It goes without saying that AI technology has come a really long way in recent months.
For example, graphics engines like Midjourney, DALL-E, and Stable Diffusion have been challenging the way people think about concepts like stock imagery and even fine art since the summer of 2022.
Now the introduction of ChatGPT has everyone wondering about the future of pursuits like education, content writing, and even search engine optimization itself.
And even if you don’t believe ChatGPT spells the end of these concepts, it seems inevitable that SEO will be affected and perhaps never be the same.
But what is the AI ChatGPT debate really all about? What does the rise of AI technology actually mean for SEO on Google, and how can digital marketers start preparing for the future?
Here’s a rundown of what you need to know.
What Is AI and ChatGPT?
Writing-based AI programs – like Jasper and GrowthBar, to name just a couple – have been around for a while now.
But none of them have caused anywhere near the fuss ChatGPT has since it opened to the public in late 2022 and went positively viral shortly after.
ChatGPT is similar to other AI chatbots (like the customer service chatbots on many e-commerce websites) in that it can realistically and comfortably converse with a human person. However, it is much more advanced regarding what it can do and how efficiently.
ChatGPT is a specific type of AI interface called a large learning model. This means it was trained on nearly incalculable amounts of available data.
As a result, it’s smart enough (and “thinks” in a human enough manner) that it can predict logical word sequences in sentences. The more data a large learning model like ChatGPT ingests, the smarter and more efficient it becomes.
In some cases, large learning models can even demonstrate abilities that are entirely unexpected and for which they were not trained.
For example, the Stanford-trained GPT-3 program was able to translate written texts from English to French despite the fact that it was never programmed to do so.
Being able to acquire knowledge and apply it in different ways (without explicitly being taught how to do so) is very similar to what humans do when they learn. This ability is why and how ChatGPT can do things like carry on very human-like conversations, answer complex questions, and even write coherent essays on nearly any topic.
What Company Owns ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is the brainchild of OpenAI, an independent AI company cofounded in 2015 by Elon Musk. It was initially built via the GPT-3 system, which is also owned by OpenAI.
As detailed above, it was trained on a positively massive dataset. This training was also supplemented with supervised learning, as well as reinforcement learning.
The learning model and general tech on which ChatGPT was based have existed for some time.
However, within the first week of its official public launch at the end of November 2022, ChatGPT already boasted an incredible 1 million users.
AI, ChatGPT, and Google
Naturally, the sheer level of efficiency associated with the AI ChatGPT and its output has digital marketers and web users alike asking all sorts of questions.
Here are a couple of the most common.
Is AI ChatGPT the end of Google?
Since artificial intelligence on the level of ChatGPT is capable of answering questions similar to what Google users would type into a search engine, it’s caused some speculation that Google will soon be obsolete.
However, these worries are pretty groundless.
ChatGPT can definitely be helpful for further exploring different topics, but it’s highly prone to both inaccuracies and strong biases.
It’s certainly not all-knowing, especially regarding newer knowledge, so Google has nothing to worry about. However, it’s worth noting that top competitor Bing is using ChatGPT to improve its own search offerings.
In other words, ChatGPT and similar programs may be used to enhance the search engines everyone relies on, but they’re not truly capable of replacing them.
Can Google identify ChatGPT-created content?
Another concern many people have regarding AI ChatGPT and its implications is for the content production sector.
People have voiced concerns that low-effort marketers will begin filling sites with AI-generated content and snagging top SERP rankings out from under websites working hard to deliver genuine value.
However, while ChatGPT is definitely capable of creating coherent content on a variety of topics, human content creators don’t have much to worry about.
ChatGPT can string a sentence together and regurgitate information, but it’s not capable of digging very deeply into most topics.
It’s certainly not capable of imbuing content with the emotion and unique points of view only human writers can bring to the table on quite that level.
But can Google actually tell the difference between human-generated content and AI-generated content from ChatGPT? The answer is “yes, but no.”
There are already numerous AI detection programs out there, although – like ChatGPT itself – they’re not perfect or 100 percent accurate across the board.
However, Google has always been ahead of the game when it comes to detecting questionable SEO practices designed to game the system, and it continues to be.
AI-generated content posted “as is” without any human editing or fact-checking will almost certainly run into the same snags low-quality content written by humans does, likely resulting in penalties.
It’s also a given that Google will continue to evolve in response to the emergence of AI-written content, just as it has with new challenges in the past.
Digital marketers, content creators, and SEO professionals can reasonably expect new features and algorithm changes to emerge that directly address quality issues related to AI technology and ensure that it will be utilized ethically.
How AI and ChatGPT Will Affect SEO on Google
Whether you love AI ChatGPT, loathe it, or fall somewhere in the middle, it’s a given that it will change the worlds of content creation and SEO. In fact, it’s already doing this in certain ways.
Here are a few examples of what AI will (and won’t) be able to change.
It can assist with simple SEO tasks
SEO professionals have been eagerly embracing ways to automate marketing tasks for years now, and with good reason.
Even the most efficient marketing team can’t personally handle every task, so most focus on the ones that absolutely require a human touch and leave the rest to technology.
That said, ChatGPT simply isn’t efficient enough to handle the bulk of a company’s content production tasks thanks to its lack of personality and human discernment.
However, it may prove helpful with simple tasks like:
- Brainstorming content ideas
- Helping to structure human-written content
- Researching and analyzing keywords
- Drafting content outlines or project briefs
- Assembling summaries of existing content
It can help with simple coding
ChatGPT is relatively proficient in disciplines like mathematics and coding. Again, it won’t be able to assess larger creative concepts on a human scale.
However, it may be able to help human coders and web developers do things like:
- Assemble Schema code via human instruction and guidance
- Fetch and organize data
- Check various types of code for errors
- Test various forms of output for accuracy
However, it’s important to realize that ChatGPT (along with other AI programs) is really not capable of replacing human beings in these areas, either.
Even the best AI interfaces still require human input and guidance in order to be of any real use.
It can’t think like a human creator
So much of what makes a really terrific piece of content successful isn’t something ChatGPT or any other AI program can replicate. Again, AI ChatGPT can rehash facts and do its best to tap into knowledge it was trained on to assemble those facts in ways that make sense.
However, it’s not capable of understanding or replicating certain things that are unique to the human experience. For example, it doesn’t understand what it’s like to feel happy, sad, excited, or confused. All of those emotions (and many more) are key parts of the buyer’s journey.
AI can’t produce relatable content that truly connects with people on an emotional level if it cannot experience or understand emotions.
It’s also unable to perform certain aspects of SEO and content marketing on any level, including (but not necessarily limited to):
- Conducting successful outreach campaigns
- Creation of viral content
- Predicting human reactions to various topics and content pieces
- Successfully promoting completed content
And while ChatGPT may well be able to help you fix your HTML code or come up with great alternative keywords for your next piece of content, it can’t solve uniquely human problems.
For example, it can’t work out why a post that should have done well didn’t actually perform as expected or come up with viable solutions to ensure your next post does better. You need emotion and empathy for that.
It can’t get ahead of trends
As an experienced SEO professional can attest to, a large part of the success of a digital marketing campaign has to do with figuring out where things are going next.
To create viral content, you need to be able to understand trends.
And to hit on the next big thing before it happens, you need a full understanding of not only other human beings but of what they respond to and why. This makes it easier to predict how they will or won’t react to a new idea, topic, or approach to a given niche.
AI can’t do this with any accuracy.
This is partially due to the fact that it doesn’t have or understand human emotions. However, ChatGPT is also completely reliant on the knowledge base it already has. This really dates what it’s capable of and puts hard limits on its potential SEO-related uses.
In order for the program to know more, it needs to learn more via additional training.
More training, in turn, requires additional testing. All of this takes time, labor, and resources. And by the time the newest round of learning and testing is finished, the knowledge gained is already at least slightly out of date.
The internet-based world we live in moves extremely quickly – so quickly sometimes that it’s hard for even humans to keep up.
ChatGPT and similar programs can’t even begin to match human beings in this regard, let alone actually outstrip them.
Ultimately, programs like ChatGPT are already changing SEO, as well as influencing how people produce content.
However, they’re not going to make search engines obsolete, which means they won’t make search engine optimization obsolete, either.
The elements that make the internet as appealing, connected, and timely as it is are unique to human beings. That said, it’s best to think of AI and ChatGPT as really detail-oriented assistants – helpful tools that can make the rest of your job as a digital marketing professional easier.
How can AI be used in your SEO strategies?
As a content marketer, the importance of digital marketing should be considered when it comes to helping your website rank higher, gain more traffic, and ultimately convert readers into buyers or customers. AI technology is becoming increasingly popular with digital marketers for optimizing search engine optimization (SEO), as it can assist with fast content creation.
Unfortunately, there are some caveats to using AI for SEO. As search engines become more innovative, they may not recognize AI-generated content as valuable and useful content, although it might be able to fool some unsuspecting readers. Therefore, the quality of your content should never be compromised when using AI technology.
While you can use AI-generated ideas and outlines for your bigger content strategy, relying on heavy AI for the bulk of your blogs can have disastrous consequences for your site’s SEO.
This is especially true if Google’s search algorithms decide to ding AI-generated content. Nevertheless, there are some key ways AI and SEO can work together (for the better).
For Quick Outlines
For starters, AI can generate quick outlines for your content. With the assistance of natural language processing (NLP), AI can quickly come up with keywords and topics that are related to a given query. With the help of algorithms, these outlines can be used to brainstorm new topics and content ideas quickly.
If you’re stumped or don’t know about an industry enough to create meaningful content around it, AI is a great tool to create a baseline for mapping out ideas and content.
Remember, while AI-generated content might produce a strong outline, it’s up to you to fill in the gaps and create an engaging and authoritative blog post. Using ideas generated from AI is also a great way to refresh older content that seems to have gone stale.
For instance, if you pump out weekly articles on a particular topic, you can use AI to generate fresh ideas to keep readers engaged.
For Meta Descriptions and Titles
Meta descriptions and titles are vital for SEO strategy and can be as effective as the content itself. AI can be used for this purpose, helping you create titles and descriptions that will entice readers to click on your page. AI can generate a synopsis of your content within seconds, providing you with a pitch that readers won’t resist.
Keep in mind, the shorter, the better when it comes to meta descriptions, as readers are more likely to click on your page if they know what they’re getting into.
For Related Content
Using AI can also help you connect the dots between different pieces of content on your page. By using algorithms, AI can recommend related topics that readers might find interesting. For instance, you might be generating an outline of the latest trends in fashion, and your AI might generate a related topic, such as streetwear.
Would you have ever thought about this niche sub-topic? Probably not, or at least not after doing the same research over and over again. AI can help you break out of your content rut and keep readers engaged with more topics related to their interests, help you generate new ideas for related content, and add more depth to your existing content.
The future of AI-generated Content
It’s no secret that many digital marketers and original content creators view AI as an evil source for plagiarism and low-quality content that threatens their craft.
However, if appropriately used, AI can be a powerful tool for SEO. Here are some things to consider about AI’s future in the SEO sphere and for digital marketing specialists.
Not Punishable – Unless It’s Low Quality
Google has said that it will continue to reward high-quality content. However, it’s produced. So long as your content continues to provide engaging, thoughtful, and authoritative information, Google (so far) won’t punish your blog by algorithmically reducing its rankings in search results. The good news is that responsible marketers can use AI to create helpful and engaging content for their users.
AI Get’s Smarter, Editors Get More Careless
AI’s continued development is a double-edged sword. It’s not a replacement for thoughtful and authoritative blog posts but rather an aid in creating outlines and helping you discover new ideas. As AI gets more intelligent, so can the content it generates— but this can lead to marketers and editors becoming more careless with their content.
Unfortunately, even extensive publications like Men’s Journal have been caught using AI to create highly inaccurate blog posts. This isn’t a sustainable strategy and could lead to serious penalties from Google in the future. Google’s penalty can be called YMYL, which means Your Money or Your Life.
Google is especially strict regarding YMYL content, which can affect a user’s money or safety somehow. AI-generated content should never be used for YMYL topics, as it simply needs to be more reliable and accurate to warrant the consequences of a penalty.
Even in the future, when AI could be used to generate YMYL content (health, finance, wellness, etc.), human editors should still be required to verify the accuracy and trustworthiness of the produced material.
Google’s Bard and AI and What This Means For SEO
If there was ever a doubt about Google’s commitment to AI, the company’s recent release of its new, AI-powered chatbot Bard should be enough to put you at ease.
Bard is a conversational assistant who can help answer your most pressing questions, highly in-depth. With machine learning and AI, Bard can give you better-than-human insights on the latest trends in anything from SEO to rocket launches to nutrition.
While Bard is still in testing and continuously learning how to communicate using information gathered from the World Wide Web, it serves as a reminder that AI & SEO are both here to stay. Whether marketers can make them act side by side is yet to be seen.
In conclusion, AI ChatGPT isn’t going to get rid of SEO or do away with Google. And it’s definitely not going to eliminate the need for original, heartfelt, human-created written content. If anything, it will only make genuinely authentic human creation more valuable and important, especially moving forward into the future.
That means you need the best SEO content writers out there on your side, putting their unique experience, insight, and skill to work for your brand.
WriterAccess by Rock Content is the place to go to meet, network with, and hire the best SEO writers in the business. Sign up for your free WriterAccess trial today, and see what it’s all about firsthand.