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Can You Use AI Tools to Write SEO Content?

By Tim Lavelle

We do not recommend using AI tools to write any content that will be utilized for SEO purposes.

While Google’s update to their “Helpful Content” guidelines last year seemed to open the door to the use of AI tools for SEO-driven content, the mass proliferation of spammy AI copy over the last several months has led to a harsh reaction from Google’s most recent algorithm update.

Following the March Core Algorithm, many websites that relied exclusively on AI-driven content saw significant rankings declines, or even a complete de-indexation (total removal from Google’s results). While it’s clear that AI content typically isn’t the only reason for a performance declines, and while Google continues to insist that there’s no “penalty” for the use of AI content, we’ve seen a variety of signals indicating that AI copy has become an SEO liability.

While we cannot suggest using AI tools to produce any content that will be used for SEO purposes, we do still see a role for AI tools in other parts of the SEO process.

How Do AI Content Writing Tools Work?

ChatGPT and other AI-driven content writing tools are Large Language Models (LLMs) that use deep learning neural networks to generate answers to the user’s prompt or query.

The deep learning neural networks used in these LLMs have been trained on content found all around the web, as well as any other content that their developers have decided to use as part of the training data set.

These platforms are capable of producing high-quality content on virtually any topic by summarizing the material the material they’ve been trained on, making them incredibly efficient content production machines, and tempting anyone required to write large volumes of content.

The problem with AI tools is that they don’t always do a good job of accurately determining the veracity of content they encounter, so they’re prone to producing inaccurate answers, misguided recommendations, or even downright false claims.

What Makes AI Content Risky for SEO Purposes?

Because Google’s organic ranking algorithm is so heavily focused on finding unique, original content that demonstrates the author’s “Experience, Expertise, Authority and Trust”, this makes AI-produced content a potential liability, as recent studies and the results of Google algorithm updates indicate that Google prefers to feature copy written by an actual person at the top of their results.

Another problem with using AI tools for content writing purposes is that they tend to produce content that SOUNDS like it was written by an AI platform. There are now a variety of AI Content Detectors (like Copyleaks, QillBot, and Scriblr) which can be used to determine if content was produced exclusively by humans or assisted or entirely written by AI engines.

These tools aren’t always perfectly accurate, but what’s become clear is that Google is also utilizing their own version of an AI Detector, and even though they’re in the process of rolling out their own “AI Overviews” at the top of the organic search results, they do not want webmasters using AI-produced content for SEO purposes. In Google’s own words:

“Appropriate use of AI or automation is not against our guidelines. This means that it is not used to generate content primarily to manipulate search rankings, which is against our spam policies”

Also, it’s important to remember that while Google has said AI content may be acceptable under the current guidelines, they could change their position at any time. If we were to leverage AI tools for copy writing, then Google began penalizing or even outlawing AI content, rankings would certainly suffer.

What is AI’s Proper Place in the Modern SEO Process?

While we don’t suggest using AI tools to produce SEO-driven content, there are a variety of ways to safely leverage AI tools for SEO purposes, including:

  • SEO Research
    • AI tools can be extremely helpful for streamlining SEO research, from conducting keyword research, to performing competitive analyses, or even running site audits against your own or competitor websites
  • SEO Technical Analysis
    • AI tools are already heavily integrated into top SEO platforms like SEMrush, which uses Co-pilot to help analyze technical SEO elements of websites and then issue customized optimization recommendations
  • SEO Performance Reports
    • AI tools can also be used to help analyze SEO performance, including measuring search volumes, keyword rankings, organic traffic patterns and organic conversion trends
    • AI is especially useful for helping tie these different SEO metrics together to help tell the story of what’s truly happening in terms of the website’s performance, and to identify new optimization opportunities

At USIM, we’re currently leveraging AI tools for a variety of SEO processes, but we do not utilize them for producing any content that will be visible to Google, as the risk of using AI tools for content writing purposes remains too high.

How USIM Can Help Your SEO Efforts

USIM’s SEO Team has deep experience running SEO campaigns across a variety of the most competitive verticals, from financial services to retail sales, travel and tourism to jobs and education.

No matter what kinds of products and services you’re targeting, we can help improve your site’s organic visibility, traffic, and revenue.


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