As with several other things, AI technology has the potential to improve the online search engine experience. However, many fear the encroachment of generative AI could significantly disrupt the $65 billion search engine optimisation (SEO) industry.
AI is Disrupting the SEO Industry
Following the popularity of AI tools like ChatGPT, which many people speculated could upend the search engines, major providers like Google and Bing themselves have since been adjusting to the trend and implementing AI updates to maintain their relevance.
For instance, Google recently launched SGE (Search Generative Experience), which leverages AI technology to provide answers and summarise texts on online searches against the regular Search Engine Results Page. The new feature is also being improved to generate images from users’ searches.
Microsoft’s Bing is not left alone. Bing’s search interface now includes a feature for an AI-powered conversational chatbot that not only writes drafts, answers questions, and summarises texts but also embeds reference links to the sources.
At the top, what we are seeing is mostly search engines advancing their platforms to accommodate the generative AI trend. However, the path for blog owners, websites, online creators, SEO specialists and every other entity that makes up the SEO industry remains lonely and uncertain.
As Google and Bing, which dominate the search engine market, continually push new AI improvements to their platform, AI-generated search results would get better, thereby drawing more users.
Is This The End of The SEO Industry?
Consequently, this would mean lesser traffic and, of course, lower income for blog owners and online creators. Will it be the end of the SEO industry? Maybe or maybe not. It remains unarguable that generative AI has the potential to disrupt the online search experience, but at least not immediately.
The implementation of generative AI in search engines still faces some key drawbacks, which include unreliability. Some users’ experience with AI has been soiled by inaccurate answers and information that the tools often provide.
AI-generated results ought to be accurate and trusted enough by the general public to encourage mass adoption. This could take quite some time to achieve. Copyright issues are one other hurdle that needs to be crushed to pave the way for AI-based search engine results.
Over the past months, several complaints and lawsuits have been filed against AI companies for violating copyright lawsuits by unauthorisedly scraping articles and other materials on the internet to train AI models.