Can I rank an AI written content? My experiment with ChatGPT

Do you want to know whether AI is going to replace SEO writing?

Well, in this article you’ll find the answer.

But before we get there, let me give you some context. I have been in digital marketing and SEO since 2011. I started as an affiliate marketer, then 2 years later I started my affiliate marketing website and that’s how I learnt everything about SEO. Since then, I worked for an SEO agency on large multimillion pound businesses and worked for brands, producing them millions in revenue from organic traffic and and SEO consultancy.

I heard about AI the first time in 2012 and since then I have always tried a new tool, a new technology and a new way of doing things. I am not afraid of testing some new remarkable product, if it can make my job a bit better. I tested Jasper recently hoping to reveal some magic SEO stuff, but to no avail.

can ai rank my content

The problem with AI copywriting: lack of transparency

You know why AI doesn’t work? And this is my opinion only. It’s because it has a problem with sources of information.

What do I mean by that?

Let me give you a comparison. Google provides results taken from other websites, that search engines feel are reputable, authoritative and trustworthy. In order words, you can easily verify the source of information.

You can check the website Google provides you, check their content, the author, his qualifications and get an overall idea of how much effort was put into writing that piece of content.

You can check a brand, their products and services and decide if you like them.

how google gets its information

With AI copywriting, you can’t do any of that.

There is simply no way to know whether the AI content is factually correct. The AI copywriting is based on the assumptions that you trust the sources of information training the Artificial Intelligence.

But what are these sources of information? They are not revealed. There is no transparency.

This is not me saying it, but it comes from ChatGPT home page.

ChatGPT sometimes writes plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers. Fixing this issue is challenging, as: (1) during RL training, there’s currently no source of truth; (2) training the model to be more cautious causes it to decline questions that it can answer correctly; and (3) supervised training misleads the model because the ideal answer depends on what the model knows, rather than what the human demonstrator knows.

Writing a blog post using AI and ranking it on Google

For this experiment, I produce 1,086 words in less than 20 minutes.

Title of the topic: “How to serve images next-gen format“.

Update January 2024: I removed the article cited above because my website started to lose 60% of SEO traffic. I strongly suspect it’s because the content was 100% written by AI and Google systems can detect it and penalise it.

I tasked ChatGPT with writing an article with a word limit of 1,500.

In less than 60 second, it generated just over 1,000 words.

Then I indexed the URL into Search Console and the next day the URL started to get traffic already.

The URL generated in 3 days 159 impressions and 2 clicks. The URL is also ranking for 17 keywords, of which many of them are 100% the right ones.

This means Google doesn’t know this an AI generated content and it will rank it without any problem, like a normal blog written by a real copywriter.

Some personal considerations about the experiment

Will copywriters be replaced by AI?

No, they won’t. AI copywriting is a practice that help writers with structuring a blog post, spotting errors and fixing them.
Also, the lack of AI verifiable sources of information means that this type of content cannot be yet trusted. In fact, Google puts lots of emphasis on EEAT  (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust) because it’s looking for better results to the users queries.
Only humans can provide personal experience and expertise and in this regard, no AI copywriting will ever be able to replace them.

Why can’t Google spot the AI content?

In my opinion, it doesn’t matter who writes the content marketing, as long as the reader finds it helpful and useful. In which case, it might be that Google is able to spot the AI content but decides not to penalise it because it conveys value to the end reader.

Will copywriters be automated?

No, AI copywriting cannot yet replace a human fully. The best use case for AI copywriting and Chat GPT is the concept of MVC – Minimum Viable Content –  in other words the Version 1 of your blog post.

Once it starts ranking on Google (say 2nd to 3rd page), you can then go ahead to add more depth to it.

Let’s go into more details about MVC.

The best use case for AI copywriting: Minimum Viable Content

You have probably grasped the potential of AI copywriting by now and I hope this case study made you excited.

But what is the best use of ChatGPT and AI copywriting?

It’s saving time by producing an article first draft.

Imagine this: you have 10 articles to write this week and you feel under pressure because your clients need new content by Friday.

You do your keyword research, study the metrics and decide that those 10 keywords will become your new content. Then you have to start drafting your posts. In the meantime, you have SEO audits to complete, clients’ calls and family times. But only have 24 hours in a day (of which I use 10 to sleep because I love sleeping).

ChatGPT is a game changer when it comes to saving you time. It’s not that you need ChatGPT to write the best quality content you can possibly write. It’s about becoming more productive and getting your precious time back. 

You can quickly write 1,000 words article in 60 seconds, which means you’ll spend 600 seconds for 10 articles and have 10,000 words ready to rank on Google.

Then you can index these words into Google and see what happens.

If you want to go into more details of SEO keywords and topic research with AI, you can use the following commands to get you started.

Disclaimer: please use this technique with caution. ChatGPT cannot replace human expertise and experience.

Also read: 20+ uses of ChatGPT for your SEO tasks

What do expert SEOs say about AI copywriting

There are lots of other SEO experts talking about ChatGPT and AI copywriting.  Here is a recap of my interviews with some of them.

Amin El Fadil: SEO Freelance Consultant

I asked Amin about his thoughts on Copywriting AI.

You can read what he said:

Just like the arrival of computer marked the end of a romantic view of the chess game, where the game was determined by your intelligence and creativity, AI copywriting will also mark the end of “romantic” SEO.

Amin El Fadil

And then Amin also added:

Whether you like it or not, you cannot go back.

I see AI as a supporting tool, that you should use within your larger methodology. You should also apply intelligence and creativity.

It can help a lot with speeding up your boring tasks, for example defining topics and keywords research.

However, you can’t see AI as a replacement to strategy and creativity because to generate results in SEO, you still need two fundamental ingredients: innovation and differentiation from your competitors.

So, in my opinion, whoever is able to create better processes, templates and methods to take advantage of the AI copywriting in order to make its method faster and more scalable, will also have a significant competitive advantage.

Francesco Baldini: SEO Freelance Consultant at Betakrea

While ChatGPT is a powerful tool, relying solely on it to create content without human input can be risky, as it may produce outdated information, mix up sources, or fail to provide value.

In my opinion, it may not be the most strategic tool to use for content marketing.

AI tools like ChatGPT can be used to automate repetitive tasks that would be costly to do manually.

I believe that once the hype around ChatGPT and similar tools subsides, there will be a shift towards using more specialised, task-specific tools.

Can AI copywriting rank a post on search engines?

Yes, it definitely can. Until the next Google algorithm will detect it and penalise it.

However, the technology is already there to replace low quality content producers and copywriters. Any low level freelancer copywriter on Fiverr and Upwork using AI and selling an article for $10, is likely to become the norm.

No doubt that AI copywriting is disrupting the SEO industry. But who read low level content anyway?

No one.  So there is nothing to worry about.

This means that the real, high quality work will continue to be written by real experts and that planning and ideating content will become more important. ChatGPT can also do content translations. With content marketing translation, adapt marketing materials such as articles, blog posts, social media content, and advertisements from one language to another to reach a broader audience.

Just two days ago (at the time of writing this article), Google released a new update saying that Content Experience is a ranking factor. In other words, Google wants to see that writers share their own experience in their articles because experience is important.