As we prepare to say goodbye to 2023, there’s one thing that we know is coming with us into 2024: artificial intelligence (AI). With its growing force of chatbots, image generators, and tools, the world of AI continues to present both opportunities and challenges for automotive dealers in the digital landscape. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the advancements and changes we’ve witnessed in AI (particularly ChatGPT), along with insights into its applications for SEO in the automotive industry.
ChatGPT in 2023: What’s Changed?
Enhanced Features and Performance
Over the past year, ChatGPT has undergone significant improvements in terms of features and performance. Whereas initial models had access to data that ended in 2021, GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 Turbo have seen their datasets expanded to January 2022 and April 2023, respectively. This noteworthy update has improved the model’s ability to understand context, generate coherent responses, and mimic human-like conversation. The fine-tuning of parameters has resulted in a more nuanced and informed output, making it a valuable tool for various applications.
We’ve seen increased attention on international and domestic policies to ensure the ethical use of generative tools and the corresponding effort to develop digital watermarks to aid in identifying AI content. At Wikimotive, we’ve been watching Google carefully to see if there would be any change in their policy on AI-generated content; as of the moment, the answer is still no. But it’s more nuanced than that—we’ll discuss more below.
The main takeaway is this: many of our concerns and much of our excitement from the beginning of the year have turned out to be well-founded, if not somewhat tempered by reality. Like many things in life, a balanced approach continues to be the best path forward.
The Unchanging Realities of AI and ChatGPT
While AI, including ChatGPT, has made significant strides, it still grapples with inherent limitations. The model can produce inaccurate or nonsensical responses, highlighting the importance of human oversight. Automotive dealers should continue to approach AI as a tool that complements human expertise rather than a standalone solution.
The Need for Human Expertise
Certain SEO tasks demand in-depth expertise and a nuanced understanding of the automotive industry, which AI may struggle to provide. Human expertise is irreplaceable in areas requiring genuine creativity, strategic decision-making, or a deep understanding of market dynamics. For tasks like crafting brand narratives, developing unique content ideas, and interpreting complex industry trends, there is no substitute for human experience and intuition.
SEO Tasks Where AI Shines
There are, however, many areas where ChatGPT works well, proving a powerful and adept tool. AI excels in automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks in automotive SEO. Here are some examples:
- Content Generation: AI can assist in generating product descriptions and outlines for blog posts, creating a framework that dealers can build upon when enhancing their online presence.
- Keyword Research: Leveraging AI tools for keyword analysis and identification can streamline the process of optimizing content for search engines.
- Competitor Analysis: AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data, organizing and categorizing it to help automotive dealers refine their SEO approach.
Future Trends: What to Anticipate
Policy and Regulations Evolution
With the technology advancing at a breakneck pace, governments and international bodies are trying, but often struggling, to keep up with guidelines for responsible AI use. There is widespread support—even among AI creators—to address the ethical concerns around the models they have helped develop.
As these regulations and guidelines become better defined and more easily enforced, automotive dealers must stay vigilant to compliance requirements to avoid potential legal and reputational risks.
Digital Watermark Integration
One powerful tool in policymakers’ efforts to regulate AI content is the introduction of digital watermarks. Often invisible to the naked eye, these watermarks use algorithms to mark and identify AI-generated text and are quickly becoming more commonplace than they were at the beginning of the year.
Although their implementation and effectiveness still involve some trial and error, national policy in the US is working to standardize their use in all generative tools. As this technology matures, it may influence how consumers perceive and trust AI-generated content in the automotive space.
Google’s Ongoing Algorithm Refinements
Currently, Google has not announced any penalties explicitly targeting the use of AI content in search results. However, their standing E-E-A-T guidelines (prioritizing content that demonstrates Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) are enough to make AI content rank lower simply because of the quality of the writing. While Google may not yet take manual action against pages with AI content, they are unlikely to rank well unless humans have engaged meaningfully with the content before publication.
Undoubtedly, there will be future updates and refinements to Google’s stance on AI content in search results. As these changes take shape, it will be crucial for dealers to ensure that they—and their vendors—are adjusting their marketing strategies accordingly to stay in compliance and maintain a competitive edge.
Model Training Advancements
There are myriad changes we can expect to see in models like ChatGPT over the coming year. Some will enhance its power and abilities, while others may raise questions about its reliability.
For example, limited studies have indicated that certain types of answers from ChatGPT are becoming less accurate over time despite (or perhaps because of) updates to its algorithms and data.[a] On the other hand, these same updates provide greater context to inform its responses regarding recent events and developments.
Either way, AI models will continue to undergo advanced training to improve their capabilities, and automotive dealers will need to stay abreast of these advancements in order to leverage AI effectively in their marketing strategies.
Onward to 2024
In the ever-evolving landscape of AI and automotive SEO, dealers must strike a balance between leveraging the capabilities of ChatGPT for certain tasks and recognizing the irreplaceable value of human expertise. As we move forward, it will be crucial for dealers to stay informed about policy changes, technological advancements, and evolving search engine algorithms. Embracing AI as a tool in the SEO toolkit while understanding its limitations ensures a holistic and practical approach to online visibility in the automotive industry.