Search” Killers are “Answers

by Jim July 10, 2024

G’day Rankers! This week we’ll explore the evolving landscape of search technology and its impact on e-commerce. Discover how AI assistants like Perplexity and Siri are revolutionising the way users find information and how businesses must adapt to stay ahead. Learn about the decline of traditional search methods, the rise of AI-driven tools, and practical tips for e-commerce site optimisation. You’ll also see my purpose-built search tool ‘Qwhizard’. Gain insights into the future of search and how to leverage new technologies to enhance user experience and drive sales.

What I learned

  • The shift from traditional search to AI assistants and answer engine optimisation.
  • Google’s helpful content updates and their effects on publishing businesses.
  • Building and using AI tools for more effective and efficient searches.
  • Key strategies for optimising e-commerce sites for AI-driven search tools.
  • How Qwhizard returned better results than Google!

Transcript

Hey, welcome back Rankers. How are you going? 18 months ago I said search is on the way out, and that is as true today as it was back then. I just thought it would have happened even quicker. The reason I said that is because it’s easier to ask for something than it is to actually search for it. Meaning that it’s easier to ask an AI assistant for something than to go looking for it yourself. This is why we had the Google helpful content update last year. Google recognised that it was losing a lot of traffic to tools like ChatGPT and others. No one wants to sit there searching in Google, wading through all the results, then clicking on a result and reading through a really long article, moving through all the ads and pop-ups that publishers have to include to make any money. People are writing these long articles because that’s what Google seems to be rewarding.

Google came out with this helpful content update, which killed a lot of those publishing businesses, and they’ve done it again this year. Google has recognised that people want this information fast. They’ve known this for years because they have the data. They know that most searches through Google are brand-related, and people looking for brands just want to get to that information quickly.

The Evolution of Search

Google has introduced features like zero-click results, rich snippets, featured answers, and more recently, Google AI overviews, which are coming to Australia. These are attempts to get information to users faster. Despite these efforts, they’re still behind. This week, there was an interview with the CEO of Perplexity on Lex Friedman’s podcast. He talked about answer engine optimisation, which I wouldn’t recommend doing, but the idea is intriguing.

Perplexity.ai has been discussed as a potential Google killer, but I think tools like it are more of a search killer. I built a similar tool over the weekend using other AI tools. I’m not a developer or coder, but I know how to work with code, and we do a lot of coding at StewArt Media for our clients. It’s not a big leap to start using these AI tools that teach you how to do all these things. I’ve even taught my grandsons how to use these AI tools.

Qwhizard Magic

I created a tool with the working title “Qwhizard” (Query Wizard). I did a search for links to Australian retailers selling 85-inch TVs under $4,000. The tool provided links to several retailers. I’m developing this tool to become a query tool for my clients, essentially a virtual shopper. I thought Google would have developed something like this by now, but they haven’t. They have all the data but seem unable to use it to help people find products faster.

We’ll see tools like Perplexity, Siri (AI version), and integrations with OpenAI’s ChatGPT providing real-time answers and world knowledge. This will change how people use assistants and search for information. E-commerce business owners should ensure their sites are ready for these assistants.

Enhancing E-commerce Readiness

You don’t need to write lengthy articles for these assistants. They’re looking for important information for shoppers like shipping details, prices, and site performance. I’ve built a tool that provides better results than Google for my needs. E-commerce sites should answer user questions about their products and ensure fast load times to avoid being abandoned by users.

Collecting reviews is crucial, even for B2B businesses, as shoppers look for them. Use tools like Perplexity to see if your site comes up in relevant searches. We’re making sure our clients’ sites do, and if they don’t, we dig deeper to find out why. We’re introducing detailed “Scrum reports” for sale to non-clients, offering insights into how they can increase sales.

Building these tools is incredibly valuable for us, and you can learn to build them yourself. I’ve taught my grandsons how to use these tools, recognising that this is the future of learning. While there are questions about the accuracy and data sources of these tools, they are incredibly useful.

That’s all for this week. Please like, share, and subscribe to this channel. If you want more content about these tools and our work in this area, let me know in the comments. If you’re interested in purchasing one of our new Scrum reports or would like to discuss the idea with me, please feel free to reach out at [email protected]. Ask any questions about how I built this, and I’ll respond, as I always do on YouTube, LinkedIn, and on X (@Jimboot). Thanks very much, and we’ll see you next week. Bye.

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