Report: 64% of technical SEOs believe AI isn’t a job security threat

Technical SEOs aren’t concerned that the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) will negatively impact their job security. That’s one insight from the State of Technical SEO Report 2024, released by digital marketing agency Aira and the Women in Tech SEO community.

64% said they were “not at all” worried.

36% said they were either “a little worried” (30% in-house; 33% agency) or “very worried” (6% in-house; 3% agencies).

“While such worries are not without merit, it’s crucial for business leaders to recognize that AI is not an all-encompassing substitute for human employees. Particularly in the realm of SEO, the nuanced application of common sense is key—a quality AI has yet to master,” said Roxanna Stingu, head of Search & SEO, Alamy, in the report.

Why we care. All the overwhelming developments in generative AI over the past 18 months have caused concern and stress among SEOs. While AI will undoubtedly eliminate some jobs, it will also create new jobs. AI is a great assistant, but it can’t replace the work done by technical SEOs – a.k.a., humans.

Google SGE fears. While the majority weren’t worried about job security, 70% of respondents were worried about the impact of Google Search Generative Experience (SGE) on regular organic search results.

“Exactly how worried I am keeps changing. There’s still so much uncertainty about exactly how this will roll out, and I want to see how everyday users react to it as well. So much of the commentary has been from early adopters in the tech and SEO community and we’re not exactly representative of how the rest of the world will use this,” said Natasha Burtenshaw-deVries, director of organic growth, Flywheel Digital, in the report.

In-house and agency. Only 20% of in-house, agency and freelancer respondents haven’t changed their SEO planning and roadmaps due to AI developments. Of the remaining 80% of respondents:

59% said “a little.”

21% said “a lot.”

AI and machine learning (ML) tools. Fifty-two percent of survey respondents used AI and ML tools to generate metadata (e.g., titles, descriptions) daily, weekly or monthly. Other ways SEOs used the tools:

46% for content generation.

35% for keyword research.

23% for auditing pages.

Other findings. Google seems safe:

85% don’t believe ChatGPT as a standalone tool is a threat to Google.

70% don’t believe Bing can take away search market share from Google.

About the data. The survey was conducted between Jan. 15 and March 5. It received 382 responses – 56% of respondents were from the U.S. and UK.

The report. The report also digs into the impact of SEO, tools and more. You can read the full report here: The State of Technical SEO Report 2024

Dig deeper. Technical SEO report reveals what matters in 2023