Embrace of Generative AI Threatens $68B SEO Industry – Mississippi Free Press

The Potential Death of SEO: How Generative AI May Revolutionize Online Search


Leading tech companies like Google and Microsoft have been experimenting with generative AI tools like ChatGPT, to enhance user experience when searching the internet. Instead of a list of URLs, generative AI tools will provide users with an answer in the form of a text result.

The Impact on the SEO Industry

Search engine optimization, or SEO, has played a large role in driving web traffic to websites over the past 25 years. The $68 billion SEO industry has been dependent on this practice to gain visibility in search engine results. However, the growing use of generative AI will likely make SEO obsolete.

The Role of Search Engines in Monetizing Online Search Services

Search engines such as Google and Microsoft generate much of their revenue through search engine marketing, which includes paid placements and affiliate marketing. Google AdWords alone accounted for approximately 58% of Google’s revenue in 2022, or nearly $162.5 billion. However, if users begin ignoring these sponsored and editorial listings in favor of generative AI-generated responses, this will adversely affect the revenues of SEO experts and search engines themselves.

The Future of Search Engines and Generative AI

Generative AI search engines are still in their infancy, and many challenges must be overcome before they can become the dominant force in online search. These challenges include trust and incorrect, plagiarized, or made-up answers. However, given the resources available to researchers working on generative AI models, it is highly likely that eventually, these models will become better at their task, ultimately leading to the demise of the SEO industry.


Generative AI has the potential to revolutionize the online search industry. While the SEO industry may struggle to survive, search engines will likely find ways to offset losses by developing new strategies to monetize generative AI responses.

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