Hold onto your seats as we unveil a groundbreaking announcement from the I/O developer conference. Brace yourself for a complete transformation of the search experience as Google introduces generative AI into the mix.

Say goodbye to the traditional ten blue links; instead, imagine a dynamic “cockpit” that curates content from all corners of the web, precisely tailored to address your search query. Picture this: a product search yielding not only a summary of top considerations but also a ranked list of products based on these factors.

The implications of this AI revolution on search engine marketing are nothing short of colossal. Google, with its dominant share of the search market, is set to redefine the search experience as we know it. While Microsoft has already ventured down a similar path by integrating Open AI’s GPT model with Bing, it’s Google’s upcoming move that holds the greatest significance.

One notable consequence, which I’ve already observed, is the shift among organic search marketers toward creating authoritative and unique content. With AI instantly dissecting vast amounts of text to extract key takeaways, it’s no longer sufficient to rehash the same information as everyone else and rely solely on a brand image or domain authority. As Google gears up to unveil its AI search game, creating one-of-a-kind content will become the cornerstone of an effective SEO strategy.

While the impact on organic search is apparent, the realm of paid search presents an intriguing landscape yet to fully unfold. Predicting the timing of this transition is challenging. Google is known for generating buzz around innovative plans only to revise them months later. Moreover, Google may be hesitant to potentially disrupt its ad-supported search model, often referred to as its “money printer.” It wouldn’t surprise me if Google strategically waits for competitors like Microsoft to test the AI search waters before taking the plunge themselves.

In the interim, based on my insights into the trajectory of paid AI search marketing, I’ve compiled three indispensable tips to help you navigate this inevitable but not necessarily imminent disruption:

Embrace the New Rules: Success in paid search hinges on Google Performance Max campaigns.

Google Ads Performance Max campaigns leverage machine learning to optimize ad performance across multiple Google properties. Given that Google’s upcoming AI-powered search experience will synthesize various web content, including that from Google properties, Performance Max campaigns will become the go-to option for advertisers aiming to reach search audiences at scale. In other words, those who disregard this option will soon find themselves left behind in the realm of paid search marketing.

Overall, Performance Max automation will enable you to achieve decent results simply by letting the system crunch your data. However, if you aspire to outshine the competition in this new playing field, you’ll need a distinct skill set that differs from what you’ve developed through other Google Ads campaigns. Your focus won’t be on making data activation decisions per se; instead, your role will involve training the system and ensuring it receives high-quality data. Now is the time to prepare and get up to speed.

“Incept” AI-Driven Brand Stories into Search

Currently, you utilize your own creative content to convey your brand’s stories. However, in the not-too-distant future, Google’s AI-powered search engine will employ your creative content, potentially developed using separate AI tools, to construct narratives for search users. This is the essence of the technology – extracting information from multiple sources and providing meaningful context by replicating human-style thought patterns.

Naturally, you won’t have full control over how this AI-generated story unfolds. Nevertheless, I anticipate that you will have some influence over it, similar to the concept of “inception” from the mind-bending film of the same name, where individuals influence but do not fully control others’ dreams.

While the practical aspects of this “inception” process are yet to be defined, a good starting point is to build a library of diverse creative assets with a consistent and cohesive message. By presenting your offerings in a genuinely relevant context and doing your due diligence, Google’s AI should recognize and bring forward the intended context. On the other hand, failing to contextualize your offerings increases the reliance on AI to interpret and contextualize them independently.

Embrace the Era of “AI Operationalization” in Digital Marketing Teams

Amidst discussions of AI eliminating human jobs, a different narrative emerges: AI is creating new roles and opportunities. Recently, I’ve come across mentions of “prompt engineers” – individuals who provide specific instructions to AI systems to achieve desired outcomes.

However, it’s not just about prompt engineers; we’re still in the early days of AI adoption, and significant human effort is required to operationalize AI within the diverse workflows of B2C digital marketing teams. As Google prepares to launch the promised AI-powered search experience, paid search workflows will become a pain point for digital marketing leaders who failed to anticipate this shift.

My recommendation is to start adding or building AI operationalization capabilities within your digital marketing team now. By doing so, you’ll be well-prepared when the floodgates of AI-powered paid search open. In this realm, being early in the game is never a disadvantage.

In closing, whether you’re ready to dive headfirst into paid AI search or prefer a wait-and-see approach (which is entirely reasonable, considering how Google is letting Microsoft test the waters first), I encourage you to closely monitor the realm of generative AI. Many of the newly launched tools are available for a free trial, enabling you to experiment and envision how AI can revolutionize your own search marketing strategies.

Get ready to embrace the immense power of AI and position yourself for success in the game of paid search marketing. The future is here – are you ready to play and win?