The Future of AI in SEO: How to Prepare for AI Search

Generative AI has changed the future of SEO. Get ready for AI Search with this guide, which will assist you in focusing your efforts.

Written by
Adam Villaume
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April 24, 2024

The future is coming. The looming threat of changes to search is always there at the back of every SEO professional's mind. Changes that might tank your rankings and force you to spend hours, if not days, re-optimizing content.

With AI search, that threat is even greater than usual, but we are here to help you stay ahead of the curve.

We'll cover everything we know about the future of SEO in light of the coming changes and how you can leverage these changes to your benefit:

With that out of the way, let's first take a quick look at what we believe the future will look like in the field of SEO, especially when considering AI search.

What does the future hold for SEO?

Integrating generative AI into search and SEO is expected to bring about profound and transformative changes in how we approach search engine optimization.

The advent of AI could redefine SEO practices, making processes such as content creation, data collection, and analysis increasingly automated.

We explore how Generative AI will impact SEO in this article: "Will Generative AI Kill SEO?"

Although AI can automate many tasks traditionally performed by SEO professionals, it does not necessarily spell the end for human input. Instead, SEO professionals should adapt to this new era by leveraging AI to enhance their work, not replace it.

This involves utilizing AI to increase the content volume while still requiring human oversight for quality control.

The implementation of AI-powered search engines, such as Google's Search Generative Experience (SGE), will emphasize SEO practices, not eliminate them.

For now, at least, it seems AI search will have a greater emphasis on search intent and authority. Featuring a select few sites in the so-called AI Snapshot SGE makes SEO even more important.

Sites will need to demonstrate their expertise in their specific fields through comprehensive and authoritative content. More specialized, high-quality content organized around topic clusters is necessary to succeed in this new landscape.

Preparing for the future means more, better and deeper content

Generative AI makes it easy to produce content that's good "enough"; slightly generic and mediocre content. Companies are already jumping on the opportunity and cranking up their production.

To combat this, you need more content. More, but also high-quality content.

Right now, it's possible to rank well with the mediocre type of AI content; however, in time, there will be so much of it that generating more of the same won't be enough.

When mediocre content is everywhere high quality content will win the day.

Digging in and exploring the complexities and different perspectives of a given topic will help search engines know your content, your site, has a higher value to the public than the hundreds of generic sites.

The next issue is authority. Our research indicates that topic authority will significantly impact your rankings, especially the likelihood of being featured in AI search.

3 steps to prepare your content for the future of SEO

With the future as described above in mind, we have put together a prioritized list of recommendations that will help you get your content ready ahead of AI search:

  1. Get more content online now. The fact is that, at the moment, more content can help your rankings - as long as it is good content. So all those product descriptions you are missing, and those content ideas you had, leverage AI and get them done now.
  2. Improve and optimize your content. Generic content will be abundant online, so the next step is to raise the bar. Optimize your content by adding perspectives and visuals, tweak the headlines, and, if possible, add first-hand experiences.
  3. Expand on your content. Identify related questions and issues and create new blog posts. Add reviews and testimonials, and create engaging videos.

As you can see, a recurring theme of the future is knowledge, not the every day, easy to gain-knowledge. No, you need to leverage highly specialized knowledge.

The key to the future of SEO is Specialization

Creating content that dives deeper into a topic, and not just in a single blog post but through entire topic clusters, is a tall order, and AI can't do it for you - not on its own, anyway.

The solution is to have great content editors and copywriters who need to know what they write about. Just as with AI, a copywriter with a broad knowledge of many different things won't be able to keep up with the depth and insight of the specialist.

Specializing means you are able to leverage knowledge and experience that others don't have access to and create content that outperforms competitors.

Experience and expertise are therefore going to be of high value in the future, so:

  • If you are a manager or brand owner: Make sure you invest in your content- or copywriters so they become specialists. You might find some success with AI-generated content now, but soon enough, you will need Subject Matter Experts.
  • If you are a content- or copywriter yourself: Spend the time right now to become an expert; specialize in the topics most relevant to your field. And if you don't have a specific field, then get one.

Specialization ensures that your content is more valuable than most online content.

The future is going to need Subject Matter Experts and you can learn more about what they are and how to become one here: "What Is a Subject Matter Expert"

It also shows the search engines that you know more about the topic; it builds authority, sets you apart, and ultimately:

Specialized knowledge and expert advice create trust with your audience.

The Future of AI in SEO: How to Prepare for AI Search

This is an article written by:

Adam is an experienced content writer with a background in journalism and a passion for technology.