the Internet will be the very thing that buries it under the weight of its own demonic creation.
I expect that rivals Microsoft, Apple and other players that have a search engine solution will be watching this closely. They'll be ready to step in and take the spoils from a soon-to-be advertisement revenue stripped world leader when it implodes under its own stupidity.
It may be the end of SEO as we know it. But it may also be the beginning of a brave new world of search engines freed from the monopoly of one main player who was the author of its own demise.
Posted on May 20, 2023 | 0 Comments
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