AI is everywhere, and currently top of everyone’s mind. With the democratisation of platforms like ChatGPT, more and more people are becoming aware of the generative power AI can have. From high school students writing essays to lawyers drafting emails, everyone is now using AI.
But what most people are not aware of, is that they have been using AI for some time already. “Google has long been using AI and machine learning (ML) to provide users with better search results,” says the Head of Digital Operations at Somebody Digital, Cristiano Winckler.
“AI is nothing new, in fact, it’s been around in some form or another for over ten years, it’s just that everyone can access it now, so more people are aware of what it can do. But for those in digital marketing, we’ve been using these tools for many years,” he notes.
It is true that those who have been operating in the SEO space, for example, have long made use of intelligent tools to simplify the work they do, including prominent platforms for keyword research and competitor analysis like SEMRush, Moz, and Screaming Frog. “The difference a tool like ChatGPT makes is that it allows us to do things much more efficiently,” says Cristiano.
The devil is in the detail.
“You still need a high level of expertise to use ChatGPT correctly. We’ve had many clients come to us and say, ‘We tried to use the tool, but we weren’t impressed with the results’, and that all comes down to the depth of information you provide on prompts, and only experts will know that,” says Cristiano. And the key, he notes, is good prompts.
“Everyone is concerned that the robots will take their jobs, I don’t think that is true, I think we’ll see a shift in the way we work, and one of those shifts will be to master prompting to get the right results.”
SEO beyond AI
Cristiano flags that the current issue with the AI that is available is that it has an cut-off date, set sometime in 2021, meaning that information isn’t always current. ChatGPT is unable to crawl the internet in real time, although search engine providers like Google and Bing are working on integrations to allow that in the near future.
“Once ChatGPT integrates with search engines, you’ll be able to do keyword research in real-time. You’ll be able to run technical audits and technical analyses on websites. Right now, we’re using a myriad of tools to monitor keyword ranking positions and competitors, but soon we’ll be able to use one AI platform to do all of this for us, instead of combining three or four different tools.”
This, he says, is where AI really becomes powerful: when it is used to drive greater human efficiencies. “We’ll be able to do things faster, and better. If you're clever enough and you build a proper sequence of prompts, you can build the whole weekly or monthly reports with all that information that you need to gather from different tools and you can do it in less than half an hour.”
Flooding the market
Rather than robots taking our jobs away, a key concern from an SEO perspective is that tools like ChatGPT will flood the internet with low-quality content just for the sake of ranking.
That, Cristiano notes, is the difference between just using AI, and knowing how to use it as an SEO professional. “Search engines will react and improve their algorithms to eliminate poor pieces of content. That’s why it’s still important to have knowledge, to have professionals validating the AI output.”
The key to AI success is humans.
“So, you’ve got this AI tool you’re using, you’ve figured it out and you’re getting fair use from it. But do you know how to group keywords by search intent, or that you even should be grouping keywords by intent? Are you able to fact-check and make sure that the copy sounds unique? This is where you still need human expertise,” says Cristiano.
This is how Somebody Digital is taking AI technology and shifting it from something good to something great.
“It’s allowing our teams to get much more done by driving efficiency, but in the background, we still have our SEO experts with a wealth of experience that the AI tool doesn’t have going through the results, filtering for errors and implementing the findings in a way that drives tangible results for our clients.”
Using AI correctly means incorporating human experience, at least for now. “It’s an advantage we can make use of to enhance our capabilities and do better work for everyone, and we’re only going to see more of it in the future,” he concludes.
To find out more about how Somebody Digital is making the best use of AI for SEO, get in touch today.