Researchers tested multiple AI search optimization strategies and discovered how to increase visibility in AI search rankings.
Researchers conducted an extensive study to discover how to optimize SEO strategies for AI search engines.
This team from Princeton, Georgia Tech, Allen Institute for AI, and IIT Delhi increased the visibility of low-ranking sites by 115%, surpassing the large corporate sites that usually dominate search results.
The nine techniques tested were applied to a database of 10,000 search queries across different knowledge domains and levels of complexity. Some of these techniques were particularly effective for specific information fields, while three were particularly good for all sites.
The researchers conducted tests on an AI search engine model based on Perplexity.ai and Bing Chat. Among the methods tested are the following;
- Gaining authority
- Keyword optimization
- Adding statistics
- Citing a source
- Adding a quote
- Making content understandable
- Fluency optimization
- Adding rare and unique words
- Add technical terms
The three most effective strategies were citing sources, adding citations, and adding statistics. These strategies resulted in a 30-40% improvement compared to the baseline.
On the other hand, some methods, such as authoritative and persuasive tones or adding more keywords, did not improve overall ranking in AI search engines.
Interestingly, it varied which optimization worked best depending on which knowledge domain the content belonged to. For example, historical content ranked better with an authoritative tone, content developed with authority-based sources gave the best boost for factual search queries, and adding statistics worked well for questions related to law and government.
This study shows that low-ranking websites can benefit significantly from these optimization strategies for AI search engines. Specifically, citation increased the visibility of fifth-ranked websites in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) by 115.1%, while the visibility of top-ranked websites decreased by 30.3% on average.
This presents an opportunity for small creators to significantly increase their visibility in Generative Engine responses, allowing them to compete more effectively with larger organizations in the digital space. This study shows a new SEO method for AI-based search engines and shows that those who claim that AI Search will defeat SEO are speaking prematurely. The study reveals that SEO will eventually evolve into GEO (Generative Engine Optimization) to compete in the next generation of AI search engines.
You can access the PDF document of the research here. If you plan to be successful in SEO in 2024, stop what you are doing and try to understand this document.