Ah, the great debate: Human vs. AI in content creation. We’ve seen it all. The awe, the hype, the tears, and above all, the questions. In this ever-evolving field of SEO and content marketing, our experiences with AI, particularly ChatGPT, have been…shall we say, colorful?
Now, let’s just dive into the core of the issue: people-first content. How does Google rank AI versus human-written content?
The great AI adventure: Excitement, hype and tears
Remember when we first heard about ChatGPT? It was like being told you’d won a lifetime supply of caffeine. No more late nights spent wrestling with writer’s block? Count me in.
However, reality came knocking soon enough. As with any shiny new tool, there’s a learning curve.
As SEO, we’ve seen all kinds of AI-generated content. Some worthy of a Pulitzer (maybe?). Others, well, more along the lines of “creative fiction.”
Fact-checking is a lost art in this race to churn out content, and AI hallucinations are well-documented.
What on earth…?
Here’s another one: the Gizmodo AI fiasco. It was like a sci-fi flick gone wrong, with the Star Wars timeline getting trashed and Gizmodo’s reputation taking a hit, as detailed in the Washington Post’s: Gizmodo’s AI errors: A cautionary tale.
People first: The Golden Rule of content
Regardless of who’s behind the keyboard, whether human or AI, the key focus remains—creating people-first content.
Google doesn’t discriminate between human and AI-generated content. It cares about the relevance and value it offers to searchers.
AI can undoubtedly help in content creation, especially when it comes to generating ideas and speeding up the writing process.
But here’s the kicker: quality control. Remember the adage, “Garbage in, garbage out?” It’s more relevant than ever when dealing with AI.
Quality control: Human expertise still needed
Consider ChatGPT as your friendly neighborhood writing assistant. It can produce quality content, provided that you’ve given it good prompts.
Hint: Keep learning about prompt engineering. However, no AI can replace human expertise and judgment. I strongly recommend getting your AI-generated content reviewed by experts in the field.
Google’s guide on AI provides a good roadmap for ensuring your AI-generated content is up to par: Google Search’s guidance about AI-generated content.
Whether it’s generated by AI, humans, or a mix of both, Google will continue to combat spammy content. Sometimes they slip up. People find ways to game the system, but they’re typically caught in the end.
Did you catch the news about Google suing a California man for generating fake reviews and fake companies?
The guy had been exploiting and profiting from the system for quite some time, promoting and selling his profiles in a Facebook group called “Rank and Rent – GMB Strategy & Domination,” and now he’s facing a lawsuit: New Google lawsuit aims to curb fake business reviews.
Over 300 fake profiles were built, with 12,000 fake reviews (done by reviewers in Bangladesh and Vietnam).
I see the temptation. If my calculations are right, with an asking price of $1000 to rent each fake profile and at least 300 profiles, that’s $300K per month. Cha-ching…
But the moral conflicts, lawsuits and potential jail time are enough to make me say, “Pat, let’s not go there.”
I must admit, most of the time, when I’ve had to contact Google My Business (now Google Business Profile) for support, I’ve come away with less joy and more hopelessness.
I wonder if Google will target the businesses that utilized this man’s services, considering that many likely knew they were buying into false profiles. But many did not. What’s going to happen there?
Looking forward: AI in SEO and content marketing
AI is a tool, not a substitute for human creativity and originality. Sure, it can mimic human writing style, but can it replicate the uniqueness and personal touch that only a human writer can provide?
It truly amazes me how quickly ChatGPT can generate content and all sorts of innovative output. I firmly believe that technology will enable SEO, writers and programmers to work more efficiently.
However, the key is still quality.
Will there come a day when we can wholly trust AI-generated content? I can’t say for sure. And what about originality? Not sure about that either.
I maintain that originality and creativity are human-driven. If everything becomes AI-centric, especially in content, there’s a certain monotony, particularly in the legal industry SEO, where we predominantly operate. The content across various legal competitors’ websites we analyze looks strikingly similar. So where is the originality in that?
AI’s potential in SEO and content marketing is undeniable. It can aid productivity, reduce costs and provide valuable insights. However, relying on AI blindly can lead to pitfalls, especially for newcomers in the SEO copywriting field or those unfamiliar with its intricacies.
The future of SEO and content marketing isn’t an “either/or” choice between humans and AI. It’s about how we can best integrate AI into our processes, augmenting human expertise and not replacing it.
In my 25+ years in this industry, I’ve seen the rise of Google’s “people-first” policy. And despite all the advancements in AI, this principle still holds. Still, Google is not outright “banning ChatGPT” like some universities.
Ah, yes, let’s ban technology and make sure our students can’t use it. This is not at all constructive, IMHO. And it’s not just me; a recent study agrees: Universities that ban ChatGPT may be hurting their own admissions, according to a study.
At the end of the day, it’s not about who writes the content but who it’s written for: the people.
One thing is certain: AI can be a tremendous asset in creating high-quality, people-first content when used wisely.
But remember, while AI may serve as your assistant, the responsibility of ensuring the quality and authenticity of the content still lies with you, the human.
After all, note the fine print:
About Parichatra Reuning
Pat has been working in the organic search engine marketing industry for over 25 years as the Director of SEO Operations at SEO Advantage, Inc.
In addition to running SEOA, her passion for community enrichment inspired her to found My Local Start, a local marketing company focused on growing local farms and businesses in Haywood County, NC.
Continually driven to embrace sustainable solutions, Pat also partners with her local NC friends to start Next Earth Solar where she is diving deep into the realm of green energy with the belief in “solar for everyone.”
When not working, she enjoys tending to her garden and chickens, as well as spending quiet time with her family.
Sure, writing may not be Pat’s favorite thing, but when push comes to shove, she can whip up some seriously valuable guides. And who knows, maybe one day she’ll even pen the definitive guide to SEO that we all never knew we needed….but not today.