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How We Attract Users with SEO: From Ten Blue Links to AI-Generated Answers

Get a sneak peek at how we use AI to attract more visitors from organic searches

The world of artificial intelligence (AI) is advancing at an astonishing pace, revolutionising the way we find information and transforming the search engine landscape.

Over just six months, we have witnessed a paradigm shift that has caught the attention of major players like Microsoft’s Bing and Google. These search engines have wholeheartedly embraced AI enhancements to supercharge their search capabilities and provide users with AI-generated answers.

At Adevinta, we understand the pivotal role search engines play in connecting buyers with sellers in our marketplaces. To remain competitive in this ever-evolving digital landscape, we must grasp how generative AI can enhance this matchmaking process while adapting to the changes introduced by search engines.

In this article, we’ll explore how Adevinta is already leveraging AI to take our SEO game to the next level, all while preparing for the exciting changes that lie ahead.

The Changing Search Landscape

Procedure

The catalyst for the recent changes in the search landscape was the launch of ChatGPT, which quickly opened the eyes of millions to a new way of searching for information. Not long after, Microsoft’s Bing made significant strides by incorporating AI technology into its search engine. Bing’s introduction of AI previews, reminiscent of ChatGPT snippets, quickly attracted a growing user base.

Not one to be outdone, Google responded by announcing its own AI-powered search experience, called Bard, signalling a fundamental shift from traditional “ten blue links” to AI-generated answers.

According to SimilarWeb, Bing has experienced a notable increase in traffic recently, although it still lags behind Google in terms of market share.

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The Impact of AI-enhanced Results on Search Traffic

As of the publication of this article, we know Google’s plans to incorporate AI-generated results into search, but these changes have not yet gone live on the search engine result pages.

Naturally, as an SEO Manager, I’m always skeptical when new features are introduced to search engines. They have the potential to keep users on the search engine result page rather than directing them to our marketplaces. The introduction of AI snippets is no different.

However, what we’ve observed from Bing’s implementation of AI snippets is intriguing.

When we compare the number of times pages of our marketplaces appeared in Bing (impressions) before and after the release of AI snippets (2023.05.04), we noticed a remarkable 9% increase if we compare it to the week before the full release. But there was an even bigger 21% increase if we compare it to January, before the gated release of AI snippets in Bing.

Even better, the number of clicks did not decrease drastically. While there may be a short-term decline in search traffic, the changes, especially the ones Google announced, also present new opportunities we can leverage.

By optimising our ad details for AI-powered previews and incorporating AI into the way we are presenting ads, we can expand our reach and attract users who rely on AI-generated answers.

4 Ways We Are Using Artificial Intelligence for SEO at Adevinta

While keeping a close eye on the changes in search engines, we’re also taking advantage of recent advancements in artificial intelligence to scale our SEO efforts and reach more users through search engines.

Here are a few initiatives we’ve launched:

Arrows

Enhancing Buyer’s Navigation Flows

Internal links have proven to be a powerful tool for improving organic search traffic at scale for our marketplaces which often have millions of connected pages. Internal links not only help our SEO performance but also provide users with relevant product alternatives.

In the past, we relied on semantic similarity and monthly search volumes to determine relevance. However, with the new generation of AI models, we can now classify keywords more accurately and provide better-related searches on our platforms.

Generative AI for Dynamic Buyer Guides

Generative AI allows us to create dynamic buyer guides that offer users valuable information and assist them in the decision-making process. Our horizontal marketplaces have the goods available for buying but besides the description provided by our sellers, we could rarely provide more information about the product.

By extracting common frequently asked questions and providing direct answers, we enhance the user experience and position ourselves as a trusted source of information.

This approach also increases the likelihood of appearing in AI-generated snippets.

Growing Traffic Through Image Search

Search house with terrace

The search engine result pages have become increasingly visual in recent years, presenting a great opportunity for optimising images. Whether someone is looking to buy a second-hand item or searching for a new home, Google search results often include images.

By appearing alongside these images in the search results, we have an additional chance to attract buyers with direct transactional intent. Using large language models, we can effectively describe the items displayed in our unique product images.

All of these help us improve the accessibility of our platforms and enhances our rankings in search.

Generative AI-Driven Meta Content

Optimising titles and descriptions to attract more users from search engines has been a long-standing strategy for our marketplaces. However, with a wide range of product categories and page types, finding the perfect meta content has always been challenging.

Taking inspiration from AI-generated ads, we’ve adopted a similar approach for our meta content in organic search results. By using artificial intelligence, we can find the most compelling titles and short descriptions for our product listings, increasing our visibility and click-through rates.

How does AI change how we attract users to our marketplaces?

The impact of AI on user attraction is undeniable, as AI-powered search experiences reshape the search engine landscape. It can also affect how users are looking for preloved goods, cars, jobs and homes. While the shift from traditional search results to AI-generated answers presents challenges, it also opens up significant opportunities for marketplaces reliant on organic search traffic.

By proactively embracing AI advancements, optimising our platforms for AI-powered previews and leveraging AI technology, we can stay ahead of the curve, enhance our search rankings and adapt to future technological shifts.

Although there might be temporary declines in search traffic, the long-term growth opportunities that AI offers are substantial. By understanding the changing search landscape and harnessing the power of AI tools and strategies, we can attract users in this age of AI-generated answers and thrive in the ever-evolving digital world.

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