With the rapidly increasing popularity of artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as ChatGPT, Jasper, and CopyAI, people have been asking: What are the perks and pitfalls of putting our content needs in the hands of an ai tool?
In this post, Werkbot, a creative digital agency, discussed the impact of AI-generated content on search ranking and audience engagement.
How Are People Using AI?
From finance and tech to healthcare and transportation, just about every industry is trying to find the advantage of integrating AI into their business. However, with content being the main ingredient in nearly every aspect of marketing, many professional marketers can’t stop finding new ways to leverage AI.
What once took hours to write now takes seconds. And, to be clear, writing content is only the beginning. People use it to solve problems in spreadsheets, compose music, generate “art,” write code, grade essays, patch security holes, play games, find business ideas, and so on.
Whether you’re using AI to compose a symphony or write a blog post, one principle needs to remain clean: AI is a tool. Like any tool, you can misuse it and abuse it, or you can build something great.
In the context of content marketing, it’s essential to realize AI isn’t the solution to every challenge. In fact, there is evidence that AI-generated content can hinder search ranking, audience trust, and engagement. On the other hand, using it correctly can save massive amounts of time and even be a creativity enhancer. When it comes it AI-generated content, here are the pros and cons that you need to keep in mind:
Pro: AI Boosts Efficiency
With a properly posed question and a few keywords, ChatGPT and other similar AI tools can churn out a blog post, eBook, or product description in a matter of seconds. Because of this massive uptick in efficiency, the scalability of a content strategy increases exponentially.
Con: AI Raises Concerns of Plagiarism
By its nature, AI-generated content is derivative. Meaning, it’s trained on existing material. Reading and seeing an uncanny resemblance between different articles and pieces of art, writers and artists alike have spoken out about the plagiarism issues around bot-generated text and art. It’s also spun up a flurry of legal and ethical questions.
Most notably, online publications, CNET and Bankrate, came under fire for publishing AI-generated stories that were not only plagiarized but also factually inaccurate. While there is little legal recourse for the companies' actions, their brands are now associated with inauthentic content.
For digital art, many art contests and online communities are now banning AI-generated images. After the AI-generated film "The Crow" won "Best Short Film" at Cannes, we'll likely see the film community follow suit.
Pro: AI Can Get the Creative Juices Flowin’
For some, the ability to churn out blog posts in seconds seems to only have upsides. For others, it appears to be the downfall of creativity. But, we'd argue it can ignite new ideas if used properly.
Without question, bots are simply pulling from what already exists on the web. But having a more comprehensive understanding of a topic may allow you to come to a more nuanced understanding and new conclusion. We recommend using AI to outline ideas, speed up research, and discover areas where you can add to the conversation.
Con: AI Is a Gateway to the Banal
Like most technologies, AI is a double-ended sword. It can help us create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece and also mass-produce derivative drivel. Should people use AI lazily, we're bound for the latter. This situation is concerning as it uses what's already published to help answer the following prompt. Therefore, it could start cannibalizing its own content to create more watered-down articles and images.
Pro: AI-Generated Content That Demonstrates “E-E-A-T” Can Boost Search Rankings
There is a raging debate among search engine optimization specialists about how AI-generated content will perform in search engines.
According to Google’s Search Advocate, John Mueller, AI-generated content is considered spam and goes against Webmaster Guidelines. That said, Google and other search engines aren’t always able to detect whether or not a computer or human generated the content.
Most recently, Google updated its stance on AI-generated content. However, much like human-generated content, their ranking systems aim to reward original, high-quality content that demonstrates qualities of what they call "E-E-A-T:"
Simply put: Google cares more about the quality of the content rather than how the person created it.
Con: Spammy AI Content Is Bad for Search Rankings
Google's updated stance on AI-generated content does continue with a warning about generating content for the sole purpose of manipulating search rankings. Therefore, if content isn't helpful and people aren't engaging with it or if their SpamBrain system detects bot patterns, a page will be downranked. Google's deduplication system also works to omit or lower the placement of redundant web pages to show the most relevant options.
A Bot that Werks for You
Understanding how to use AI as a tool is not only a benefit to a business, but it's quickly becoming a necessity. But, misusing it can send up red flags to search engines, cost you valuable customer trust, and make your brand feel, well, brandless.
Whether it's generated by AI or one of our in-house content creators, we ensure your content meets and exceeds Google and other search engine's quality standards. In doing so, we can push up the rankings of your site, build trust with your audience, and make sure your brand stands out.