I’ve found myself rather bowled over (and frankly, disturbed) by the content some clients have been generating via ChatGPT. Sure, on first pass it looks like a great tool for busy owners/managers to generate content and blog posts but how will this really impact SEO?
My gut (and more than a few decades of organic SEO experience) told me it may not bode well for sites of that utilize a lot of AI generated content.
For one, the way AI tools create content is by scraping a wide variety of existing content on the internet and in their databanks (based upon the human parameters they receive) and then re-crafting/mismashing them together into the final piece. This is exactly what you DON’T want if your goal is to achieve great SEO… Original content that stands out and provides a great user experience is key.
With the vacation rental sector being so dependent upon the trust between hosts and guests I just don’t see how ChatGPT or other AI produced content can support that relationship.
AI generated content violates Google’s Guidelines?
I started doing a bit of research and found out that actually Google (which also means YouTube) modified their guidelines to address the use of AI chatbots and as I suspected your content may be de-prioritized by Google (or worse) for using AI generated content.
Google already developed a way to reliably detect AI written content…it has specific markers their algorithms can pick up. And AI generated content already contains, or will soon contain, a digital watermark so anybody can identify it.
AI generated content no longer violates Google’s Guidelines
Recently, Google pivoted on using tools like ChatGPT and now says that it’s only a violation of their guidelines IF the content is written to manipulate search engines or appears “spammy”. That’s a little open-ended so perhaps it is more useful to consider Google’s new guidelines for original content.
Who, How & Why
The new Google guidelines now clearly lay out a set of criteria for evaluating website content. Basically they are looking for clear disclosure of who wrote the content, how it was generated & why it was created in the first place.
If automation is used to substantially generate content, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Is the use of automation, including AI-generation, self-evident to visitors through disclosures or in other ways?
- Are you providing background about how automation or AI-generation was used to create content?
- Are you explaining why automation or AI was seen as useful to produce content?
Overall, AI or automation disclosures are useful for content where someone might think “How was this created?” Consider adding these when it would be reasonably expected.
So if you are producing blog posts that generally have author bylines it seems that you would need to instead disclose that the post was created by AI. Or that is what I take away from this. I suppose that it’s useful to imagine how will your readers react/feel about reading content produced artificially. With the vacation rental sector being so dependent upon the trust between hosts and guests I just don’t see how ChatGPT or other AI produced content can support that relationship.
Although I’ve barely scratched the surface on researching AI produced content and SEO it IS obvious that perhaps tools like Chat GPT could be very useful for some limited but tedious tasks like writing meta-descriptions for pages and posts. In this way, perhaps, it could be an effective tool for some aspects of SEO. I will perhaps experiment with that (or perhaps not).
Although, personally, I feel that auto-generated content will never take the place of originally produced, well researched, well written, engaging content like blog posts that are meant both to help inform and also capture some long-tailed keyword traction on search engines.
I am still not a fan
And I still personally don’t like AI generated content but then again, I don’t like smart phones, either. After so many decades in the technology sector I’ve developed some firm boundaries for myself and I won’t apologize for that. However, it’s a hot topic amongst my clients and I’m coming face-to-face with it every week and will continue to do more research. Obviously this is going to need to be addressed in the SEO/Marketing/Blogging strategies that I produce.
What do you think of ChatGPT and other AI content generators? Do you use it for your website content? Please comment below!
If you are interested in AI generated content, SEO and what Google’s recommendations for content are here are some great resources:
ChatGPT For Content and SEO?
Google search responds to BankRate, more brands using AI to write content
Google reiterates guidance on AI-generated content – write content for people
Google Search Central: Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content