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ChatGPT goes viral – but what does it mean for marketers and SEO?

ChatGPT has exploded across the internet this week leaving people asking whether the new AI technology can replace Google, people’s jobs and even take down education systems.

Before we dive into that. Let’s first discuss what is ChatGPT?

At this point I thought it would be rather cool to ask ChatGPT to define itself and here’s what it said:

“GPT, or Generative Pre-trained Transformer, is a type of natural language processing (NLP) model developed by OpenAI. It is designed to generate human-like text by predicting the next word or phrase in a sequence based on the context of the words that come before it.”

Will it really replace Google?

In short, no.

While the AI is great at formulating an answer, Google does so much more. For example, Google provides media, sources of information, shopping, reviews, directions and up to date information like traffic and flight times.

Furthermore, Google has already gained trust by billions of people and the habit of using the search engine will be hard to replace.

Interestingly, Google executives have already discussed the threat of ChatGPT and whether there has been an opportunity missed. Google’s Jeff Dean said the company has much more “reputational risk” in providing wrong information and thus is moving “more conservatively than a small startup.” Read more

What about jobs and education?

An article by the Guardian this week warns that “professors, programmers and journalists could all be out of a job in just a few years”.

Similar concerns were echoed in a Nature essay, which asks whether professors should worry about the ability to wrote smart essays.

Again, in short, no.

I personally think that it is an insult to the human mind to start believing that ChatGPT could simply replace high-skilled jobs. Of course, people in these professions could use AI tools to become more efficient, but we are a long way off AI replacing skills that require creativity.

Vice’s article ‘Everybody Please Calm Down About ChatGPT’ is a great read to explore this further.

How can marketers use ChatGPT?

So what about marketing?

The use of AI in marketing isn’t new. I’ve been getting adverts on social media daily from AI tools that tell me the ad was created by a robot.

Tools like Jasper, Narrato and Grammerly can help you make your content marketing more productive.

And that’s where ChatGPT also plays a role. Helping marketing with productivity. Lazy marketers will use the tool to replace their creativity while leading digital marketers will use the tool to aid them in their processes.

The tool itself points towards the following use-cases to help digital marketing:

  1. Chatbots: to provide customer support, answer frequently asked questions, or collect information from leads.
  2. Content generation: generate new content, such as blog posts, product descriptions, or social media updates.
  3. Email marketing: generate personalised emails or email subject lines
  4. Ad copy: generate ad copy for Google Ads or social media ads.
  5. Customer service: to power a customer service chatbot or to generate responses to frequently asked questions.

The last point is a slight repetition and serves as a good example of why the tool needs to be checked for accuracy.

Should ChatGPT be used for SEO?

Yes and no.

Digital marketers can use ChatGPT to help with productivity in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) processes. As mentioned above with the assistance in creating content.

When asking the tool itself, ChatGPT suggests that it can be used for:

  1. Content generation such as blog posts or product descriptions. I tested this with a request to write a blog about the importance of customer service.Blog Chat GPT
  2. Keyword research to generate a list of related or synonymic keywords. I tested this with a request to find keywords similar to “customer service”.keywords Chat GPT
  3. Generating meta titles and descriptions. I asked for a meta title and description for the blog generated on customer service.meta title Chat GPTmeta description Chat GPT

I’m impressed with the outputs for my requests on customer service content. The tool could certainly be useful in creating foundation content, briefs, topic generation, meta titles and meta descriptions.

The tool also does a good job of reminding users of its limitations. A disclaimer-type paragraph often concludes a result. For example, when asked about SEO uses the tool reminds readers that “It is important to keep in mind that while ChatGPT and similar NLP models can be useful tools, they should be used as a supplement to, not a replacement for, traditional SEO techniques. It is still important to conduct thorough keyword research and create high-quality, relevant content in order to effectively optimize a website for search engines.”

Issues with ChatGPT

By its own admission, ChatGPT has issues, “it is important to keep in mind that it is still a machine learning model and may not always generate text that is completely accurate or appropriate”.

Sam Altman, OpenAI CEO, also admitted the risks of using ChatGPT for anything important in a tweet.

Risks of Chat GPT by CEO tweet

Marketers looking to use ChatGPT (and other AI automation tools) should be aware of the following limitations and issues:

  • There is no source of information – how can it be trusted?
  • It is unaware of current events. It does not know any content after 2021.
  • As with many AI tools, ChatGPT has built-in biases.
  • AI content can be identified by Google and it violates Google’s spam guidelines on using automatically generated content.
  • ChatGPT is expected to be upgraded with watermarking.
  • The content might be inaccurate. I managed to break it by asking for Eminem “No apologies” lyrics. Instead of the song lyrics, I got a combination of repeated verses from Maroon 5 and a different Eminem song for the chorus.

    Eminem Lyrics Chat GPT

Conclusion

While ChatGPT is fun and mind-blowing at times. It’s not going to replace Google search or high-skilled jobs anytime soon. We will always need a human touch to operate and validate AI tools and as such AI tools should always be viewed as productivity tools rather than replacement tools.

SEOs and digital marketers should use the tools to boost productivity and widen creative scope. But also, be cautious using ChatGPT and other AI tools given their search engine violations and accuracy limitations.

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