SEO thrives on great content that helps users answer their queries. However, writing a piece of rank-worthy content takes time, which makes AI writing tools tempting. Instead of spending hours on an article, writers can publish one in minutes with an AI assistant.
The question is, will AI-written content rank well on Google? Or does the act goes against Google’s guideline and subsequently incur SEO penalties?
Let’s take a deeper look into this intriguing topic.
What is AI content?
AI content is a broad term that generally means text that AI-powered software produces. Instead of writing the entire content, you key in specific points into the AI writer. This guides the AI software to produce intelligible text that looks natural to the eyes. For example, some writers use Jasper.ai to draft a copy and polish it later.
Does Google penalize AI writing?
Yes, or at least Google intends to demote AI-generated content from the search results in subsequent SEO algorithm updates. While some websites state that Google only penalizes AI-written content that appears spammy, John Muller, Google’s Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst beg to differ. In this interview, John stressed that all content generated by AI tools is against Google webmaster guidelines.
Now, this begs the next question – can Google detect AI-generated content?
Most likely, yes. In 2021, Google unveiled an advanced AI language model multiple times larger than the popular GPT-3. Google’s remarkable progress in AI and natural language processing (NLP) will likely impact its search capability. This includes the ability to detect content fully written by AI assistants.
How can AI help with SEO?
While Google’s stance on AI content is discouraging, some SEO experts believe there’s virtue in the new approach. UberSuggest introduced an AI writing tool that generates 100% unique content, while SEMRush integrates with ScaleNut for a seamless SEO writing workflow. Meanwhile, Ahrefs believe that Google could do little to penalize simple AI content.
Besides writing, AI works in different ways to help writers optimize content for SEO. SurferSEO, a popular content editing tool, uses correlational analysis to identify keywords from competing pages. It spares you from guessing which keyword is important when optimizing the content. Besides keywords, SurferSEO also provides a list of phrases that help align the content to the topic with its NLP engine.
Rewards of using AI for SEO
AI tools help writers to rank their content by doing less.
- AI grammar checkers ensure that content is free from basic spelling or syntax mistakes.
- Instead of spending more time on keyword analysis, writers use AI tools to recommend relevant keywords.
- By integrating different AI tools, writers can streamline their writing process and scale their workloads.
Risks of using AI for SEO
On the flip side, AI tools might jeopardize your SEO goals.
- Over-optimization often produces negative results. For example, it was never a good idea to use all recommended keywords in SurferSEO.
- Complacency and oversight might lead to publishing AI-generated content that Google labels as spam or thin content.
- AI writing lacks a human touch, which is necessary for engaging with different audiences.
AI has been around for a while in content creation, but emerging AI writing tools will influence how writers and Google approach SEO. Heated debates continue on the ethical use of AI in influencing search ranking, while it remains to be seen if Google will forcefully penalize AI content.
While the AI hype continues, the fact remains that human is still indispensable in the process. You need someone to feed the AI writing software with bits of information and a seasoned copywriter to add a personalized touch.