Surf’s Up for SEO: Riding the Wave of Generative AI

The digital tide is rising and Generative AI is the culprit for changing the search landscape rapidly. Google searches used to be all about chasing keywords and optimising content but now AI assistants like Google’s Gemini are threatening to dominate the top of the funnel, leaving content creators scrambling for more strategies. 

Fear not, SEO experts! This isn’t a wipeout but an opportunity to refine our approach. Let’s dive into the functioning of generative AI and explore how we can adapt our SEO strategies to do better.

From Keywords to Conversations: A Shift in Search Intent

Remember pouring over keyword research tools, meticulously crafting content around specific search terms? Those days might be numbered. Generative AI excels at answering factual queries.
Obsessing over keyword rankings when creating content is no longer the sole focus. We need to start focusing on the mid-funnel, where users have more nuanced questions and are actively considering specific options.
Imagine a potential customer planning a trip to Vegas. In the top-of-the-funnel stage, they might start searching for “hotels in Las Vegas.” Generative AI can give plenty of options. However, once they narrow their search to 

Think of it like this: Imagine a potential customer contemplating a trip to Vegas. In the top-of-funnel stage, they might search for “hotels in Las Vegas.” Here, generative AI can shine, providing a list of options. However, once they’ve narrowed their search to “romantic experiences at the MGM Las Vegas,” they’re in the mid-funnel – prime territory for well-crafted SEO content.

Riding the Revenue Wave: Metrics that Matter

SEO success is no longer measured by the number of clicks. Clicks still play a role but the ultimate goal is to convert them into revenue. The focus is now switched towards revenue generated from organic search. 

Tracking revenue is not impossible anymore. Look for tools that integrate your website analytics with your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. This will educate you on which organic traffic converts into paying customers and offer a clear picture of your SEO ROI.

Forecasting the Future: Beyond Keyword Volumes

Gone are the days when forecasting SEO performance used to rely on predicting query volumes and click-through rates. AI is potentially handling many top-of-funnel queries and forecasting based on these metrics has become unreliable.

The solution? Start using a Total Addressable Market (TAM) approach. Estimating the total potential market size for your product or service creates a more stable foundation for forecasting.

For example, even if AI dominates hotel searches, the total number of people wanting to go to Vegas for a trip likely won’t change. By focusing on TAM and your expected reach within that market, you will be able to create a more accurate forecast, regardless of I’s impact on keyword volumes.

People Also Ask: The New Keyword Goldmine

SEO professionals need more ways to understand user intent and that’s where People Also Ask (PAA) comes in.

PAA is the section on Google search results page that shows related questions people often ask. These offer insights into the specific concerns users have while considering a product or service. By analysing PAAs, you can uncover some valuable mid-funnel topics. Use these to create content that addresses those specific concerns and positions your brand as the ultimate solution.

The Future of Backlinks: A Less Link-Centric Landscape

Backlinks are the links that take users from other websites to yours, serving as a signal of trust. Building backlinks was a crucial SEO tactic in the past but with generative AI, backlinks have become less critical as searching has become more personalised. Imagine a world where Google tailors search results based on your individual search history and preferences. In this scenario, the authority of a website might become less relevant, potentially diminishing the power of backlinks.

This doesn’t mean backlinks are dead – they still hold value. However, their importance might decrease as AI personalizes search results.


Generative AI is a game-changer for SEO but not the end. We can get used to it by adapting our strategies. Focus on the mid-funnel, track revenue, and leverage PAAs to understand user intent. Rethink your forecasting methods and loosen your grip on backlinks. By getting a hold of these changes, we can continue to navigate the changing SEO landscape and ensure that our content continues to engage and attract.