It's impossible to have opened a TV or a website over the last six months and not hear about it: ChatGPT is everywhere. To many, it sounds (and behaves) like pure witchcraft: the future SciFi novels and movies have warned us about is upon us, and we're all about to be overtaken by robots. "Poetry is dead, SEO and ChatGPT are becoming one and the same, and the end is near" - this type of predictions abound social media, making you feel like everything is either lost or won.
But is it?
In reality, ChatGPT doesn't deal with black and white. It's far from a self-reliant AI, and it still needs a lot of help from its human counterparts to power the conversations people have every day.
This is not to say it's a useless tool -- on the contrary. Used right, it can be a companion, an assistant, a digital asset, and a sounding board on late nights when you've got no one else to ask about your project.
SEO and ChatGPT can and will (likely) coexist, and in this article, I'm digging a little deeper into how exactly this might happen.
ChatGPT is a natural language processing (NLP) model developed by OpenAI, which is used to generate human-like responses in an online chatbot or virtual assistant. Natural language processing models are based on deep learning techniques that allow machines to read and understand human language and respond according to a database "fed" into the system.
ChatGPT-4 is the latest iteration of ChatGPT. Compared to its previous versions, ChatGPT-4 can access internet links and has suffered improved outputs. Although not majorly different from its predecessor, ChatGPT-4 is a significant step in the right direction, as it can be the foundation for developing even more impressive AI tools down the line.
To the naked eye, ChatGPT can feel like a magician. You give it a few words, and it magically generates flawless, natural-sounding content. However, ChatGPT is far from perfect -- even in its paid version.
Many people have been suggesting ChatGPT for content creation, which is one of the most obvious uses this tool has. However, this may not be a great idea.
At the moment, Google does not have anything in its algorithm to penalize AI-produced content -- more so, even, Google itself has jumped on the AI bandwagon with Search Generative Experience. This is not to say they will not implement any detection in the future.
Beyond the SEO aspects, using ChatGPT for content generation is not recommended because the AI is only fed with information up to 2021. Moreover, it tends to "hallucinate" (i.e., make up facts, data, and even full research papers that do not actually exist.)
Last but not least, any article generated by an AI in full will lack what makes your content really stand out: the intent of your narrative, genuine expertise, your brand's tone of voice, and your unique selling proposition. Thus, even if AI content may rank, it may not convert -- and the whole goal of Search Engine Optimization is to attract traffic from people likely to buy from you.
All in all, if you want to generate SEO-friendly articles soley relying on ChatGPT in seconds, your SEO project will likely fail – one way or another, sooner or later.
But I am no way implying that ChatGPT doesn’t have a SEO use case, quite the contrary I think it does, and as we advance into the “Generative Experience” led world of Google Search I am led to believe by my research that adoption will become the next phase for the right use case of ChatGPT.
Generating full-length articles in ChatGPT is not productive. However, that doesn't mean ChatGPT and SEO are completely incompatible. Here are five SEO and ChatGPT uses I've found useful:
If you prompt it correctly, ChatGPT can act and answer in a way similar to what your ideal buyer would. It cannot replace actual surveys and customer interviews, but it can help you understand more about your target audience by providing you with a virtual "buyer persona" to converse with.
There are a lot of SEO prompts you can use with ChatGPT. From finding new keywords (which you will then have to check in tools like Semrush or Moz) to generating titles and hitting that sweet spot between keyword usage and content that provides a unique perspective and tone of voice, ChatGPT can be a great assistant.
Even more, with tools like Airpm (Artificial Intelligence for Performance and Results Management), you can elevate your ChatGPT performance, reap all the benefits of a fully-fledged language model on steroids with:
Take everything ChatGPT creates with a grain of salt and always make sure to prompt it with as much detail as possible. For instance, if you need a more persuasive title that includes a keyword, give ChatGPT some examples of what you consider "persuasive" as well. Also, try to dig deeper with every response it gives, to refine the output and get the result you're looking for.
Some examples of SEO prompts include:
ChatGPT may not be a great writer -- but it can be a fairly good editor. A prompt along the lines of "I will give you a text -- edit it in the voice of X or to sound suitable for a target audience consisting of Y" will help you spot typos, grammar mistakes, and potential tone of voice inaccuracies.
Not sure where to start with your outline? Once you've run a SERP analysis, ask ChatGPT to enrich your outline with any other H2s or H3s that might be useful for your target audience. As mentioned before, be sure you are very specific about the details -- the more on point your prompt is, the better your results will be.
If you are running tight on time and need to go through long pieces of content for your research, copy-paste them into ChatGPT and ask it to summarize the main points in the text you've just shared. This is especially useful for long research papers or whitepapers when you need to add trustworthy "meat" to your content and hit those "EEAT" notes Google loves so much.
ChatGPT isn't a miracle maker. Despite what LinkedIn and Twitter gurus may say, this tool is just that: a tool. It's not meant to be a replacement for human SEOs and copywriters any more Ahrefs is meant to replace human marketers. When you start treating it as such and are fully aware of its limitations, ChatGPT can be a great assistant and a key tool in your SEO artillery.
Using it to generate content in seconds?
It won't work -- not long term, and not for goals that include revenue-related KPIs.
Using it to speed up your content creation and SEO?
It can do that.
Will AI take over soon?
Unlikely, but it depends on how you define "AI" and "soon" (which is a different debate on its own.)For now, adopting ChatGPT for some of your SEO processes can be a good way to save time, money, and resources, while still making sure you put out the very best content.