My kids crack me up so I thought I’d share a funny conversation I had with one of them about expertise and search results. My son and I were talking about AI versus Google. He hates AI stuff and I said it sometimes gives better search results for info than Google.
I had seen this in a video where someone talked about the superior information returned (albeit you never know if the AI is even accurate, so that sucks). But common sense-wise, you can usually tell.
Anyway, an example is today I was looking up “What is a chocolate finger?” Because an article described something about chocolate fingers (it’s a UK food). I didn’t know what this was, so I Google’d.
Well, right below the Featured Snippet, the first organic result, was the Urban Dictionary definition – and believe me when I tell you I lost my appetite for any food whatsoever. Thanks, Google.
I was telling my son that this was a good example of how AI as a search engine is sometimes better so I can see it being an up and coming “go to” for consumers. Their answer was:
“A chocolate finger is a type of biscuit (cookie) that is made from a light, buttery dough and coated in chocolate. They are usually thin and rectangular in shape, hence the name “finger.” They are often used as a base for desserts such as chocolate eclairs, or can be enjoyed on their own as a sweet treat.”
Short and to the point. Sounds legit.
My son then says he hates it when people use TikTok as a search engine. I said “Hey! I use TikTok as a search engine!” I explained why. For example, when I had that endometrial biopsy, I first Google’d to see what they did and it gives such a sterile answer. Very factual. Even when I click on the People Also Ask question: “How painful is an endometrial biopsy?” I get this sterile answer:
“An endometrial biopsy can be uncomfortable, but it is not considered painful. It is normal to have some cramping during the procedure. We recommend taking ibuprofen with food about an hour before your biopsy to help reduce any discomfort.”
Now this is a bunch of BS. Because this IS considered one of the more painful things to have done. I know people who have had it done. The nurse in the room when I got mine done said she had it done and “Wanted to kick the doctor in the face it hurt so bad.”
Now when I go to TikTok, and type that search term in, I get REAL people giving REAL information about their experience. Like this one:
@nicoleortiz1432 Replying to @mamaangel2020 posting to spread awareness for endometrial biopsies here in the #ivfcommunity #ttccommunity #ivf #ttc ♬ Coffee – XIANZ
My son then argues that anyone can pretend to be an expert on any platform. He tells me how he was talking to his friends about LinkedIn and how you can say you’re anything. As a joke, he said he was a foreman at a Lime deposit site way up in northwest America. Just to screw with old friends who might look him up. He’s since changed it, but it was to prove a point.
He said, “Mom! I could create a LinkedIn, a fake website that looked all professional, buy a doctor’s coat and have it monogrammed with my name on it, and start making TikToks as a doctor – making money from the content and as an affiliate or info product creator.”
He’s right! It’d be so easy to do. Then he added, “I could create dozens of profiles – a doctor, a lawyer giving legal advice, a contractor with home repair advice, and so on.”
And with every piece of advice, they’d surely say, “You can get this (rosemary oil, will making software, handy drill) at the link in my bio.” This is why I look for real people, not necessarily experts (or those purporting to be). I like the lady above giving me her thoughts more than I do a doctor saying, “Oh just take some ibuprophen.”
Even when I saw a dermatologist recommend putting the rosemary oil on your scalp by itself, I listened to normal people who said, “add a carrier oil.” Experts sometimes don’t perform as well with consumers as real people do.
Not in my case at least.
My point about expertise and search is this: You don’t need the fancy degree and years of labor to have a strong impact with your audience. What you need is to be real and have a personality on the same level as everyone else so they can trust you.
And know that people like me use a mix of all things – social results, SEO SERP results, and common sense to make our decisions. If you can pair SERP rankings with being real on socials, you’ll have a winning strategy.