Within two months of launching, artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT reached 100 million users, securing its spot as the fastest-growing web app. But exactly what is ChatGPT and does it make sense to use AI-generated content as a strategy for SEO? In this blog, we’ll cover:
- What is ChatGPT
- What is ChatGPT best used for?
- Why AI content is bad for SEO
- Limitations with ChatGPT
What is ChatGPT?
Created by OpenAI and released to the public in November 2022, ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool powered by AI technology. The web app allows users to have human-like conversations with the chatbot, answering questions and assisting with a broad range of writing tasks, including email composition, essay writing, and even coding.
As of this writing (February 2023), ChatGPT is still in its research and feedback-collection phase. For this reason, it is open to the public free of charge. However, there is a paid subscription version — ChatGPT Plus — that is also available.
How Does ChatGPT Work?
Using the program is simple enough: Users access the website, sign up for a free account, and can begin typing in questions or giving commands. But what is ChatGPT actually doing to provide its answers?
Before we can answer this, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the key components to ChatGPT. These include:
- NLP: Natural Language Processing (NLP) is what allows ChatGPT to interact with humans. NLP is what gives ChatGPT the power to analyze, understand, and use language in a way that’s meaningful to its human users.
- Neural Network: This is the type of machine learning algorithm that ChatGPT relies on to function. It operates like a human brain, using neural networks to mimic the processes involved with problem solving, learning patterns, and data collection.
- Transformer: The transformer portion of ChatGPT is the structure within its neural network responsible for NLP tasks. This is how the chatbot is able to assess inputs and generate outputs for users.
Here’s a look at how the process happens step by step:
- Input: Human users type in questions or commands into the platform.
- Tokenization: The text is then tokenized (divided into individual words for further analysis).
- Embedding: Tokenized text is then placed into the neural network’s transformer portion.
- Encoder-decoder: The transformer encodes the text input, generating a probability distribution for all possible outputs.
- Output: ChatGPT produces a final output, providing the human user with a text response.
Where Does ChatGPT Get Its Information?
OpenAI trained ChatGPT using a combination of Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback and large bodies of existing text from a broad range of sources. Human AI trainers played the role of both user and AI assistant to teach the program how to converse naturally. Information from various sources (i.e., Wikipedia, books, news articles, etc.) were provided up to the year 2021.
What is ChatGPT Best Used For?
ChatGPT can be an excellent tool for many writing tasks, allowing teams to accelerate their workflows like never before. Since its release, users have flocked to the site to test the full range of the web app’s capabilities. Here are just a few of the strongest use cases for this revolutionary program:
One of the biggest benefits to using ChatGPT is its ability to create large amounts of content in very little time. While a 1,500-word article might take a copywriter two hours to compose, ChatGPT can accomplish this in just a few seconds. This makes it much easier for writing teams to compose first drafts which they can work to perfect through the proofreading and fact-checking process.
Creating relevant, engaging content on a consistent basis means regularly coming up with new ideas. From generating holiday gift ideas for family members to creating AI art prompts, ChatGPT’s ideation capabilities are far-reaching. Using ChatGPT, content strategists can supercharge the idea generation process to keep their videos, blogs, and pages fresh and exciting.
Perhaps even more useful than its writing capabilities are ChatGPT’s content outlines and summaries. The program can be used to generate a content outline or summary on nearly any topic. This is a great way to expedite the content planning process when creating multiple pages or blogs for a new web design project. It can also be used by editors who create the content outlines and assignments for large writing teams.
Beyond its ability to understand human language, ChatGPT is also skilled at analyzing and interpreting coding languages. Developers across the web have put its knowledge to the test, asking the program to identify bugs in their code and what needs to be done to correct it. This can cut back significantly on the time it takes for teams to debug problematic code so websites can be fixed faster and more affordably.
Just like with Google Translate, ChatGPT can be used to translate text from one language to another, including:
Be warned: While ChatGPT’s translation capabilities are slightly more advanced, it still might miss some grammar and semantics of foreign languages, resulting in inaccurate translations.
Why AI Content is Bad for SEO
As an AI language model, ChatGPT is not bad for search engine optimization (SEO) on its own. In fact, it doesn’t have any direct impact on SEO at all because it’s not a website, webpage, or any other type of online content that can be optimized for the search experience.
However, it’s worth noting that content generated by ChatGPT can potentially impact SEO if they are used on a website. In general, the quality and relevance of content on a website is a key factor in determining its search engine rankings. If the content generated by ChatGPT is low-quality, irrelevant, or stuffed with keywords, it could end up harming your SEO efforts.
Google’s Helpful Content Update
In August 2022, Google announced the helpful content update — a site-wide core algorithm update that rewards content which offers visitors a more satisfying, human experience. Aligned with its previous updates, the helpful content update targets AI-generated content and focuses on serving users people-first content instead.
What does this mean for those hoping to use ChatGPT content on their websites?
Put simply, if you’re relying solely on AI-generated content and other automated processes as the primary method of content creation, your SEO could suffer. While ChatGPT does aim to generate human-like content, it lacks the personality, accuracy, and understanding of a human writer in its current stage.
Other Noteworthy Limitations with ChatGPT
Not only can ChatGPT-generated content be problematic for SEO, but there are several other limitations to the program that keep it from being an ideal content creation solution. These limitations include:
In a recent blog post from OpenAI, the company responded to reports of biases, inaccuracies, and inappropriate behavior from the chatbot itself. According to the blog, “in some cases ChatGPT currently refuses outputs that it shouldn’t, and in some cases, it doesn’t refuse when it should.”
Persuasive writing is at the heart of most content marketing projects. One of the fundamentals of persuasive writing is the need to acknowledge the opposition. In its current stage, ChatGPT does not appear to have the capacity to meaningfully recognize or interpret opposing viewpoints. This limitation won’t just result in arguments that fall flat, but can seriously harm the way we communicate and reconcile alternate perspectives.
With any emerging technology, data privacy concerns are bound to come with its release. ChatGPT is no exception to the rule. Since the program was built using massive amounts of data input, anyone who contributed to the data training process could potentially be at risk since that data is now forever stored in the platform.
While ChatGPT is incredibly smart, its database only extends to 2021. That means any events or information that came to light since 2021 are absent from the program’s realm of possible outputs. This could cause the program to generate responses that are outdated and inaccurate.
Additionally, the chatbot largely relies on information that comes from the internet. Since not everything on the internet is true or trustworthy, there is no guarantee on the accuracy of the information ChatGPT provides in its responses. This is why any content outlines or pages generated by the platform should be thoroughly fact-checked and proofread before publishing.
Despite its ability to carry out human-like conversations, ChatGPT still struggles to understand certain words, sentences, and queries. This can lead the chatbot to generate off-topic or completely inaccurate responses.
Even when ChatGPT works perfectly to provide an accurate response, it may still lack the personality that’s innate to human writing. While the program is trained on sentiment, it lacks the understanding that comes from real human experiences. This can result in content that feels inauthentic or robotic. Especially following Google’s helpful content update, using such content on your website can be a huge setback to your SEO strategy.
Moral of the story: ChatGPT is an excellent tool for generating large amounts of content in a short period of time. However, content strategists should be aware of how the program’s limitations may negatively impact their SEO efforts depending on the quality and accuracy of the responses generated. While ChatGPT can help expedite the writing process, it should by no means be used as a replacement for human writers.
Interested in hiring a team of human writers to supercharge your SEO efforts? Contact Word Nerd online or call (609) 498-4223 to get started today!