Marketers worried that artificial intelligence-driven chat will reduce search traffic to their websites may find comfort in answer engine optimization.
AEO is a sub-category of search engine optimization and could help ecommerce companies stay ahead of upcoming changes at Google and Bing.
What’s an Answer Engine?
The goal of Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Baidu has long been to provide the best answer to a user’s query.
Searchers on Google, for example, likely have a need or a question. The result they want is not a list of websites, per se, but a solution.
As a search engine improves, it evolves into an answer engine, providing an answer instead of (or in addition to) a list of sites. This is why search engines developed carousels, knowledge panels, and featured snippets.
The introduction of smart speakers and vehicle infotainment systems accelerated the transformation from search to answer engines since voice-based queries imply a single response.
Similarly, AI chat software is pushing search toward answers over links. This trend is not the death of SEO, but it does mean that search engine optimizers may need to adapt.
AEO is still SEO. The fundamental process is the same, requiring marketers to:
- Get technical optimization right,
- Identify keyword phrases and entities,
- Create helpful, informative, or entertaining content,
- Develop backlinks and mentions.
Thus we can sum up the difference between SEO and AEO in three concepts: communication, credibility, and...
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