If you do not live in Silicon Valley or follow the tech world’s rapid-fire developments, you can be forgiven for not recognizing You.com. You (i.e., you the reader, not You.com) will hear about them soon enough.
However, it will not be long before this San Francisco startup becomes a household name. If not for the quality of its search engine, then at least for its gumption to challenge tech giants Microsoft, Google, and Meta with some AI offerings of its own.
Specifically, You.com is taking aim at Google’s and Microsoft’s efforts to add AI to search.
AI Has Been Used In Search for Years
A search algorithm already sifts through massive amounts of data—possibly a google of data sources—to deliver what that algorithm identifies as the most worthy content.
An example of this is Google’s RankBrain, which is an AI-powered platform that helps select the best content for search.
SEO experts have already caught up to this development, which went public in 2015. Keywords and phrases, and backlinking to reputable sources, help raise a piece of content from the page-2 swamp of search.
New AI Features for the Future of Search
In this new round of AI upgrades for search engines, the most obvious feature is a significant addition to the user experience.
Take You.com for an example. Instead of scrolling through a page of automatically ranked content (how inconvenient!), you can instead click on the YouChat feature.
If you have never interacted with a chatbot before—if you have not, then try to have a conversation with ChatGPT sometime soon—, then YouChat will be a fun surprise for you.
YouChat describes itself as “an AI that can answer general questions, explain things, suggest ideas, translate, summarize text, compose emails, and write code for you.”
A multi-purpose chatbot, but if you are looking for information you can find it quickly with this platform.
YouChat basically simplifies the search process to a streamlined Q-and-A session with an automated chatbot. Just ask YouChat a question, such as “What is thermodynamics?”, and it will spit out an answer.
Something you will notice in automated search assistants like YouChat and The New Bing is that sources are cited, which adds a useful level of transparency to the writing process.
What This Means for SEO
Basically, SEO is about to become much more competitive because of automated search assistants that will be trained to pick from the best of the best sources.
For example, the thermodynamics question above cited only three sources, two of them NASA and the other the Encyclopedia Britannica.
It is going to take more than a keyword to rank in the future of search: Your website is going to need a good reputation for quality information.
Should Your Business Focus SEO Efforts for You.com?
All of the links in this article were found through You.com. It is a capable platform with an interesting user interface (UI). People could certainly enjoy using it.
That being said, the largest hurdle for You.com is figuring out how to make a greater impression on Internet users. Aggressive marketing can only take one so far when everyone and their relatives use Google as their go-to.
Really, it is like a startup claiming that it is going to put out a great and innovative smartphone. The answer from within and without Silicon Valley will inevitably be: Get in line.
So, it would likely be unwise to start focusing your business’ SEO efforts on You.com, but you should take seriously the advice given in the above section. Your content output is going to have to be high-quality in terms of reliability if you want to rank well. Start building your website’s reputation now.
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