Artificial intelligence has significantly impacted various industries, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is no exception. With advancements like GPT-4 (and Google’s response with Bard), AI-generated content is becoming more prevalent, which raises the question of how AI-generated content affects SEO.
Many agencies, including Snap, assert content creation and editing by human creators and SEO specialists is vital to prevent inaccuracies, build credibility with a user or customer, and overall, establish a positive brand and website experience.
While AI-generated content offers potential benefits like efficiency, there are concerns about its accuracy and potential manipulation of search results.
An Overview of AI-Generated Content
AI algorithms and tools create text and multimedia content through artificial intelligence. These AI systems analyze large amounts of data, find patterns, and produce content based on user input or context.
Their popularity has grown, leading to many AI-based content creation tools for various industries and purposes, including search engine optimization and content for websites.
Does AI-Generated Content Affect SEO?
In short, yes. Whether for good or bad, it all depends on how you use it.
Google’s recommendations on AI-generated content relays that “the relevance and helpfulness of content are the benchmarks for good content that performs well in search results.”
In other words, the impact of AI-generated content on SEO depends on the quality of the content itself. Whether human or robot, the objective is to produce high-quality content.
So, should you trust Artificial Intelligence to write your content?
Pros to AI-Generated Content and SEO
AI-created content offers advantages and disadvantages.
AI systems can examine vast data sets and pinpoint trends, which may enhance the content’s relevance for specific topics. AI tools can also make outlining topics less time-consuming and check for any readability or grammatical errors.
However, AI-generated content may not always be accurate or contextually relevant, as AI tools are imperfect and can (and oftentimes will) make mistakes.
For example, the highly publicized launches of Google’s Bard and Bing Chat showcased the many pitfalls of depending on a machine vs. human authorship.
AI-generated content may improve keyword optimization by suggesting ways to incorporate relevant keywords. It is not recommended for them to do the initial keyword research since some AI data may be outdated.
Content reviewed by AI can help with phrasing and assess NLP (Natural Language Processing), ultimately enhancing visibility on search engines like Google and Bing.
A major factor determining how well a piece of content performs in search results is its quality.
High-quality AI-generated content used in small amounts and heavily edited and refined will offer a better user experience, and may improve SEO.
However, low-quality content generated by AI, without proper review or editing, can negatively impact your rankings and contradict Page Quality Guidelines.
Readability and UX
AI-generated content can contribute to a writer’s draft to maximize readability and user experience (UX). It can assist in ensuring it’s well-structured, has a logical flow, and uses the right language for the target audience.
This can ultimately boost SEO because search engine bots and human visitors both appreciate easy-to-read and understand content.
Dangers to AI-Generated Content
While AI-generated content may help improve SEO when used sparingly and intentionally, certain challenges emerge regarding search engine ranking, user experience, and credibility.
How do Google and Bing Handle AI Content?
As AI and autogenerated content becomes more widespread, search engines like Google and Bing will place a higher priority on content that is grounded in experience and relevance.
According to Google’s August 2022 Helpful Content update, “People-first content creators focus first on creating satisfying content, while also utilizing SEO best practices to bring searchers additional value. “
Therefore, all content to rank well must be helpful, informative, answer the customer’s question in a satisfying way, and demonstrate first-hand expertise.
AI-generated content, on one hand, is not inherently penalized by search engines but may fail to achieve high rankings if it does not meet that criteria.
In this regard, the same evaluation applies to human-authored content.
Duplicate Content Issues
AI-generated content has a potential downside of duplicate content. This is because AI tools frequently use existing resources to generate new content, which may produce content too similar to other online materials.
Lack of Expertise and Credibility
AI-generated content can be informative and useful. However, there is a deeper issue of expertise and credibility to consider.
Human-written content often benefits from the author’s expertise, personal insights, and unique perspectives. These qualities can be difficult for AI-generated content to model convincingly.
Best Practices for Addressing AI and Content Creation
While AI tools may assist your SEO efforts, it’s important to maintain human oversight throughout the content creation process.
To strike a balance between AI-generated contribution and human writing, consider the following steps:
- Use AI writing tools for brainstorming and helping generate outlines
- Depend on SEO experts to research the right topics and keywords
- Instruct human writers to draft content based on the combined research and efforts of the AI ideas and SEO keyword research
- Add, review, and edit any AI-generated snippets to maintain consistency and accuracy
- Ensure any small amount of AI-generated content aligns with your brand’s voice and guidelines
- Regularly update your AI tools and databases to ensure they produce up-to-date and relevant research and ideas
High-quality content can positively impact SEO, whereas low-quality content would likely hurt a website’s visibility.
Businesses and content creators need to strike a balance: if AI-generated content is used at all, then edit the content so it meets the quality standards for effective SEO.
At the end of the day, human content creation and oversight is crucial to prevent potential inaccuracies, maintain user trust, and ensure a positive experience for your website visitors.