As we adapt to and adopt new technologies and platforms, follow these 8 guidelines to protect and advance your SEO profession.
“SEO is no more,” For what feels like the 20th time this year, we hear it again.
“No one uses Google anymore; everyone searches on TikTok now!”
“Generative AI in the SERPs is going to steal all of our clicks!”
In today’s cookie-less world, it is impossible to demonstrate the value of SEO.
The search industry is plagued by a lot of alarmism. There is a lot of bad news.
Being an SEO professional can seem dangerous given the rising cost of living and declining job markets.
In fact, there are many changes in store for the way SEO experts operate and justify their value.
However, it’s unquestionably not the apocalypse scenario that is currently trending on social media.
What Is Likely To Change Quickly That Might Affect SEO Roles
The day-to-day responsibilities of an SEO expert may be impacted by certain significant developments that are approaching.
Large Language Models (LLMs) And Artificial Intelligence
What potential effects might artificial intelligence—a recent buzzword—have on an SEO expert’s job?
Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) Using Generative AI
While other businesses worry that AI may replace humans, we are furthermore concerned about the possibility of the extinction of our entire industry.
Where is the need for SEO experts if search engines are replacing their own AI-generated content with ranked third-party material?
We’re expected to accomplish more with less thanks to AI.
Many businesses are considering using AI to replace functions and outputs in order to reduce operating costs.
Where automation is viable, the SEO industry has always been fast to implement it, but the creation of the automation still necessitates the expertise of an SEO expert.
Could non-SEO professionals employ freely available AI technologies to mimic the expertise of an SEO professional?
Other Search Engines
The most popular search engine may not always be a Google-owned website.
More users are becoming aware of the consequences of using the larger search engines
It’s possible that not enough has been said about this.
We are aware that Generation Z is growing increasingly aware of how their behaviors affect society and the environment.
Their selection of search engine may soon be impacted by this.
For instance, running the enormous servers required to operate a search engine like Google or Bing has a significant environmental impact. To counteract this, we might see this generation use a more environmentally friendly search engine like Ecosia.
More people are becoming aware of how they are tracked online and are expressing a desire for greater search anonymity.
TikTok Users Remaining On The Platform To Search Rather Than Using A Traditional Search Engine This year’s big news involved users staying on the platform to search for recommendations, items, and more.
Previously considered to be part of organic search, clicks are now included in the total of social media visits.
Proof Of The Value Of SEO
We need to be able to demonstrate the value of an SEO professional’s skill set more than ever given the growing emphasis on budgets, consolidation, and automation.
Not only can fewer search users be counted as organic traffic due to their usage of other platforms to conduct searches, but conversions are also being ascribed elsewhere due to the evolving attribution models in tools like Google Analytics 4.
On the surface, the “data-driven attribution model” in Google Analytics 4 appears to minimize the importance of organic search in the customer journey.
For instance, according to a GA4 study I saw, paid search accounted for 79% of a conversion’s value whereas organic search accounted for 21% of it.
This is true even though the customer’s search journey involved 20 organic and 1 sponsored search visits.
Since consent to use tracking cookies is now required by law in many nations throughout the world, more visit data is being lost.
As a result, it becomes more challenging to demonstrate SEO’s effectiveness.
Making our careers future-proof in light of changes
How therefore can we as SEO experts make sure that our jobs adapt to the changes while still being beneficial to an organization?
The eight suggestions that follow are intended to lessen the risk to our jobs that many people are concerned about.
- Make Clearer Than Ever the Need for SEO Skills
The thought that things are changing so quickly is one of the reasons this is such a challenging moment for many SEO practitioners.
The SERPs’ adoption of AI seems to have taken place overnight. With it, organic listing space on the SERPs is getting narrower and smaller, while the search engines’ walled gardens are growing bigger.
However, you might (and should) counter that this simply indicates a rise in demand for hotshot SEO specialists. The rivalry to be listed in organic search results will continue as long as those listings are available.
A solid SEO strategy will always be required.
Although the number of organic search result visits to our websites may decline, companies will still want to be mentioned in generative AI replies. They’ll still seek to occupy what little biological space is available.
The SEOs will continue to bear full accountability for it.
Start discussing these trends with your companies and reiterating how crucial SEO is as generative AI takes control of the SERPs.
- Showcase Situations in Which Generative AI Won’t Be Used
When discussing SEO with stakeholders, it’s also important to explain that there will be some topics where generative AI won’t be prominent in the SERPs.
Take a look at Google’s own words: “SGE is intended to not produce a response for certain topics. There may just be a dearth of trustworthy or high-quality information on some subjects on the public internet.
SGE attempts to avoid producing an AI-powered snapshot in these instances, which are also known as “data voids” or “information gaps” when our systems have less faith in human responses.
Consider the situations where this might be applicable in your own industry, such as high-risk YMYL scenarios or those where there isn’t enough data. It is likely that organic search will continue to have access to this.
Start these conversations with important stakeholders right once to reassure them of the necessity of continuing the SEO approach.
- Understand AI Prompting
Instead of being afraid of AI, embrace it. Develop your prompt creation skills.
Get used to AI playing a role in your job.
Jobs could be replaced by AI if things turn out as the pessimistic internet corners have predicted.
However, if you use it in your capacity as an SEO expert, you’ll be able to show how AI improves your productivity and frees up your time for the tasks AI cannot replace.
- Show Cases Where AI Can’t Replace Humans
Although AI will be very helpful in doing SEO tasks, there will always be situations in which it cannot completely replace a human worker.
The main factor in this is that SEO has several moving elements.
An SEO expert must constantly be coming up with a plan while considering the complexity of the website, the industry, and the competition. Budgets and resources will need to be prioritized by them to guarantee that the necessary task is done at the right time.
Stakeholders will be contacted in order to secure their support and approval. To create a solution that benefits both developers and SEO, there will be problem-solving with developers.
Although AI may be able to help with some of this or possibly attempt all of it to some extent, it’s unlikely that it will be capable enough to take the position of an SEO expert.
- Apply Your Knowledge To Other Search Engines
Utilize search engines like Ecosia and DuckDuckGo to expand your knowledge.
As SEO experts, we frequently fall into the trap of concentrating all of our efforts on the top search engines in our area.
Although they will rank content differently, there will be commonalities.
To find out what works best with these more specialized search engines, you might want to start trying.
Learn the subtle differences between their SERPs and those of the more well-known search engines in your sector.
Watch how your target market is reacting to concerns like data privacy and environmental effect.
- Start using your abilities outside of conventional search platforms.
Consider learning how to optimize for platforms having search capabilities besides search engines, such as social networking and business review websites.
For instance, having expertise in SEO puts you in the lead when it comes to comprehending how Facebook’s algorithm reacts to material.
Additionally, they will place you in a fantastic position to rule Amazon’s product listings.
Gain more hands-on experience optimizing for different search functionalities. For instance, TripAdvisor presence may be crucial to your sector.
Look for chances in your present position or consider personal initiatives that will allow you to gain experience with the algorithms used by other platforms.
- Increase Your Impact Outside of Marketing
Seek out chances to use the SEO abilities you’ve learned in other corporate divisions.
For instance, knowing how search engines operate can help you be a valuable advisor to the group working to optimize the internal search feature of your website.
You will have a deeper understanding of code than most non-developers have.
You are likely to offer website adjustments with a very practical mindset because of your ability to weigh the needs of users and search engines.
Begin looking for chances to increase your influence across the company.
- To Show Results, Look Beyond Traffic Metrics
We SEO experts have a history of emphasizing metrics that may not accurately reflect the genuine value of our labor. The primary indicators, such as impressions and sessions, that we all (mostly) agree on could, however, start to look less remarkable.
Our main indicators can decline year over year as search engines offer more solutions in the SERPs or as more users resort to alternative platforms like TikTok for discovery.
We must begin using different criteria to gauge our progress.
For instance, can we start monitoring brand mentions in the SERPs if the rise of generative AI means that fewer people will go through to our website since they have all the information supplied to them?
the search industry will undergo significant change over the coming years, but that has also been the case for the past ten or so years.
As SEO experts, we will need to adapt and accept new platforms and technology, but it will also be a fantastic chance to flex our creative muscles.