AI: Shaping the Future of SEO

AI content writing tools have exploded almost overnight. Despite the fact that AI can help your business massively in most cases, often it's its shortcomings that grab the attention of those working in marketing or content creation roles. Although ultra-advanced tools such as Jasper and ChatGPT seem to be able to mimic human-written content so well that it could be published, there are valid questions being raised about its impact on SEO rankings.

This article will delve further into how artificial intelligence could, and is already, affecting SEO as a result of being released into the web.

What is SEO intelligence?

SEO intelligence refers to the use of AI to improve SEO tactics, with the end goal of improving page rankings on search engines such as Google.

How has it grown in terms of past, present and future SEO?

Google has long worked with AI tools to determine the most worthwhile pages to suggest in response to particular search queries. Always prioritising user experience, Google is pretty hot on suggesting pages that tick its ‘E-E-A-T’ boxes, which stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. In order to score a top Google ranking, authors and articles must ideally demonstrate these four values. General SEO best practices are also important, such as keyword inclusion, solid link-building and social presence.

It’s notoriously difficult to consistently rank highly on Google, as they change their algorithm thousands of times per year and multiple times per day. To maintain their own reliability as a search engine, they make it difficult for authors to take shortcuts, and rightly so. The only way to ensure consistency is to regularly update pages so that they stay relevant.

How is AI condoned by Google as usable in SEO?

Google has not put a blanket ban on the inclusion of AI-written or partly AI-written content in their search results. In a February 2023 update, Google stated its position on search engine rankings and how its system is “designed to surface reliable information”. Reinstating the importance of EEAT (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) above all else, in order to reward quality content.

Google discusses how automation can be used in malpractice to manipulate search engine rankings and that its SpamBrain tool continues to work to weed out these instances. With that being said, they acknowledge that with the most recent advancements, AI tools are capable of creating helpful content that offers sound, well-researched information.

It is only when AI-written content is unhelpful, spammy and geared to manipulate rankings that it will attract penalties from Google. If the content is genuinely helpful, there is no indication as to why it shouldn’t rank well. However, AI tools cannot check themselves for spam or for whether their information is correct – this is still a step that requires human editing, so the process cannot be entirely automated.

How can AI improve your website's SEO ranking?

The best way to weave AI into your practice to avoid search engine penalties is to use it as an assistant. You can shoot your shot at using AI-written content as there is no hard and fast rule against doing so from Google, unless it deems your content to be deliberately intended to manipulate search results. Ensuring your content hits Google’s EEAT values will require human attention, as will fact-checking it, since AI writing tools can’t always be trusted to provide correct information.

Prefer to steer fully clear of AI-written content? There are other ways AI can help optimise your content and website.

  • Generating content ideas
    • AI tools can be valuable in helping the ideation process of content creation. Using them as a brainstorming tool is a smart way to generate ideas and maximise your time while using AI at no expense to your search engine rankings.
    • You can also ask ChatGPT to reformat content from an article into other formats, such as into social media posts, which increases your social presence while also increasing the authority of your website.
  • Identifying keywords
    • AI tools are a really handy way to identify keywords. With competition already tough on the most popular search terms, you can use an AI tool to discover less saturated keywords, topics and other SEO opportunities. By targeting relevant keywords and achieving better rankings, you can increase the visibility of your website, which allows you to achieve the ultimate goal of attracting relevant traffic to your content.
  • Identifying content gaps
    • This is a method of optimising your website as a whole, rather than just your individual pieces of content. Using a tool to discover content gaps in your existing website content is a great way to target less popular topics or topics you may have overlooked
  • Staying on top of ever-changing algorithm updates
    • Through running a thorough scan of your website, AI tools can identify any potential weak spots that might attract penalties. This allows you to make the necessary changes before it’s too late.

In conclusion

AI is clearly a powerful tool that is already changing the way we create, process and distribute information. Since so many websites and content writers are already using AI tools, it's a great time to start exploring how it can improve your SEO rankings.

Written by:
Alice is one of Expert Market's resident software experts, helping businesses improve their efficiency or reach, with an emphasis on productivity software, CRM and telecommunications.