Artificial intelligence (AI) language models have become all the rage these days, and none are perhaps more groundbreaking than ChatGPT. Developed by OpenAI, ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool – a chatbot that dispenses serviceably written content on request.
One of ChatGPT’s most noticeable features is its speed of delivery, where paragraphs of text can be conjured up in a matter of seconds. Thus, many marketers are salivating (metaphorically, of course) at the prospect of using it to fulfill their content creation and SEO efforts, which, as we know, go very much hand-in-hand.
If ChatGPT can save marketers hours manually generating content and building SEO campaigns, why wouldn’t more people be rushing to use the tool for its intended purpose?
The reality is that when it comes to SEO and content creation, it can transform a business, but machine-generated content is a red flag, and this guide will explain why. While there is enormous potential for AI-generated content to evolve, ChatGPT should not be considered a replacement for hardworking marketers and writers yet, but rather, an asset.
What Does Google Think of Automatically-Generated Content?
Generating content quickly and easily is always something that many SEO professionals wish could be done. While ChatGPT accomplishes that goal, it’s important to note that the dispensed content from AI-generated language bots should always be taken with caution.
Google has made its stance on this type of content clear, issuing a ‘code red’ amid ChatGPT’s launch. In no uncertain terms, Google states that automatically generated text that intends to manipulate search engines goes against its recommended guidance. Despite this, Google plans to incorporate new chatbot features into its search engine.
Should Marketers Use ChatGPT Regularly?
The inherent problem with this is that SEO – more specifically, white hat SEO – strategies should always adopt a people-first mentality. In essence, content should address customer pain points, reflect a business’s brand identity and personality, and be engaging and relevant to the reader.
There are differing theories of what quality content is, but it should be clear to any marketer that spammy, auto-generated, keyword-stuffed content is hardly demonstrative of any true human interest.
For example, text that makes no sense to a human, with no regard for tautologies, dialect, user experience, colloquialisms, syntax, or quality, will probably trigger an alert to Google that the text is spammy and of little value.
While ChatGPT might make bulk writing more efficient and cost-effective, the output cannot measure up to the ideas, nuances, and organic writing style of professional content writers, who can weave keywords and search terms into text organically and with consideration. The ideas they generate need to be well-thought-out, conveyed in accurate and persuasive prose that triggers an emotional response from the reader, not sit aimlessly on a page in the hopes that search engine crawlers can assume the context and topic of the page.
Furthermore, you cannot expect ChatGPT to understand your target audience and ideal customer profile, so any content it spits out might miss some crucial points that an experienced writer might be able to convey. While this text might take more time to piece together, you can safely presume that the salient customer needs and unique selling propositions (USPs) of the business can be addressed more organically.
Having said that, for many small business owners with limited time or resources to produce content at scale, it’s understandable why ChatGPT might be considered a ‘must-have’ tool in their arsenal. For instance, one of ChatGPT’s best quirks is that it can produce sales content, social media posts, Q&As, listicles, and many other eye-catching types of content that could pique the interests of searchers. If a website administrator is receiving content from various writers, it can be difficult to determine whether the content is generated by a human or by an AI language model such as ChatGPT. In such cases, the administrator may consider utilizing a ChatGPT Detector to verify the authenticity of the content. This tool can help to ensure that the content being published on the website is indeed created by human writers, and not generated by automated means. By using such a detector, the website administrator can maintain the integrity of the content and provide a reliable platform for the readers.
However, using ChatGPT regularly to flood your website with content as a means to an end can spell disaster. If you upload AI-generated content without due care, consideration and supervision of what you will be using the content for can be dangerous for some businesses. If retaining that competitive SEO edge over similar businesses is one of your priorities, there’s nothing wrong with putting out content, but it needs to be high-quality and relevant, in your unique tone of voice. Therefore, you shouldn’t directly assume that ChatGPT will be able to convey your stance on topics or search terms with 100% accuracy.
Reasons Why ChatGPT Cannot Replace Content Writers or Marketers
While ChatGPT might help time-restricted marketers save time and expenses creating content, there are some serious drawbacks to using this technology.
The Google Panda Update
Increasing rankings and driving organic traffic to their websites is a constant balancing act for marketers, particularly when you consider Google’s constantly updating algorithm.
While most algorithm updates are minor and do not pose huge concerns for marketers, a major and significant one will occasionally come around. None are perhaps more infamous than the Google Panda update, which changed the game for sites that were churning out high volumes of thin, low-quality content.
Before this algorithm update, many sites had garnered swathes of organic traffic by adopting a ‘quantity over quality’ approach, but the Panda update all but obliterated these businesses’ presence on Google.
Since the Panda update, Google has made it abundantly clear that content of quality will always be preferable to hastily thrown-together text that doesn’t serve a purpose to a reader. ChatGPT, seemingly innocuously, is churning out high volumes of low-quality content (as described above), which will only act as a deterrent to search engine crawlers, if Google’s recent warning is anything to go by.
Inaccurate ChatGPT Content
ChatGPT is built off of the GPT-3 machine-learning algorithm, which is excellent at predicting succeeding words in content as it’s being written. However, as is the case with the GPT-3 program, the data that was used to ‘train’ this model was primarily crawled web content.
Without going into a technical jargon-filled rabbit hole, this essentially means that ChatGPT crawls and scrapes the web for a topic and assembles the content from this repository to answer your prompts.
Also, this data was cut off by 2021, so ChatGPT will not automatically conjure up text that accounts for developments that took place within the last year or so. As many SEO marketers will know, this is critical for a website content strategy, so how will nearly 18-month-old information help readers?
SEO marketers and content writers will know that the internet is already full of re-hashed and unoriginal ideas, and doing more of the same will lead to disappointing results. Conversely, accurate, up-to-date, and engaging content is where a business can establish authority and convey its point of difference.
Google has a way of differentiating between AI writers and human SEO copywriters. Every writer has a unique and original writing style, preferring to use certain terminology, phrasing, and descriptive words.
With AI text, it’s curated based on a plethora of user-generated web data, often resulting in a disjointed set of text filled with redundancies and errors.
Google can easily distinguish between content that’s generated by ChatGPT – or any similar language model – and copy that’s been written by a human being. Therefore, it’s wise to avoid making your content become another ‘by the numbers’ piece with nothing in the way of originality and uniqueness.
E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness) make up the four pillars of quality content, in Google’s eyes.
It’s unlikely that AI-generated content would meet the standards of all four pillars simultaneously, much less when you consider the services of certain businesses.
For example, solicitors offering legal advice, IFAs with financial assistance, or healthcare companies providing medical services (among others) can’t expect an AI language model to produce high-quality SEO content for its audience, demonstrating authority and expertise in its answers. ChatGPT cannot be expected to deliver swathes of content in the same way that a full strategist could deliver long-term value in an SEO campaign for, say, a niche industry like technology.
The risk of misinformation can be disastrous, and if that content is distributed to the public it could have dire implications. Businesses must be incredibly careful with what they put on their customer-facing sites.
Although ChatGPT is excellent in principle, it lacks all the qualities of a human author and marketer.
Only skilled and experienced marketers and writers can deliver the quality, emotional sensitivity and strategic approach to writing a great piece of content, and ensure that it is ideal for the target website.
The current SEO landscape is very much driven by a need for diverse, quality content. Without the human and E-E-A-T approach, the quality of ChatGPT-generated answers would be average at best. As a result, the value to the reader is minimized. To enhance the value of the content, the writers and marketers would need to – arguably – spend twice as long bringing the text up to an acceptable standard. This brings into question if ChatGPT can actually be seen as a time-saving tool.
How Can Content Writers Leverage ChatGPT?
It’s clear that ChatGPT has potential and, if used correctly, it can help marketing efforts.
Content creators can use ChatGPT for several functions to help with their work, including:
- Idea generation
- Contextual understanding
However, creating a cohesive and thought-provoking piece in an original voice will need to be handled entirely by the writer.