Creating content to power your website and blog is an investment. An investment in time and creative resources. Write. Edit. Revise. Publish. Even the process of creating a singular blog post is time-consuming.
And yet, as marketers, we know that consistent content powers our SEO strategy. Google values websites that share their expertise and experience regularly. The best way to do so is by investing in the continual evolution of the content published on your website.
Enter AI. Over the past several years, AI-generated content has been on the rise. And with the increasing popularity of AI writing tools such as ChatGPT, the topic of AI & SEO is now at the forefront of content marketing.
The usual frequently asked questions about this new trend are: What is AI-generated content? Is AI content good for SEO? Does Google penalize sites that utilize AI-generated content? Are there ways to leverage the power of AI to accelerate your SEO efforts?
Let’s dive in.
What is AI-Generated Content?
AI-generated content is copy produced using machine learning models; more specifically, ChatGPT which is a variant of the GPT (Generative Pre-training Transformer) language model, a type of artificial intelligence that is trained to generate human-like text.
You read that correctly. When given a prompt or a set of examples, ChatGPT can generate new text in a style that is similar to that of a human.
In fact, the previous two sentences were generated by ChatGPT in response to “What is AI content?” Pretty impressive considering the common complaint that AI writing tools deliver primarily robotic responses
Advantages of AI-Generated Content?
There are several advantages of using AI-generated content for your website, whether it’s with ChatGPT or another AI language model:
- It’s efficient. By leveraging AI, you can create more content in less time.
- It’s consistent. The tone of content produced by ChatGPT is more consistent than if you are utilizing a team of writers, each with their own style.
- It’s accurate. Frighteningly so and without having to do deep research on complex topics.
- Possible personalization. The AI language models can be trained to meet your desired tone and style.
Perhaps the most compelling advantage of AI-generated content is cost savings. Creating content can be expensive and AI-generated content offers a shortcut.
What are the Disadvantages of AI-Generated Content?
The number one disadvantage of AI-generated content when it comes to SEO is that Google considers this content to be against its guidelines — it’s considered spam.
Why? Last year Google released an algorithm update called the Helpful Content Update, which rewarded websites that focused on audience-first content — content helpful toward a targeted and specific audience.
This was followed up by the addition of an extra E to the E-A-T framework, valuing websites that share expertise, have strong authority, and engender trust. In December 2022, Google announced the additional E to represent experience. Learn more about E-E-A-T.
Both of these updates support the value of human-powered content in direct opposition to the content that AI writing tools can produce. The whole point of the framework is to point out how Google is looking to determine if the content was created with genuine experience. For example, if a post is a product review, did the author actually use the product?
Content created with tools like ChatGPT is detectable by Google and may even be watermarked.
Another disadvantage of AI-generated content is that it reads stale. Yes, it’s accurate, keyword rich, and comprehensive, but, it’s not exceptionally interesting. It lacks a human component in storytelling which is a powerful marketing tool.
Best Uses of AI for SEO
Because it violates Google’s guidelines, we don’t recommend creating your next blog post using an AI writing tool. Doing so may lead to a short-term result, but isn’t part of a holistic, long-term approach to SEO. Having content on your website that is considered webspam may in fact lead to a more sizable downside down the road including penalties. In short, the risk is greater than the reward.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other valid uses for AI in your SEO strategy.
ChatGPT can be deployed to help with research and analysis. Here are a few great uses of this tool for SEO.
Using ChatGPT for Keyword Research
Brainstorming keywords for any topic. With the prompt “list keywords for …” ChatGPT will generate a seed list of keyword ideas for you. Another great prompt is “give me 25 longtail keywords about …”.
Using ChatGTP for Content Marketing
Create a content strategy. “Create a content strategy for a blog about personal finance.”
Researching a topic. “Generate a list of the top 10 facts and statistics related to X, including their source”.
Generating titles for blog posts. By asking ChatGPT to “generate titles for a post on …” you’ll get a list of creative titles for your next blog post.
Creating lists of questions for a FAQ section on a page of your website. For example, you can ask ChatGPT a prompt like “related questions regarding "Mt. Rainier".
Using ChatGTP for On-Site SEO
Generating meta descriptions based on a section of page copy. “Generate 3 unique meta descriptions, of a maximum of 160 characters, for the following text. They should be engaging with a call to action, including the term “keyword” in them: ….”
Using ChatGTP for Technical SEO
Generated schema markup. “Generate the FAQPage Schema markup for the following questions and answers …”
AI & SEO: Think of It Like a Calculator
There is no doubt that AI has a tremendous impact on SEO today and will continue in the future.
At Pathfinder SEO, we look at AI tools like ChatGTP like a calculator. It’s a fantastic tool that can do a lot of processing more quickly than the human brain. It’s powerful and fun to use. But, if we overutilize a calculator and don’t understand the concepts behind the equation, then it’s powerless and can actually cause harm.
Utilize the power of AI in SEO in ways that accelerate specific tasks like keyword research. And keep your copywriter on staff to write your next blog post that has been informed by the research done by this technology.