Google, GenAI and Search: How Marketers Can Prepare for the Changing SEO Landscape

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

GenAI is poised to transform the way we search. For instance, look at Google’s Search Generative Experience, an AI-driven results page that features content from Large Language Models (LLMs) first, followed by sponsored posts and then ranked pages sorted by keyword relevancy.

So with new search pages like these, where does this leave SEO? According to Madhukar Kumar, CMO at data platform SingleStore, while SEO won’t become irrelevant, organizations must be aware of the changes and benefits that genAI offers to search engines. Many industry players, he says, anticipate that organizations will focus on creating high-quality content that attracts both users and LLMs.

In the conversation below, Kumar discusses how genAI is transforming the way we search; strategies that organizations can use to create LLM-friendly content; insights on how genAI will continue to transform the marketing landscape; and how marketers can harness genAI to improve content discovery.

How has the SEO landscape changed in the past five years? What’s driving these changes?

Madhukar Kumar, CMO at SingleStore: In the last five years, SEO has been moving towards a focus on improving user-friendliness of websites and developing better and more reliable content through Google’s algorithm changes. In addition, video content has also become an important part of SEO for marketers. However, just in the last couple of years, the biggest change has been gen AI.

The proliferation of AI tools has enabled AI-generated content to be created more frequently. This led to the most recent change in Google’s algorithm, one that deprioritizes any content generated by AI. This will become more prevalent in my opinion. As creation of content becomes more commoditized using AI, there will be higher SEO value for any content that is original and has a unique point of view.

How do you think genAI will impact the search experience? Will this lead to mostly negative or positive outcomes for users?

MK: One of the main examples that comes to mind is Google’s Generative Search Experience. This is designed to show AI-generated content first and then feature more organic, relevant content further down on the results page. Users can input a query in the Google search engine and receive a summarized response of the answer generated by AI at the top of the page. If they want to find additional resources, they can scroll further down the page and locate the information they need.

Second, and far more important, Large Language Models (LLM) providers like OpenAI or Perplexity have started crawling the web and making their own indices of content that is being surfaced to users through conversations with chatbots. This means websites need to become more friendly to the LLMs (there is not much guidance here yet) and second, the new SEO will also become a source of citations in chatbot conversation versus just showing up in Google’s first page of search results.

How can genAI support marketers and content developers’ SEO strategy?

MK: As the SEO landscape is changing, marketers must adjust their strategies to ensure their content captures the attention of LLMs and search engines. Generative AI technology can help in this process by identifying which keywords are most relevant and developing strong content based on research from AI.

More specifically, the backbone of any good marketing campaign is text content, whether it’s for a blog post or a case study. However, it takes time, resources and creativity to generate high-quality content. AI-powered tools can help in this process by significantly making the content creation process more efficient. Proactive and tech-savvy marketers can use gen AI technology to help power content creation through:

  • Research: Compiling information on a particular topic can be time-intensive and challenging. Generative AI can reduce the time it takes to find reliable insights by collecting the data and insights through specific, tailored prompting. It’s always best practice to double-check the information AI collects to ensure the information is accurate, relevant and timely.
  • Ideation: Developing new ideas is not always easy. Generative AI can jumpstart the brainstorming process by coming up with innovative ideas and perspectives that were not considered before. Keep in mind that some of these AI-generated suggestions may not make sense, but it’s a good starting point.
  • Automation: One of the biggest leaps in the first year of genAI has been advancements in automation. Marketers can now use AI-based automation to not only publish content in multiple channels but take advantage of live analytics to gather better insights from the engagement data and iterate on their experiments accordingly.

Will SEO become less important with the influx of genAI?

MK: No, SEO will remain hugely important for marketers to consider when drafting content, but the shape of SEO or how we define SEO will change drastically. The new SEO optimization not only includes results on page 1 of Google but also the citations on LLM-based information synthesis like Perplexity, OpenAI, etc. I believe we will see some emerging guidance in this area on best practices for making content more readily available for LLMs’ ingestion. Specificity and high-quality content will matter more in this context.

Any other predictions for how SEO is poised to change in the genAI era?

MK: I believe we will continue to see Google become stricter with identifying and deprioritizing AI-generated content. In addition, we will see some new standards and guidance on how to generate better content to become sources of citations for LLMs. This would most likely be around the specificity of content, introduction of FAQ structures to content and other best practices around originality and quality of content development.


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