Op-Ed: Google Bard, ChatGPT, and Bing vs the future of SEO and search engines

Google plans to release a conversational chatbot named Bard in an AI showdown with Microsoft and ChatGPT – Copyright AFP Dibyangshu SARKAR

Google’s new AI Bard made a mistake in a question about the James Webb telescope. The markets hit Alphabet with a $140b devaluation for a wrong answer. Bing is being reinvented as an AI-assisted search engine. ChatGPT remains the benchmark.

You can take the market reaction, in this case overreaction, with a few tons of salt. Bard may simply have misread available information, or not had the NASA information required. It’s easy enough to do. It may not have been ready for launch, either.

The markets invariably oversell, overbuy, and overstate based more on market hype than anything else. This current sidetrack  is really missing the point about how significant AI will be in all areas of information. This is just the suggestion of a tip of an iceberg, not even the tip of the iceberg.  

Infallibility is now expected. That’s not going to happen. The AI for the search engines will be stuck with available information of whatever quality. The existing search process itself isn’t exactly infallible, either, as some people might have noticed.

The question is how strict the quality control standards are for the AIs. You could try quality control on vetting information with these AIs. Give them something to search with a lot of false information, and see what they do with it. That’s a tough ask, but could do wonders for shutting down the disinformation industry, too.  

The idea here needs to be that AI can cross-check itself for relevance to current search enquiries. Obviously, that must happen. The James Webb information existed, but apparently wasn’t accessed for some reason. It’s a hole in the process, but a findable and fixable hole.

Meanwhile, back in Search Land, where the money is… What about SEO?

The world basically runs on searches these days. Vast amounts of money are tied up in advertising and marketing. SEO is the driver. It’ll be interesting to see how the AIs manage SEO.

SEO is an ever-evolving science. SEO has to deliver performance, and achieve good search results. …So where is AI going to take SEO? It’s a trillion-dollar question, and it’s not going anywhere.

Advertisers could be in big, expensive, trouble. They may have to reconfigure SEO for clients and then do nail-biting analyses of outcomes. The AI’s idea of relevance may be quite different from existing models.

Efficient search results are one likely result. Nobody actually needs thousands of pages of results for a search. So a cutoff point is inevitable, if AI wants efficiency. That means a lot of SEO could simply be cut from searches. You can do “see more results”, but how useful is that, really?

Another more or less inevitable issue is sales metrics in terms of SEO performance. Sales metrics tell you whether your advertising is working In promotions and campaigns. It’s a fundamental process. You can lose clients if the metrics don’t work. This isn’t some mere number-crunching exercise. It’s bread and butter for businesses, and advertisers.

There’s a bright spot here. Ad targeting could be drastically improved from its present woeful state by proper matches of online products like YouTube to ads. You’re currently watching a romantic movie, and you suddenly get hit by an ad for that most romantic of subjects, groceries. UX? When? It’s awful.

It’s also wasted ad space. It actively antagonizes viewers. It’s mindlessly attached to product, and can’t sell much to anyone. Add some cookies, and you get ads for things you already buy. It’s pitiful.

This is where AI can make itself very useful. It can eliminate weak ads, and replace them with more relevant information without cookies. One of the things advertisers seem never to understand is that buyers can access any amount of information without ads.

The AI can streamline the ad process, without infuriating people using the media. You might try redesigning those pages for some less intrusive content, too.

Google, of all companies, should know that. A better selling point for Bard would be on Google Ads, where it can make itself extremely useful to clients and affiliates.

Bing, meanwhile, can be modernized, a long overdue process after years of antiquated 1990s-style outcomes. With any luck, some practical outcomes might freshen up the whole internet and make it a lot less clunky.

The ChatGPT AI revolution will deliver better searches and more efficiency in basic commerce. That’s not a bad result for a few weeks, even without the hype.


The opinions expressed in this Op-Ed are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Digital Journal or its members.

Op-Ed: Google Bard, ChatGPT, and Bing vs the future of SEO and search engines
#OpEd #Google #Bard #ChatGPT #Bing #future #SEO #search #engines

1 thought on “Op-Ed: Google Bard, ChatGPT, and Bing vs the future of SEO and search engines

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