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Is ChatGPT the End of Search and SEO?

Is ChatGPT the End of Search and SEO Cover
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Machine-learning language models such as GPT-3 and ChatGPT, which can automatically generate intelligible copy in response to a prompt, comprise a disruptive technology in the truest sense: the effects of which will be wildly unpredictable.

[UPDATE: As expected, Microsoft has announced it will be integrating ChatGPT directly into its Bing search engine, and Google sees the writing on the wall.]

Is AI-powered Search Better than Traditional Search?

In a recent article by Maggie Appleton, she warns this new crop of AI language models will lead to a web in which “most open and publicly available spaces on the web are overrun with bots, advertisers, trolls, data scrapers, clickbait, keyword-stuffing ‘content creators,’ and algorithmically manipulated junk” to a degree even more so than it is today.

TLDR, if you think that the top results on Google were underwhelming, brace yourself for a deluge of meticulously composed yet unremarkable informational pieces churned out by SEO optimization enthusiasts to target every conceivable longtail keyword combination.

It is entirely possible that the model will skew and degrade over time. Garbage in, garbage out; it’s that simple.

ChatGPT is History Repeating Itself

The primary purpose of search engines is to provide relevant information to users. They’re designed to crawl the web, index, and catalog vast amounts of data, and provide search results that best match users’ queries. On the other hand, chatbots, like ChatGPT, are AI-powered messaging tools designed to engage users in conversations and provide personalized responses to queries.

Chatbots are useful for simple tasks like ordering pizza, booking a flight, or reserving a table at a restaurant. However, when it comes to complex queries that require detailed information, search engines are more reliable and up-to-date (ChatGPT is trained on much older data, and we think it is safe to say that it takes quite a bit to retrain the model regularly at this juncture). Search engines provide users with a plethora of information from different sources, making it easier to find the most relevant answer.

Emails are a perfect example of how technology can’t replace everything. Although emails are an efficient way of communication, they couldn’t replace other communication methods like phone calls or physical mail.

To this date, an email will never measure up to the value of a handwritten card to your loved ones.

Search is here to stay for a long time.

What should Publishers Do?

While AI-powered tools may not be as devastating as some may have thought, the media industry, be it written or video content will inevitably take a hit in revenue. While copywriters may try to innovate, and start writing deeper and more thought-provoking pieces, even that will be assimilated into the AI models down the road.

So what should we do? Are we writers doomed to make a career switch soon?

Well, we asked ChatGPT the same question, and this was their advice.

P.S it’s quite hilarious:

Chatgpt, an AI language model developed by OpenAI, has been criticized for copying and pasting content from publishers and bloggers without proper attribution. This practice is not only unethical but also reduces the incentive for content creators to continue producing high-quality content. Since Chatgpt provides direct answers to user queries, it eliminates the need for users to visit the websites of publishers and bloggers, reducing their potential reach and affiliate revenue. This could lead to a decline in the quality and quantity of content available online as content creators may choose to shift to other platforms or abandon their work altogether.

Despite the challenges posed by Chatgpt, publishers and bloggers can still work around this by adapting to the changing landscape of the online world. One way is to focus on creating original and high-quality content that cannot be easily replicated by AI language models. This could include creating more personalized content that speaks directly to the audience or providing more in-depth analysis and insights that cannot be replicated by a simple answer. Additionally, content creators can focus on building their brand and creating a loyal audience through social media platforms, newsletters, and other forms of direct communication. By building a strong relationship with their audience, publishers and bloggers can still attract traffic to their websites and generate revenue through affiliate marketing and other channels.

– ChatGPT

So there you go, to gain a strong following, publishers could consider taking their content elsewhere (maybe on Discord or messaging platforms like Telegram?) and start writing in a less generic fashion aka use more Singlish!

What about the SEO Bros?

As technology advances, the role of SEO professionals is changing. With the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the need for human-driven optimization is becoming less necessary. In the near future, search engines will be able to understand and interpret the context and intent behind search queries, rendering the need for keyword stuffing and other optimization tactics obsolete. As a result, SEO professionals will have to adapt and develop new skills to stay relevant in the industry. Those who are unable to adapt will eventually be replaced by the ever-evolving technology.

However, some may argue that SEO bros will still have a role in optimizing websites for search engines. While the value of SEO-optimized content may decrease, the need for the technical optimization of websites will not disappear entirely. SEO bros may need to shift their focus from generating content to technical optimization, such as improving website speed, mobile-friendliness, and security. In addition, SEO bros may also need to develop skills in other areas, such as data analysis and user experience, to remain relevant in the evolving digital landscape.

While the job market for SEO professionals may become more competitive, it’s unlikely that the industry will disappear entirely. Ultimately, the success of SEO professionals will depend on their ability to adapt to the changing landscape and develop new strategies that align with the advancements in search engine technology.

Psst… Time to pick up some basic Python skills!

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