For many content creators, especially bloggers, it may seem like the end of the world with all the fervor and excitement surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) platforms like ChatGPT. Now it seems like anyone can produce a quality blog in mere seconds and the need for written content creators has disappeared overnight.
On top of this, there is also the fear that search engines will focus on answering user queries with their own AI generated answers rather than serving the user search results of the most relevant web content. This would seriously impact the traffic to websites coming from a given search query.
But is the sky really falling on blogging strategies targeting search results? Let’s take a deeper dive.
The Importance of the Public’s Changing Perspectives and Growing Understanding of AI
Right off the bat we all need to take a deep breath. AI is a hot topic right now, but the truth is AI is not new at all. In fact, Google has been leveraging artificial intelligence from the very beginning and it could even be argued that search engines, by their very nature, are a form of AI since they use complex algorithms to deliver personalized results to the user.
But there has been one huge change lately: the general public’s access to generative AI through platforms like ChatGPT, Bard, and Midjourney. The excitement about the seemingly “new” technology this public introduction has created has led to a lot of assumptions about what the future holds. Because of this AI fervor, every major player in the space is compelled to rush out their latest AI model to prove their relevance in (and even dominance over) this new realm.
Basically, there is a lot of marketing going on right now and the long-term picture is most likely far less volatile for content creators for a variety of reasons which we’ll discuss below.
How Generative AI is Affecting Content Creation
A key component to recognizing some inherent problems with AI in regards to search comes with understanding the limits of AI when it comes to content creation. Although it is called “generative AI”, what it generates is actually only a mashup of the content that comes from its learning models, which can have their own sets of limitations. We’ve discussed this at length in a previous blog post.
So yes, AI can generate content like a blog, but, for the foreseeable future, it cannot generate new ideas or generate personal perspectives that come with years of experience and insight in the given realm of a human endeavor.
For example, if you’ve built a successful construction business from your lifetime of experience in the industry, which includes a deep understanding of the way industry changes can affect the questions and concerns of your clients, you will ALWAYS be way ahead of AI in terms of targeting your potential customers in search. AI currently does not have the ability to identify and process seemingly subtle information changes like new building codes and local zoning changes that could cause big concerns for your potential clients and be a hot topic for them in search.
How AI Could Affect Search Results in the Long Run
Okay, so maybe you are not convinced that targeting prospective clients with blogging is still not worth it. Another key to understanding AI’s role in the near future is to play out the worst-case scenario: that everyone stops blogging and AI takes over search results.
If the learning model AI uses stops evolving, so does AI’s relevance, and, in turn, the query results it generates. If Google were to go down the AI path exclusively, and a search competitor didn’t, Google’s search dominance might be upended by users frustrated with not finding the information they need when googling.
Copyright Law and the Future of AI
And now is a great time to address the elephant in the room: copyright law. If an AI modeling bot comes to your website (let’s assume you have a copyright statement in the footer of your website), and that bot scrapes (takes) your content to use as a learning model for a generative AI platform, does this violate your copyright?
This is a huge legal question being argued right now and the results could make any concerns about the future of blogging to target search queries completely moot. We can assure you that we are closely monitoring the AI legal battles playing out in courts all over the world right now and we’ll blog about any significant outcomes here.
Search Engines Will Proceed with AI Cautiously
As illustrated by all the points above, AI has some serious limitations when it comes to search queries. For the time being, it’s safe to say that search engines have a vested interest in keeping content creators (especially bloggers) who are not relying solely on AI rewarded for their hard work.
And while search engines will proceed with caution, it’s also safe to say a lot of content creators will not. Those that are spamming the internet with AI generated content right now are not likely to find themselves at the top of search since there is nothing unique or new in the content they are offering. This means that those still producing unique, carefully-crafted content actually have even less competition.
Digital Marketing Will Always Be an Ever-Changing Landscape
Things change quickly in the modern world, whether it be from fashion, fad, technology, politics or law, and the buzz around AI is no different. AI has been around since the beginning of the web and it will continue to be an ever evolving and useful tool, but for the foreseeable future, it cannot possibly replace deep human understanding and intuition.
We’ve always considered digital marketing to be an ever-changing landscape and our job as digital marketers has always been to cut through the noise to get your message across. What is happening currently with AI is absolutely no different. If you need help cutting through the noise with your digital marketing, please give us a call or reach out to us via our webform.