Search engine optimisation (SEO) service providers in the UK and the rest of the world are anticipating a tectonic change. The rise of various artificial intelligence (AI) tools is sending shockwaves to the SEO community. After ChatGPT comes a host of other AI-powered tools that are set to change the way optimising websites for search engines is done.
Diminished search engine relevance
One of the worries about AI chatbots that can provide quick answers to questions is the reduced use of search engines. SEO companies exist because of search engines. If some users ditch Google and other search engines in favour of ChatGPT or other AI chatbots, SEO businesses will have to adjust their services.
If this happens, SEO packages will likely change. Instead of mostly optimising websites for search engines, SEO companies will do more answer engine optimisation (AEO). This is a sub-field of SEO that focuses on making sure that a client’s content or product page becomes the answer used by an AI chatbot. However, the rise of AEO does not necessarily mean that SEO will lose relevance. It is unlikely for websites and the need to optimise them to become unnecessary. Nevertheless, the approaches will be tweaked to suit changing needs.
In relation to the changing SEO landscape, there is a possibility that some jobs may change, or downsizing may occur. With AI now capable of churning out keyword-optimised articles at a rapid pace, SEO writers will have to upskill to assume new roles.
This impact on SEO jobs may not materialise if search engines, Google in particular, make it a policy to reject AI-generated content. This does not appear to be the case, though, as Google announced its new stand on AI content. Previous discussions suggest that the search engine giant is against AI articles. However, Google has clarified that it will not ban AI-written content as long as it is created for people, not machines.
With AI tools now capable of doing many things proficiently, there is also the possibility that businesses will engage in DIY SEO. Instead of relying on companies to do it for them, they can use AI-powered solutions to do things on their own. There are many free tools available, and they can usually deliver decent outcomes.
However, the fear of DIY SEO killing an entire industry may be overblown. Just because free AI tools are available does not mean companies will use them and use them effectively at that. Many free powerful social media marketing tools are available today, but they have not driven social media marketing companies to extinction. Similarly, there is a long list of free DIY website building platforms, but they did not make web developers jobless.
The changes AI brings to SEO do not necessarily infer adversity. They can even serve as opportunities to evolve. The emergence of AI tools helps SEO companies work faster and smarter. They will compel companies to adapt and employees to learn new skills to handle tasks that require more critical and creative thinking. They can oversee the use of AI tools to ensure that the output stays in line with established standards. Some can shift to jobs that require more human engagement.
Artificial intelligence definitely has an impact on SEO. It is not an overreaction that SEO companies are preparing for the changes. There is a need to anticipate the disruption and keep an eye on new opportunities. Change is inevitable, and coping can be challenging. However, there is no reason to treat the growing prominence of AI as the advent of doom for SEO and other industries.