ChatGPT and SEO

Who hasn’t heard of ChatGPT by now? When my grandmother name-dropped it the other day, it confirmed to me just how revolutionary it really is. Everyone knows it, and it’s definitely here to stay.

For those that don’t know, this OpenAI system resembles a human in its abilities and possesses an immense amount of data, allowing it to answer pretty much any request you can think of. Fantastic for copywriting, editing your existing text or writing blogs (but not this one!)

While the world is captivated by this groundbreaking tool, some are wondering if it will cause challenges for SEO. The answer is complicated, but here’s a couple of things to keep in mind before asking ChatGPT to write all of your upcoming blogs – or your wedding vows.

What are the positives?

At this current moment in time, ChatGPT can be a powerful tool when it comes to creating relevant content for your website. This means it can actually become a key tool for enhancing the search presence of your website, because by adding more high-quality content to your website you are increasing the number of searchable pages and therefore providing improved results to a broader audience.

So, more content, higher rankings, more leads, whilst saving you time and money. Sounds great, right? Well, there’s a catch.

The saturated landscape of plagiarism
While it has the ability to generate high-quality content, there is a high risk of unintentional plagiarism when ChatGPT is used for SEO purposes. This is because ChatGPT often generates content that closely resembles or duplicates existing web content, which is down to the fact that it uses external data that already exists.

SEO, at its core, is a competitive marketing discipline focused on outranking other websites.
Search engines, like Google, index literally billions of web pages – not to provide users with repetitive content – but to offer unique, high-quality content. If your content is identified as duplicate, Google will not index your page, and you may face long-lasting penalties for content theft.

In a world where ChatGPT-generated content becomes the new way of writing, we lose the ability to differentiate based on content quality. It’s not a world of unique content anymore; even a decent writer can outperform ChatGPT (for now – who knows what the future holds!). Instead, we end up with a sea of content that looks and feels exactly the same, and you do not want to be the same.

Ok, here’s another question… 

If AI-generated content gets published on your website, why would your target audience bother reading it, when they can just ask ChatGPT the question directly? I mean the output would be similar, even if not completely identical.

Now, what if your competitors also generate text on the same topic, using the same AI? The differentiation disappears. When the content becomes extremely similar, you’ll need to outshine your competitors solely through factors like backlinking and technical SEO, which are also important pieces of the puzzle with content itself.

So, how should you use it?
While AI is ever changing, here’s how I recommend you use it right now.

Prompt, prompt and prompt: When you are using ChatGPT, the more you prompt the better the results. Tell it who you want it to act as, what industry you are in and even to ask you questions so that it can provide you the content you need in the best possible way.

Don’t lean on it too heavily: Treat ChatGPT as a helpful tool, not a crutch. Use it as a starting point for your text, but add your own opinion, expertise and tone to really make it your own. Then be sure to run a plagiarism check and rewrite any flagged content to make it original.

Always give it a good once-over: This AI is not perfect. Take the time to carefully review the initial text for any errors, typos, or awkward bits that need fixing.

Let it spark your creativity, not dim it: When you’re running low on ideas, ChatGPT can help out. Something like “Got any blog ideas for a marketing agency?” might spark some ideas of your own.
It’s exciting to see the world of AI change as we know it, from having Akinator guess your favourite celebrity to having ChatGPT explain quantum computing in simple terms. But it’s essential to understand that tools like ChatGPT are here to assist and empower us, not to replace actual human professionals (we hope!).

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