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Google Fundamentally Changes Search

As someone who’s been working in SEO for over a decade, I’m telling you, this recent change Google just made is going to make everything different.

I’ve been talking about how GSE (generative search experience), when rolled out, is going make a massive difference. And well, we’re all starting to feel the effects of it now that they’ve started adding AI-generated answers right at the top of search results. 

Picture this.

You search for something on Google, and instead of just seeing the usual list of blue links, there’s now an “AI Overview” that directly answers your question, powered by Google’s Gemini AI tech. 

No need to even click through to a website! 

Google’s betting big on this, saying over a billion users worldwide will see these AI answers by end of 2024.

Now as an SEO, this raises some concerns. A lot of websites rely on that search traffic for ad revenue. If people can get their answer right on the results page, will they even bother clicking through anymore?

It’s not just these AI overviews. Google’s doubling down on AI across search, with features like using uploaded videos to ask questions, AI-organized results pages, and AI tools for things like trip planning. They’re feeling the heat from AI startups in the search space and going all-in.

So what does this mean for SEO? A few key things are going to change:

  • SEO will need to focus way more on the quality and depth of content, not just chasing keywords. We’ll need to create comprehensive, expert-level content that directly answers people’s questions to have a shot at showing up in those AI summaries.
  • Traditional SEO metrics may not cut it anymore. Rankings and traffic could become less important than overall business results and user engagement. SEO will need to align with broader company goals.
  • That top-of-funnel traffic from broad keywords could take a hit as AI provides instant answers. The focus may shift more to bottom-of-funnel, conversion-focused content to attract high-intent searchers.
  • Brand is going to be HUGE. To be seen as a trustworthy source worth quoting in those AI snippets, building authority and expertise both on and off-site will be critical.
  • We’ll all need to get good at understanding the conversational, question-based way people search when using AI. It’s less about keywords and more about mapping content to topics and natural language queries now.

The list goes on, but the TL;DR is – SEO isn’t dead, but it’s definitely evolving. Fast.

The fundamentals of great content, brand authority, user experience… those will always be important. But how we approach and measure SEO success, that’s going to change in some big ways with Google’s AI push.

Tweets that matter

This tweet may sound overly technical but take a minute to unpack it with me.

Logan is the Product Lead for Google AI studio. Last week at I/O they released “Gemini Flash” which is the newest model capable of handling an insane 2 million token context window and performs incredibly well. 

2 million tokens, to put it in perspective of Harry Potter:

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: ~77,000 words
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: ~84,000 words
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: ~106,000 words
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: ~190,000 words
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: ~257,000 words
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: ~168,000 words
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: ~198,000 words

Total word count for the entire series: ~1,080,000 words.

At approx. 1.3 tokens per word, that’s about 1.4 million tokens. Which means you could feed this AI the entirety of all seven books, and ask it questions with room to ALSO fit all three Lord of the Rings, and it would retain every word you give it in memory.

+ And it’s only $0.35 per million tokens

+ And the first 1,500 requests are free, every day

+ And it’s ‘multi-modal’ 

+ And, it’s FAST

The cost benefit to work with AI now is beyond question. 

In a world where it costs my family a minimum of $60 to get out of Chipotle for dinner and no one orders extra guac, I can’t begin to tell you how serious you need to take using these tools before everyone else does.

If you’ve been thinking about bringing something into the world, here’s your sign.

And hit reply to let me know what you’re thinking about!

Latest on The Prompt

The language model revolutionizing AI communication is here, and OpenAI is democratizing it by making it accessible to millions. Meet GPT-4o.

In this episode, you’ll learn how OpenAI’s latest release, GPT-4o, takes natural language AI to a whole new level, handling text, voice, and visual input across over 50 languages. I share some of the ways I’ve used it in my daily life, and how you can too. Plus, I cover how developers can explore vast possibilities for building intelligent apps at half the price of GPT-4.

Tune in now to learn about GPT-4o and its human-level capabilities.

Reminder, you can now listen to The Prompt in eleven languages thanks to the Global Network I recently launched, all with the power of AI & Automation (which I teach in my slack community).

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