There have been significant developments in the search engine industry recently with both Bing and Google integrating large language models (LLMs) into their search engines. Microsoft has launched an AI-powered search engine called Prometheus, which is powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3.5. It provides AI-fueled answers to searcher’s questions directly in the search results page, citing its sources from across the web. The intention here is to provide a complete answer without the need for users to click through to various publishers’ websites.
Similarly, Google has launched an AI chat program called Bard, which is also integrated into their search results. Unlike Bing’s Prometheus model, Bard does not clearly cite its sources, which might lead to significant pushback from publishers. Both Prometheus and Bard are currently in beta testing.
These new developments suggest a potential shift in the dynamics of SEO. Here are a few implications:
- User Experience: With AI providing more direct answers, the user experience is set to change. Users may no longer need to click through to a website to find their answers, which could result in reduced website traffic.
- Relevancy: Bing’s new model is being hailed as offering “the largest relevancy jump in search in two decades”, suggesting that relevancy and precision of information will be more critical than ever.
- Content Quality: The use of LLMs might increase the importance of high-quality, unique content. If the AI models pull answers from across the web, the chances of your content being included might increase if it provides unique value.
- Long-Tail Keywords: As AI models get better at understanding complex queries, it may become even more important to optimize for long-tail keywords and specific questions your target audience might be asking.
However, it’s important to remember that these models are currently in their beta phase, and their impact on SEO is yet to be fully realized. It’s also worth noting that Bing currently holds only about 4% of all search traffic, and while this might change, Google’s dominance in the search engine market remains significant.
In the meantime, it’s crucial to continue following best SEO practices, optimizing for both the number one spot and other high-ranking positions. Even with these advancements, not every query will be fully answered by the AI, and users will still find value in visiting websites for more in-depth information.
Furthermore, Google is pushing forward with new features like account-level negative keywords for Google Ads, allowing more streamlined ad management by excluding certain keywords across all campaign types, and the transition from Universal Analytics to GA4, which suggests that data analysis and ad targeting continue to be areas of focus.
In conclusion, the future of SEO will likely see a shift in focus but will continue to be a critical aspect of online marketing strategy. It would be wise to monitor these changes closely, adapt your strategies as needed, and consider investing in creating high-quality, relevant, and unique content that both users and AI models find valuable.