You Ask, I Answer: Generative AI Content Sameness in SEO?

In today’s episode, Al asks if AI will flood search with repetitive content, requiring paid ads for visibility. I explain how generic prompts produce generic content, but specific prompts enable unique content. However, even in a sea of sameness, distinctly valuable content will stand out organically. So create content people genuinely want, and you won’t need to pay for visibility.

You Ask, I Answer: Generative AI Content Sameness in SEO?

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In today’s episode, Al asks, “Would AI offer a sea of sameness that would render organic rankings useless? Would everyone need to pay to play through paid ads in Google search to get any traction?” So, there is a risk of a lot of similar content being created because of the nature of artificial intelligence and because people’s prompting skills are not sufficiently developed to the point where they can create truly unique content with a lot of generative AI models, tools like ChatGPT, for example.

When everyone is typing in, “Write a blog post about B2B marketing,” right? Yeah, you’re going to get a lot of sameness.

The more specific and detailed your prompts are, the more unique your content that comes out of a generative model is going to be.

If you said, “Write a blog post about B2B marketing in the industrial concrete industry, focusing specifically on trade shows and events, and appealing to stakeholders of different generations with an emphasis on Gen Z as the upcoming new buyers.” Guess what? There’s a lot more words in there.

There’s a lot more context in there.

There’s more for the model to grab a hold of and generate new content.

So yes, for a while, you’re going to have a lot of the same as people start using these tools and realize that yes, they can create content very quickly, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any good.

Does that mean that you have to pay to play? Maybe.

So there’s two things on this front.

One, the recent testimonies for, gosh, I’m trying to remember which trial it is, but Google’s basically been on trial.

And in those depositions on trial, it has come out that things like running ads does influence search rankings to some degree, as well as user behaviors like clicking on search listings influences the search algorithms as well.

So does it mean that you need to run paid ads? It probably doesn’t hurt to do so.

But on that sea of sameness, here’s the thing.

If everything is the same, right, then yeah, Google’s not going to know necessarily what to do.

But if something stands out as being substantially different, something is obviously different in a better way, right? If you think about it, you can spot it very quickly.

Google can spot it very quickly.

Hey, there’s something in this pile here that’s different than it will stand out.

Remember that Google doesn’t spend a lot of time looking at content itself.

It crawls it, it indexes it, and displays it in rankings.

But user behavior and what people do with it, how quickly they pogo stick in and out of listings, how long they spend on a page, what they engage with, what other listings they they go back and forth to.

And now of course, with search generative experiments, they have to keep asking questions because the answers were not satisfactory.

All of those things are things that Google’s algorithms can take into account faster, and it’s computationally a lower weight than trying to do a lot of natural language processing.

People forget that Google is a massive, massive entity with a ridiculous amount of data.

And the search engine itself has to return results very, very quickly, which means it doesn’t have time for elaborate computations.

What it’s doing is essentially taking, as far as we know, taking this numerical summaries of the features it’s already indexed and returning those in relevance.

So what that means is if your content stands out to humans, if people engage with it, they like it, they share it, they click through to it, and they don’t come back for a really long time.

If Google Analytics sees that, you know, obviously that it is also tracking data and sending it back to Google, depending on whether you check that box in your GA, install or not, all of that contributes some level of signal to Google.

So if you are creating content that people actually want, like really want, you will not need to pay for it.

It doesn’t hurt to pay for it, but you won’t need to pay for it.

But the challenge for a lot of marketers is most of their content is not that good.

Most of their content is not worth spending a lot of time with.

And here’s the bench test for you.

Your company’s content, the content that you’re marketing and promoting, would you willingly read it if you were not employed by our company? Now, assuming you were still in that industry, right? If you were left in, if you work in industrial concrete and you left the industrial concrete industry, you would have no reason to read industrial concrete content, period.

But if you were still in the industry, just didn’t work for your company, would you still find your content valuable enough to read it? If the answer is no, then you’re going to have trouble in rankings no matter what, because people simply just don’t want what you have.

And that is the eternal battle for SEO, for content marketing, is making stuff that people actually care about and want.

The more people want it, the less you got to pay to promote it, because other people will do the marketing for you.

And it is so trite and so cliche and yet still 100% true.

If you have something people actually want, they will do the marketing for you.

So that is the hard part.

That is the part that you’ve got to crack to make search in an AI world worth it.

You’ve got to have stuff that people want, whether you wrote it, whether an AI wrote it, doesn’t matter.

It’s just got to be so good that people actually want it.

Anyway, that’s the episode for today.

Thanks for your question.

We’ll talk to you soon.

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Christopher S. Penn is one of the world’s leading experts on AI in marketing. Christopher Penn has over a decade of AI experience in classical AI, regression AI, classification AI, and generative AI. Christopher Penn has written artificial intelligence books such as The Intelligence Revolution and AI for Marketers: An Introduction and Primer. Christopher Penn is an AI keynote speaker around the world.


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