Man vs Machine – Pitting a blog written by man against a blog written by machine

Jul 28, 2023 by
Man vs Machine – Pitting a blog written by man against a blog written by machine

There has been more written about AI in the last 3 months than the last 3 decades and rightly so. We have half the population worried it’s going to destroy humanity and the other half worried it’s going to destroy our livelihoods. Indeed, it’s difficult to find a legitimately positive long-term perspective that isn’t motivated by commerce.

Perhaps the most pressing immediate concern is for us humble wordsmiths, whose careers are being chipped away every day by an increasingly smart ChatGPT. But let’s put this supposed usurper to the test. Here, I’ve asked it to write me an article on “The Future of SEO”. One of the 300-word articles below was written by me, the other by the machines.

See if you can tell one from the other. I sincerely hope you can.

The Future of SEO: Adapting to the Evolving Landscape

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has always been a dynamic field, continually evolving to keep pace with changing algorithms and user behaviours. As we look to the future, it’s clear that SEO will continue to play a crucial role in driving organic traffic and enhancing online visibility. However, the landscape of SEO is set to undergo significant transformations. In this article, we will explore the future of SEO and the key trends that will shape its evolution.

Voice Search and Conversational AI: Voice search is rapidly gaining popularity, thanks to the proliferation of virtual assistants and smart devices. As a result, SEO strategies must adapt to accommodate this shift in search behaviour.

Mobile-First Indexing: With the widespread adoption of smartphones, mobile devices have become the primary means of accessing the internet for many users. In response, search engines are prioritising mobile-friendly websites and adopting mobile-first indexing. SEO strategies will need to focus on responsive web design, fast page loading speeds, and optimising content for mobile screens.

User Experience and Core Web Vitals: User experience (UX) has long been an essential aspect of SEO, but it will become even more critical in the future. Websites that prioritise a smooth and enjoyable user experience will likely rank higher in search results. SEO professionals will need to focus on factors such as page speed optimisation, intuitive navigation, and mobile responsiveness to meet the expectations of search engines and users alike.

Structured Data and Schema Markup: In the future, structured data will become increasingly important for SEO. Implementing schema markup can enhance search engine visibility and improve click-through rates. SEO professionals will need to understand and utilise structured data effectively to stand out in search results and provide users with more relevant and engaging information.

Visual and Video Search: Optimising visual and video content, utilising alt tags, and providing detailed descriptions will become vital for SEO success. Incorporating visual and video elements into content strategies can enhance online visibility and attract a wider audience.

E-A-T and Expertise: Building credibility, demonstrating expertise, and showcasing authoritative content will be essential for SEO success. Establishing thought leadership through quality content, industry collaborations, and positive user feedback will help websites gain trust and improve their search engine rankings.

The Future of SEO – It’s Later Than You Think

We’ve come a long way baby. Over the last couple of decades, search engine optimisation has evolved from a scrappy and (let’s be honest) rather cynical process to a multibillion-dollar industry. But while we have moved beyond the keyword-stuffed guff of yore into something more considered and considerable, many experts have posited that the future of SEO lies not in the questions but in the answers.

Answer Engine Optimisation

When somebody asks a search engine to find something, you see, it’s generally in the form of a question and being able to answer those questions most effectively and efficiently could be the key that unlocks the future of SEO. Answer engine optimisation (or AEO) is a phenomenon catalysed by the rise of virtual assistants and voice search which optimises content not for keywords but for search queries phrased as questions.

The aim is to appear as a featured snippet or answer box and to achieve this, businesses must focus on high-quality, relevant content that answers legitimate questions. By optimising content for the questions users are most likely to ask, businesses are providing direct answers that are easily clickable and can result in immediate conversions.

Of course, there’s no guaranteed route to the answer box as the Google algorithm is in a constant state of flux. What works wonders today could be useless tomorrow. There’s also the fact that many people might find the answer they want and then move on without clicking. So, the likely outcome is that AEO will supplement rather than replace SEO. But what about the real elephant in the room?

The AI of it all

Chatbots and virtual assistants are becoming more sophisticated every day and many businesses have started replacing call centre staff with automated customer service bots. It makes a lot of sense when it comes to the bottom line, of course, as an AI isn’t going to demand a salary (at least not yet) and more complex questions and detailed answers are possible now than even a few years ago.

Then there’s AI-written content to unpack. We have no way of knowing where Google truly stands on AI content and how they will eventually change the algorithm to accommodate (or ignore) content obviously written by AI. Obviously, we’re still in the early days here but ChatGPT is a lot smarter now than it was even a couple of months ago so there’s every chance it could figure out a way to circumvent Google’s algorithm and “appear” as human.

Has it succeeded yet? You tell me. Either way, it would be a proper “head in the sand move” to deny that AI will be the future of SEO. It’s already doing the heavy lifting as far as research and analytics are concerned. Should we rage against the machine or learn to live with it? That, dear readers, is very much up to you.