Boring Thoughts on AI and Search Intent – ChatGPT for SEO, Right Now

Buckle up. Here are a few very dull, off the cuff considerations for an obvious, immediate use case for AI.

I just listened to an interview between AI and Reid Hoffman. It actually made me feel worse about ChatGPT than I did when I was just messing around with it. The interview was weird. Hoffman ran into the edges of the capabilities pretty quickly, but there’s one place where I see an obvious, immediate benefit.

I think there’s a good chance that the concept of “googling” stuff is going to change forever and very soon. It feels so obvious to ask ChatGPT instead of Google for essentially anything you want. In my mind, the way that works is in stages, some of which Google’s currently incapable of (at least publicly). 

Current State: Search Refinement for Intent

Search refinement is totally a thing when you’re dealing with organic optimization (or user experience and interface design, for that matter). Essentially, it means you search for something, it’s not quite right, and you refine your search to get you closer to what you want. Typically that means you’re making your search more specific – adding qualifiers to filter results to better match your intent. 

Opportunity State: Search Manipulation for Intent

For ChatGPT, search refinement is totally different. It’s more like search manipulation. You can get your answers, then you can have ChatGPT manipulate and refine for you – taking you way closer not just to your informational intent, but the intent of what you plan to do with that information. 

Ads as an aside – It’ll be interesting to see what happens on the advertising side of things. Google is dominated by paid results. Will ChatGPT’s free option include gmail style ads in the near future?

Example steps would be searching for some particular dataset or information – like top searches or questions around a topic. Then you can get it to sort that stuff into basically whatever categories you want, or get it to categorize, you could then have it write titles for the categories, descriptions of the categories, then articles to fill the categories (though this is still technically a “no no”, better to get it to outline your articles for now). That example effort leaves our current search engine use case behind at about step 1.5. 

SEO is a super obvious place for ChatGPT to shine pretty much immediately.

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