I’d recently written about how to write so that your content compares favorably with AI. The idea was that since AI can only synthesize what’s already out there, the way forward is to create content that can’t be synthesized. Opinions and writing in the first person are the best ways to do this. However, I feel that this understates the impact that ChatGPT will have on the Internet. I know that predictions are dicey, but I feel that the future of the Internet will be mostly forum-based, with informational pages being replaced by AI.
Google “Experience” Update Proves the Threat
Last week, Google updated its search quality guidelines with an additional “E” in the now famous “E-A-T” model. The new “E” stands for “Experience” and is meant to surface more results demonstrating experience when talking about a subject. So if you’re reviewing a service, you should go out of your way to demonstrate that you’ve used the product instead of rewriting what others are talking about on your site.
Is it a coincidence that this update comes out as ChatGPT is shaking the world? Quite possibly. After all, it’s also the shopping season, and Google has no qualms about throwing out significant updates during this time, despite their years-old reassurance to the contrary.
But even if it’s not a coincidence, the trend is clear. Google wants you to write content that demonstrates a human touch. Content that brings something new to the world, not just that which can be gleaned by reading it elsewhere. AI is proving to be a far better synthesizer of content than us. So that leaves us only our biggest tool – personal experience.
Forums are Where Humans go to Create New Content
In a world where AI can efficiently synthesize ideas and information already existing, I see the future of the web belonging to forums like Reddit. I’ve already discussed how Reddit is taking over more significant swathes of the Internet, and ChatGPT will accelerate this trend.
Why visit a website to scan for specific information when AI can give you the answer straight away? Think of it as a supercharged Google snippet or featured result for every query. And when the AI can’t give you the information you want, you’ll need to go to a forum to ask your specific question. Which will then, in turn, be synthesized into AI in its turn.
In short, forums will be the training ground for AI.
The Return of Personal Blogs?
The early days of the Internet had a magical quality – or perhaps I’m only remembering it that way. But I remember when personal blogs were where most of the conversation, with curated communities, used to happen. All that was before modern “SEO” and spammy content full of advertising. The next generation of the Internet may see the return of three types of websites:
- News websites
- Personal blogs
Of course, we can’t dispense with news sites. I’ve already considered forums, and that leaves the personal blog. AI will synthesize all other types of content. Content creators will begin to question why they’re putting in all this hard work, only for AI to “steal” it. So this will result in fewer and fewer content creators and an increase in posts for personal, non-monetization reasons. And I think forums and personal blogs will be a big part of that.
I’m at once excited and apprehensive about the future. I can’t foresee how all this will play out for websites and content creators. But I’m ready for it!
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!