TL;DR: If you were unable to attend our event, “Will ChatGPT Kill Google?” you can catch the recap here or watch the full recording of the event below.

Event Description

On February 15th, we hosted the second part of our Monthly ML Madness webinars, where we talked about how ChatGPT will affect Google, the search landscape, and SEO copywriting.

Jess Peck, ML engineer at Local SEO guide, joined the CEO and Founder of the Gray Dot Company, Tory Gray, and CDO at the Gray Dot Company, Samantha Torres, to discuss what you need to know about what tools like Chat GPT actually mean for the future of search, SEO, and SEO jobs.

Webinar Discussion Questions

The panel discussed important questions about ChatGPT such as:

1. Will SEOs and content writers become extinct?

AI is unlikely to replace SEOs or copywriters, in general. It should be viewed as another tool in your tool set because of its obvious flaws. ChatGPT, in particular, is using an older model, so it doesn’t have any up-to-date information and sometimes gets things wrong.

You’ll still need to have an SME who can actually vet and make sure that you’re talking about the right things. The same as you would do with any kind of junior copywriter.

Additionally, many SEO & content job roles will likely shift to address the limitations of AI. For example, AI-generated content will require fact-checkers, editors, and other experts to provide oversight and ensure the accuracy of its outputs.

There are a lot of opportunities to use it to generate topics from keywords or outlines, rephrase copy in different verbiage, craft emails, or do other tedious tasks. This frees up SEOs and experienced writers to focus on the things that really only they can do or only a human can really do. It’s probable the roles will change to supplement AI vs. AI simply replacing SEOs and experienced copywriters.

2. How accurate and dependable is ChatGPT?

GPT might not be perfect yet, but it was noted by the audience that:
“It has saved me hours and hours in my work week and allowed me to do much better SEO research in half the amount of energy it would take normally.” Additionally, they said it has helped them with link building, keyword research, persona, and pain point research.

While it can be helpful to streamline many tasks and scale production, ChatGPT still has limitations. For example, the copy it outputs can sound generic and dry. It also doesn’t provide update-to-date information and requires human oversight to ensure the accuracy of information. You can read more about its limitations here.

3. Will ChatGPT replace Google?

Google’s response to ChatGPT was to launch its own version, Bard, but the launch has been a bumpy one. ChatGPT and other AI models have the ability to steal users who have queries with informational intent, which poses a large challenge to search engines such as Google and Bing. The impact on organic search and search engines will likely be determined by how quickly they can innovate to catch up and how well they incorporate the best features of AI like ChatGPT.

For SEOs and content writers, Google’s botched launch of Bard has a silver lining, Tory Gary explains:

“It’s almost as if by introducing it so early, we can be prepared for it, and we’ll have time to prepare for it because it will eventually get good. But in terms of like, will we have jobs tomorrow? As long as we have time to transition and cross-train people, we’ll have time. So in some ways, that’s good for humanity that they really blew this launch.”

4. How will more AI-generated content impact search?

AI-generated content will likely result in an explosion of content and companies seeking to scale their production. This could mean that SEOs and content creators need to be more strategic and have a unique value proposition in what is being produced to compete effectively in search.

Currently, AI tools are rehashing the same things that have already been posted. There may exceptions, but if trends continue, and you don’t layer in expertise or unique perspective and dig deeper, then your content may be unlikely to rank.

The Key Takeaways

  • “Google is dead” “SEO is dead”. “SEO is dead” “Google is dead”
    • How we all define “dead” varies. Clarify your conversations, so we’re talking about the same thing. Is it:
      • 100% of SEOs (or Googlers) out of a job – dead and buried?
      • Just an evolving landscape, with jobs lost, and a similar amount of new jobs created?
      • Massive shifts/layoffs, and/or market shrinkage,  in a short period of time? 
  • Google’s Threat: ChatGPT/Bard is likely not enough – on its own – to take out Google. But, in combination with other Google threats (TikTok and other recommendation engines, antitrust investigations, etc.) … it’s a space to watch (for shrinking search market share 👀)
    • It won’t always be free
    • It’s often not trustworthy or dependable, and that’s already causing issues
  • SEO, and the open web, are experiencing a real and valid threat.
    • From who? 
    • For who?
      • Junior copywriters: Copywriting needs may shift to more complex, nuanced (SME) subjects, or those that require first-hand human experience. 
        • Potential growth opportunities: fact-checkers, editors/copy editors, and other roles that involve fixing content written by a LLM.  

What’s Next?

Keep an eye out for our March installment of ML Madness, “Don’t Be Creepy: AI and Analytics.” We’ll be talking about:

  1. what insights can you get from analytics and ML
  2. How to use AI and how can you use it to get information about a website
  3. When can this kind of information gathering go too far?

We’ll share more details and where you can sign up soon!

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