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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Effects of AI Search on SEO

A careful analysis of the development of AI search engines and what it means for SEO

Users will undoubtedly be able to engage with AI search results. Search engine marketers have two options: they can get upset and do nothing, or they may look ahead and become ready.

Both Google SGE and Bing use AI that combines chatbot technology with traditional search methods.

However, it isn’t always how AI search results appear in AI search businesses today.

What’s experimental now may become the norm within the next year or two.

How To Prepare For AI Search

It’s important to consider what other AI search engines are doing because they are all providing innovative methods to search that go far beyond Google SGE and Bing.

Perplexity AI is one AI search engine that has cutting-edge technology and has the potential to revolutionize search.

According to Google’s Daily Trends dashboard, the search term “Crocs cowboy boot” was trending and growing viral at the time of writing.

I looked up Perplexity AI in a search to test how it responds to a popular query.

Screenshot of Perplexity AI SERPs:

As can be seen above, a descriptive title is important in a chatbot style AI search engine.

A query for “What’s the best way to build links to a website” shows this result:

The title is crucial for luring clicks if Perplexity AI is the future of SERPs. The favicon of the webpage also becomes more significant.

Moz’s symbol is distinctive. We’re going to have to get used to looking at the SERPs and determining which sites stand out the most.

Instead of freaking out and losing it, consider what the AI search engine is doing and figure out what a website can do to perform better and receive more clicks.

SEO For Google Search Generative Experience

It is frequently noted that SGE could decrease website clicks.

I’ve thought about it, and I disagree.

The assumption that Google will eliminate website traffic is false for several reasons, the first of which is that there is no such thing as the SERPs as 10 blue links.

With the launch of Google Local Search in 2004 one may conclude that the paradigm of 10 organic links started to fade.

Google began providing quick replies to fact-based searches in 2005, including those pertaining to science, celebrities, and other topics.

After Google added Featured Snippets and Local Packs in 2014, in addition to many other search capabilities, the 10 blue links paradigm essentially vanished.

Stop thinking about position five, positive eight, and position ten, as an industry.

For the past nine years (and longer, actually), only the top three SERP positions have been significant.

Therefore, let’s stop claiming that SGE would interfere with traffic from the organic SERPs as that is no longer the case.

Here’s what we should consider:

  • In general, the top three search results consistently account for the most clicks.
  • Ads and the top three dominate.
  • Everything beneath those positions might as well not exist.

For vague search queries the top three themselves sometimes aren’t a thing anymore because Google’s refining those queries with things like People Also Ask, videos, and featured links to news.

The key thing to remember is that the top three search results positions are what count most, and anything listed below them has, in all honesty, essentially stopped mattering for years.

The Organic Top Three

I find it intriguing that Google SGE displays three search results, and I don’t believe this is a coincidence.

Given that the top three results have consistently received the most clicks, it makes likely that Google would apply this to Search Generative Experience.

The assumption that the AI apocalypse is about to wipe out the SERPs turns out to be poorly thought out and grossly exaggerated, if we just take a time to think things through carefully.

Screenshot Of Google SGE SERP

Closeup Screenshot Of SGE SERP

The top three are so still present, along with a link to further websites.

My best assumption is that Google decided to continue displaying the top three most-clicked webpages in the SERPs since those are the webpages that have always mattered the most.

There is, however, a link to additional search results, as seen in the screenshot up top.

In a few SGE experimental SERPs, Google incorporates contextual links into the summary that is provided.

Contextual links are advantageous for the websites they link to since they often receive more clicks than image links that resemble advertisements.

SEO For Google SGE

Google has for years aimed to become a natural language search engine that doesn’t rely on keywords. That’s basically a reality now.

BERT and other technologies transformed how webpages are understood and subsequently ranked.

It is likely that the SEO paradigm of writing content that makes sense, is helpful, is useful, and is of the right length will continue to be significant.

However, obtaining clicks from the present design of SGE SERPs may necessitate careful consideration of how to choose a featured image that stands out and effectively conveys the topic at hand.

It’s a good idea to keep a watch on how Google Search Generative Experience (SGE) lists webpages because it might someday replace traditional search engines as the go-to option.

It’s probably a good idea to consider featured photos explicitly right now because they are crucial for Google Discover traffic in terms of drawing attention.

Understanding SEO for Google AI Search is not a simple task.

The present implementation of generative AI search combines generative search and conventional ranking algorithms.

That might alter. New search engines are already using more AI to power their search results.

But when we come to that bridge, let’s cross it.

Many new bridges are being built.

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