In recent months, all the talk has been about ChatGPT and other AI tools. Many are claiming that it will make SEO easier, and in some cases, certain outlets have claimed that AI could replace current SEO practices. In fact, ChatGPT is now so popular that it’s hitting over 10 million users in just 40 days. AI Tools are very popular and they’re not going away any time soon. So what are tools like ChatGPT useful for, when should they be avoided, and how do they impact search engine optimisation?
The Benefits of ChatGPT
If you’re stuck for ideas on a certain field or topic, then ChatGPT is great for generating new content ideas. By using buzz words and suggestions, rather than directly lifting content, you can use it as a stepping stone to creating a piece of unique content, adding in the expertise required yourself. It’s important, however, to really make those ideas your own.
Because coding is very definite and matter-of-fact, getting ChatGPT to code for you can be beneficial. If you struggle with coding, have an issue with a certain piece of code, or want to turn text into code, then ChatGPT can be a good time saver.
If there are a number of tasks which take up a lot of your time but have little to no SEO value, then it may be advantageous to use ChatGPT to speed up the process. You can have ChatGPT write social posts around specific topics, for example. You can quickly edit them to ensure they make sense and are relevant, but by quickly generating them you can save a significant amount of time.
A Chrome extension is available for ChatGPT, which allows you to access ChatGPT in-platform. It means you don’t have to spend time going back and forth between different tabs. It also gives you in-platform access such as when you’re writing emails, upgrading content (using ideas and prompts) or managing social platforms.
The Drawbacks of ChatGPT
If you need a blog post written, it can be easy to swerve that responsibility yourself and get ChatGPT to do it instead. After flicking through the content that it generates, you might feel like simply copying it into your blog template and hitting publish on your site.
However, one of the weakest elements of ChatGPT is creating unique, informative content; and the worst thing you can do after an AI tool generates this content is not edit or change any elements. Search engines like Google will be able to spot content generated like this as low value through their SpamBrain algorithm, so not only will it not boost your site in the search engine rankings, but it could even have the opposite effect and harm your site.
Long-form SEO Content
Similarly, Google and other search engines don’t look too favourably when long-form SEO content, such as page content, is written using an AI tool like ChatGPT. When you ask it to create content about a certain topic or by using a certain keyword, it will pull together content from other sites around the internet and splice it together into one ‘unique’ article, which isn’t really unique at all.
When it comes to written content, Google loves new ideas, new insights and new expertise. It’s always looking for fresh written content written by experts to be read by other humans. Allowing ChatGPT to write your long-form content means you’re foregoing expertise and are looking to have content written for the benefit of ranking higher in the search results, rather than it being valuable content that readers can learn from.
Over-reliance on AI Tools
It’s easy to become overawed by ChatGPT as a tool and start using it for every task you need to complete, especially if you have impending deadlines and are short on time. However, having an over-reliance on AI tools like this can be dangerous when it comes to SEO because the tool itself is still relatively basic and has a number of flaws, especially when it comes to written content.
OpenAI’s chat generative pre-trained transformer (ChatGPT) has massively restricted data. It is limited to data after 2021, meaning there’s a huge restriction on not only the content that it can produce but also its reliability of it.
No Access To Live Data
ChatGPT can’t directly connect to or get data from the internet, so it cannot produce ‘live results’ or reactive data and information. So if you’re looking to write about a newly developing topic, then ChatGPT can struggle to find the correct information to make your content factually correct and relevant to your users.
There’s a risk that anything generated by tools like ChatGPT will become watermarked, meaning that you’ll be able to find out whether something like a piece of content or some FAQs have been generated through an AI generator tool. This will then make it easier for Google to spot, and they could then penalise your site for using AI-generated material as Google prefers unique content written with experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.
Whilst ChatGPT may have stolen the headlines, they aren’t the only AI tool around. Some work in the same or a similar fashion, whilst others use AI in a completely different way. Alternatives include copy.ai, Puzzle Labs, Magic Eraser, Socratic and Generative Engine.
It’s clear that there are benefits to using a tool like ChatGPT, but as with any AI tool, it should be used with caution and in the right way, as using software like ChatGPT incorrectly can significantly damage your site’s SEO.
Even with the right tools, you’ll still require the knowledge and expertise of when and how to use them, which is where SEO experts come in. AI tools will never replace the judgement of an experienced SEO expert, but having awareness and skills in using these tools can increase the efficiency with which the correct SEO-related tasks can be carried out, leading to an increase in page traffic and keyword rankings.