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How ChatGPT Has Upended SEO

How ChatGPT Has Upended SEO

Written by enCOMPASS Agency

When ChatGPT was launched in November 2022, it immediately became the biggest story in tech. The generative AI technology quickly revealed its power to enhance countless day-to-day personal and professional activities, demonstrating utility across a wide range of industries. Needless to say, one of these industries was digital marketing.

The ability to type a search query into a live chat window and immediately receive (reasonably) well-written content poses some obvious advantages for anyone looking to rapidly scale their marketing assets. As with any new technology, however, the value of ChatGPT hinges on an ability to use it strategically and effectively.

It’s worth spending some time considering the various ways in which ChatGPT has impacted the digital marketing space. For the purposes of this post, we’ll focus specifically on ChatGPT’s utility for SEO.

ChatGPT and Content Creation

We’ll start with the most obvious use of ChatGPT within the SEO field, and that’s rapid-scale content creation.

As every SEO professional knows, content is king; this mantra has been repeated ad nauseam for years now, to the point that many SEO professionals focus much of their work on topic ideation and content writing. Indeed, one of the big challenges that SEOs grapple with is simply finding the time and the inspiration to develop large batches of unique, original content for use within their campaigns.

At first blush, it would seem like ChatGPT solves that problem. And indeed, to a large extent, ChatGPT can be useful for producing somewhat well-written content that’s original and that ranks well.

But while ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for SEOs everywhere, it’s important to emphasize the need for ongoing human contribution. AI-generated content can be useful for topic ideation and for outlining, but it can sometimes be a little clunky or robotic in its presentation, making the need for human editorial insight pronounced. There are also well-cited problems with accuracy, making fact-checking essential.

SEO Staffing Considerations

Because of its potential to create large volumes of content or code in a fairly short span of time, ChatGPT initially caused concerns about staffing disruptions. Both salaried and freelance content writers worried that they would effectively be replaced by AI bots.

But while this has certainly happened in isolated cases, it’s hardly become the big industry trend that many feared. In fact, most SEO agencies and marketing firms still prefer the manual approach to content development, keeping writers and coders in-house, perhaps encouraging them to use ChatGPT as a tool for working more efficiently.

This is doubtless because of the stylistic inconsistency and dubious accuracy that ChatGPT delivers. As such, content creators can probably breathe easy: ChatGPT is unlikely to displace human creativity any time soon.

Rapid-Scale Testing and Experimentation

One area where ChatGPT really has had a seismic impact is in the ability of SEO companies to rapidly build, test, and revise prototypes.

Simply put, a lot of SEO is about testing: Developing different types of content to see what works and what doesn’t, then revising the strategy accordingly. This has become much easier to do now that content personnel have the tools they need to develop content on a larger scale.

Now more than ever, SEOs have the ability to quickly disseminate content, and then to track what works and what doesn’t. Real-time feedback can make campaigns more precisely targeted than ever before.

What About the Search Engine Results Pages?

ChatGPT has clearly impacted the way SEO teams operate. But have there been any significant changes with the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) itself?

This is something SEOs have wondered about: Will the widespread implementation of ChatGPT result in major ranking fluctuations across different industries? Thus far, that hasn’t really been the case. Still, it’s worth being alert for certain businesses or industries finding sudden dominance over the SERPs, specifically tech-savvy industries like crypto, consumer finance, etc. If there are big SERP shifts due to ChatGPT, these are the industries where we’d expect to see them.

What Does it All Mean?

It’s clear that the advent of ChatGPT has had a significant impact on SEO, though perhaps not as seismic as was initially predicted.

The bottom line: ChatGPT is an incredibly helpful tool, and when leveraged properly, it can potentially help SEOs work more efficiently and more effectively. With that said, SEO professionals still need human creativity, plus real knowledge and expertise of their industry. ChatGPT, while certainly disruptive, is no replacement for real SEO know-how.

At enCOMPASS Agency, we’ve been monitoring the ChatGPT roll-out since it launched, and we’ll continue to do so as the technology becomes more widely used. We’ll provide any further updates about ChatGPT’s use within digital marketing and SEO. For now, if you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact the enCOMPASS team at your convenience.