In a post-ChatGPT world, the future of SEO is set to undergo significant changes and challenges. One of the major shifts we can expect to see is a massive increase in competition for all search results. With the rise of generative AI, companies will have the ability to publish a higher frequency of content and increase the length of their articles. This trend upwards in publishing frequency and content length will create a more crowded landscape and make it harder for businesses to stand out.

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Hatched by Glasp

Sep 20, 2023

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In a post-ChatGPT world, the future of SEO is set to undergo significant changes and challenges. One of the major shifts we can expect to see is a massive increase in competition for all search results. With the rise of generative AI, companies will have the ability to publish a higher frequency of content and increase the length of their articles. This trend upwards in publishing frequency and content length will create a more crowded landscape and make it harder for businesses to stand out.

Additionally, companies will be less discerning with the keywords they target. The removal of constraints by generative AI creates an incentive to publish first and think later. Instead of focusing on a strategic approach, companies will be more willing to tackle any keyword that has even passing relevance to their product. This shift may lead to a lack of prioritization and competitor analysis, as businesses opt to copy their competitors in a fraction of the time.

Another significant change we can anticipate is the commonplace use of programmatic SEO. Historically, there has always been a trade-off between content volume and quality. Publishing a large volume of articles in a short span of time often compromises the relevance and uniqueness of the content. However, with advancements in generative AI like GPT-4, this trade-off may no longer exist. The barriers to entry for programmatic SEO will be virtually zero, especially with GPT-4's ability to write and troubleshoot Python scripts for web scraping.

The future of SEO in a post-ChatGPT world also suggests that Google will prioritize off-page ranking factors. As copycat content becomes more prevalent, Google will be incentivized to find better ways to distinguish between similar articles. This may result in a greater emphasis on off-page ranking factors, such as backlinks, to differentiate content. Bylined content may also gain importance as Google focuses more on the author rather than just the content itself. Google's patents already hint at potential solutions, such as information gain scores, which reward articles for bringing new information to the discussion.

Furthermore, we can expect massively reduced returns from search as generative AI accelerates the maturation of search. This means greater competition in all but the smallest of niches, fewer uncontested keywords, and a continued preference for big, established brands. SEO will require more effort for smaller returns, making it crucial for businesses to build team strength in areas beyond just writing. Developing a unique flavor of "information gain" and diversifying beyond search will be key strategies to stay ahead.

In light of these changes, here are three actionable pieces of advice for businesses navigating the future of SEO in a post-ChatGPT world:

  • 1. Build team strength in areas beyond just "writing." As the SEO landscape becomes more complex, having a diverse set of skills within your team will be crucial. Consider investing in areas such as data analysis, programming, and UX/UI design to enhance your SEO efforts.
  • 2. Develop your own flavor of "information gain." To stand out in a crowded SEO landscape, focus on creating content that complements and builds on existing articles. Experiment with risky framings and angles that offer a fresh perspective. Incorporate original research into your content to provide unique insights and value to your audience.
  • 3. Diversify beyond search. While search will remain important, it's essential to imagine a worst-case scenario where traffic from SEO disappears. How would you build your business? Explore other channels such as social media, email marketing, and partnerships to diversify your traffic sources and reduce reliance on search.

In conclusion, the future of SEO in a post-ChatGPT world presents both challenges and opportunities. Businesses will face increased competition, the need for programmatic SEO, and a shift in Google's ranking factors. However, by adapting strategies, building team strength, focusing on unique value, and diversifying beyond search, businesses can navigate these changes and thrive in the evolving SEO landscape.

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