I have some good news, and I have some bad news. The bad news is that artificial intelligence will make your life harder when Google launches its search generative experience more fully. The good news is…it won’t replace you! You will still have a job! Yes, you will have to work harder. Gone are the days of listicles and easy 500-word blog posts, but your content will improve considerably.
This is because the types of content that will bring visitors to your website are going to change. With search generative experience, people can search “How to create a crisis communications plan,” and they’ll find answers directly on Google through the generative AI snapshot.
This is a bit alarming. If generative AI makes some of your content redundant, what will happen to all of the goodwill and gold stars you’ve created on Google? How will you retain brand awareness and traffic?
While Google has begun slowly rolling out its search generative experience, it’s not widely available yet, but it’s coming. And you should be prepared.
What Is Search Generative Experience?
Don’t freak out. It’s going to be OK. We’re going to talk through the tweaks you’re going to make to the types of content you create, but I promise it won’t be life-changing. You won’t have to move the Titanic in a different direction. It’s just a few strategic tweaks.
Before we do that, though, let me give you a quick tutorial on search generative experience from Google.
According to Google, it allows you to “browse web pages with generative AI-powered tools. You can quickly find the web page’s key points and jump to the relevant section on a web page to learn more about your question.”
It’s only “available to a limited number of people in the U.S. and in English only,” and only on Android phones. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start restructuring your content. It’ll be available to everyone faster than you can say Google.
Because I’m an iPhone user, I haven’t been able to play with it yet, but I know enough about how content affects search to walk you through it.
You’re the Expert
I love, love, love ChatGPT. I mean, love. It has made my life so much easier. And it has its limitations. It has no personality. It can’t tell stories. It can’t provide context. It doesn’t have expertise. It doesn’t have unique thoughts.
But you know who can do all of those things? You. And your executives, clients, or subject matter experts.
You should already be doing some of this, but if you’re not, lean into the expertise and storytelling of your expert. Offer personal lessons, examples, and stories that are unique to you, your team, and your organization.
This content will engage your audiences and motivate them to buy. And Google can never touch it because a robot can’t provide the same perspective. Let the search engines point people to your content by providing a personality and telling a story.
Create In First Person
Artificial intelligence can do roundups and lists and how-tos until it’s blue in the face, but you know what it can’t do? Talk about how to do those things in the real world.
For instance, let’s say you’re creating content around the best software for your industry. AI can create the list, “Use this software and this one and this one. It’ll do this, this, and this for you.” But it can’t tell your audience specifically how to use it in your industry.
So, rather than write a blog post titled, “Five Tools to Use In Finance,” your title could be, “We Tried These 5 Finance Tools.” And then write about each and highlight your favorite.
It’s still a listicle, in a sense, but you’ve added your perspective, which will prompt Google to send readers your way.
E-E-A-T Your Content
Remember way back in 2019 when Google launched their BERT update and told you to E-A-T your content? They wanted you to add expertise, authority, and trust.
Now, they’ve added on experience, which is something a robot can’t provide. So, if you’ve been creating E-A-T content for the past four years, you’re 90% of the way there. Just add the first-person storytelling that comes from experience, and you are golden!
To boot, backlinks will still remain important. While your earned media efforts will create backlinks TO your website, your content should include links to other websites that include research, data, analyses, and expert quotes to help build authority and trust.
Long-Tail Is Still King
It’s no surprise that Google still places value on long-tail content. What this means is the content you continue to get visitors to, even though it may be a few months or even a few years old. It tells you it’s valuable, and people continue to get something from it.
It also means you should update it with some of the tips we’ve already covered. For instance, I do a big PESO Model™ primer every January. I have used the same URL for the past five years, but I update all of the content.
If you Google “PESO Model,” you’ll see it’s one of the top searches. That’s because of the long tail.
For you to do the same, create a list of potential keywords and phrases that people will always search for in your industry. For instance, “media relations” is a popular topic in our industry, but that phrase won’t cut it in a post-search generative experience world. If I expand it to “Media Relations In Modern Business,” I start to get somewhere.
It also allows me to add expertise, experience, authority, and trust into the content.
And, because AI is only returning text-based content (right now), any multi-media content you create will perform better in the long run for you.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the PESO Model™ Certification teaches you how to do this. It’s been newly refreshed this year, and it includes generative AI along with all of the Google changes.
It’s Time to Shift Your Content Strategy
Regardless of where you are on the content spectrum, one thing is certain: search generative experience will shift how we all produce content. Pay close attention to how I followed all of these tips in this article.
It would have been easy for me to prompt ChatGPT with, “How Will Search Generative Experience Change the Content Game?” and have it spit out a list for me. But I added in first person, storytelling, experience, and expertise. And, because you’re reading, I assume I’ve already built trust and authority.
Boom! All of the tips are in one place. Google won’t be able to resist me!
To learn more about how all of this will work, I recommend you read the Search Quality Rater Guidelines from Google.
And certainly, we are here if you need help figuring this out and implementing it into your content plan.