Robot SEO Infographic | Featured image for the ‘AI & SEO?’ blog by Resurge Digital.

AI and SEO – Trends, Tools, and Practicalities

As AI-based innovations continue to emerge, artificial intelligence is becoming more commonplace in many marketing-related jobs, sometimes as a helpful tool, and sometimes as a challenge. But how do AI and SEO interact? There are two perspectives we can consider here and on which we would like to focus in this article.

Continue reading to learn more about SEO and AI, or get more out of your digital marketing with the help of our digital marketing services. Call us on 1300 659 035, e-mail [email protected] or get in touch online for our expert help.

SEO and AI Based Search ­– Better Search Results

Artificial intelligence is now more than ever beginning to openly drive the results we get when we search the web for information, products, services, or businesses. Although the search rankings of major search engines have been driven by machine learning algorithms such as Google’s BERT for quite some time already, artificial intelligence is now becoming just as important on the front end, as it was previously important on the back end.

The GPT panic spurred on by the rise of generative large language models such as ChatGPT, has lead to several of the largest, well-known, and widely used search engines developing conversational interfaces for searching the web and answering user queries. In late 2023, we can use the experimental Google Bard chat bot, the already somewhat established Bing AI, and DuckAssist – a newcomer from the privacy focused search engine DuckDuckGo.

There are analysts who see the embrace of generative AI as a threat to the SEO industry because searching the web with a search engine that uses AI to generate search results does not simply end with a list 10 blue links to choose from. The AI gives the user a comprehensive answer to their search query directly on the results page – we no longer must click on a link to take us to another website that answers our question. That said, both Google Bard and Bing Chat still quote the sources on which they have based their answer.

As a practical example, we have asked Google Bard to tell us about Brisbane digital marketing agencies and although it did not give us a list of 10 blue links to pick from, it gave us 5 business names, including our own, with a short description and a website link for each.

Google Bard Sample | Featured image for the ‘AI & SEO?’ blog by Resurge Digital.

We have asked Bing Chat a similar question and received a similar response in a similar format.

In each instance, we were given five choices, including a link to the website of each respective business that provides the services we were interested in when we asked about digital marketing agencies in our location.

Even if the idea of keyword rankings, or the goal of being on the first page of Google, or being in the top 3 search results for one keyword or another goes away in the future, it will still be important to appear as an answer or a source used to give an AI generated answer.

If searching for a “plumber in Brisbane” no longer produces a page of 10 results by default, but rather a message suggesting several, finite number of businesses to consider, it will still be important for those service providers who want or need to have an edge over their competitors to ensure that they are appearing as such a suggestion.

However web search might change in the future, SEO industry professionals will continue to investigate and try to understand what causes search engines to suggest some websites and businesses over others in these new types of search results, and provide services to achieve just that.

SEO and AI Tools ­– Better Search Engine Optimisations

The other side of the AI and SEO coin is the process of search engine optimisation itself. Earlier this year, we have discussed the various considerations for AI and copywriting. Using generative AI such as ChatGPT for web content writing tasks is just one example of how artificial intelligence can be a useful tool for better search engine optimisations.

Artificial intelligence driven tools can also provide better marketing insights and help to identify marketing opportunities. Earlier in 2023, Google started sunsetting Universal Analytics, forcing marketers to upgrade to Google Analytics 4 which uses AI to enhance data insights for its users.

Some level of SEO automation may be practical in the future as well. However, we believe there is no AI substitute for an experienced SEO specialist just yet. There is a plethora of analytics, auditing, website building and optimisation tools and platforms which an experienced SEO professional must juggle to deliver results for their clients. While there are AI systems that can interact with and pull data from some software, there is no commercially available AI system that can effectively access, understand, and manipulate all software a human SEO could use to independently derive actionable insights, and then practically implement them on a website. Currently, even when using AI tools as aid, the SEO process still requires a human in the driver’s seat for decision-making, management, and implementation.

AI and SEO – Trends, and Predictions for the Future

The SEO “game” may change, the goals and objectives can certainly shift, and the methods of achieving them will likely also have to be updated, but as long as the game itself exists and is “playable”, there will be those who will continue to play it. We think that AI and SEO are likely to coexist in the future, with search engine optimisation adapting to deliver results regardless of how web search changes because of artificial intelligence or for any other reason.

Get more out of your website with the help of a professional Brisbane digital marketing agency. At Resurge Digital, we deliver SEO Brisbane wide and beyond. Call 1300 659 035, e-mail [email protected] or enquire online for our expert help.

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