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- Why are people worried about automation and AI when it comes to SEO?
- When you reduce investment in organic, you have to increase investment elsewhere – usually at a lower ROI
- Do what works right now instead of figuring out what might happen in a year or two
- Google is not ranking AI-generated content higher than human-made
- Will SEO involve AI-Optimization?
SEO has been declared dead many times over the years, and it has so far never actually been true. Recently the demise of SEO has been blamed on AI tools and other automation such as articles written using ChatGPT.
Why are people worried about automation and AI when it comes to SEO?
A friend worried about it (paraphrased):
“Companies are getting nervous about Google using AI for their search engine and even generating search answers. Companies are concerned it will cut into their organic traffic, so they are reducing expenditures in editorial and SEO”
I can empathize, especially as it is really difficult to tell a client that they are wrong when you are worrying about it yourself.
If you are not found in search engines you don’t exist
While it is tempting to walk away from content and SEO, what will you do otherwise? It’s not like you can just not be in search engines.
Even brick-and-mortar companies that rely on foot traffic need to be found in search, so if you are an online company there is no way to avoid it.
When you reduce investment in organic, you have to increase investment elsewhere – usually at a lower ROI
Companies who do not invest in organic search still need to generate visibility and leads, so if you reduce your investment in organic that means upping spend on paid traffic.
Does advertising work? Sure! I would argue it is seldom a better return on investment than organic search, and if you are pivoting just now then expect a good couple of months where the ROI will be negative or borderline break even, because you need to throw a lot of spaghetti before any sticks.
Do what works right now instead of figuring out what might happen in a year or two
Regardless, if something is working then why switch now?
If it isn’t broken don’t “fix” it!
It is definitely a good idea to keep an eye on the future but things are so fluid right now with Google’s own UI and also their ranking algorithm, we can’t really draw very good insights from the information we have at hand.
There is money being made right now, and you can bet there will be more made in the near to medium term, do not turn off your organic traffic faucet unless you have a really good alternative.
Google is not ranking AI-generated content higher than human-made
Now if your concern is around competing with buckets and buckets of automated content, keep in mind that Google most wants to surface the best, highest quality content that demonstrates expertise and experience – things AI can not provide.
Even when AI improves, it will never have first-hand experience. It can’t.
Plus, people like to work with other people who they know, like, and trust. Again, nobody is in a hurry to seek out AI-generated content other than AI tool users.
Will SEO involve AI-Optimization?
One of the potential futures might involve learning how to influence search and AI tools to use (and cite) your articles in their results. Wouldn’t that be interesting?
Right now, today, we have clients who get thousands of concurrent users delivered by Google. No other traffic source is as reliable or as voluminous.
Yes, some clients get great traffic spikes from social channels, from news, or from things like Discover, it is a rollercoaster, hard to influence directly, and therefore difficult to plan a business around.
SEO will be here for a while, might as well take advantage of it!