Traditional and social media have been abuzz with talk of ChatGPT, Bard, and what AI tools are going to mean for how we use the internet for a wide variety of tasks. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of alarm out there—teachers and professors wondering how to adapt to a world in which students might wiggle out of doing their own writing by using ChatGPT instead, artists debating the impact of AI tools that generate artworks based off user prompts, even lawyers wondering how intellectual property laws may apply if artificial intelligence is using existing creative work as fodder to generate text, music, or images.
On the marketing side, the concern is that the use of AI tools will somehow torpedo SEO and search. As with any technological change, yes, we’re going to see a difference in how users conduct searches online when tools like ChatGPT and Bard gain greater traction. Does that mean that companies are going to have to go back to square one in figuring out how to be visible online? Not so much. The world may be changing, but that doesn’t mean the sky is falling.
The truth is, the kind of anxieties we’re hearing about the impact of AI tools are a familiar story. When voice-activated tools like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant were introduced, people were predicting that they would mean the end of online search—why would anyone Google something if a pleasant-voiced digital assistant could produce an answer on demand? Obviously, reports of SEO’s imminent death back then were greatly exaggerated.
New AI-powered tools are a meaningful step up from digital assistants. The latter are handy if you have a query like “what’s the temperature outside?”—something with a simple answer that can be found in their online knowledge base. AI chatbots go beyond that, not just gathering data but going through and distilling it to create more complex answers for less precise questions.
Sounds great, right? Not so fast. When Google introduced its chatbot, Bard, its parent company Alphabet lost $100 million in market value because the ad debuting its capabilities gave the wrong result for which satellite first took pictures of a planet outside of our solar system. The results you get from an AI chatbot may sound plausible and authoritative, but they aren’t always accurate.
That brings us to the other potential use case getting a lot of attention: content generation. If you can plug a suggestion into ChatGPT and generate an article about any subject, what’s to stop people from flooding the internet with endless reams of similar generic content? Won’t it be difficult for a website or brand to stand out from the background noise? Using search engines like Google may make it less obvious that the internet is already a noisy, cluttered place, because virtually nobody scrolls past the first page of results. Even a search as basic as “how to sew on a button” generates 33.6 million results—who has time to look further than the first few? Search engines are already very good at determining what belongs at the top of the list, and that’s not likely to change, because “more” is not a synonym for “better.”
What does this all mean? No, potential clients are not on the verge of abandoning regular internet searches to rely on the black-box, potentially incorrect results generated by AI chatbots. No, those same chatbots are not a shortcut to building an authentic online presence that will get your website in front of the people most likely to need your product or service. SEO still matters—and if you’ve been struggling with it, Iffel International can help – and we are focused on your sales strategy not just SEO!
Our approach recognizes that internet visibility isn’t the end goal—the point is to realize increased sales and profit. That’s why we start by analyzing what makes you money and then creating your SEO strategy, so you get the right traffic, not just more traffic. We know what it takes to get results, no matter how technology evolves. If you’re ready to find out how our SEO2Salestm process can work for you, contact us here today.
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