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AI is eating the world. How not to be eaten.

Welcome back Rankers! Hope all is well. AI news and updates are flying thick and fast at the moment. There’s a call to put the brakes on AI development for at least six months, which is more like seven years of development with the speed of this thing! Google really does appear to be slipping further off the pace with each passing week, especially as Chat is gaining access to most of the popular apps out there. I’ve been busy building Chrome extensions and the first one has gone live today, so feel free to check that out.

What I learned

  • AI is still developing at breakneck speed!
  • My first Chrome extension is live in the store.
  • The importance of prompt creation.
  • Should we apply the brakes to AI?
  • SGoogle is well off the pace.


Hey. Welcome back, Rankers. How you going? AI is turning our world upside down in ways that I couldn’t have even imagined two weeks ago, let alone two months ago or two years ago. It has gone crazy.

AI highlights

Some of the highlights, in case you haven’t caught up with them, because there has been a lot happening. GPT 4 by OpenAI was released. Some of us have got access to the API and also the Chat GPT that’s using the GPT 4. It’s extraordinary. The video I did last week, in case you missed it, I created a Chrome extension with a single prompt, and that was using GPT 4. And I couldn’t have done that with 3.5. So that is a big change. And these Chrome extensions that I’m creating, I’m creating because I need the tools, right? I just need the tools for work. I need the tools to help find problems and opportunities with the client site and those sorts of things. And quite often there’s a lot of other tools out there that do similar things, but they don’t do it the same way that I wanted it done. And so that’s why I would create my own tools.

And there’s been a lot of talk, and I know a lot of people are using AI for content creation, and certainly it’s something that we do, but we put it in the hands of our writers. So we get our writers to use the functionality of the AI rather than, say, the techies. The techies we get them to create use AI to create code, right? So as I said right at the start of this, AI is helping us become better at what we do, or ten times our output, if you like. And the ability to do that really depends on your ability to prompt the AI itself. And that’s why I tell everybody now, you’ve got to learn to prompt properly.

Like that Chrome extension I created last week. Go back and have a look at the show if you haven’t seen it. That prompt was about 250 words, something like that. So you’ve got to really spell out what it is that you want, the output that you want, and then give it feedback if you’re not getting what you want. Or maybe look at the way that you’re constructing the prompt. But what I challenge myself with now is, how can I use the AI and with only using one prompt to get the output I want? Because that’s going to make me more efficient at my job.

Incidentally, you may have seen a report in the last week that called for a moratorium or a ban on the further development of AI for at least six months, which is like seven years in AI, because a week is like a year. Seriously, it is insane. We used to say back in the 90s that two months was like a year in Internet years. Well, AI takes it to a whole other level, because the thing is teaching itself, and that is the extraordinary part of it. So they reckon we’re going to have GPT 5 by the end of the year. And there are some reports that it is not, I think sentient is the wrong word, but something equally scary, which is artificial general intelligence, which means you probably won’t be able to tell from a human if you’re just interacting with it online.

Currently, with a lot of the AI image generation stuff that’s out there, Adobe has just released AI generation in their tools. So, once again, it’s a paintbrush, quite literally in that sense, if you’re using Adobe tools. And the other exciting thing, or extraordinary thing, or scary or terrifying, depending on your point of view, I’ve got all of them, is that you can now do text to video, meaning that you can write a piece of text and it will come out as a video. And that’s from a company called RunwayML.

Go and have a look at them., they have got some extraordinary video tools that you use, AI. You can green screen stuff with just a single click and it’s perfect. I green screened myself walking through a background of trees, and it removed all the trees without a problem. Quite extraordinary. Just blowing my mind, this stuff.

Where is Google?

But Google is under immense pressure with all of this, right? So remember I said I think the play for Google has to be that they have to become some sort of shopping assistant, work down into Google Shopping, but they are just dragging their feet. Bard is causing the crowd to go mild, basically, Google Bard is, I guess, Google’s answer to Bing chat. But the reports I’m seeing, because it’s not released in Australia, but the reports I’m seeing, it’s not very good. I saw someone do the months of the year, which was pretty funny, and that was the funniest. It just gets basic stuff terribly, terribly wrong. And look, I know it’ll improve. It’s just so surprising that Google is this far behind.

And when I saw all the plugins that GPT now has access to, including price checking plugins, including Shopify stores, including Klana retailers, including Instacart retailers, all of this data available to it now, that developers can now use to develop even further apps. So the question for Google is like, well, what does search become in this scenario? And how do we as retailers, maximise our opportunity for the other ways that shoppers are going to find us? And it won’t just be through search, it will be through other mediums, and I don’t mean social.

It will be through third party apps. AI is getting to the point where it’s already incorporated in a bunch of apps. You’re already using it, and you might not even know it’s in Gmail to a certain extent, and those sorts of things, but you’re going to be using it more and more within your everyday experience. And that means your site has to be so you can say, oh, well, AI is so good that it’ll work out what your site is about anyway. Yes, true. But make it easy for it and you will get better results. So, what am I thinking of? I’m thinking of the time when there are shopping systems, a shopping assistance out there, and that they’re proliferating or whatever, whether they be a Shopify one, whether it be the open source one, whatever it might be. There’s going to be ways where because, as I said last week, search is a relatively new thing in human experience.

So these shopping apps or assistants that I’m expecting to emerge, and they already are in Shopify apps, they’re going to rely on good data, good structured data. Right. So, everything that we’ve been saying since I think it was 2018 when I came back from the Semrush Summer jam in Helsinki, and Google had done a presentation on AI at that. Thank you, Semrush. That was a great presentation about AI. And ever since then, we’ve been pretty gung ho on getting structured data and getting everything right with the site. And that’s why I love some of these extensions that I’ve created. How long are they going to be around until we have the AI actually in the browser? And it can just create these things? Soon you’ll be able to ask the browser a question. I don’t know if it’s going to be Chrome. It might be a different browser entirely. It might be one that you create yourself using AI, but it’s going to be built into everything. So you’ll be able to just ask the AI, show me all the heading tags. You’ll be able to just type that. Right. But currently we can’t do that.

Check out our Chrome extensions

This is Runway ML. Make sure you go and check them out. And some of their products, they’re just extraordinary how they can just anyway, I’ll let you look at that at your leisure because it’s quite amazing. But let’s have a look at this is not a client site, this is just a site. And the one that’s available on the Chrome store at the moment is the Alt tags, or Altlands. And basically the reason I developed it is because it’s just easier to quickly see what has an Alt tag and what doesn’t have an Alt tag. So you know what the opportunities are on the page. And you can see on this one we’ve got 90% of the Alt tags are empty, which is just an opportunity missed, really.
And I’ve put in a little this is their logo, and they’re called the Sydney String Centre.

I’d say that. I don’t know who that is. Maybe it’s their developer, web developer or something, I don’t know. But not helping. Right? The reason this one’s got a 54% match with Entitlement means that 54% of these words here are actually in the page. Title as well. And the reason I did that is because it’s handy when you’re on a product page to know whether your product image is a quick match to your page title. And in this case, it’s okay, but it could be better. And the sad emoji is because all of these are actually empty alt tags. So, we’ll just turn that one off.

The other one that I’ve created, and I haven’t uploaded this one to the Chrome store yet, but I will, is what we call Headlands. And Headlands I developed for a similar reason because it quickly allows me to see a visual representation of the heading tags. I mean, there’s some great SEO Chrome extensions out there that do a lot of these things, as I’ve said. But I just wanted it customised to do what I wanted it to do. And what this one does is it looks at the heading tag sequential number one, and you might say, here, but look at this, you got a h4 up the top, and they go on forever. That’s a lot of heading tags on a single page, right? So you want to go and investigate that to find out where they are. So that’s where you click that button, and then that shows you where they are actually on the page.

And this one here is the first h1 on the page because it’s got a phrase focus number against it, which is 65% and similar to the Altlands. Headlands looks at the first h1 on the page and says, do these keywords match the file name of the page plus the page title? And then it gives us a score. And you can see this is a h4 here. But the weird thing with this page is that you can see all these h4’s. And the h1 we don’t see until it’s down here somewhere. And you can see we’ve got two h1’s, which is a big no-no, right? So, Google will probably be ignoring these.

So, we’ve got two h1’s following one another, and one is just empty, right? So, one is zero here. That zero is actually wrapped in a heading tag, which is useless for both Google and the user. And the reason why there’s so many h4’s that you can’t see here is because they’re actually up here in the menu, and that’s where it’s picking up all these h4’s from. And the one that I created last week, I haven’t uploaded yet, and that was Titlelands. And that basically just does a similar thing. But for all the title elements on the page, I will be uploading that one as well. But it is quite extraordinary how quickly I was able to create these tools that I use every day for my work.

We’re starting to talk to people now about how AI can be used in their businesses as well from our own experiences. And I am coaching clients on how to use it to not only generate content, which some of them want to do, and we have to be very explicit about that because you can just get junk and spam straight out of chat GPT like you can by hiring the wrong writer. And whenever you are trying to get copy or code, whatever it might be, out of Chat GPT, the one piece of advice that I would give that I found very helpful is to think of it like you are briefing a writer or a programmer or a doctor, whatever the case may be, right? So have a think about what the response is that you want and think of Chat GPT as performing that role of the professional and give them a really good brief so they’re going to come back with the best response. Hopefully that’s helpful.

If you’re seeing anything else that you want to share, please let me know. If you’ve done anything cool and you’ve created some plugins or something with AI, let me know. But there are a lot of things out there that people are creating. And every day I’ll wonder if yeah, that’d be a good thing to create. Because over the years, I’ve had all these little ideas. But you never get to necessarily create them because you’re going to have to go and brief a programmer or what’s it going to cost, whereas I can tinker with this at night like I do, and come up with stuff that is quite extraordinary.

And I’ve moved on now to creating iPhone apps. I haven’t created one yet, but it’s a lot of fun learning. And I have learned a lot about Chrome extensions. I’ve learned a lot. People say, oh, you’re not learning, you do, you have to because you’re not getting the output that you want, you have to go in and dig into. So I’ve learned a lot about the code and the files and everything else that is involved in creating a Chrome extension that in and of itself without having spoken to a programmer is quite extraordinary.

Please share, like subscribe and tell your friends and comment. You can always hit me up on Twitter and I’m occasionally on LinkedIn, never on Facebook, unless it’s for work. Speak soon. Thanks very much. Bye.

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