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By Kevin O'Keefe, LexBlog CEO & Founder

AI Could Reduce Search Engine Traffic to Law Firm Websites

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Many sites get at least half their traffic from search engines. Fuller results generated by new chatbots could mean far fewer visitors. This from The New York Times’ Katie Robertson this morning.

Why worry, as a publisher of content ala a lawyer or law firm?

“New artificial intelligence tools from Google and Microsoft give answers to search queries in full paragraphs rather than a list of links. Many publishers worry that far fewer people will click through to news sites as a result, shrinking traffic — and, by extension, revenue.”

No question AI will have an impact on law firms, large and small if this plays out as reported by Robertson.

Many smaller firms have invested in getting attention on Google search like they did in yellow page, television and radio in years past. Attention being the goal.

Some large firms have even sacrificed growing reputations and relationships through blogs on independent sites to putting all of their content on the firm’s website in hope of drawing greater search traffic across their entire website – whether related to the search or not.

Search has been at the center of taking the legal industries content – yours and mine – and making it readily available to the masses. This may not continue.

“The new offerings could change all of that,” Barbara Peng, the president of the digital news brand Insider, told Robertson. Microsoft is incorporating the chatbot into Bing, its search engine. Google’s search chatbot, Bard, is separate from its main search engine.

This will be revolutionary. It will take some time, and there is a good portion of hype mixed in there, too, but I do think it will change the relationship people have with finding and consuming information.”

There is no question things will change, the only question is how dramatically.