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Generative AI: evolution of search engines and artificial intelligence, how to adapt to change

Paolo Dello Vicario

In this article, we will analyze how search engines – Google, YouTube, Amazon, and others – are changing our interaction with the web as well as the creation and dissemination of content through the use of artificial intelligence (AI). These changes, particularly the introduction of AI and the convergence between search and action, are creating new opportunities and challenges for marketing professionals, who must adapt to the new reality.


Evolution of Search Engines and AI

Search engines have gone from being simple lists of websites to real tools capable of providing specific and unfiltered answers to users’ questions to help them find solutions to their problems. This translates into a progressive increase in so-called “zero-click” results, where users get the information they are looking for directly from the search engine results page without having to click on a website.

However, this evolution has also contributed to emphasizing the importance of artificial intelligence in search and content creation. Thanks to advances in technologies such as Google Lens, for example, AI can understand and respond to questions based on both text and images.


Generating high-quality Content with AI

One of the main challenges that marketing professionals must face today concerns the creation of quality content using artificial intelligence. Google is aware of this challenge and is putting the quality of information above the way the content is produced.

The first step in creating quality content through AI is to build a solid knowledge database, which can be used to train generative algorithms. In addition, the combined use of internal data (such as product pages and customer reviews) and external data (such as search engine results) can further improve the quality of the output.

We can summarize the process of creating content through AI in 5 stages:

  1. Idea generation, using AI to identify keywords and trending topics related to one’s brand and then expanding them through Google’s APIs;
  2. Keyword classification, grouping keywords into thematic clusters to get an idea of how people search for information on a particular topic or product;
  3. Optimization of existing content, using AI to identify gaps between what users are looking for and the content currently available on one’s website. This makes it possible to update existing content with new information and user questions;
  4. Generation of new content, AI is activated to generate titles, short descriptions, and content drafts based on keyword groups and information obtained from the knowledge database;
  5. Quality control, as AI can be subject to bias and manipulation, it is essential to involve human experts in the verification and refinement of generated content.
  6. The last point is very important. While publishing an entire article generated by a GPT language model may not be very effective, basic automation is still very valid for outlining the text before human review. Having preliminary outlines to describe the content of the article with an exhaustive overview helps structure thoughts smoothly, establishes the flow of information, and is fundamental to SEO, as a good structure will help readers and search engines understand what we are trying to say.


AI for SEO Automation: Advantages and Limits

The use of generative AI tools like ChatGPT can provide significant advantages in implementing an effective SEO strategy.

The advantages of using such tools for SEO are manifold. Firstly, ChatGPT can autonomously generate high-quality content, adapting it to specific keywords and search targets. This means that SEO operators can quickly create quality content without having to spend a lot of time on manual writing.

Second, the use of ChatGPT can also help improve the understanding of search engine semantics. ChatGPT has been trained on a large body of textual data, which means it has a broad understanding of the language. This allows it to create consistent and relevant content for search engines.

Even when creating new titles or SEO-optimizing existing ones with more effective keywords, AI automation comes to the rescue with ever-changing suggestions. A good title, in fact, is not only a matter of style nor, in fact, of ranking: it also manages to entice the user to click on the page to continue reading.

However, as with any technology, the use of generative AI tools can also have some drawbacks. For example, the output generated by ChatGPT might be considered too generic or repetitive by search engines. This could lead to the website being penalized in search result rankings if specific SEO content creation guidelines are not taken into account.

Unlike deterministic algorithms, which when faced with the same input always arrive at the same output, what ChatGPT offers to our queries is a stochastic or conjectural type of answer, where in fact generative technology creates a different variation each time. This is the substantial reason why we will need to keep the final stage of human validation active and vigilant at all times.

In addition, creating real quality content with ChatGPT-not only text but also images or videos-requires some knowledge and familiarity with generative AI technology. This could result in additional costs for staff training or hiring specialists in the field.

In conclusion, artificial intelligence offers great opportunities in the field of search engines and content creation. However, it is essential to take a balanced approach that combines the capabilities of machines with the experience and knowledge of humans. In addition, the creation of a robust knowledge database and the combined use of internal and external data can help generate high-quality content that truly meets users’ needs and follows corporate communication guidelines.