ChatGPT took the world by storm when it was released for public consumption late last year. Everyone seemed enamored with it. So much so that self-proclaimed digital marketing experts began predicting the end of human content creators in favor of generative AI tools. We say, “not so fast.”
Generative AI is definitely a useful tool within the realm of SEO content creation and digital marketing. It can be leveraged to help create better PPC advertising campaigns. It can be deployed to come up with fantastic ideas for new content. But in the end, AI should be used to enhance content creation. It is no substitute for human content creators.
What Generative AI Does
Generative AI is a form of artificial intelligence capable of generating a variety of different types of content. A tool like ChatGPT can produce blog posts, informational articles, FAQs, and more. Other generative AI tools can produce everything from videos to graphic images and audio streams.
How does AI do what it does? In the simplest possible terms, by gathering and analyzing data. If you were to ask ChatGPT to write 600 words about content creation in the SEO space, it would scrape the internet looking for appropriate information, crunch the data it finds, and spit out an article designed to mimic human writing and/or conversation.
In reality, ChatGPT doesn’t think of anything new. It does not come up with a unique angle or attempt to present information in a way that separates its answer from all others. In fact, if you were to cut and paste key sentences from a ChatGPT-generated article, you would likely find some of them quoted verbatim from other websites.
What Google Thinks About It
When it comes to content creation and SEO, you can never discount what Google has to say. After all, Google is easily the most dominant force in all things search related. If they do not like something, SEO providers need to stay away from it.
Google originally responded to generative AI by saying their algorithms were being trained to spot AI-generated content. Furthermore, Google maintained the position that such constituted a violation of their Webmaster Guidelines on auto-generated content.
Google refined their position earlier this year by saying their algorithms wouldn’t necessarily punish AI-generated content as long as said content met its standards for quality and helpfulness. In a roundabout way, Google was giving content creators permission to use generative AI. Still, leaving the entire creation task up to a tool like ChatGPT almost always produces results that will not meet Google standards. So that’s that.
The Bloom Is Off the Rose
Despite actual content creators insisting that generative AI cannot replace them, the love affair between ChatGPT and the general public persisted through the first half of this year. But now it appears as though the bloom is off the rose. People suddenly are not as satisfied with its abilities as they once were.
Recent data cited by Search Engine Journal shows that interest in ChatGPT is falling. SEJ’s Matt Southern says that some long time users are starting to complain on social media that they are not getting the high quality responses they were seeing just weeks ago.
Some have gone so far as to describe ChatGPT as ‘dumber’ and ‘lazier’. They say the chatbot is more likely to generate inaccurate answers or answers that make absolutely no sense. For their part, ChatGPT’s makers say they have not intentionally downgraded their software.
Limits and Vulnerabilities Being Revealed
As a company that knows how important public perception is to digital marketing and SEO, it doesn’t make sense to us that OpenAI would purposely sabotage its own chatbot. A more likely scenario is that it is a victim of its own success. It grew so popular so quickly that its limits and vulnerabilities are more easily exposed with every AI conversation.
One of generative AI’s biggest weaknesses is its data limits. For instance, ChatGPT’s knowledge base cut off is 2021. Any new data put online after 2021 is not considered by ChatGPT in its analysis. For this fact alone, some of its answers on quickly evolving topics are already outdated.
The other big weakness with a conversational AI tool like ChatGPT is its inability to produce original thoughts. It simply absorbs and regurgitates, much like a school child who memorizes information just so they can pass the test. Regenerative AI fails at originality.
How SEO Content Creators Can Use It
If generative AI cannot produce the quality content both Google and web users want, is it of any value to content creators? Absolutely. It is still a fantastic tool that can enhance what human content creators do.
Right off the top, it can be leveraged as a research tool. A content creator can ask specific questions in such a way as to return relevant facts. Each of the facts can then be quickly searched to determine their accuracy. Letting a chatbot do this sort of initial data gathering can really cut down on a content creator’s research time.
Content creators can also use regenerative AI to come up with content ideas. This is a big one inasmuch as creativity can run dry from time to time. Imagine a content creator faced with writing five blog posts about something as mundane as truck tarps. He can simply ask ChatGPT for 10 facts about truck tarps. Among those 10 facts he is bound to find five good ideas.
You Get What You Pay For
If you are tempted to use generative AI to save money on content creation, just know that you will get what you pay for. It is true you can spend a lot less by letting chatbots write your blog posts and draw your graphics. But you also get significantly less SEO and digital marketing value from your content.
You are better off using AI to enhance content creation rather than getting rid of the actual creators who do the work. As wonderful as ChatGPT sounds, it is nowhere close to matching the human brain.