When it comes to search engine rankings, it doesn’t take an Undercover Geek to remind you that content is king. To help generate more content, many of us have turned to AI tools like ChatGPT, because who doesn’t want a little AI magic to make their lives easier?
Wait a minute! Before we get carried away, let me ask you a few questions. Is it possible for Google to detect AI-generated content? Does AI-generated content affect our SEO efforts, or are there any hidden benefits that we should be aware of? Fear not, my friends, for we are here to unravel the mysteries of AI-generated content and its impact on SEO.
The extent of Google’s ability to identify machine-authored text, the potential pitfalls of relying on robots for content, and the surprising SEO benefits of AI-generated content are explored.
SEO and content
First, let’s discuss how content plays an important role in SEO.
Nothing beats high-quality, captivating content when it comes to climbing search engine rankings. Search engines such as Google, Bing, and others strive to provide their users with relevant and valuable content. To rank well, you must provide the content people want, as well as ensure it is trustworthy and accurate. SEO equates to writing content that demonstrates expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
The task may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep in mind that search engines like Google tirelessly crawl and index webpages, looking for indicators that certain pieces of content deserve a top ranking. The following factors are taken into account by search engines:
- Keywords (signaling relevance)
- Accurate and up-to-date information (information from the current year is typically preferred over information several years old)
- Evidence and sources (links or other references to the source material, as needed)
- Article authorship and website ownership (allowing a user to know who’s behind the information)
- Backlinks (other sites linking to yours implies trust)
- Relevance (the answer to a query is easily found within the content)
The better your content is, the more likely you are to get Google’s seal of approval, resulting in better rankings and, ultimately, increased organic traffic.
You must understand your target audience, their needs, and the keywords they use to craft content that checks all these boxes. The goal of your content is to provide your audience with valuable content that is creative and original.
Remember that SEO is all about striking a balance between providing value and optimizing for search engines. A piece should not have too many keywords, for instance, or too many sources if that interferes with readability.
Does Google have the capability of detecting AI content?
This brings us to the topic of generative AI. ChatGPT and other AI are viewed as the answer to many website owners’ prayers. Why not let the AI write your blogs and landing pages instead of paying a content writer (or staying up way too late doing it yourself)?
Is Google going to know when your content has been written by artificial intelligence, and if so, how will that affect your search engine rankings?
Bloggers who write about tech and SEO seem to believe that Google can detect AI content. In Content Hacker’s explanation, the machine learning algorithms used to train ChatGPT and other AI systems are similar to those used by Google to detect AI content. There is a good chance that Google is trained to notice things such as:
- Repetitive text or text patterns
- Excessive modifiers (ChatGPT loves adjectives!)
- Correct grammar and syntax but awkward constructions that don’t mirror human writing
- Similar sentence length and style rather than human content variation
As far as SEO is concerned, it doesn’t matter what Google knows.
The Search Engine Journal reported last year that Google penalized AI content when it detected it. It has since shifted its position on AI content – perhaps due to the overwhelming popularity of ChatGPT or because it now has its own generative AI, Bard.
“Google does not care who — or what — writes your content, as long as that content is written to help people and not to manipulate the search results.”
Does that mean you can now generate web content and blog posts with AI? We wouldn’t rush to judgment.
Using AI-generated content in SEO can lead to pitfalls
The use of ChatGPT or other AI systems may still cause issues even if Google does not penalize AI content yet. Search engines may flag content as being poor quality or less relevant if they detect that it isn’t authentic. Providing useful and authentic content is key.
Furthermore, users may consider the site less trustworthy if they encounter AI-generated content. The content may not be considered worthy of links by other websites, resulting in a decline in conversion rates and backlinks.
While Google may say AI content is okay to use, you should be careful. It’s not a green light to let ChatGPT write for you and call it a day just because Google doesn’t penalize you for AI content.
Using AI-generated Content to Boost SEO
Despite the downsides, generative AI can still benefit your website if you use it when writing content.
The process of creating content can be streamlined with the help of AI-generated content. If you want to develop a list of possible article titles or long-tail keywords, you can use ChatGPT or Bing.
AI-generated content helps you tap into new niches and expand your digital reach by analyzing massive amounts of data and identifying keyword opportunities.
The ChatGPT team provided me with a list of long-tail keywords that may be useful for this article. This is what it came up with:
- AI-generated content for SEO
- Benefits of AI in content creation
- Detecting AI-generated text in SEO
- Streamlining content creation with AI
- Using ChatGPT for content optimization
- AI tools and search engine rankings
- Enhancing content diversity with AI
- Responsible use of AI-generated content
- Best practices for AI in digital marketing
- AI-generated content and Google detection
Using AI tools will also give your content a new tone and more life. Alternatively, you can ask it to rewrite your content for a more – or less – technical audience.
AI shouldn’t be used to write entire articles or documentation. When that happens, you’ll cross into the danger zone, both in terms of SEO and also in terms of accuracy and originality.
According to Google,
“If you see AI as an essential way to help you produce content that is helpful and original, it might be useful to consider. If you see AI as an inexpensive, easy way to game search engine rankings, then no.”
Is it worth it to invest in AI?
For content creation, generative AI applications such as ChatGPT and Bard are best used as writing assistants or tools. You will be able to showcase your personal knowledge, experience, and personality by retaining authorship over your content. Having accurate and useful content on your website will allow you to rest easy. You may be able to save enough time by using AI to help you create the content tomorrow if you use it to create it.