10 Things You Didn’t Know about AI for SEO

Feb 1, 2024 | AI, SEO

Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create content is on everyone’s mind these days. AI has been in use for a while in the world of digital marketing and is a powerful tool to help improve your rankings by suggesting keywords, headlines, etc. You probably know by now that if you aren’t using AI for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) you are missing out on important opportunities to drive organic traffic to your sites. That said, you also have to know the good, the bad, and the ugly before you jump in with both feet. In this post, we’ll share some things you didn’t know about AI for SEO to help you use it wisely.

Using AI for Content Can Work Against You

AI is great for headlines, meta tags, and keywords, but less great for full website content. Google says that they are not penalizing websites for using AI content, but they have updated their algorithms to detect content that is not written “for people,” and to reward content that is. That means content with no “human touch,” i.e., that is unedited, purely AI-generated content intended for SEO, will fall lower in scores and rankings. 

Does that mean you can’t use AI content at all? No. But, if you do, you’ll have to watch out for some pitfalls and do a bit of work to give it that “human touch.”

Watermarking of AI Content is Coming Soon

OpenAI content generators are moving in the direction of ‘watermarking’ content on the back end, which will indicate its source to AI detection tools. Even very good editing will not necessarily remove the watermark, which could result in lower rankings based on Google’s algorithms.

Google AI Detection is Improving

Google is better at detecting AI than you think. Their systems continue to evolve and improve to catch this content, and you won’t be able to outsmart them. Instead of trying to, start using AI intentionally and thoughtfully to help you begin to craft your content.

You Need to Protect Your Brand Reputation 

Your reputation may be at stake when using AI. The people you are trying to reach should always be your priority, so you need to think about their experience on your website as you add content. Repetitive, poorly written, and grammatically incorrect content (which is not uncommon in AI-generated material) will negatively impact their experience and, ultimately, your brand reputation.

Too Much, Too Fast May Lower Your Ranking

Sometimes more actually equals less. AI lets you produce a lot of content very quickly, which is great, but using all of that content in real-time can end up hurting your website. Rankings and scores can go down for pages that publish a large volume of low-quality content very fast, so don’t buy in to the illusion that more is better.

You Need To Know Your Facts

AI content may not be completely accurate. You know how people say [jokingly, we hope] that they know something is true because they saw it on the internet? Well, the same can be said of AI content. Remember, AI is simply creating responses to your prompts based on information it pulls from… you guessed it – the internet! Your knowledge of and experience with the subject has to inform the final product that goes onto your website.

Unintentional Plagiarism is a Risk

There is a risk of plagiarism with AI content. Since AI is pulling information from multiple sources on the internet, there is a chance that it may copy phrases or sections word for word. This is one reason (of many) that editing is key when using any AI-generated content.

AI is a Good Starting Point

You still need humans to edit and curate your website content. AI is a good place to start creating the blueprint for your content, but you need to have strong editors or writers on your team to build it in a way that is appealing to your customers. Beyond fact-checking the information (see #6), content needs to be readable and interactive to drive conversions.

Knowing Your Audience is Essential

AI might not be right for your website – and that’s okay. Not every site will benefit from using AI – even as a framework – for content. It is important to understand your audience and your unique place in the enormity of the internet. Your content may be geared toward such a small and/or unique audience that AI just isn’t feasible for generating your content because they are expecting highly curated content. 

You Will Always Need A Human Touch 

Overall, AI can save you time and give you a solid starting point for crafting your website content, but you have to remember your Spiderman wisdom – “With great power comes great responsibility.” If you want to harness the power of AI for SEO, you have to be ready to take the responsibility of editing the content and making it your own. AI can get you started, but humans will take you across the finish line.

Part of Your Toolkit

AI should be part of your toolkit when creating content for SEO, but it should be used thoughtfully to assist in your process. If your goal is to drive organic traffic to your website, you have to rely on humans to bring the site to life. People with lived experience, and knowledge of your business and audience, need to edit and curate your content to avoid repetition, plagiarism, and incorrect information, and to properly reflect your brand. When you are getting started, AI can help you move past the ideas swirling in your head by giving you a solid foundation. After that, there is no substitute for what humans can do to make your content accessible and engaging for users. 

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