AI-generated Content Tools May Not Be as Helpful in SEM as We Would Have Hoped
Exploring the relationship between Google’s new “helpful content” and AI-generating content tools
Did the prospect of a tool that creates content for you pique your interest and raise your hopes of less work and better content? You are not alone if you thought ChatGTP (and other AI-generating content tools) might not be the magic time-saver you were looking for as a small business that generates your own content.
This fantastic and exciting new tool has taken our feeds by storm, from implications on post-secondary assignments to Ryan Reynolds promoting his many businesses and fun ways everyday people are playing with it leading to much experimenting for business applications such as website content.
Like all things in the marketing world, Google’s search algorithms are constantly evolving, and the latest version of how it ranks website pages – dubbed the Helpful content upgrade– impacts the amount of traffic businesses attract. This comes at a time when AI content creation tools like ChatGPT are catching on and raising many questions about the ethics of its use in various settings.
Before I get into the implications of the two together, let’s dig deeper into Google’s new “helpful content” algorithm for context.
Do you remember the phrase ‘keyword stuffing’ and the talk about website content being created primarily to satisfy the magical criteria set out by search engines? I sure do. For a time, we, as an industry, created content filled with keywords our audience might search, inundated our blogs with tip lists and almost dehumanized the voice of our brands to match what we thought the algorithms might want to see to increase our chance of reaching our desired audience.
Well, those days are done. The latest version from Google seems to recognize two things – first, there is a LOT of money in web traffic, and second, people will always try and manipulate the system for their benefit. This update aims to improve search results for the audience by ensuring they see original and helpful content “written by people, for people” – Google’s team description of the update. So, keep that last bit front of mind.
Many top marketing experts have stated that this change, in and of itself, is not the main story. Instead, it signals the direction search function is headed in. This is where AI content tools join the conversation.
Unlike previous updates to Google’s algorithms, this one seems primarily targeted at AI-generated content. For the business owner (and their marketing force), this means it’s a good time to review your SEO strategy and make sure it aligns with the search engine’s updated priorities - what will be most beneficial to your customer and not optimized for search and ensuring a human writer creates it. This applies whether you are currently using AI-generated content, just thinking about it, or haven’t even thought about it.
This latest update from Google started rolling out in early December 2022 and wrapped up around mid-January 2023, meaning that many small business websites have yet to see the fallout, if any. We’re watching this closely for our clients and are busy working on content revisions where needed on their sites.
If you have any questions or are interested in learning more, please get in touch with our team.
In case you missed it, here’s T-Mobile’s ad featuring ChatGTP