Optimizing Websites for AI Search Engines

Sometimes innovation is paradigm-changing. When that sort of change hits the horizon, you want to be ready to shift along with the landscape. It’s time to embrace the learning curve and engage in website optimization because it’s clear that tools like ChatGPT are here to stay. And having to enter a query with a keyboard—the method that’s been dominant for the past 30 years—is beginning to lose relevance. Vocal search queries, image-based product queries, and video-first traffic are claiming a greater share of the economy of interest. It’s all because AI-powered systems are a uniquely efficient alternative that offers a vocal and visual interface with digital systems.

How quickly this change will progress is still unknown, but from an SEO perspective, now is the time to future-proof your web strategy. It’s important to understand the similarities and differences between a traditional web crawler and an AI-driven model.

How They Discover Content

Having a clear picture of how AI-augmented search engines discover and judge content is a key step toward success in this new era. There are two ways to look at this. First, AI-augmented search engines index web-based content, and judge its quality, using the same tools and standards as a search engine like Google. We can see this clearly through how Google guides its own search quality ratings teams and public postings. Google’s Search Quality guidelines support existing standards of what constitutes a great site—meaning, it ensures that a user query always receives the most relevant response. 

AI-augmented search engine’s success or failure is determined by its accuracy. No one wants to use a search engine that spits out a recipe for cheese sauce when you ask it a question about the Roman Empire.

Are They Dependent on SEO?

The second way to answer the question of content discovery has to do with SEO. This is where things get interesting, because AI-augmented search engines do rely on SEO to a degree. This is important if your website’s technical elements are not compliant with SEO best practices. If your website is compliant, then you want to focus on content-based concerns. 

Optimize website content for vocal, image, and video search, and use proper tagging, strong transcription, and natural-sounding language. It’s also crucial to have correct meta tags, structured data markup (schema), and alt tags that make it possible to index non-text content. Use these elements to populate an AI’s database.

Consulting an AI-Augmented Search Engine

Frame 48 Frame 46 AugmentedSearchEngine

Let’s have a look at ChatGPT’s answer to a prompt around this topic—it offers a few powerful insights:

“Here’s a generalized approach to ensuring your web content is optimized for indexation:

Create High-Quality Content: Ensure your content is valuable, unique, and relevant. High-quality content is more likely to be linked to, shared, and referenced, increasing its visibility to crawlers.

Use SEO Best Practices:

  • Sitemap: Create and submit a sitemap to major search engines like Google and Bing. This informs them about the pages on your website.
  • Robots.txt: Ensure your robots.txt file isn’t blocking important pages from being crawled.
  • Meta tags: Use appropriate meta tags, like the title, meta description, and canonical tags.
  • Internal Linking: Have a clear site structure with internal links. This helps search engines discover new pages through existing ones.
  • Mobile-friendly: Ensure your site is mobile-friendly for search engines and prioritize mobile indexing.
  • Get Backlinks: Backlinks (links from other websites to yours) are a significant ranking factor for most search engines. They can help in getting your content crawled and indexed faster.

Site & Content Optimization:

  • Update Content Regularly: Fresh content is more likely to be crawled regularly. Update your website regulary and search engines will likely crawl it more frequently.
  • Speed Up Your Site: A faster loading website is better for the user experience and search engines. For instance, Google considers site speed as one of its ranking factors.
  • Use Social Media: Sharing content on social media platforms can increase its visibility. There’s debate about the direct impact of social shares on rankings. However, social shares will lead to more visibility, traffic, and links.
  • Use Structured Data: Structured data (like Schema.org) can help search engines better understand the context of your content. This might not directly influence crawling, howwever it can help with the display of your content in search results.
  • Register with Search Console & Bing Webmaster Tools: Utilize these tools for insights into how search engines view your site and request indexing for specific URLs.
  • Avoid Duplicate Content: Duplicate content can confuse search engines. Use canonical tags to specify which version of a page should be considered the ‘main’ version if duplication is unavoidable.”- ChatGPT Prompt Response Aug 28th, 2023

AI-Augmented Search: a Natural Next Step 

It’s best to view AI-augmented search pages for what they are: the next iteration of structured data markup driven results. Google and Bing seek to better curate them against the inferred intent of a user’s search prompt. 

Professionals should use common sense. Lean on the knowledge you have, and keep to your three cardinal SEO rules:

  • Write relevant, unique, and engaging content built for your users.
  • Use internal linking to build the best onsite experience possible, with clear journeys, metadata and schema; quick page speed times; and functional SSL. 
  • Publish content that will drive social media posting and interactions, and ultimately build a community of expertise around your website. 

These simple rules should be your foundation for using AI-augmented search engine marketing. These rules allow you to move forward with utmost confidence in our changing landscape.

Article Name
Optimizing a Website for AI – Augmented Search Engines
Sometimes innovation is paradigm-changing. When that sort of change hits the horizon, you want to be ready to shift along with the landscape
Publisher Name
Isadora Agency
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