by Andrea Beacham

Google Confirms: New Chat Based Search Feature Coming Soon

3 min read

Similar to ChatGPT, Google’s new Apprentice Bard feature is ruffling feathers

Recently, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai confirmed that Google will be releasing a chat based search feature based on its own proprietary AI system, called LaMDA. Currently the system is in testing mode and it sounds like it will begin to be rolled out over the coming weeks and months.

The first reports of the system frame it as an interactive chat feature, with users entering a question into a chat prompt and receiving an answer. These answers are based on AI, which scans and paraphrases content from all sorts of websites to deliver instant responses to the user.

Some content creators are up in arms about this change, as they claim Google will be scraping their hard worked content to paraphrase and deliver results to search users without crediting the original source…or driving organic traffic.

The impact of Google’s LaMDA to sites like news outlets remains to be seen, as Google’s LaMDA will have the ability to give answers about current events- a capability ChatGBT doesn’t currently have.

Impact for home service businesses

Many businesses including home service have seen high volatility in keywords recently, which is usually a precursor to a Google algorithm update.

Some fear that the use of this type of AI combined with search capitalizes on Google’s ability to understand content and deliver answers to users, without sending organic traffic to websites.

Is this the beginning of the end for organic traffic?

Luckily, it’s just a change, and a change that you and your marketing company can keep up with.

Google is becoming more about answering simple questions instead of serving information. Now more than ever, your business needs content that gives great answers and also leads the user to answer other questions that are likely based on the first question they asked.

According to our resident SEO Wizard, Rachel Jackson, Google will continue to “reward” authorities on a subject which is why your website content is so important.

Rachel encourages home service owners to think of content examples, like when a users enters a question such as “What is the best way to clean my drains naturally?”

There’s a good chance they also want to know “Is it as effective as chemical drain cleaners?” or “Are chemical drain cleaners harmful to my pipes?” or “Should I call a plumber if my drain keeps clogging?”

Rachel says “If you have all that content available¬†(and linked) then Google will see that you are an expert and serve more of your content.”

TLDR; Content is still king.

GMB and SEO still matter… a lot

It’s important to have your on site SEO and your GMB keyed in- this is foundational for the growth of your business. More on the job pictures, or stories of jobs will be useful.

Get reviews and testimonials from customers, and if you don’t have a review management software automating the process, you should definitely consider that as part of your 2023 marketing and growth budget.

What home service owners should focus on now

In light of the uncertainty around these changes with Google, we remind home service owners to continue to work on their brand and their reputation. All things aside, brand & reputation will continue to draw customers to you instead of your competitors.

Your brand doesn’t stop with your logo. It also includes your:

  • Website
  • Social media presence
  • Reputation
  • Brand promises
  • Guarantees
  • Community involvement
  • Employee experience

And as we all know, even the best polished brand can fail with mismanagement and/or a bad reputation.

Do right by your customers and ask for reviews at every single service call to build up your reviews on GMB. A huge percentage of people search using maps for local businesses and your reviews can help you snag those as new customers.

Questions about how you can build your brand despite the uncertainty of the changes Google is going through?

Have your rankings taken a nose dive recently and you want a second opinion?

Hit us up- we love to talk shop.

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