Hi there and welcome to Scale. I am your host, Stewart Ritchie. Scale is a podcast about the modern media, how technology impacts media and how media is impacted by technology. I am the founder and lead developer at a software and web development consultancy called Power by Coffee. We work with media brands solving modern problems. Today we’ve got a really fantastically interesting guest who has been kind of everywhere and done a bit of everything when it comes to SEO and with more and more focus on AI Josh Bachynski. Again, sorry if I really got the surname wrong there, I really mean that when I say you’ve been ever a TEDx speaker, got your own podcast, a number of SEO tools and, i believe, a martial arts trainer. So, I’m going to shut up and Josh has passed it over to you. Tell us about yourself, tell us how you got here, how you got into SEO and eventually into AI, and we’ll start thinking about how that impacts our friends and the media.
Sure. So, thanks for having me on, Stewart, it’s my pleasure to be here and I again, as I mentioned before in our pre-interview, I love the Northern Irish accent.
Awesome. Well, i mean, let’s, let’s get into it. I think from my perspective as someone who is ultimately not that smart, all the AI stuff is wildly confusing and can be wildly exciting at the same time and also like wildly scary for a lot of reasons. You know, coming at it from the media kind of perspective. So anyone with lots and lots of content And that, to my Twitter sphere, really has been where a lot of the excitement has been in How can we generate so much more content, so much, faster than we would have before? Is it going to be any good? Is it going to be, you know, whatever?
Yeah, so you’re right. You’re right to have concerns. It is. It is the end of an era.
first, do it Good news, give you the good news. Good news Sure.
So the good news and the bad news are the same thing. It was a false dichotomy. I apologize, I don’t see this being Super different. Sure, i did this. I recently spoke about this on my SEO plus AI show not yesterday’s episode, but the week before. Correct, and basically what I said there is yes, generative search is going to cut into a number of content plans. It’s going to cut into several media plans. It’s going to hit the AdSense-style top-level funnel informational sites the hardest, but it’s only going to be hitting those sites.
I hope I’m right, I hope you’re right. I wonder, from my perspective, I think that where is the line in all those things? So there are several newspaper sites I can think of in the UK that do that write awful content because you can see the search engine optimization within the content But it does eventually answer your query, and a lot of these things where have kind of two sides to these companies, where there is the going after explicitly you, these keywords that users are searching for popular topics, and that is in part funding other more useful work that those brands are doing. So there is in some ways like a whole just awful set of content over here to answer the most mundane queries about you know what time a particular sports matches on, or you know what time and date a film is coming out and you’ve seen the content, you can see the keyword stuffing in it. But a lot of that stuff in turn is paying for some of the journalism that’s going on there And I don’t know if these orcs can sustain losing that income stream And I don’t know that people are happy to pay for the subscriptions that would otherwise be required to keep these, these groups, in place.
The answer is we don’t.
So this? this is sadly end stage capitalism that has informational monopolies, economic monopolies, writ large The the top Facebook, Amazon, Google, YouTube, TikTok are going to continue to affect our dopamine cycles to build beside of more money. That’s why our personal data is important, because your personal data is your psychometric data. It’s your kings and quirks that Google knows exactly who you are, what you like, what you don’t like. They profile you, they push you, they, they, they. They put you in a category. If you’re a little left leading, we’ll push you even more left or little right leading will push you even further right. So we can keep you upset, We can keep you dumb down with our truth team and we can sell to you. That is the. That is the modus operandi of capitalism. Everybody knows it. Yeah, And so that is going to continue. Yes, When it comes.
So I think that’s going to play down to the the compare and contrast questions that that really Google cannot serve right now. But people are typing in there anyway because I don’t know, you see, much younger than me, i don’t know if you have any nieces or nephews or kids, but to watch young, young folks use Google today. They’re talking to it, like you know. They talk to everything because they think everything’s an AI, because it’s kind of moving in that direction.
And Google can’t handle those kinds of queries very well. They haven’t learned the key word, ease, that we’ve learned of how do you search in Google, right, And so Google, at the end of the day, Google is like this is just part of their plan to service more queries better. There’s tiny little, increasingly smaller, splintered segments of the population with search queries that they have an unsatisfactory CRO for right, an unsatisfactory servicing for, And I think it’s going to break down that the, the, the degenerative search for for, for the meantime, is just really going to have to service those compare and contrast questions that we weren’t doing a good job anyway. I have a slightly different view. I’m not quite as white-hattish when it comes to stuff stuffing keywords. I love stuffing keywords. I rank all day long. I tell my students how to rank all day long. I run on an underground at the university, So I would call myself gray hat. I’m not trying to break the rules. I don’t care really about the rules, I just I have small businesses that need to exist and I’m trying to do my best to help them do that.
So, then, aside from always having the mindset that you need to be looking at what modern SEO is, and never mind just what SEO in 2023 is, but what is SEO in 2025, 20, 20, 30 going to be? beyond that, what I mean? let’s go back and resummarize. And for brands that want to survive and get through this because for these content brands, it’s no good thinking about 2030 when they’re maybe looking at the end of their runway in 2024. How do they survive this transition? And it sounds like, have a distinct point of view that is not replicable. Be much more human, much more editorially driven, and have that direct relationship with your audience. Become a destination rather than an information source. You are a part of the lifestyle brands that people are going to. Neil I Patel of the Verge to me feels very much like he’s leaning into this, or he’s like we’re the only useful homepage in all of media. We’re one of the only places that people come to to consume as a destination. So like a much more move back to media brands as destinations.
But let’s. If you’re not the destination, then generative search is going to be the destination.
Yeah, absolutely So. let’s do Mungloom and let’s come back to how we can use AI kind of within our procedures to do SEO well, both from a content side but also from the research side. So obviously not pure generating crap content from the models, but how can we use this as a tool to get more done and become more of that destination, become a really high quality place for content to live?
So I couldn’t agree with what you’re saying more, Stewart, what I’ve done. You have to realize that not only is all that doom and gloom that you mentioned you just said that’s going to the doom and gloom but there’s also the positive side of things is that AI is also a tool for us, right As much as it’s a tool for Google. It’s a tool for us as well, and it opens up things that we can do in terms of research, in terms of researching the spread of keywords, in terms of doing the SEO, like the grunt on page work. For example, if you don’t mind just a 10 second pitch, i built a new AI tool called keyword spy. People can try it free at try keyword spycom for two weeks And we have grandfather pricing right now for only 144 bucks or something like that And it does full AI content generation in terms of choosing all your keywords, analyzing all that for you using the actual AIs that Google uses. Now all these other keyword tools I don’t know if people realize they have AI TM behind them. There’s some kind of open source NLP, gpt, two off the shelf package, which is not what Google is using.
Cool, i think for some people that’s maybe easier said than done. I think there’s a very strong emotional response that a lot of people have to tools like mid-journey in particular. It seems to be one that really have forgotten the names of the other ones Dali, and there’s a handful of these out there, yeah.
Stable diffusion is the main technology that powers a lot of it. Dali and mid-journey is the major one. It’s just. It can produce jaw-droppingly gorgeous stuff.
Yeah, and it’s one of those things where I’m like how, because it’s there’s a legal question there for me as well around these things of like, when it’s consumed, like it’s data set. So I think this is most prevalent and most obvious within kind of visual arts and things like that, and it’s well-treated and I don’t want to like go through it again. But you know, is that just taking other people’s work and reproducing it, making up minor changes to it and spitting it back out, and is that?
a problem? Yes, it certainly is, because ultimately that’s how the human brain works as well.
But it’s that kind of distinction between like a human did it and we’re kind of all okay with that capture remix, and it comes back when it’s through, you know, a squishy organ in a head And it’s very different seeming for people when it comes out. It’s pixels directly And I sympathize with folk in that and that’s because particularly so many commercial artists that are maybe not going to struggle with work. But you know, like you say, that’s one of those things we didn’t weep for portrait artists whenever we started taking photos.
Yeah, yeah, you know again, as I said, i am not unsympathetic to anyone’s pain or hurt, quaw, pain and hurt, It doesn’t matter what’s causing the pain and hurt. But I have a different take on that. One for the record if open AI and the company runs mid journey, if they were all required to pay a licensing fee to every single artist because they can tell they can say 12% I’m using McFarland style here, so McFarland will get 12% of some form of fee or commission I would be all for that. I would be all for that. So philosophically does it make sense to do that? No, it’s just all arbitrary laws, arbitrary that we make up. So we added another programmatic loop. It was still their squishy brains that made a program that made the pixels. So it’s still a squishy brain in the loop.
Of course I mean let’s. Let’s then try and wrap that back around. If you are at a media company published in a little content, what are some great first steps to dip your feet in, to start like getting Into the realm of augmenting your existing workflow with AI tools. So let’s say you’re not having it right your piece for you, but you’re trying to maybe do a lot of the other things around it. I mean, one of the things we’ve seen some success with is around things like was what should be the tax on amization of this, something that you know is just like busy work of making sure it fits into the right place, the content management system, you know what. What else have you in your experience kind of seen, seen work, are really well. Where can people like leverage this quickly and easily?
That’s a great question. So Practically in terms of business processes, Yeah. I think every business needs to have an AI czar.
Of course. So your AIs? are someone maybe have heard that presented as prompt engineer, kind of as maybe another take on that job title? Yeah, exactly.
It’s called prompt engineering, which is a big fancy word for being an AI whisperer, for knowing exactly how to talk to the AI, exactly how to type the text in there to get out of it what you want. It’s a learning curve for sure. Yeah, it is so important. It’s as important as knowing how to Google. It’s as important as knowing what social media is. It’s even more important than those things.
Sure. And just one last thing, one last prompt. Do we feel like this is the optimum UI for this? It feels very. it just feels off to me Like I don’t know why. I can’t put my finger on it, also can’t think of a better way of doing it. I’m just like, are we going to be spending the rest of our lives typing into a rectangle of like make me this or do the following process with all the qualifiers you need to get the prompt result that you want? I mean, obviously, i think it’s probably like there’s an easy way to think of a voice version of that, but is that going to be where we end up? Is this the best way of interacting with these programs? And I suppose it probably is, because I’m talking to you now And if that’s nothing but a prompt, you know.
That you’re absolutely right. It will evolve. It will become smarter on its own. It’ll become like a person, like you’re talking with C3PO, you’re talking with the Star Trek computer or you’re talking with the robots from Interstellar. They’ll have more of a personality. They’ll understand context better. They don’t understand context at all now.
Sure, that’s signs equally exciting and terrifying, josh, just keeping an eye on the time. So, thank you very much for coming on and speaking of this today. I really appreciate it. Where can people find out more about you if they want to connect? We’re going to find out more about your shows if they want to listen along and the your application.
Try keywords by yeah, yeah, keywords by yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, thank you very much. So if you have any questions for me, i don’t mind if people just email me directly. Email me at joshbashinsky at gmailcom. That’s JOSH B is in. Bob A C H Y is in YouTube and is a Nancy S K I at gmailcom. You can watch my SEO plus AI show where I talk about all these topics and more on a weekly basis at youtubecom slash J basins, j B, a, c, h, y and S. And if you want to try keywords by for free, i kind of a new advanced SEO tool with kind of an AI consultant built in. We’re still in beta, but go ahead And that’s why there’s a introductory price of only 144 bucks a month, whereas the price for this thing will go way up after the grandfather price is over. So I suggest you try it free for now. Go to try keywords by calm and, yeah, tell me what you think.
Awesome. Thank you so much again, Josh. Thank you to everyone for listening. If you want to leave us a review on iTunes or wherever you got your podcasts, I really appreciate. It really helps us spread the word and I will speak to you again in a couple of weeks. Thanks very much. Stewart.