What Does AI Chat-Based Search Mean for SEO?

Anyone who works in SEO knows one of the things we love but also hate most about our work is how search engines are constantly evolving. It’s what keeps it interesting, right?! 

Recently however these changes are coming through in waves. Big, big waves. Both Google and Bing have made dramatic announcements signaling their planned increased use of AI in search and search-related products: 

Microsoft revealed how they would be integrating the ChatGPT technology they have heavily invested in with their Bing search product. The experience is interactive as well. You can even ask follow-up questions or provide clarifying feedback and Bing will answer in context to your previous query.

Not to be outdone, Google then announced a number of new (or recently introduced) implementations of advanced AI in their own search products.

Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s post focused on Bard, Google’s new interactive chatbot.

The rise of AI chat-based search has the potential to significantly impact the way we, as digital marketers, need to optimise websites and content for search. AI chat-based search, also known as conversational search, is the use of natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to understand and respond to user queries in a conversational manner.

One way that AI chat-based search could impact SEO is by changing the way that people search for information. Instead of typing in short, keyword-based queries, users are more likely to ask full questions or use natural language to express their queries. This means that websites may need to optimise their content for longer, more complex search queries.

Another way that AI chat-based search could impact SEO is by changing the way that search engines interpret and rank content. Search engines may begin to prioritise content that is more conversational and more closely matches the language that users are using in their queries. There are no ranked results in chat-based responses (other than maybe your position in a “learn more” carousel of sites included). It won’t be so much about ranking as it will be about having the best and most relevant content. Something we’ve been spruiking for years ; ) 

To adapt to these changes, websites may need to focus on creating high-quality, and super-relevant content that is optimised for conversational search queries. This could involve using natural language and long-tail keywords in your content, as well as incorporating structured data markup to help search engines better understand the content of your pages.

Overall, the rise of AI chat-based search presents both challenges and opportunities for SEO. By staying up-to-date with the latest developments in conversational search and adapting their strategies accordingly, website owners and marketers can ensure that their content remains visible and relevant to users in a rapidly evolving search landscape

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