7 Reasons Why You Should Use AI With SEO (And 7 Why You Shouldn't)

Written by Newspaper Humor Columnist & Social Media Expert

April 23, 2024
7 Reasons Why You Should Use AI With SEO (And 7 Why You Shouldn't)

Artificial intelligence is here to stay and it's infiltrating its way into everything we do. So it's no surprise that it's making its way into search engine optimization.

Artificial intelligence (AI) can do a lot of things for us. It can analyze large amounts of data and find patterns that humans normally couldn't. It can transcribe recorded interviews and meetings and pick out the action items. It can even find errors in written text and identify ways to improve your writing. I use Grammarly continually to help me with everything I write, from articles like this one to emails and social media updates.

And it can generate text based on certain inputs and information that you provide. This is where many people think AI can help with SEO, but it can do so much more than that.

How Can AI Help?

By now, you know what AI is, so I don't really need to explain it. But I will say that AI has been around since the 1950s, and the first "chatterbot" (now called a chatbot) has been around since 1966 with the creation of the Eliza computer program.

The first generative pre-trained transformer (GPT) was launched in 2018 by OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT. The model had no other task other than to predict the next word in a sentence. It was groundbreaking at the time and was almost indistinguishable from human-written text.

GPTs are getting smarter and smarter as they are constantly learning more parameters and having more information.

Parameters are the values that determine how a neural network processes input data (your prompts) and produces output data (the text or images it creates). The more parameters a model has, the more it can express, and the more data it can handle.

ChatGPT-4 has been trained on 1.7 trillion parameters, compared to GPT-1's 117 million.

What that means for using AI with SEO is that it can do a whole lot more than it could just a few years ago.



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The Seven Benefits of Using AI for SEO

Yes, there are benefits of using AI for SEO, but some of these are questionable and rather unseemly. If you use AI for these reasons, please use it wisely and don't misuse or abuse it.

1. Do smarter keyword research. AI tools like Google's Gemini can analyze massive amounts of data to identify the best and most relevant keywords for your target audience. This is more than just search volume. The right AI system can help you find long-tail keywords and to identify trending topics. Use it to brainstorm new keywords, too. Enter several desired keywords into your favorite AI chatbot and ask it to brainstorm several related ones.

2. Create content. This is where I, as a professional writer, wrinkle my nose at using AI. But I suggest it here so you'll at least know what it does. AI can't write effective articles for you, but it can help brainstorm content ideas, write outlines, and even write first drafts. This frees up your time and energy to focus on writing better articles and rewriting the AI's output into better, more engaging content.

3. Write titles and meta descriptions. With the right prompt ("I want to write a meta description that's no more than 150 characters, uses X keyword, and is written at a 6th-grade reading level"), you can input your human-created blog article and ask the AI to create your meta description. Now, you could easily do this yourself, but you can ask the AI to come up with five different options that all follow your prompt and choose the best one. (Again, be sure to rewrite it so it's more engaging.) You can also ask the AI to write your calls to action.

4. Improve user experience. One important factor in SEO is a good user experience. If users click around your website, that's good. If they visit one page and leave (called a bounce), that's bad. An AI system can analyze your users' behavior and suggest improvements to your site structure and navigation.

5. Perform competitive analysis. AI systems like DinoRank (an SEO analysis service out of Spain that I use for my clients) can analyze your and your competitors' websites to identify strengths and weaknesses. You can develop targeted SEO strategies to beat them in the search results.

6. Make data-driven decisions. SEO is all about the data. The right AI tools can collect and analyze vast amounts of web traffic data, which gives you valuable insights into your site's performance. This can help you identify your site's SEO weaknesses, make changes, and track your progress.

7. You can categorize content for Semantic SEO. Semantic SEO is a recent development in the SEO world, where search engines focus on the meanings and topics behind keyword searches. They're not concerned about exact keyword matches, they want to know the user's intent in searching. AI can help you categorize your content to understand the main idea of your webpage and help you recognize the intent of your relevant keywords so you can make necessary changes. Finally, you can identify similar words to avoid keyword stuffing.

The Five Reasons Not to Use AI for SEO

Using AI for SEO may make things easy, but it has plenty of downsides. For one thing, the potential for abuse and overuse looms over the industry. And you can already see it in play.

There are a large number of landing pages and product descriptions that start with the phrase, "As a large language model trained by OpenAI." That means a lot of lazy or unsavory marketers used ChatGPT to generate their web copy and then just copy-pasted the answers without actually reading what was produced.

Here are some other reasons you should not use AI for SEO if you're not going to use it properly.

1. A lack of creativity. AI can generate content ideas, but they won't be very creative or original. Remember, the large language model was trained on human-created content. But as they dumped more training data into it, much of that data was created by the AI models. Do you know what happens when you make a copy of a copy of a copy?

2. The content is not engaging or funny. AI struggles with understanding humor and nuance. It can't make jokes, and it certainly can't create engaging content that stirs emotions in human readers. It has no soul and people won't respond to it.

3. Technical SEO Needs Humans. AI can't fix website coding issues, optimize images, or manually build backlinks. These are all important aspects of technical SEO. You can automate the optimization of images, but that's a question of coding, not artificial intelligence. And manually building backlinks requires establishing relationships with industry bloggers or submitting well-written articles to trade journals.

4. Data bias can lead you astray. AI is only as good as the data it's trained on, which means if you put bad data in, you're going to get bad data out. Biased data can give you incorrect or skewed keyword suggestions or content that reinforces stereotypes. (Google stories about AI chatbots that turn racist.)

5. AI can't keep up with algorithm updates. Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving and changing, which means your search-engine-optimized content might not perform well after a major algorithm update. (What's ironic about this is that Google uses AI to update its search algorithms, which means your own AI can be a few steps behind what Google's AI is doing.

6. Penalizations for AI-generated content. Google currently does not penalize websites for AI-written content, but it can certainly detect AI content. And while everything is fine now, what happens if Google builds a "human-generated bonus" into its algorithm? Or it does decide to institute a penalty? Remember, Google has taken drastic steps in the past, so what's going to stop them from doing it again?

7. You can't build trust and authority. One reason to have a blog is to establish your expertise and knowledge, regardless of your industry, product, or service. If your readers don't feel that human connection from you — that is, your content just feels artificial — then they're not going to connect with you or believe you, which will make it impossible to be a thought leader in your field.

Bottom line: You can use AI to write 500 articles in just a few minutes, but those 500 articles will not generate any engagement and won't resonate with anyone. No one will click the call to action, they won't result in any sales.

So, you created all that content for nothing, and that's what you got in return.

If you want content that is human, engaging, and persuasive, don't use artificial intelligence to replace your human writers. You're better off having only 50 pieces of engaging content that you paid for than 500 pieces of uninteresting content for free.

Is Artificial Intelligence Bad for SEO?

Yes. Well, sort of.

For one thing, AI can't produce good content, only mediocre content. Any semi-capable writer can outperform the AI bots, which means the artificially generated content is never going to be earth-moving, life-changing, or persuasive.

Instead, the AI content is going to be boring, interchangeable, and homogenous. Because everything it that AI produces for everyone is boring, interchangeable, and homogenous.

If your competitors are all using AI-generated content, how is yours going to stand out? How are you going to be noticed if it reads just like everyone else's?

If that's the case, then what's to stop your prospects from just opening up their own AI chat window and asking the same question they were going to ask you?

And if you're creating the same content as everyone else, why would Google even pay attention to your AI-generated article if your competitor is already creating the same thing? In fact, if you're writing the same content as hundreds and thousands of your competitors, Google is going to ignore all of you completely.

AI Has Already Changed SEO; You Should Be Worried

This should worry every SEO professional out there: Google has begun using artificial intelligence to create its own answer boxes or featured snippets.

These answer boxes are where Google has summarized the information from thousands of pages that are all (mostly) saying the same thing, and they're placing these answer boxes at the top right of the search results page (SERP).

This gives users the information right there on the SERP without them ever needing to click the link to visit the website with the information.

That means you're losing web traffic to the very search engine you're relying on to give you the traffic you need to survive.

Why is this happening?

The problem is that most websites are sharing the same information. How to change a flat tire. How to make a chocolate cake. How do you tie a necktie?

Questions that used to be answered on websites are now being answered in Google's answer cards, and all those answers are being generated by artificial intelligence.

Google is taking all of the information that hundreds of thousands of web designers and marketers have provided, summarizing it using AI, and then providing the answers on the SERP.

You Need a Personalized Approach to SEO

To combat this, you need to take a closer look at your long-tail keywords and focus on providing a personalized approach that only dozens of companies are doing, not thousands. That's because Google isn't going to — at least for now — focus on the more personalized information that you can provide.

This means creating content that might only be seen by dozens of people, but then repeating that process many, many times to get the same results.

How do you change a flat tire during an ice storm in Bergen, Norway?

How can you make a vegan chocolate cake for someone with Type 2 diabetes?

How do you tie the Merovingian Knot in your necktie? (How do you tie the knot they used in The Matrix?)



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Final Thoughts

Basically, using AI with SEO is not a bad thing, as long as you are using it to supplement your work. But if you rely on AI to do all of the work — content creation, ignoring on-site SEO — you're going to quickly run into problems.

Use AI as an enhancement and a boost to your own human efforts, but make sure that you are handling the important things like coming up with creative content, writing calls to action that motivate people, and doing all the human-required tasks that AI can't handle.

The best place to start with SEO is a WordPress website that's hosted on the cloud. There are plenty of AI plugins that can help you make your site the best it can be. To learn more about how to host your company's WordPress website in the cloud, please visit us online.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning in ethical hacking?

AI and machine learning enhance ethical hacking by automating tasks, identifying patterns, and improving threat detection. Ethical hackers leverage these technologies to analyze large datasets and enhance security measures.

How web hosting can affect SEO?

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