“I’ve always thought of AI as the most profound technology humanity is working on. More profound than fire, electricity, or anything that we have done in the past…We are developing technology which, for sure, one day will be far more capable than anything we’ve ever seen before…this is going to impact every product across every company.” – Google/Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai on CBS’s “60 Minutes”
Google’s approach to Artificial Intelligence doesn’t sound like a typical algorithm update. It sounds much, much bigger. When I read those quotes, I got the sense we’re on the precipice of a monumental shift, perhaps something that we can’t yet fully understand or appreciate today. There’s a deep reverence about where humans are going in the AI space – both exciting and scary at the same time. Maybe it’s all hype, but I get a prepare-your-mind-to-be-blown vibe.
It’s noted that Google’s Holy Grail goal is to become sort of an answering machine, similar to that in “Star Trek.” Back in 2019, I did a webinar with an accompanying blog post entitled, “The SEO Revolution Continues.” It’s interesting to see the progress toward this goal over the last three plus years and the role that AI has played. I would say that in the past four years, Google has made massive progress in achieving that goal. Their Generative AI Search experience (SGE) was announced back at their I/O developer conference in May of this year. If you haven’t seen or read about it yet, take a few minutes and check out that link before finishing this post. When it comes to generative AI and organic search engine results, the benefits seem obvious. Take multiple search results from different destinations and combine them into one cohesive result, or answer, with links back to the destinations themselves.
Present Day: Owning the ‘People Also Ask’ Section
I suppose you could also consider this post a “Part 3” to my “How to Find Job Seekers Who Aren’t Seeking Jobs” posts from late 2021. When preparing for the future of AI in search, the core strategy of answering candidate’s questions directly from an employer’s first-person perspective remains the same. You don’t have to wait for the future to prepare for this opportunity today. AI has already been at work within the ‘People Also Ask’ section of the search results and the Featured Snippets that I pointed out in my previous post.
If you’re transparently providing information that candidates will seek out, you already have a leg up from companies that don’t. All the following questions were generated by Google off the initial query ‘Working at Capital One’:
Use the proposed questions as inspiration for new pieces of content to build on your career site’s CMS (Content Management System). Those pages can rank individually on their own, or pulled into this ‘People Also Ask’ section, or generate a Featured Snippet above the rest of the search results for the right search query. As an employer, you should easily be able to answer these questions from your first-person perspective and use them as an avenue to capture traffic to drive toward open positions. On the flip side, lacking pages that address these specific concepts opens a void for other third-party sites to fill. Will the answers be correct? Positive? Those sites have other motives from the traffic, such as advertising revenue, sponsored job postings, data capture, or other products to sell. YOU are THE authoritative source for that answer, and your main motivation is to fill jobs with the best candidate possible, for as cheaply as possible. Help control the narrative and drive traffic back to your jobs all at the same time. This content will also prepare you for the AI of the future that we’re marching towards.
How to Enable Google’s Generative Search
You likely aren’t seeing these search results in your day-to-day Google experience yet, unless you’ve opted into it. To do this, click the Search Labs beaker that appears when logged into your Google Account.
From there, click the slider button to enable SGE. Interestingly, it says that this ends in December 2023. Does that mean this experimental version will end and be rolled out to all users? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Future: Shaping the Generative Search Results
This is the exciting part. The direction that Google’s CEO is so excited about. And it feels like a major leap forward in Google’s organic search experience – especially for longer tail and more complex concepts.
As you’ll see in the examples below, it appears Google is doing quite a bit of testing in this area. One day, you’ll find clear links out to the web sources that they’re gathering their answer from. A couple of weeks later, you’ll only see dropdowns.
Highlighting benefits that appeal to prospects is a great starting point. For a fast-casual restaurant like Chipotle, that means free food.
Here are some of the queries that Capital One does well for in the ‘People Also Ask’ section of the search results. Now, the result is much more comprehensive, with multiple sources of information contributing.
This concept of providing interview tips is a great one for candidates preparing their journey.
I could go on and on here, but hopefully, you get the drift and can see the value of having high-quality content when Google’s SGE fully rolls out. As the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now. Plant the seeds of content throughout your career site to address your ideal candidate’s thoughts, questions, and desires. Those seeds will have grown into trees when generative AI in Search fully matures.
- Google’s Generative AI Search for Talent Acquisition - November 8, 2023
- How You Can Use ChatGPT’s AI to Accelerate Career Site Content Creation - February 21, 2023
- Top 10 Things to Consider When Building a Career Site Page - December 12, 2022
- ‘Google for Jobs’ Quality Control Guidelines Part 2: What Does the Data Say? - June 24, 2022
- ‘Google for Jobs’ Quality Control Guidelines: Are They Working? - May 12, 2022
- How to Find Job Seekers Who Aren’t Seeking Jobs: Part 2 - September 24, 2021
- How to Find Job Seekers Who Aren’t Seeking Jobs: Part 1 - July 14, 2021
- The Value of SEO in this New Era of Work - May 28, 2020
- Google for Jobs in 2019: The SEO Revolution Continues – Part 2 - September 4, 2019
- Google for Jobs in 2019: The SEO Revolution Continues - June 18, 2019