Google Opens Up AI Search Generative Experience

Google just opened up the Search Generative Experience (SGE) for some users who applied for it. The current iteration basically helps you to find answers to your search questions by generating AI answers  – including for some health and medical queries. Hmmmm. A site picked as an AI Snapshot on SGE can also appear in organic results. It currently takes around 5 seconds to generate a result, which is a massive deal in search terms. The colour background changes based on the subject matter, and there are still organic links for some queries. Oh, and local businesses link to Google Business Profile pages, which is a bonus for local search. Lots of people will have very mixed feelings about this SEO development, but it’s the near-future, so get with the program, I guess. And talk to me if you want to find out how leverage AI & SEO.

70% of CMOs Plan to Maintain or Increase Search Investment

According to the 2023 CMO Spend and Strategy Survey from Gartner, over 70% of CMOs are planning on increasing or maintaining their PPC and SEO investments next year. 53% plan on investing more in paid social advertising. The 70% means that paid search advertising and SEO might see  reduced investments from 30% of marketers – 26% of CMOs plan to reduce investment in paid search, while 20% plan to reduce investment in SEO. To some extent this may be a result of the economic conditions we find ourselves in currently. On the bright side, digital video advertising and influencer marketing are expected to secure more budget in 2023. These stats were gathered from 410 CMOs and marketing leaders from North America and Europe, representing various industries and company sizes and need to be taken with a pinch of salt. Talk to me about digital marketing to help work out your budgets for 2023 / 2024.

Google Ads PMax Goes All AI

Google Ads Performance Max campaigns are getting a more automated twist. They will be using  generative AI to create text assets and AI image production. Advertisers can essentially give their website and info to Google Ads AI, and like magic, it will generate brand assets – hooray!. The AI image creation feature is also pretty cool, it can generates image based on information the advertiser provided, and then sales / ad descriptions are created too. As well, new beta goals for customer acquisition and re-engagement in PMax campaigns are coming, which should be pretty good. These types of campaigns have shown an average conversion increase of about 18% at a similar cost per action – although it really does seem to depend what market you are in. Talk to me about creating / running / optimising Google Ads campaigns, especially PMax, or straight PPC.

Bing Providing Answers to Chat GPT and Vice Versa…

Microsoft’s search transformation with AI-powered Bing and Edge from minnow to small-fry continues. Bing users have already created over 200 million images, engaged in half a billion chats, and received three key updates announced at the recent Microsoft Build conference. Bing has now integrated with ChatGPT, enriched its plugin ecosystem, and integrated across Microsoft’s copilots.

As a result, Bing’s new updates provide users with up-to-date answers and direct access to web data within ChatGPT. This has a degree of circularity about it. A bountiful selection of new plugins from major companies such as Expedia, Instacart, Kayak, Redfin, TripAdvisor, and Zillow will apparently also enhance conversational experiences and personalised recommendations, which I’ll wait to see. Bing’s plugin ecosystem now also works with other Microsoft copilots, including Windows 11 and Edge. The circular AI search transformation is off to an exciting start, but soon we’ll see search AI repeating AI generated text answers. Can’t wait.

Yet Another AI Blob – Get With The Program Peeps!

Generally, marketers need to actively participate in the development and use of AI within their organisations to ensure they don’t miss out on leveraging it to solve digital marketing problems and elevate the team’s role as revenue and tech leaders – not just cost centres. Here are three steps marketers can take, according to MarTech:

  • Experiment with AI across platforms to discover different use cases and platforms.
  • Chat to vendors and partners about their plans for AI technology to get a sense of where the industry is headed.
  • Take a seat at the AI table by starting or joining conversations at your organisation about using AI in marketing to lead the conversation and shape the direction of AI use.

Marketers must be active in shaping how AI is used in marketing to achieve their goals. Mostly, AI is an opportunity, not a threat, and marketers need to be proactive in influencing its implementation. There will be a lot of stuck-in-the-muds, but also a lot of people reaping massive advantages. 

State of SEO 2017 Machine Learning and AI