SEO exists because the most common way to find information looks like this:
- Go to Google.
- Type in what you're looking for
- Open up one of the websites listed in the first page
- If the answer isn't there, go back to step 1.
So, businesses have quickly understood that one of the best ways to attract customers is to rank on the first page of Google for various topics.
It is so important that there's an entire economy built around this. You have roles, agencies, freelancers, strategists, products, etc, that exist to help you rank your URLs higher. And you probably have dedicated a part of your Marketing budget to that effort.
This is about to be seriously disrupted, and many of us should start scheduling some tough conversations about our content strategy.
LLMs like ChatGPT are rapidly transforming our discovering habits. People no longer need to go to a 3rd party to get answers to their questions. You can answer a huge number of questions without leaving your initial context.
You can already ask ChatGPT:
- The python/ruby/js/etc code to solve a specific problem
- 10 different cold emails templates
- The top KPIs that you should have in your spreadsheet
- Best practices and strategies to achieve specific outcomes
- Etc, etc, etc
And the difference is that LLMs can make their advice contextual! I can provide my data or tell it about my business, and ChatGPT will give me a set of recommendations tailored to my needs.
So, what's the value of SEO in a world where most questions are answered directly by an AI?
I don't think that writing is dead, but SEO goals will move down the value chain. Content objectives will shift from getting XXX backlinks/month to capturing (and retaining) XXX emails for direct outreach. It may sound the same to some, but the strategies used to achieved said goals will likely be different.
Creating audiences will matter more than ever. The exciting bit about this is that it'll level the playing field between large orgs and small startups as it won't matter how big your backlinks budget is. What will be important is to have a unique voice that people will want to come back to and share with their friends.
(also, RSS feeds might make a comeback)
Do you have SEO goals to track? Try Tability.