Is ChatGPT going to change the way we SEO?

Feb 1, 2023 by
Is ChatGPT going to change the way we SEO?

For years now, creatives have been both fascinated by and terrified of artificial intelligence. On the surface, it’s a technology engineered to make our lives easier and to automate the tasks that we would rather not have to bother with ourselves. But what happens when those tasks represent our livelihoods?

 There has been a lot of internet chatter about ChatGPT in recent weeks. There was the man who wrote a children’s book using the technology, the student that used it to write a University essay and countless thought leadership pieces on the repercussions of this new technology.

 For those that don’t know what ChatGPT is, the explanation is remarkably simple – it’s an AI writer. You give it a prompt and it generates text relating to that prompt using the entirety of the web as a resource. The bot uses data it’s scraped from the internet to recontextualise the prompts into fresh text and many are worrying it could eventually become smart and complex enough to replace writers entirely. So, what does that mean for the future of SEO?

Will ChatGPT destroy traditional SEO?

With ChatGPT and technologies like it able to generate reams of text instantly, could it realistically replace SEO copywriters entirely? Not for the foreseeable future. Google, in its infinite wisdom, is a smart cookie than it once was and has become very clever at rooting out uninspiring content, which is exactly what ChatGPT produces. This is literally lifeless prose with little inherent value and Google understands this.

Instead, where ChatGPT will help is in background elements such as generating briefs, keyword research, data analysis and more. If you ask ChatGPT itself if it’s going to replace SEO, it replies:-

“AI technology is not going to kill the SEO industry. AI can be used to assist with certain aspects of SEO, but it will not replace the need for human expertise in creating and implementing a comprehensive SEO strategy.”

What AI can’t do that humans can

You see, there are certain things AI still can’t do. For example, as it can only utilise the information that already exists online it can’t generate its own ideas or opinions. All it’s doing is recontextualising data using a complex algorithm. If you ask it to recommend something, it can’t give you an opinion. What it will give you is somebody else’s opinion or, even worse, an amalgamation of opinions.

AI is not, in any way, creative, it’s great at being able to tell you objective data, so it will probably be great at helping kids cheat on their homework, but as far as creating engaging and creative content, we are still years away from that.

Yes, eventually AI might be able to write a novel as engaging as Stephen King’s or an opinion piece as sarcastic and irreverent as Jeremy Clarkson’s. But not yet. We are still very much in the early days of the technology and it’s still flexing its muscles. Even when it replaces the writers, human beings will still also be needed to monitor trends and create the prompts.

AI isn’t going to replace us. It’s just going to make us better. Of course, those could prove to be some pretty famous last words but for now, let’s look on the bright side, shall we?