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Google I/O update


At Google’s annual developer conference (Google I/O) yesterday (May 10th), it was announced that Google will seek to begin testing search results infused with generative artificial intelligence technology. This is their answer to disruptors such as ChatGPT (baked into Bing).

Whilst this is currently only in testing/beta, it could mean a change in the way we view and interact with search results in the future. This reimagined search still involves typing a query, and receiving in response links to websites, snippets of content, and ads. However, in some situations, the top of the page will feature text created by AI that pulls information from different sources across the web, and links to those webpages. A user can ask follow up questions to get more specific information. Think of it a little like an interactive, AI featured snippet.

What does this mean for me?

  • At the moment, there is no immediate action to take. As this is an update within the search space, it’s something to be aware of, particularly for the future
    • Search could become more competitive, with organic results being merged into the generated content as sources of information
    • This will only affect a small proportion of queries initially, where Google deems it to be a valuable addition to the user experience.
    • This could grow in the future to enhance a larger portion of the search landscape
    • This will not affect the YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) space (initially)
  • This is a feature that is currently in a closed beta, and only available if you sign up and are located in the USA
  • This is not available in the EU, yet

A illustration of a person with one finger on their chin, deep in thought. Above their head is a lightbulb and two question marks.

What are the opportunities?

  • There is a difference between search and discovery and here Google is using AI to help users on a broader journey.
    Search is the act of finding what you know you want. Google has always done a good job of presenting options for us to search and find something. Discovery is more serendipitous, it is encountering something you didn’t even know you were looking for.
    Continuing to provide authoritative content and expertise that is well signposted is still the best way to ensure your content is surfaced and trusted. We have always recommended covering a broad range of related topics to allow serendipitous discovery.
  • There is potential for capitalising on visibility within this feature, as mentioned by Google “As we bring generative AI into Search, we’re committed to continue sending valuable traffic to sites across the web.” Websites should continue to create valuable, useful content that follows E-E-A-T best practice. Blue Array will continue to guide our valued customers in best practice along this exciting journey.
  • Google also released Vertex – which allows you to build & train your own machine-learning applications. This has many potential uses, and could be used to build a knowledge base using internal experience (this is something we are looking at creating within Blue Array). This may be something you could look to leverage in your own businesses.

Where can I read more?


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