In today’s digital age, the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on various industries cannot be ignored. In the realm of SEO, AI has brought about significant changes, revolutionizing the way content is generated, analyzed, and optimized for better rankings and visibility.
As AI-powered tools and algorithms become more sophisticated, questions and discussions arise regarding the implications, advantages, and challenges that AI content presents in the SEO landscape.
To address these concerns, we invited Mordy Oberstein, Head of SEO Branding at WIX, to present a webinar for our Jam Session series. The webinar, entitled “How AI Content is Changing the SEO Landscape” delves into the multifaceted relationship between AI-generated content and SEO, featuring many insights and perspectives.
To increase engagement and enrich the discussion, we asked attendees to send their questions before the webinar, so they could be answered live. We got more than 50 entries and didn’t have enough time to answer them all during the webinar.
But the questions were so interesting we couldn’t just leave them unanswered. So, Mordy and Giuseppe Caltabiano, our VP of Marketing and the webinar’s host, went through the questions sent by the audience, selected the best ones, and answered them in this Q&A.
Throughout these answers, Mordy and Giu provide valuable insights into the possibilities and limitations of AI-generated content, emphasizing the importance of human creativity and experience in producing engaging and meaningful content. They discuss the ways in which AI can enhance SEO efforts, offering tools and techniques to leverage AI’s capabilities while maintaining the integrity and authenticity of the content.
Whether you’re a content writer, marketer, SEO specialist, or simply curious about the intersection of AI and SEO, this series of Q&A provides a thought-provoking exploration of how AI content is transforming the SEO landscape. Join us as we delve into the intricacies of AI-generated content and its impact on SEO strategies, uncovering both the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in this evolving digital landscape.
At the end of this post, we share excerpts from the webinar with some of the questions that were addressed live!
You can also understand the pros and cons and learn how to use AI efficiently with this interactive ebook.
So, let’s get started!
Which prompts do you recommend for writing SEO optimized content?
Mordy Oberstein: One way I like to play with AI is by leveraging it at the ideation stage. As opposed to refining results from a keyword research tool like Semrush, you can supplement that by directly asking the AI generator for keywords related to a topic and engaging in a conversation to refine things. Also, in a world of semantically related concepts, i.e., the Google Knowledge Graph you can leverage AI by asking it which topics/entities are connected to each other.
How to identify if the content is AI generated?
Mordy: There are a variety of tools out there that attempt to profile word choice and language structure to identify the likelihood that AI generated a piece of content. None of the tools are perfect but don’t let great be the enemy of good. Glenn Gabe has a nice list of these tools.
Giuseppe Caltabiano: This was (and still is) a very common request of our WriterAccess clients, which is why we have implemented and launched our AI Content Detector. The tool ensures originality in identifying AI-generated content. AI tools are excellent at suggesting topics, finding writers and stimulating ideas, but humans excel in developing well-structured, unique, and creative content. Our AI Content Detector identifies with exceptional accuracy content created by Artificial Intelligence in our marketplace, ensuring original human content every time.
Are search engines really able to detect AI-generated content, especially if all the right keywords are used?
Giuseppe: Yes, search engines can detect AI-generated content. It won’t necessarily affect your rankings as long as your content is created first and foremost for people, not search engines.
Will content writing become obsolete with AI?
Mordy: Definitely not but it may take us some time to realize that. AI will never be able to, for example, replicate actual experience. It may attempt to mimic experience but that will inherently always come up short.
For example, baseball is very nostalgic for me. It was a big part of my childhood and my relationships with important people in my life. The simple act of going to a baseball game is very meaningful to me. I can impart that experience and that meaning to others. AI can’t do that. And when we ask it to, we get a very shallow attempt at actually fostering a real sense of experience and meaning.
What’s the best way to incorporate AI into social media posts while still keeping the content unique?
Mordy: I think this is very similar to how I recommend engaging with AI generated content as a whole. If you give the AI parameters, you can do some helpful things. In this case, you can get content ideas and even refine and reformat some of your social media copy.
How is Rock Content using AI to produce content?
Giuseppe: Here at Rock Content and WriterAccess, we’ve been closely monitoring the advancements, and we’ve been testing AI-powered features for WriterAccess. In fact we believe that AI can make our marketplace smarter and more efficient — while still using human creativity to craft the most captivating content. What follows is a list of features already implemented, and new ones to be implemented shortly
- AI-Powered Writer Search: to get the perfect writer for your project – fast. Our AI-powered tool makes it quick and easy to match content with a perfect creative writer candidate. One-click is all that stands between you and finding the ideal writer for your brand.
- AI Stylemetrics: for an easy match with brand tone and voice. The tool makes sure your brand is easily recognizable in every content asset you create. Our AI-assisted tool will take the guesswork out of finding writers that match your brand tone, and voice and guaranteeing customer trustworthiness.
- AI Content Idea Generator, just released and still in beta, to find the right topics for your editorial plan. With our list of ideas powered by our AI Content Idea Generator tool, you can find timely and relevant topics for your target audiences. Let AI be the source of inspiration to help you build an engaging and thoughtful content asset.
- AI Content Detector, to ensure originality in identifying AI-generated content. AI tools are excellent at suggesting topics, finding writers and stimulating ideas, but humans excel in developing well-structured, unique, and creative content. Our AI Content Detector identifies content created by Artificial Intelligence in our marketplace with exceptional accuracy, ensuring original human content every time.
- AI Content Wizard. This is a very powerful tool. As a content strategist I was simply impressed playing with the alpha version of the tool. Our goal with the AI Content Wizard, to be released shortly, is to help customers discover top traffic-generating ideas and take content to the next level with just a few clicks.The outcome will be a combination of strategic suggestions to drive the brand toward those “white content spaces,” easy to win against competition.
How can I leverage AI for content for my website without the content not having my voice and tone or being unspecific?
Mordy: It all depends on how you use AI in this case. If you simply give a generative AI tool a prompt and ask it to create a landing page you probably won’t have much luck. You could share examples of other pages you already wrote to see if the tool can spit back something that incorporates the tone of voice you already took on previous pages you yourself wrote.
Beyond that, I’d recommend using AI to maybe write a short summary of a product or a header that you could incorporate into the overall page, not to write full pages at a time.
AI is dangerous. It can adapt to different “voices” and copy the patterns. I believe it will force writers who use a specific “voice or style” out of business, especially where SEO is considered.
Giuseppe: I don’t really think this is the case. Actually, it’s exactly the other way around. AI can’t adapt to specific tones and voices and multiple tests have proven that. This might change of course.
Our clients have been very vocal with requesting non-AI content. It’s also for this reason that we have implemented some AI tools to help them and to guarantee our writers a “safer” environment within our marketplace.
Our AI Content Detector identifies with exceptional accuracy content created by Artificial Intelligence in our marketplace, ensuring original human content every time. Our AI Stylemetrics tool finds writers matching customers’ brand tone and voice and guaranteeing a perfect style match.
Is there any risk of AI-generated content for SEO becoming a ‘sea of sameness’, if it is always being asked to optimize for the current search algorithm?
Mordy: Absolutely. I think there’s a legitimate question of how unique a given piece of content needs to be. Let me be clear, as a rule, I am a staunch advocate of finding ways to make your content unique, more targeted, and better than what is currently available on the web.
At times, however, you may have a page that runs through some basic definitions or answers snippet-level questions that have been done 100 times over where there might not be much to add in order to differentiate.
That’s not to say you couldn’t – you always can. In these cases, we may see a lot of very similar content created by generative AI (much the way that a lot of this content is already not very good and very similar to each other).
How bad is AI generated content from an EEAT pov? Are there any generative AI tools apart from ChatGPT you would recommend that can help with SEO content creation/inspiration?
Mordy: The idea of equating AI generated content with E-E-A-T is a contradiction in my opinion. AI cannot have either experience nor expertise. It can spit out information that may reflect expertise but it itself does not have that expertise per se. Certainly it cannot have actual experience because “it” doesn’t exist on that plane.
Will AI change the job landscape? Which new jobs can be expected out of this revolution?
Mordy: AI isn’t going anywhere. In the short term, I do worry about companies making rash decisions about what they do and don’t need. I think that will level out as time goes on and the limits of AI are exposed (especially as the average user becomes more skeptical about what they consume on the web).
That said, I do think things like workflows and areas need change. In that sense we can see a lot more jobs related to copy-editing, just for example.
In a world where everyone is using ChatGPT to do their keyword research and writing done for them, how can OG writers continue to compete? And are there any crawlers in production that can identify AI-generated content?
Giuseppe: As Mordy mentioned multiple times, nothing will replace human touch. AI won’t be a substitute for human writers, but rather an assistant to them. AI will never be able to, for example, replicate actual experience. It may attempt to mimic experience but that will inherently always come up short. AI-content generators can’t write about events or changing topics either.
They also struggle with subjects that society hasn’t formed a general consensus on, among them social, politics and religious issues. If you attempt to generate text on these topics you might end up with very inaccurate, or out-of-date content.
How to use AI for blogs that are SEO friendly and help improve ranking and analytics?
Mordy: There are a lot of ways to use AI generated content to help solidify your SEO efforts. These range from using AI to help you create outlines of content to having the AI write a simple FAQ (which you should very much edit) to feeding AI a summary that it can use to create a meta-description or even a title tag and headers.
AI isn’t evil – it’s a tool with limits that needs to be used the right way.
Since keyword research is already optimized and facilitated through machine learning, will AI actually help to analyze search terms and behaviors, or take us further away from user intent?
Mordy: Let’s first say that AI is really the wrong term – what we mean is machine learning. Google has been using machine learning since 2015 to better understand things like user intent, what elements of content are important to users for specific types of queries, the overall context of content, etc.
These properties include things like RankBrain, BERT, and a bit of Google MUM.
In a nutshell, Google has been using machine learning very effectively to better understand content per se and the interrelated nature of various topics, etc.
As a result we’ve seen all ranking systems hit the SERP (for example the Helpful Content Update) and I’ve only seen the results, as a whole, get better and better.
We are using AI content in marketing material and are considering using more AI content and AI illustrations. Is there a rule about how much AI generated content is starting to be bad for SEO? Our content is aimed at professionals in f. ex. payroll and accounting.
Mordy: Again, I don’t think there is a hard and fast rule. It’s more of a question as to maintaining content quality. Can you offer a nuanced and expert driven targeted content experience – that’s the fundamental question.
What one area of SEO is AI really good at? And one area that it is really bad at?
Mordy: As mentioned, AI is not good at transmitting knowledge from experience. This is mainly since it’s impossible for it to have actual experience. Giving it closed tasks like “write a header for this paragraph” or “list entities related to ‘party planning’ are more aligned to using AI the right way.
I have read that AI will negate the need for SEO, is that true?
Mordy: AI can’t do SEO. It can’t ensure your pages are discoverable by search engines or that your site is structured in an efficient way for users and bots nor can it fundamentally build the content on the site with the right level of detail and E-E-A-T.
Might AI content be copyright protected?
Giuseppe: AI content can’t be copyright protected. US law states that intellectual property can be copyrighted only if it was the product of human creativity, and the USCO only acknowledges work authored by humans at present. Machines and generative AI algorithms, therefore, cannot be authors, and their outputs are not copyrightable.
Live questions from the webinar
Here are the questions Mordy answered live at the webinar
How does the AI content interact w/ the SEO algorithms and how do I best create content that is most effective?
How do we anticipate Google and Bing adapting search results for simple answers versus complex answers?
Will there be two search engines due to BARD & AI evolvement? – one for the direct option & one for exploring the options
What about copyright for AI generated contents?
How can I use AI content to enhance my bespoke hand-written content?
Generally speaking, will AI be smart enough to replace humans in the workforce in the near future?
What is the long term impact of AI on SEO?
How will CMS’ such as Webflow and Wix create a way for content creators to be authenticated and spam/AI to be flagged?
How will the use of browser AI tools change the SEO game for companies?
Will AI-generated content mean the SEO market will be (even more) saturated, and will it be harder to rank for new content? Or should we completely rethink the format of written content in particular?
If you want to dive deeper into the discussion, you can watch the entire webinar recording here.
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