We live in the 21st century and the digital age, which means we’re constantly being bombarded with new and innovative technological advancements, all of which are constantly clamouring for our attention. How do we know which are the most significant and how can we tell which digital tools and resources we should try leveraging to our advantage?
Of course, where business is concerned, the answer to that is you should adopt a trial and error approach and keep an open mind so you can see what works and what doesn’t, bearing in mind that what does well for one brand may not translate to success elsewhere.
That being said, it’s equally important to pay attention when something is generating serious buzz across all corners of the internet… as is the case with ChatGPT.
What is ChatGPT?
As the name might suggest, ChatGPT is a chatbot, launched in November last year by OpenAI (a research lab based in San Francisco).
The ‘GPT’ stands for generative pretrained transformer, language processing technology developed by OpenAI that is able to generate text that reads as though it were written by a real live human… which sounds like a very real game changer and is no doubt why everyone is sitting up and taking note right now.
The potential for this new tool is significant and it can be applied in all sorts of ways, whether you want to use it for language translation and modelling, as a research tool or even to create content – which is why schools are now starting to ban it from the classroom so that students don’t try to shortcut their way to the top.
All you need to do to get going is open up the tool, type in your query and voila! The information you need appears right before your very eyes and all the hard work is done for you in mere seconds.
Or is it?
While it’s certainly impressive that ChatGPT is able to deliver instantaneous results with decidedly human flair, it’s important to remember that there are limitations to this kind of resource where content is concerned and you should always rely on your own knowledge and critical thinking when reviewing results.
It may be that what you receive isn’t quite what you’re looking for and, in this instance, you’re able to return to the chatbot and refine your questions to produce the desired result.
This collaborative approach can certainly be useful in a wide variety of contexts, but it’s generally advisable not to rely on technology too much and always think for yourself at the same time.
While ChatGPT results can be produced for virtually any topic under the sun, it’s wise to bear its limitations in mind… especially when using it for SEO and content creation.
For example, it has been specifically programmed not to generate text on certain topics and types of content, such as anything potentially harmful or graphically violent.
It also doesn’t take into account any content created after 2021 – and content is always better when it’s timely and highly relevant (with relevancy fast becoming a top ranking factor for search these days).
The clearest benefit is the speed with which results are returned, particularly if you’re dealing with tricky subjects that would take you hours to research yourselves.
ChatGPT scours the web and pulls in all the necessary information, presenting the facts as a person would – in a well-written text document that many would struggle to tell apart from a human-derived piece of copy.
No doubt this sounds very appealing, but it’s important not to compromise on accuracy in favour of efficiency… especially if you’re considering SEO strategies at the moment that put content at their heart.
How will ChatGPT affect SEO?
When it comes to search, the likes of Google et al all want to achieve one thing and one thing only… presenting their users with the best search results they possibly can. To this end, they’re constantly tinkering away behind the scenes, making changes to their algorithms to deliver in this regard.
With ChatGPT, the quality of the results you’ll receive will depend on the quality of information that you provide the tool with, so you can’t just cross your fingers and hope for the best, especially if you want to use it for SEO.
You’ll need to have relatively in-depth knowledge of your chosen topic as well or have a very clear idea of what kind of answers you’re looking for in order to get the results you want. This way, you know you’ll be asking the right questions and guiding the chatbot to find what you’re looking for.
Accuracy is also something that you need to be on your guard for when using ChatGPT for content production. Don’t always trust that what you’re given is correct… you’ll still need to assess the results before publication to make sure that you agree with what the bot has to say.
Taking results at face value could see you in a spot of bother, so trust yourself and your own opinions and have the confidence in your own industry knowledge so you can spot mistakes and amend accordingly.
Thirdly, it’s worth bearing in mind that populating your site with AI-generated content can put you in the bad books where search engines are concerned.
Google’s own John Mueller said in April last year that any content generated using AI writing tools would be viewed as spam and could see websites penalised… so it’s definitely worth being cautious, especially at the moment when this technology is only just starting to emerge.
This ultimately begs the question… is ChatGPT content the same as AI-generated content? And is Google able to automatically detect AI copy on websites?
If ChatGPT text is viewed as AI-generated, it would be best to avoid posting it in its original form, even if it is quicker than other ways of working. If you want to preserve your rankings, you’ll need to jump through a few hoops here and there, although that isn’t to say that you can’t use ChatGPT content… just that you need to be discerning when you do.
It’s also worth noting that OpenAI researchers have been working on digital watermarking for AI-generated content, so it’s easy to tell which documents have been created by robots and which have been written by actual people.
This will help allay any concerns that the teachers in schools of the future might have about plagiarised coursework and essays – and it will mean you won’t be able to pull the wool over Google’s eyes and try to shortcut your way to the top of the rankings.
What might be a more effective strategy is to use the technology as a research tool, rather than for full content generation. While content is king for SEO, it’s not the only aspect of a search marketing campaign, so there are sure to be lots of interesting ways in which you can get to grips with ChatGPT and leverage it for search results.
So how can you use ChatGPT for SEO?
Now’s the time to explore the possibilities and see how you can use this new technology to boost your search engine optimisation strategies. Tech exists to make our lives easier and more productive, so a great place to begin if you are interested in discovering the benefits of ChatGPT for yourself is to try it out as a research and analysis tool.
This is robot bread and butter, naturally, but for people these kinds of tasks can be rather tedious, or they get put on the backburner because you’re too busy running other aspects of your business.
You could use the tool to help you with your meta descriptions, for example, or you could turn to it if you need a content brief or outline for a specific piece of copy. Looking for a snappy title to build a blog around? ChatGPT could certainly help with that.
Or what about using it to analyse your keywords and search volumes to help you choose the best ones? There are lots of ways to use the tool without focusing solely on content creation, so give it a whirl and see what you think.
And if you need any further help or advice relating to ChatGPT or anything else search related, get in touch with Manchester SEO agency Ad Rank One to see how we can drive you even further up the rankings in 2023 and beyond.