Will Google’s New Bard AI Change SEO?

What is Bard?

Google’s new Bard is an AI tool. That alone is nothing new – AI tools are everywhere and are being used for many tasks, intelligently processing and organizing information at a speed humans cannot. They can help in many of the mundane tasks website owners face, from producing, editing, and converting content into different languages and formats to giving a truly good and conversational experience to people using their chatbots.

But a Google AI is news. So when I heard that Bard was being offered for testing, I queued up immediately. I wanted a test drive of its capabilities and conversational savvy and to assess how it might affect how we do SEO.

Bard, in its own words, is  “a large language model, also known as a conversational AI or chatbot trained to be informative and comprehensive. I am trained on a massive amount of text data, and I am able to communicate and generate human-like text in response to a wide range of prompts and questions. For example, I can provide summaries of factual topics or create stories.”

Wow. So, in short, a conversational and comprehensive way of getting questions answered and creating or summarizing content.

What can we do with Bard, and what does it mean for Search?

I am truly excited by the possibilities of a truly well-conceived and executed AI. An AI can assist website owners in creating the content that right now is what Google is looking for to establish “Authority” and improve site standing. Many people are simply not comfortable creating content. A tool such as this, used correctly, could assist many of my clients!

Conversely, it also seems probable that when Bard is integrated into Google search in some way, searchers will get many of their information queries answered directly by Bard and not be scrolling through the endless list that is Google’s organic SERPs to find a website to answer those questions, possibly reducing a website’s ability to establish that “authority.”

And is Google for or against (or even indifferent to) using AI to generate authoritative content? Is it better for the author to draw from their own Expertise and Experience (the two “E”s in The EEAT content guidelines), or will it be OK for millions of website owners just to reformat and regurgitate information provided by AI? Will that really improve user experience? How critical is the author’s “voice”? Will information win out over engagement? We can only hope that all those things be balanced somehow.

Only time will tell.

Will Bard replace traditional Google Search?

The word is Google is positioning Bard as an addition to Search and not in any way as a replacement. However, I think that Bard is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg of what might develop over time.

And it may be that the time has come. SERP positioning – always a climb – has become increasingly competitive among websites with both the explosive number of websites and the fact that more and more people are optimizing. The challenge for a small business to scale the heights to page one among literally thousands and often millions of search results, many of them highly ranked national or international concerns, is overwhelming.

Soon, someone, be it Google or a new innovator, will develop a more *three-dimensional* search model that will topple the outdated, two-dimensional page scrolling status quo that is Search today. A deeper or richer initial query interface will allow sites that today never show up high enough to be seen to have a better chance of seeing the light of day. IMO, AI will be the gateway to that kind of thinking and functionality.

Right now, adding Bard to Google’s other suite of tools and search features is a viable way to enrich what is available. But the interface is still two-dimensional (and increasingly clunky). Adding more “features” has cluttered the once simple Google landscape.

So I had lots of questions today when I got the nod. It was my turn to chat with Bard!

Here’s what I have learned so far…

I warmed up with some questions about food and nutrition – two subjects I am passionate about. Bard answered my questions in depth and accurately.

I then asked Bard to compose a song. Hmm, now that was interesting. While technically Bard produced verses – about kindness BTW – that could be set to music, it was a bit, uh, bland and repetitive. But then, I suppose many hit songs could be defined the same way. A second try with more specific rhyme and subject matter instructions netted something marginally better. But I will spare you the details. So far, the name “Bard” may be a bit of an overstatement.

Next, I hopped right into questions about Bard and SEO. This is where it got interesting. Here are y questions and Bard’s answers, verbatim:

Q. How will the use of Bard change how people gain traffic for their website?

A. The use of Bard can change how people gain traffic for their website in a few ways. First, Bard can be used to generate content that is relevant to a website’s target audience. This content can then be shared on social media or other channels, which can help to drive traffic to the website. Second, Bard can be used to answer people’s questions about a website’s products or services. This can help build trust and credibility with potential customers and lead to them visiting the website to learn more. Finally, Bard can be used to create chatbots that can answer questions and support website visitors. This can help improve the customer experience and lead to more people visiting the website.

Overall, the use of Bard can help websites to generate more traffic by creating content that is relevant to their target audience, answering questions that people have about their products or services, and creating chatbots that can provide support to website visitors.

 

Q. If two people use Bard to generate content for a blog on the same subject, won’t they end up with essentially duplicate content?

A. Yes, if two people use Bard to generate content for a blog on the same subject, they will end up with essentially duplicate content. This is because Bard is a large language model that is trained on a massive amount of text data. When it is asked to generate content, it will use this data to create text that is similar to other text that it has been trained on.

If two people are using Bard to generate content for a blog, they should make sure to use different prompts and questions. This will help to ensure that the content that they generate is unique and original.

Here are some tips for generating unique content with Bard:

  • Use different prompts and questions.
  • Be specific in your prompts and questions.
  • Use keywords and phrases that are relevant to your topic.
  • Use Bard’s creativity feature to generate different variations of your content.
  • Edit and proofread your content before publishing it.

 

Q. Is using AI generated content in any way detrimental to SEO?

A. There is no definitive answer to this question as it is still being debated by the SEO community. Some argue that AI generated content can be beneficial for SEO as it can help to create more content at a faster pace. Others argue that AI generated content can be detrimental to SEO as it can be perceived as low quality and spammy.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use AI generated content for SEO is up to the individual website owner. If you are considering using AI generated content, it is important to do your research and understand the potential risks and benefits. You should also make sure to use high-quality AI generated content that is relevant to your target audience.

Here are some tips for using AI generated content for SEO:

  • Use high-quality AI generated content.
  • Make sure that your AI generated content is relevant to your target audience.
  • Use AI generated content in moderation.
  • Optimize your AI generated content for search engines.
  • Monitor your results and make adjustments as needed.

If you follow these tips, you can use AI generated content to improve your SEO without harming your website’s ranking.

_______________

What I got out of the test drive

I think Bard will be a great tool for any website owner’s toolbox. My advice for anyone generating content with an AI is still to edit and interject your own human-oriented spin and “voice.” Plus, use another AI program, Grammarly, to edit and improve your content.

Somewhat ironically, Grammarly provided several corrections and suggestions to Bard’s responses, although I did not accept any of these corrections, so the answers above are just as they were provided to me by Bard.

Since Bard is still an “experiment” and clearly states that the information provided may be inaccurate or even “offensive,” (!) I would guess that for a constantly learning AI, grammar improvement will be part of the process.

My conclusion after my brief chat with Bard today is that it will be an interesting and useful tool for people to add content and smarter interactivity to their websites. It may evolve into something more profound for Search; I’d be surprised if it didn’t. But that’s just guesswork. For the time being, I don’t see it significantly changing the face of traditional SEO.

_______________

Update…
I had a bit more time today to ask questions and test Bard on responses to questions in a series on the same subject and assess its usefulness for generating content. I was impressed by the ease of progressing a series of questions into the basis for an article. Bravo Bard!

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About Judy Taylor

I am a website geek on a quest to de-mystify SEO and make a successful, optimized site possible for every website owner.

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