7 min read

We’ve previously explored our predictions for the future of search marketing and the importance of expanding your brand’s search strategies beyond a solely Google-focused approach. Now, we’re keying in on specifically how AI is impacting search and SEO — and how marketers can set up their content marketing strategies for organic search success in an increasingly click-less future.

AI and NLP in search

In recent years, search engines have gotten better at understanding how people talk. Natural language processing (NLP), a part of AI, helps computers figure out what a search query means. Google improved its algorithms with NLP, especially with the BERT update in 2019. This made Google show more accurate and helpful results than just using keywords.

NLP is essential for conversational search. It lets users ask questions naturally, rather than just typing keywords. It's also important for Google to understand videos, audios, and give good results for voice searches.

Content marketing and SEO change a lot because of Google updates. They try to adapt to Google's algorithms. NLP's rise made marketers create content that answers questions like people ask them. Brands focus more on specific, detailed keywords instead of general ones with lots of searches. And the feeling behind what people search for became important too.

When BERT came to Google, it was a big deal for search. Now, nearly five years later, we're going into an even more advanced search era, thanks to generative AI.


Since 2022, with the arrival of chatbots like ChatGPT, we've stepped into a new era of search. Now, it's super easy to chat naturally with a bot and get the answers you need without sifting through links. Generative AI, like in Microsoft Bing and Google's Search Generative Experience (SGE), is blending into search engines themselves.

Google says this technology aims to make searching easier, helping you understand topics faster and uncover new insights. These smart search results create a more chat-like experience right on the search page. They summarize information, offer more details, and even ask follow-up questions. It's so different from the usual search page that it's been nicknamed "CHERP" by Search Engine Land—a Chat Experience Results Page.

RETHINKEN® content strategist Mary Reilly thinks this change means people rely more on this info box than scrolling through a whole page. The box often has tools to answer more questions without leaving it.

SEO strategy for the evolving search experience

Content marketers and SEO strategists, much like how they adjusted with NLP's rise, need to adapt to the changing search landscape. Staying relevant now means crafting content that delivers an outstanding experience for the audience.

SEO aims to connect people with valuable information, creating a positive search experience. Content creators should align their thinking similarly. AI-driven search means moving away from SEO shortcuts and focusing on delivering real value. It's about making sure our content is the most helpful and valuable for our audience.

In a time when generative AI can create technically optimized content swiftly, the focus should shift to showcasing humanity, unique viewpoints, and firsthand experiences within branded content—referred to as EEAT: experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

As generative AI-powered search engines get better at guiding users, they won't favor generic AI-written content pulled from existing web info. They'll prioritize:

  1. Author or publisher's firsthand expertise and experiences, demonstrated through quotes or personal anecdotes.
  2. The authority of the author or site on a topic, proven by credentials, industry standing, and strong backlinks.
  3. Real-life examples, like case studies or user testimonials, adding credibility to business content.

To stand out, it's about enhancing content with unique aspects competitors can't match. Incorporating quotes or proprietary information while being authentic to your brand and aligning with what your audience values is key.

The search scene won't transform suddenly; it'll keep evolving, adding new features and improving old ones to offer users an amazing search experience. With generative AI in play, marketers and SEOs face an exciting task: blending AI and human-made content that connects with readers and catches the SERP's attention. It's about crafting unique content that genuinely adds value, not just ticking off KPIs.