As artificial intelligence becomes more capable by the day, savvy business owners know that it will have massive (and potentially unknown) ramifications in every industry, from coding to marketing and writing.
AI represents a massive market and an even more significant potential asset—it’s projected to reach 500 billion dollars in revenue in 2023. So when it comes to AI and SEO, it’s easy to speculate that AI will effectively replace marketing professionals fearfully. But fortunately, it’s not that simple.
Let’s Talk About How AI Works
First, understanding the basic tech behind AI is mandatory to appreciate its potential business applications.
Artificial Intelligence collects massive quantities of data from different sources. Then, it applies sophisticated algorithms to analyze data and predict results. So while AI is currently incapable of using human-like logic to solve problems, it extrapolates data points from existing information (and issues that have already been solved) to solve similar problems it hasn’t seen yet. And the more data the machine absorbs, the better it tackles more complex issues.
In the context of SEO, this means that brands can turn to artificial intelligence, which has scanned through billions of gigabytes of information, and analyze how marketers have previously leveraged SEO. Brands can even ask AI to create personalized marketing content that they can use effectively based on what’s worked before.
However, it’s vital for brands to carefully review and adjust AI output to ensure it’s error-free and fits their brand voice. As it turns out, artificial intelligence is not perfect by any means.
Here’s What AI Can’t Do
Because AI is trained on existing data, you shouldn’t use it to reflect on, write about, or answer questions about current news. The most popular AI model, ChatGPT, has no data after 2021. In the case of hot topics and breaking news, a post written entirely by AI can do more harm than good.
However, it can still give your writers and SEO researchers valuable support. For example, AI and SEO copywriters can create outlines for a blog or article. Then, a human writer can use that outline as inspiration to write the rest of the piece.
It’s also important to note that even with older data, you still can’t take AI output, paste it into your CMS, and publish it. AI can (and will) generate errors. And websites with incorrect information will break readers’ trust, even if they can’t tell that AI wrote it.
The Evolution of Search Engines
It once seemed that search engines like Google would crack down on AI content. At first, search advocate John Mueller said the search engine giant “recognized the consequences” of AI and declared that Google would mark all detected AI content as spam. But while Google will always punish spam, they have since adjusted their stance on AI.
Instead, Google will begin “rewarding high-quality content. However, it is produced.” While it won’t target AI directly, Google will continue to follow its fundamentals: helpful, reliable, people-first content.
AI content has a place, but it must follow Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines: experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. So while brands might increasingly leverage AI for content generation, it’s still vital that a human carefully examines the content to ensure it’s of a high enough quality for search engines’ standards.
Thinking Beyond the AI Basics
AI has other applications than text generation. For example, it can sort and collate data that would take far too long for a person to sift through, leading to a valuable analysis of demographics and customer behavior trends. All that data in plain English makes a marketer’s job much more straightforward.
The world stands on the cusp of an AI revolution, and we’ve only seen the tip of the AI tool iceberg. You can expect to see additional possibilities for SEO as AI gathers more current data and evolves.
Marketers should do their best to stay informed, learn the current tech, and keep an eye on updates. In the world of both AI and SEO, the companies that adapt the fastest are the companies that will thrive.