Just several weeks ago, DBE launched our new SAIO (say-o) strategy for optimizing websites to be found and cited when people conduct searches on AI chatbots. In a very short period of time, we’ve demonstrated the SAIO strategy works with several case studies posted on our website. There have also been questions around the concept of optimizing for conversational search chatbots. So, I’m here with Natalie to provide some answers. What’s the first question Natalie?

What does SAIO stand for?

SAIO (rhymes with day-o) stands for Search Artificial Intelligence Optimization. That’s a mouthful, so SAIO or Search AI Optimization if you’re feeling the need to compromise.

When you say AI here, do you mean using AI for quickly developing site content?

No, SAIO is for optimizing a website to be found by conversational chat bots, like Bing Chat and Google Search Generative Experience (SGE).

What about ChatGPT and Bard – aren’t they also conversational and generative chatbots?

They are but they don’t typically provide citations and links to the sources used in their responses. Without those citations, there is no SEO-type value-–they don’t help drive site traffic.

So we’ve put together this chart to show the similarities and differences between four of the main search-oriented chatbots.

The four chatbots we are looking at here are:

  1. ChatGPT created by Open AI,
  2. Bing Chat which is run by Microsoft using a ChatGPT license,
  3. Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE), and
  4. Google’s Bard.

All four are very similar in their conversational content generating capabilities.

Where they differ is in their ability to access the internet and process real-world information.

ChatGPT does not access the internet at all. Its responses are based on the masses of information that OpenAI trained it on.

Bard can access the internet (through Google, of course), but it only sometimes provides citations for its sources and rarely includes a direct link to that source.

Bing Chat and Google SGE provide citations with links on a regular basis as part of the conversations. Therefore, Bing Chat and Google SGE are our primary SAIO targets–for now.

I noticed there is a note about Bing Chat and Bard – can you explain?

Sure. We used those chatbots to help create this comparison table. However, they came back with different responses and some inaccurate responses as well.

When we challenged some of their responses, they corrected themselves with the caveat they are still “learning.” It’s a good reminder that any chatbot response should be reviewed by a human with some expertise in the subject matter. Take the “trust but verify” approach.

Getting back to SAIO, how does optimization for the chatbots work?

Basically, because chatbots are learning machines, you need to help them find your website so they can “E-E-A-T” up your content and use it as a resource for relevant search results. Note that I am referring to the E-E-A-T acronym that stands for Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trust. Google recommends using this model for generating relevant content that helps gain rankings in the traditional search engines.

Isn’t E-E-A-T a best practice for SEO?

Yes, and having a well-optimized website that is generating natural search rankings is one of the ways the chatbots can find and learn about your website, too.

How is SAIO different from SEO?

The SAIO chatbots look at website content differently from the regular search bots so they are less influenced by the page and keyword specificity we use for SEO.

The SAIO content has to be more informational and conversational in nature.

Here’s our chart showing how SEO and SAIO are parts of the same optimization iceberg but work differently when you look underneath.

You’ll see for SAIO we recommend more structured types of content including schema and product listings from a technical perspective and FAQs, how-tos, infographics, etc. from a conversational perspective.

EO & SAIO Iceberg outlining the differences between SEO & SAIO

Thanks, Marc, for the SAIO and SEO FAQ conversation. I’m guessing you’re going to recommend we post a transcript of this video to help with our SAIO optimization.

Once again, Natalie, you read my mind. I’m hoping the chatbots E-E-A-T this up.

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