SEO

The big concern for publishers is when AI becomes the journalist

With all the talk of Google Bard and Microsoft’s Bing AI with ChatGPT over the past several days, we all keep thinking more about how search and publishing will change in the future.

As we covered before, content creators are concerned about if there will be ROI in creating content that might not get clicks.

When AI becomes the journalist. While that is a concern, I think the bigger concern is when AI becomes the journalist. When AI can find the sources, track the necessary data, and follow the right people to produce unique, helpful and breaking news stories.

Right now, we see Bing’s interface consume and output amazing and timely answers in its chat interface based on not just what publishers are posting on their own sites but also referencing posts on Twitter from experts in the field. And Microsoft Bing said it is not fast enough at this and it will get faster – faster than it is even now!

AI can do the research. So what if AI can collect expert opinions on a breaking topic from social media? What if AI can make phone calls using technology like Duplex (which closed down)? What if AI can track the data sources that journalists often track to come up with a story faster, better, and more detailed than a human journalist?

The is the concern. I believe that is the true concern with AI. Not that journalists and publications won’t get traffic from search because the links are not just worth clicking on (and yes that is a valid concern). But more so, the AI can write the article on the fly without needing to find what other human journalists have written.

Entertainment matters. So what do we, as publishers, do to make our content something that you, the readers, want to consume and continue to subscribe to? Maybe we need to add an entertainment factor. Maybe we need to add personality and humor, and entertainment into our content, above and beyond what a machine can do at this point in time.

E-E-E-A-T. This gets me thinking, should Google add to their quality raters guidelines a third “E”, not just E-E-A-T but E-E-E-A-T. Should Google add “entertainment” to the list?

  • Entertainment?
  • Experience.
  • Expertise.
  • Authoritativeness.
  • Trustworthiness. 

Don’t we have enough Es by now? Maybe.

But maybe we need to think one step beyond Google. Think about how you can add more value to your content so that readers won’t just find us on search but they will want to become loyal fans – subscribing and continuing to read your content in the future.

Why we care. We need to continue to think about how we, as marketers, continue to innovate and improve our offerings so that both our readers and the searchers want to continue to read, consume and share your content.

This is why I added a video to the top of this page, which is a 90-second clip from my weekly SEO video recap that I publish on YouTube, iTunesApple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts or your favorite podcast player.

Postscript – the AI is watching. Within 60 minutes of me publishing, I asked Bing AI Chat about this and it is already citing my post on Twitter and this story about the topic.

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About the author

Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry can be followed on Twitter here.

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