Why Chat GPT Is A Risk For SEO Content

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    Chat GPT is all the rage right now. Type in a few sentences about what you want and ChatGPT spits out serviceably written content to fulfill all your marketing dreams. It’s easy to see how ChatGPT can have a high potential for abuse and turn an already lazy group of marketers, into something even lazier, all while appearing to be cutting-edge and tied to fancy terms like AI. Marketers and marketing agencies are gold-rushing by the thousands to ChatGPT in hopes of shortcutting their marketing efforts and building an SEO program in half the time and with half the effort. All of that is probably working famously… for now. In this post, I’m going to discuss why ChatGPT and AI-generated content in general presents a huge risk when relied upon to build an SEO program and could lead to your business being blown up seemingly overnight.

    Remembering The Google Panda Update

    As long as there have been search engines there have been people trying to reverse engineer them to game the system, increase rankings, and drive more traffic. Google is always releasing algorithm updates to combat these shady practices and maintain the integrity of search results. Most of these updates are minor and barely noticeable, but every once in a while, Google releases a major algorithm update that has more far-reaching impacts. When it comes to Google’s long history of algorithm updates none stand out more than the Panda update. Panda largely combatted content farms and other sites churning out high volumes of low-quality “thin content” pages. There were more than a few businesses at the time who had gone all in on this type of strategy to attract loads of search engine traffic, especially e-commerce companies, and seemingly overnight these businesses lost their most important way of generating new business for their brands and were gone in the blink of an eye. It was very comparable to a dot com bust.

    Chat GPT Is Creating A Panda Part 2

    Chat GPT is spurring a content creation revolution of the wrong kind. Just like Panda, ChatGPT is encouraging companies whether knowingly or unknowingly to churn out high volumes of low-quality content. Sound familiar? Right now that is working well, but Google has already issued a code red internally about the rising surge of AI content. AI content and ChatGPT are going to be addressed at some point, when and how aggressive the response will be is yet to be seen, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that a Panda part 2 is in the making.

    Why Chat GPT Content Is Low Quality In An SEO Sense

    Although Chat GPT is touted as artificial intelligence, it is much closer to a trained machine learning algorithm. The GPT-3 algorithm that Chat GPT is built off of is a trained deep-learning neural network that is great at predicting the next word in a piece of content. Like every machine learning program, it’s only as good as the data that was used to train the model. The data used to train the GPT 3 model was primarily crawled web content.

    An Overview of GPT3, The Tech Behind Chat GPT
    A more technical overview of GPT 3

    What this means is that when you ask Chat GPT to create content for you it’s largely pulling from a repository of existing web content about the topic. You can think of Chat GPT as a way to scrape the search results for a topic and assemble a piece of content that matches the parameters you have specified as filters.

    What purpose does this serve though? The internet is already full of re-hashed content and a lack of originality. Anyone who has spent enough time in SEO and content marketing knows this is a recipe for sub-par rankings and results. Great content brings something new, unique, and experience-driven to the table. Chat GPT-based content has the advantage in that you can churn out a lot of it fast and get lucky with the occasional hit, rather than purposefully creating winning content that will distinguish your brand.

    It also means that Chat GPT is useless when it comes to innovation and current events. Since there is rarely adequate web content to cover new innovations and current events, Chat GPT has a blind spot, and coverage of current events quickly is a critical part of an SEO strategy. Nobody wants to read yesterday’s news.

    Google Can Fingerprint Authors

    Most people don’t know this, but Google is capable of fingerprinting specific authors with their written content. Each of us has our own unique style, punctuation mistakes we make, words we misspell over and over, and in my case, southern slang like the usage of “y’all.” It’s been hypothesized that individual authors can accrue Expertise, Authority, and Trust (a key ranking signal) for specific topics that they are known to have written about.

    This has a couple of negative implications when thinking about AI-generated content. The first of which is that you can be sure that Google will be able to detect AI-generated content and not only AI-generated content but AI-generated content down to its source and unique algorithmic fingerprint. Meaning they can distinguish between AI content sourced by ChatGPT vs another AI content provider. The drawback here is that you really can’t hide the fact that you used AI content, even if you edited it. This leaves you at the mercy of any future Google updates and their consequences.

    When you use AI-generated content you are tieing that content to the ChatGPT author’s fingerprints, or strengthening someone else’s E-A-T profile instead of building your own E-A-T equity as an author. This is bad because sites and authors talk frequently about a narrower set of topics and are rewarded with more rankings and traffic. Google wants you to be an expert in a handful of related topics, for instance, I write frequently about SEO, paid search advertising, and WordPress web development. It would taint my author profile to start writing about medical or finance topics. When you tie your content to an AI author profile, that’s what is happening – you’re pairing your content to a muddled author profile with a potentially negative E-A-T impact. You may also be cheapening your existing author profile by introducing low-quality AI-content writing into it.

    Chat GPT Is Valuable But Carries SEO Risk

    Don’t get me wrong. I clearly see the benefits of GPT-based content, my argument here is not against the use of ChatGPT or AI content, but rather against using it for SEO. I think Chat GPT can be extremely useful for purpose of creating more dispensable content such as ad copy, and social media posts. Blog content for the purposes of SEO should still be thoughtfully crafted human-written thought leadership content that distinguishes your brand. Companies that follow this formula will likely lose in the short term, but when Google and other search engines inevitably roll out those armageddon-level algorithm updates that combat AI-generated SEO content more aggressively, they will still have a surviving organic pipeline and marketing engine on the other side.


    Tortoise and Hare offers SEO and content marketing services for B2B technology companies. We leverage Chat GPT free content that helps distinguish your brand and position your company as an authority in your space. Apply for a free consultation today to learn more about our services and how we can help you build and organic search lead generation pipeline and scale your revenues.

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    Hunter Nelson

    Hunter is the founder and president of Tortoise and Hare Software, a digital marketing agency for managed service providers. Hunter has more than 10 years’ experience building web applications and crafting digital strategies for companies ranging from scrappy startups to Fortune 50 household names. When not on the clock, you'll find him spending time with his family and pups, relaxing on the beach, or playing competitive online video games. See for more.


    1. Robert on May 10, 2023 at 1:29 pm

      Great Insights, Hunter. Very useful article!

      • Hunter Nelson on May 25, 2023 at 12:58 am

        Thanks Robert

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