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Will OpenAI ChatGPT Replace SEO Writers?

By Jorge Costa
At the end of 2022 a new trend had swept the Internet. AI tools started getting trendy, providing quick access to new ways of generating art and content which obviously left both artists and content creators on the verge of a breakdown. Platforms such as Lensa and Midjourney allowed people to create pieces of art in a few minutes and suddenly everyone was asking AI to generate a sort of self-portrait of themselves. You definitely used it, or you saw someone among your social circles to do that. What seemed to be a fun gimmick ended up stirring controversy, as artists accused these tools of simply blending other artworks found online to make their own. Well, for SEO writers the topic is not much different. With the rise of platforms such as OpenAI ChatGPT original content creators are seeing their work being replaced by these tools. In the end the process is not much different than what Lensa is doing: ChatGPT browses the web, recycles content that already exists and finds answers to prompts. So, is this content really original? Will search engines be aware when this kind of content outranks original pieces? And should content creators be worried about the uprise of AI tools?
ChatGPT Replacing Writers

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What Is OpenAI ChatGPT?

Launched as a prototype on November 30, 2022, ChatGPT gathered immediate attention. AI content generation tools already existed but they were either too expensive for the average Joe to use it or they were too inaccurate and made too many mistakes.

ChatGPT changed this by using something called a Large Learning Model. This means that the artificial intelligence tool is trained on wide amounts of data which can anticipate what the next sentence will be.

So far, the tool is pretty basic: it allows you to come up with anything, from a letter to your boss, to a poem or even a song. You just need to write a prompt or ask a question. Therefore, the tool can be used to answer queries, which is the prime source of content for SEO marketing specialists.

Nonetheless, the current version of the platform still has a couple of flaws. It is quite outdated, only finding data up to 2019 and often engaging in repeated sentences when the prompt is too challenging.

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The concern is that ChatGPT opened a precedent, and it seems likely that it will overcome its weaknesses in upcoming updates, as Stanford University explains:

“GPT-3 has 175 billion parameters and was trained on 570 gigabytes of text. For comparison, its predecessor, GPT-2, was over 100 times smaller at 1.5 billion parameters. This increase in scale drastically changes the behavior of the model — GPT-3 is able to perform tasks it was not explicitly trained on, like translating sentences from English to French, with few to no training examples. This behavior was mostly absent in GPT-2. Furthermore, for some tasks, GPT-3 outperforms models that were explicitly trained to solve those tasks, although in other tasks it falls short.”

Alex Tamkin and Deep Ganguli, Stanford University

How Can SEO Content Writers Adapt To This New Trend?

By now content writers especially might already be sweating at the prospect of seeing AI tools taking away their jobs. However, do not immediately hand in your resignation letter and start looking for new careers. There are still a lot of things that AI cannot do, compared to human writers.

To start with AI has a time-limit. Even if the developers try to make it as updated as possible to scan the internet, humans still have the high ground of being able to communicate with each other. They can get original quotes and find the most up to date information possible.

If you are a sportswriter for example AI will be capable of making simple comparisons based on stats. Still, not the actual essence of a football or basketball game.

To sum up, AI content creation is an alternative for the ones who are looking for cheap recycled content. However, not for the ones who are looking for high quality informative content that drives traffic and generates sales.

AI Findings Infographic Report

Instead, AI can be used by both SEO content writers and on-site specialists for the following:

Paragraph Generation

As mentioned before, ChatGPT is very useful to answer prompts. So, even if it shows some flaws when you attempt to generate a longer article, it can guide you when you struggle with writer’s block.

We all know that starting an article is always the most difficult part. So, how to launch the introduction? And how to conclude properly? These are two of the habitual struggles for content creators.

Using ChatGPT or other AI content generation tools will allow you to get the early boost you need. A few answers to a simple question and you can take over from there. It is always important to put your own words into it. Shift into the writing tone that your target audience is used to.

Especially if you already have a target audience in a blog and suddenly you shift into a fully generated AI article – your readers will notice.

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Keyword Research

Long before ChatGPT came along there were already a lot of AI tools designed to help SEO specialists to find the highest-ranking keywords and the latest search trends. Platforms such as AhRefs and SEMRush are a good example of these.

Content creators can also use these tools to find out what to write about at a specific moment. Everyone wants to create content that attracts traffic, so it is important to find what your target audience is searching for.

AI crawls the internet for data on the most searched queries and you can use that data to answer your current and potential clients’ questions.

Finding problems and giving solutions through blog articles on your or your client’s website is one of the most effective ways of generating visits. It also creates empathy and trust with your target audience.

Video Content

Another way that AI can assist content writers is through the transformation of human-written articles into video. Pictory and Synthesia are already providing this kind of service.

The best part about it is that although the AI tools themselves can create content based on prompts, similar to ChatGPT, they are more effective if they are used with accurate inputs of a human.

This means that if you have a top 10 article, for example, the AI video tool will create a short, animated video with the 10 topics.

Through this tool you can share your content in YouTube shorts, Instagram stories or TikTok, thus allowing more audiences to engage with it. There are also AI tools that transform your content into infographics, something that will only help improve its shareability.

Other SEO Tools

SEO specialists and content writers have already been using AI tools such as Yoast SEO for several years. Yoast, which can be installed as a plugin in WordPress, can help writers detect if their content is optimized for search engines.

It detects keyword density, number of paragraphs, lack of headings and gives you recommendations, such as the ideal size of meta-description or main title.

Tools like this one are only a helping hand for anyone writing or uploading content online and they are likely to become more and more precise in the future. Plus, they also analyze SEO trends and update according to the most recent recommendations.

How Effective Is AI Written Content With Search Engines?

By now you must be wondering how Google and its competitors will tackle the AI written content. Will they penalize websites and articles who have AI generated material? Is there even an effective way for SERPs to find out whether content is produced by humans or machines?

The answer is yes, Google has its ways of battling against the uprise of AI. One of the mechanisms they can implement is the Turing test. Alan Turing, one of the most brilliant minds in the last century, was a mathematician and computation scientist, who came up already in 1950 with an important dilemma:

“According to Turing, the question whether machines can think is itself “too meaningless” to deserve discussion (442). However, if we consider the more precise—and somehow related—question whether a digital computer can do well in a certain kind of game that Turing describes (“The Imitation Game”), then—at least in Turing’s eyes—we do have a question that admits of precise discussion.”

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Although the Turing test itself is useful, as the article quoted shows it has some flaws and is quite narrow and outdated considering how much machines have increased their capabilities in the recent decades.

So, the other method which search engines can use to detect AI generated content is… AI. Yes, fight fire with fire. Google already uses plenty of algorithms to track trends, keywords and to target audiences with ads suitable to their recent searches.

Then, it is not too out of reach that they can use algorithms to track content that is AI generated. Google can use these to track patterns based on the repetitive sentences that ChatGPT and similar platforms provide.

Probably we will be witness to a Tom & Jerry kind of situation in the following years. Google will update its algorithms to catch patterns that AI tools use and AI tools will keep updating to escape these patterns. Rinse and repeat. Which one will eventually concede? We will eventually find out.

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Final Thoughts

SEO content creators and marketing specialists have reasons to be concerned about AI. Not because they will steal their jobs. It’s because they will bring new challenges which need to be addressed by marketing agencies.

Sleeping on it is a mistake. Eventually you might find that your competitors are ahead of you in this game.

However, it is also not a reason for panicking: AI tools will not replace human input, creativity and originality.

They will only encourage marketers to innovate even more. Find more original directions of creating engagement and finding more and more accurate means of building empathy towards their audience.

Finally, AI tools will also be a helping hand as they have been for years. Instead of seeing them as potential enemies, we ought to accept that there are mechanisms out there that can save us time and assist us in avoiding errors in our content.

You want to define a content strategy for your brand that will help you achieve long-term results? Contact Fortis Media today and we will be eager to help you!

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