B2B Digital Marketing BlogChatGPT SEOHow Will ChatGPT and Bard Affect SEO?

How Will ChatGPT and Bard Affect SEO?

how will chatgpt affect seo

Over the past few months, ChatGPT has been all the rage. There’s a general feeling that it’s a revolutionary technology. Already, we can experience the effects of ChatGPT and related Generative AI: We can write emails, craft poems, and develop realistic imagery, all with a few prompts in a chat-based interface.

But how far-reaching are the effects of Generative AI? And more importantly, how do Microsoft’s ChatGPT-powered Bing and Google’s Bard affect how we make money through search?

Before we dive into these topics, let’s clarify what we’re dealing with.

Generative AI-powered Search Engines

Until recently, the word “search engine” was synonymous with Google Search, and Microsoft’s Bing was a far less popular option. Both B2C and B2B Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was most often associate with Google.

Then came OpenVerse’s ChatGPT, the AI that could write code, hold intelligent conversations, and give us advice like a wise friend. In a stroke of genius, Microsoft invested in OpenVerse and could leverage this revolutionary AI technology to make Bing relevant again.

And thus the AI-powered and much cooler Bing was born. But just what can it do?

The Capabilities of the New Microsoft Bing

The two most impressive capabilities of the new Bing are:

  • Concise answers. Users no longer have to review every result on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for a suitable answer to their query. Instead, they can receive direct, concise answers presented at the top of the SERP by the Bing chatbot.
  • A choice between search and chat. Users can satisfy their search intent by browsing through the SERP as has been the norm. Alternatively, they can engage in a conversation with the Bing chatbot, which feels like using ChatGPT.

These abilities have significant implications, which we’ll dive into right after the following overview of Google’s answer to ChatGPT.

What Is Bard?

Bard is a relatively new name that still means nothing to a huge portion of internet users. And that’s because it’s not yet mainstream.

Bard is the result of Google’s attempts to catch up to ChatGPT and the new Microsoft Bing. It’s an AI-powered search engine optimized to give conversational responses to queries.

With Bard, when a user makes a search, they receive the direct answer to their query at the top of the SERP. This section also includes three featured articles on the topic, which presents an opportunity to websites: SEO efforts will be geared towards winning one of those slots.

High-ranking pages have been significantly affected. Bard has pushed them further down the SERP, and there’s a huge chance that users will get all the information they need without clicking on the high-ranking results in the SERP.

Another interesting feature of Bard is that it allows a user to ask a follow-up query. Bard maintains the context of the first query while answering the follow-up.

Since the follow-up answers are presented in conversational form, this further reduces the organic traffic enjoyed by the websites on the SERP.

The Implications of the New Abilities of Search Engines

There’s no denying that AI like Chat-GPT will shake up the search industry. And while we’ll see the full effects with time, we can make some informed predictions.

Sites Will Lose Traffic

The new Bing and Google Search summarize information from some of the top results and present the summary at the top of the SERP. Think of this as an advanced featured snippet that draws from multiple websites.

While the answer section at the top contains links to the source websites, there’ll likely be no need for the user to visit them as all the necessary information will be at the top of the SERP. Our prediction is that schema markup for b2b and b2c will become more important.

As seen in the above screenshot, the searcher can learn about the adverse effects, causes, and risks associated with melatonin without visiting any of the websites the information was drawn from, including Mayo Clinic and Family Doctor.

Unique, High-Quality Content Is More Critical Than Ever

Chat-GPT can give satisfactory answers to general queries. For example, it can competently tell a searcher what digital marketing is. Additionally, it can answer questions needing niche-specific knowledge. As an example, it can compare and contrast email marketing strategies to help the reader choose the best one.

Consequently, websites will no longer be able to drive traffic by sharing information that can be acquired from other sources, be it books or website articles.

So, instead of an article detailing the advantages and disadvantages of a particular email-marketing strategy, a website will likely perform better by sharing case studies where particular strategies were used, complete with supporting data.

The Usefulness of Organic Search As a Marketing Strategy Will Go Down

Till now, organic search has been a highly-reliable source of free traffic and leads. As long as you did your SEO right, you were guaranteed that customers would come in through your website.

Your brand and reputation in the real world didn’t matter as much as they used to before the advent of digital marketing. Provided you ranked first on relevant SERPs, potential customers would trust that you knew what you were doing.

With AI-empowered search, it will no longer be as easy to get free traffic, meaning that factors like authority and real-world expertise will matter more.

Since it won’t be easy for search engine users to stumble on your website in the search results, for them to visit your website, they’ll have to really want to be there. As an example, people are more likely to seek out Forbes and NASA websites because of the reputation they enjoy in their respective fields.

For businesses that don’t have such strong brands, digital marketing strategies that help build brand awareness will become more important.

SEO Expertise Will Become Even More Important

Undoubtedly, Bard and the GPT-powered Bing are taking the world of search by storm, and businesses will need reliable SEO experts to guide them forward.

The good news is that there’ve been several industry-changing events before and the best SEO experts have helped their clients survive.

But it’s impossible to survive using shortcuts like the mass production of Chat-GPT articles. Such shortcuts usually work in the short term only to end up being detrimental in the medium and long run.

In any case, the best chance businesses have of surviving and thriving is to have proven experts in their corner. Looking for an SEO expert to drive sales to your business in the era of ChatGPT? Contact us, Inter Dev b2b digital marketing agency today.

There’ll Be New Opportunities

The one good thing about major changes is that they almost always present opportunities.

For example, Bing is giving answers to search queries in the form of an expanded feature snippet. This section, presented at the top of the search results page, contains links to articles Bing referenced while giving the answer. Websites that are included in this section will likely weather this change better than the rest.

As people get accustomed to GPT-powered search, such opportunities will reveal themselves, and SEO experts will learn how to capitalize on them.


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