Ep 157: ChatGPT & Google I/o: How Will Users & SEOs Adapt to the New Google AI Features

ChatGPT 4o makes an impression while undercutting Google I/O, Google I/O’s chaos largely reflects the confusion and complexity that haunts Google, How should we think about SEO going forward?

Ep 157: ChatGPT & Google I/o: How Will Users & SEOs Adapt to the New Google AI Features

Part 1 starts 00:13 - ChatGPT 4o Makes an Impression

OpenAI, not so subtly, introduced improvements to ChatGPT 4.0 just before I/O Google's event. The presentation was crisp and focused highlighting OpenAI's ChatGPT 4o enhanced speech capabilities and creative functionalities, such as summarizing audio streams shows and organizing the resultant notes into coherent outlines. Despite some features demoed on Monday being API-exclusive, the potential for ChatGPT to rival Google's search, at least on informational queries, is becoming more clear. Speculation about a potential integration with Apple's iOS adds to this potential, as this could significantly boost ChatGPT's reach, access to training data and even possibly local search capabilities.

Segment Reference Articles 

Introducing GPT-4o and more tools to ChatGPT free users

Apple and OpenAI 'finalizing terms' for bringing ChatGPT to iOS 18

Part 2 starts 12:40 - The Chaos that was Google I/O, is Google

The recent Google I/O event,  from the DJ to the presentations, felt chaotic much like the increasing complexity and seemingly disjointed nature of Google's product strategies. The showcase included a range of multimodal search results and demonstrations, such as trip planning and dining recommendations, which, while technically impressive, seemed to add to the cognitive load rather than streamline the user experience.

The event highlighted Google's shift from its original, simpler search interface to a more cluttered and multifaceted array of services and features, spreading functionality across various platforms without clear integration. In contrast, competitors like OpenAI are offering more straightforward, user-friendly interfaces, claiming a position Google once held. Discussions also touched on Google's potential in workspace solutions, which could transform into valuable tools for small businesses, though the realization of these potentials remains uncertain amid concerns about which products were real and which were vaporware. 

Segment Reference Articles: 

Google I/O: Gemini Dominates Search, SGE Goes Live

100 things we announced at I/O 2024

Part 3 starts 21:10 - How Will Users & SEOs Adapt to the New Google AI Features

At Google I/O's announced the launch of AI overviews (SGE) in the U.S., theoretically aiming to improve user engagement by highlighting lesser-known sites. Users are already searching for ways to disable this feature, with over 2,000 downloads for a Chrome extension designed to do just that. Google's introduction of dynamically organized search result pages for categories like restaurants and recipes is another significant change. These pages adapt based on user queries, a move seen as both innovative and potentially disruptive for SEO.

Meanwhile, Google's strategic vision appears unclear. As users habituate to the many new AI tools, with users gravitating towards simpler, more effective interfaces like ChatGPT, Google's position as the go-to search engine could be at risk.

Note: During the show David exponentially misstated the number of downloads of the chrome extension which hides AI overviews, conflating a completely different post on the number of SGE results in previous AI overview studies. The number of opt-out downloads is currently in the thousands, not 2 million as stated on the show. He regrets the error.

Segment Reference Articles:

AI Overviews Backlash, Siri Do or Die, SERP 'Cognitive Load'

Google’s broken link to the web - is letting Google do the Googling for you the future of the web?