AI Revolution: ChatGPT vs. Google's Bard - Exploring the Future of Search - Episode 279 - Public Version (Mar 24, 2023)

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Bill Gates wrote this week, “The Age of AI has begun.” 

The development of AI is as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the Internet, and the mobile phone. It will change the way people work, learn, travel, get health care, and communicate with each other. Entire industries will reorient around it. Businesses will distinguish themselves by how well they use it.

A new study by OpenAI shows that most of us will have our job impacted in some way by AI. For some, more than half of their current tasks are likely to be radically changed. According to Sam Altman, COO of OpenAI, millions of jobs could be lost. At the same time an incredible number of new opportunities that are difficult to conceive of are opening up.

Wild changes could happen quickly. 

It is overwhelming to keep up with all of the news regarding AI. Several of my friends have expressed serious anxiety and concern. We are likely at the precipice of an exciting new era but change is difficult. Especially when combined with the stress of the pandemic. 

My hope for you is that you are able to experience these changes with joy and excitement rather than despair. While there are many potential serious concerns with the technology, the potential for good and for exciting change is huge.

There is so much opportunity right now for those of us who understand the web, even just a little. Every business is going to go through big changes and will be looking for guidance. 


In this episode:

  • ChatGPT Plugins – you can now browse the web inside of ChatGPT and a LOT more
  • Exciting advancements in AI
  • Google Bard is live (and perhaps disappointing)
  • Sam Altman’s ABC interview (The co-founder of OpenAI that makes ChatGPT)
  • The March Core Google Update
  • SEO tips 
  • Other interesting AI news
  • MidJourney tips
  • SEO Jobs

For paid readers:

  • Cool uses of ChatGPT
  • Use ChatGPT + GSC to improve your content
  • Improving product review content
  • Prompts you can use to help improve product review content

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Join the free version

There is now a lot more in the free version. Everything except the Ideas and Innovation section plus office hours every few weeks. (This week’s office hours were so good. I will publish the video plus a summary in next week’s newsletter.)

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First, I want to share with you a story about my morning that may help me demonstrate how the ChatGPT Plugins will change the way people search.

ChatGPT Plugins have changed the way we use the internet, overnight

This morning, I took some time to create instead of work. I asked ChatGPT to write a poem with thought provoking lyrics. It was not bad, but a little depressing, so I asked it to write with more joy…and then it was a little hokey sounding…

creating music with ChatGPT

We changed it up a little and added some chords.

playing music with ChatGPT

I really enjoy listening to electronic music, and there are so many things I would love to create. But I always get lost in the tech.

How do I get that sound?

What the heck is a DAW?

OK, I downloaded Ableton and now I have to register for the trial and figure out how to use it…

I asked ChatGPT for ideas of sounds or drum beats I could use on my Roland RD-700SX.

And it made up a completely wrong answer, telling me to press the “drums/perc” button that didn’t exist. 

When a language model makes stuff up, it is called a hallucination. This happens when there are gaps in its knowledge. It did not know the answer, so it came up with something plausible. 

But soon…possibly even by the time you are reading this, ChatGPT will be able to recognize when an answer could be improved by augmenting it with information from the web. the web browsing plugin now offers Bing search inside of ChatGPT.

It searches and navigates websites and can synthesize information across multiple sources to give a more grounded response instead of making things up. And, it knows when to use info from the web to make an answer better rather than making information up.

web browsing in ChatGPT

Screenshot from a video on OpenAI’s website.

Once I have access to the web browsing plugin, ChatGPT should be able to search the web, find the manual for my keyboard, gather the information and answer any question I have about the tech. 

Or, Roland could develop a plugin that allows me to ask any question about its products.

Or, one of you with technical skills could develop an app that sparks creativity and teaches people to create music.

Actually, nevermind…it sounds like the new coding plugin will make it so that I can eventually just tell ChatGPT what I want and it will make the plugin for me.

The way we use the internet has suddenly changed. 

People will be turning to ChatGPT for business recommendations. We are going to need to learn how to get in there. We will need to brainstorm on how we can serve our audience who are active users of ChatGPT. We will need to understand Bing rankings, perhaps more than we do Google rankings. I don’t know the first thing about Bing local search algos…but that will need to change!

But what about Google?

Google finally released Bard, their ChatGPT competitor this week. I do not yet have access but from what I have seen, I am disappointed.

Bard looks like it can be extremely helpful in some ways. It has access to up to date information and is very creative and friendly. 

But, it is horrendously inaccurate in many cases. I will share more below on the awful inaccuracies Bard is spitting out.

I really thought that Bard would be accurate because of Google’s Knowledge Graph. It doesn’t even look like it is using the knowledge graph. People who have knowledge panels are not being recognized.

Lily Ray not recognized by Bard

I am clinging to the hope that Bard will improve. We have spoken extensively about Google’s Sparrow paper that discusses how user feedback can greatly improve an AI language model. Perhaps it will get better quickly? We will see.

From what I’ve seen from Bard so far I think it would be incredibly helpful, and used by many, if accurate.

But things move quickly in the AI world. I am worried for Google.


Just last week I shared about how GPT-4 was world changing. It feels like a lifetime ago.

If you run or advise a business that relies on the internet, you absolutely need to be paying attention to ChatGPT.

More on ChatGPT’s third party plugins

Third party plugins have changed the game. There is a Plugin store with options allowing you to use ChatGPT integrating with companies like Expedia, Instacart, Shopfiy, Speak (a language tutor), Wolfram (math, curated knowledge and data, much of which updates in real time) and Zapier.

ChatGPT plugins

Here are some screenshots taken from the video demo showing the web browsing plugin:

screenshots of the web browsing ChatGPT plugin

This could be a big enough change to convince people who have used Google as their search engine for years to switch to using ChatGPT. 

While websites are listed as sources, there will often be little need to visit these sites. If I ask, “What’s the latest on the Maple Leafs” ChatGPT should be able to use Bing to make a summary for me based on what it’s read on the most relevant and up to date websites. I had someone ask Bard this question and it told us how Leafs goalie Michael Hutchinson won the game for them. Um, Hutchinson was traded from the Leafs three years ago.

With search inside of ChatGPT (when necessary) there is very little need for me to visit websites…very little need to click…to do multiple searches…to scroll past a slew of ads…to click on ads. 

More exciting AI advancements this week

Nvidia DGX AI – the supercomputer behind ChatGPT

Nvidia partnered with major cloud server providers including Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Oracle Cloud to bring Nividia DGX AI supercomputers to every company. They said, “Generative AI capabilities have created a sense of urgency for companies to reimagine their products and business models.” This will likely lead to breakthroughs in AI research and development in many industries. We are at the iPhone moment of AI.

Github launched Copilot-X

GPT-4 integrated into every part of your workflow. Can explain code, help fix errors, generate tests, answer questions like, “how do I vertically center a div?”. Although it sounds like the ChatGPT coding plugins may make this less needed.

Microsoft Loop announced – a Notion competitor project management tool

Kind of like Google Workspace Spaces with dashboards for real-time, digital-first project collaboration.

microsoft loop

Adobe launches Firefly generative AI

This is a family of generative AI models. “We’re entering a world where you’ll be able to bring your creative vision to life simply by describing what you want in your own words, or with a simple gesture in your app.” 

Instruct – NeRF2NeRF 

Describe an image and make a 3d video about it. 


Epic Games wants to create the Metaverse

Of all of the exciting things that happened this week, this one has me the most excited.

Every time I try to explain why I am so excited about this, people look at me like I have 2 heads. I’ll try though!

Our children are already heavily invested in the Metaverse – Roblox, Minecraft, Fortnite – they are whole worlds where they can meet friends and hang out. Fortnite envisions a world where the Metaverse is eventually a place where most business is done. I know it sounds like this has already been done, tried and rejected, but from what I can see, Epic is very likely to be the leader in creating the Metaverse where entire businesses are created and run. If you watch the entire presentation, it is truly mind blowing to see the virtual worlds and avatars being created. 

They described new tech to make lifelike environments – in a way anyone can do right now with the tools in Fortnite creative mode. They demoed 3d lifelike AI generated avatars and voices. 

But most exciting to me was the talk of Creator economy 2.0 with what sounds to me like a whole new economy. Epic Games is inviting people to come and create virtual worlds and play with this tech and then sharing 40% of Fortnite’s profits with those creators. They’ve just given some of the top minds when it comes to creating and growing audiences the ability to make more money playing Fortnite and creating games and virtual worlds than any other career in front of them. 

Trust me, this is the future. Our children will run businesses from within the Metaverse. Those who understand it will be sought after. Might be time to play more Fortnite perhaps. I will do a lot of this this weekend!


Google’s AI chat Bard is live! And it is possibly disappointing

Mikhail Parakhin, CEO of Bing said on Twitter that Google is about 6 months behind compared to the general state of the art. Given what we saw happen this week, I think we may actually see Bing truly challenge Google’s dominance.

I have not yet been able to try Bard. It is limited to testing by people in the US and UK and not on workspace accounts. You can sign up for the waiting list via a VPN, but I have not been able to get access yet. 

Community concerns over Bard 


It’s not completely bad news. There are some things people are enjoying about Bard. I have heard several people say there were truly impressed and wowed by using it.

However, now we’ve got Bing inside of ChatGPT, so there goes that advantage.

Jamie Indigo asked about herself and Bard told her, “She is a technical SEO consultant who speaks bot, which is a term used to describe the ability to understand and communicate with search engines.” That’s kind of cool. I saw several other people who were quite pleased with how Bard summarized their online digital fingerprint.

Useful for local search – (I am betting this will be expanded and improved much like we saw in the screenshots of ChatGPT’s plugins).


Here, Bard is recommending roofing contractors in a particular Zip Code.

Bard recommending roofing contractors.

Help understanding spreadsheets

bard helps understand spreadsheets

It gave a good answer about whether geotagging was useful for local search, but then called Google Business Profile by its old name, Google My Business.

Bard gives decent answer about geotagging

It looks like Bard will soon be a part of Messages (texting on Android) and Google Assistant. We know it is also coming to Gmail and Google Docs. 

I really, really hope they can fix the inaccuracies!

Bard has the potential to be incredible. It will continue to improve. But for now, ChatGPT deserves our attention.

Thoughts on Sam Altman’s ABC interview on ChatGPT

In Sam Altman’s ABC interview, he discusses the rapid advancements in AI and OpenAI’s responsible approach to its development. He highlights concerns about the speed of change, displacement of potentially millions of jobs, and AI’s potential impact on elections. Despite these concerns, he envisions AI as a “tool for humans, an amplifier of humans” and foresees a significant role for AI in education. Altman emphasizes the importance of government involvement in AI regulation and management. 

“The speed of the change that may happen here is the part that I worry about the most, but if this happens, you know, in a single digit number of years, these shifts, that is the part I worry about the most.”

I would highly recommend watching this:

Will ChatGPT kill Google?

He smiles and says confidently, “No.”



Altman acknowledges that people might turn to tools like ChatGPT for some tasks they currently use Google for, but he considers it a “fundamentally different product.” 

This was recorded before OpenAI’s announcement about web browsing via ChatGPT plugins. I think Sam was being conservative in his answer here. ChatGPT will likely not kill Google, but recent advancements have given it and its part owner, Bing a huge advantage.

I was most excited about the end of the interview where he shared his vision for AI having a role in reshaping education. He compared the integration of AI to the adoption of calculators in the past. He believes AI could radically change the way education is conducted. 

I had this thought after seeing Epic Game’s announcement (more above). I think it’s possible we can use AI and the technology we have to make learning an incredible immersive video game experience. Imagine if going to school and learning was as fun as playing video games? My kids look at me weird when I suggest stuff like this. 


Bing image generator

You can now create images right in Bing Chat. You need to be in creative mode:

They are not quite as good as MidJourney from what I’ve seen, but quite a bit of fun!



SEO News

There has been far more AI news than SEO this week. My apologies for those who come to this newsletter for Google algo update info. Here are the important bits:

The March Core update is still running

This has been an impactful update so far.

There are over 400 comments on Search Engine Round Table’s article on this update.

I have not studied the update yet. In this week’s office hours we discussed this site below. I hope to share more about what this site did in a future episode, once the update has finished rolling out.

possible March 2023 Core update improvement

Here are some more of the community’s tweets on the March Core Update:

Google updates are now in the Search Status Dashboard

Google updates are now visible in that shows potential issues in crawling, indexing, ranking and serving:


SEO Tips

With LLM based search, EEAT matters even more now!

Javascript and TypeScript

More on enriching GSC data with data from Looker (Data Studio)

URLs are not excluded by robots.txt until they are crawled and reprocessed

Lily thinks Google may have started including Experience as something they can reward with the Feb 21 Product Reviews Update

ChatGPT cannot give you keyword data

Although what a great use case for a ChatGPT Plugin! Ahrefs or Semrush could create a plugin that allows paid customers to access their data from within ChatGPT.

Important reminder – the deadline where we lose GA3 data is coming fast


Local SEO News

Google Business Profile is labelling some products as free when they are not

Cannabis shops can now publish Google Posts


Ideas and Innovation Discussion

This is the section just for my paid readers.

In the subscriber version, I’ve included:

  • Cool and useful uses of ChatGPT
  • Using GSC keyword data plus ChatGPT to improve content (Thank you Tony Hill for sharing)
  • How I used ChatGPT in helping me write newsletter (including prompts I used)
  • The Verge ranking with ChatGPT content – a huge lesson in understanding intent
  • Prompts to use to improve product review content based on Google’s guidelines

This section is developing. There will be more and more useful content in here as I do more consulting calls with businesses hungry to be on the cutting edge of Search. I’ll share as much as I can with my newsletter subscribers.

Become a paid member for the full version

Other interesting AI News

Recommended watch – Britney Muller discussing AI – How large language models work, concerns and much more

This video is extremely helpful, important and interesting.

Midjourney tips

Even more:

Tips for adding parameters to change what an image looks like

Playing with aspect ratios

How to use it on your own server

SEO Jobs

Looking for a new SEO job? is a job board curated by real SEOs for SEOs. Take a look at five of the hottest SEO job listing this week (below) and sign up for the weekly job listing email only available at

Marie's News

Book, Course, Tool and Community

Honestly, I have no idea. With the rapid pace that things are changing, I’m letting things unfold for a while. The whole landscape is changing.

On the news!

There’s a whole lesson in EEAT here. The reporter wanted to call me an AI expert. I did not think it was right. I understand a lot, but I’ve only studied AI and language models and their use in search for under a year. 

We asked Bing if Marie Haynes was an AI expert. It showed us several articles I’d written, places I’d been quoted and tweets to support that idea and said, perhaps I was.

Then, following the airing of this story on the potential for AI voice scams, if you asked Bing, it said, “Yes, Marie Haynes is an AI expert”.

The following day, it reverted back to saying I was someone who spoke a lot on the subject.


I believe that being in the front page news for a day, combined with the recognition I have as an expert in similar areas (i.e. SEO) gave Bing enough evidence to think I was an expert. The next step? Say I wanted to build EEAT in this area so that I’m more likely to be seen as an expert – more likely to be seen by LLM’s like ChatGPT as an expert – I would continue to do more of the same. Get mentioned in authoritative places, build credibility, become known on my topics.

I’m fairly certain EEAT is going to be the key to businesses being successful in the age of optimizing for large language models that use search engines.

Consulting: I have opened a few slots in my calendar

Office hours: I’ll get the video from this week’s office hours up by next episode. We’ll do another in a couple of weeks.

Hang in there

As exciting as these changes are, they are scary as well. I have heard many reports of agencies struggling and anxiety hitting people hard.


The way I see it, we can either criticize the failings of AI, or we can be excited about the opportunities. Trying to stop AI from progressing is like trying to stop someone who is at the brink of going over a massive waterfall. Change is hard. I thoroughly believe the world will overall be a much better place because of the changes we are currently enduring.

My hope is that this episode has not been overwhelming, but rather, inspiring!

Become a paid member for the full version

Join the free version

There is now a lot more in the free version. Everything except the Ideas and Innovation section plus office hours every few weeks. (This week’s office hours were so good. I will publish the video plus a summary in next week’s newsletter.)

Stay up to date on the latest on SEO & AI News

I'll send you an email each week once I've published newsletter.

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