January 28, 2023
By R. Michael Brown, Marketing & Communication Consultant at RMichaelBrown.com
Not so fast if you’re jumping on the ChatGPT bandwagon. Google may lower your organic rankings AND ChatGPT may not be emotionally intelligent enough to achieve your goals.
ChatGPT is a chatbot launched by OpenAI, an artificial intelligence (AI) company, in November 2022. It’s built on top of OpenAI’s GPT-3 family of large language models, and responds to user prompts to research and auto-write content for the prompter.
In tests at RMichaelBrown.com, ChatGPT is amazing for straightforward writing. If you need content that is straight news, research papers, reports, anything that doesn’t require emotion, context, or persuasion, you may be good with ChatGPT. We don’t recommend it for marketing copy or creative nonfiction.
“The copy is flat,” said R. Michael Brown. “It’s remarkable that it can do it so fast without the user going through Google Search to research and then write the content themselves. But, it feels and sounds emotionless. Much of the output looks like a high school paper from a C+ student.”
Emotion is the key to great copywriting. An emotional connection between the writer and potential readers is responsible for lively prose. Choosing the topics, thinking about pain and pleasure points to emphasize, organizing it into a story, and writing it in a persuasive way with the best word choice is the heart and soul of human communication.
Great copywriters are masters of persuasive and creative nonfiction. They are amazing storytellers. But, AI writing systems aren’t good at that, yet, including ChapGPT.
Reasons: Human vs. Computer Communication
Will AI ever be human enough? Folks have ways of understanding and communicating that computers don’t. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is strongly related to artificial intelligence. It is a branch of linguistics, computer science, and artificial intelligence, mainly focusing on how to program computers to process and analyze large amounts of natural language data.
As humans, we are able to translate our people languages into a machine based language – which are codes and scripts for an AI or program to follow. While human language words can be translated into computer language nearly seamlessly, there exists an important difference between the languages. Human languages exist in three fields: speech, writing, and gesture. But, machine based languages exist only in one field: written.
A computer’s written language can understand and translate human written words from one database to another. But, depending on the context, the meaning of each word and string of words that a human may use in each situation, differs between the computer and human languages.
Machine languages are used almost exclusively for requests, orders, reports, and logic.
Whereas human languages are applied in a variety of contexts that involve requests, orders, reports, and logic, PLUS different types of meaning for the same or similar words (ie: synonyms, antonyms) and an order to the words that a human chooses because of context, inference, intention, emotion, persuasion, and more. It’s why professional writers use a Thesaurus and sweat over the meaning and emotional context of a particular word to pick precisely the right one for the given situation.
The human brain works with reasoning, feelings, and observation based on experience. That is used to communicate an accurate translation for others to understand what is meant.
Computers still can’t do that, yet.
An Example that Needs Human Intervention
Let’s take a simple example. You’re at work and you made a mistake with a long-term customer that you’ve been doing business with for years. You have a relationship and you usually communicate via email.
You have to write an email to apologize. Do you know there are over 40 ways to say you’re sorry?
Which words and string of words do you choose? It takes you, the writer, to understand the context and the relationship with the customer, and how best to respond.
Think of all the written content that falls into the world of context. Your brand has a personality. Your text should reflect that.
Google Reacts to ChatGPT Warning about Lower Google Rankings
Not surprising, Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, responded to the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) community about Google’s stance on AI-generated content, as reported by CNBC, on the news that BankRate started using ChatGPT.
“As said before when asked about AI, content created primarily for search engine rankings, however it is done, is against our guidance,” said Sullivan. “If content is helpful and created for people first, that’s not an issue.”
Sullivan added that’s the “key to being successful with our helpful content system – and if it’s not helpful content, the system catches that.”
Then he references the Google spam policies where he said, “Our spam policies also address spammy automatically-generated content, where we will take action if content is generated through automated processes without regard for quality or user experience.”
That means Google Search will rank you lower if it catches you. You’ll get less “Google Juice” to help your content show up higher in the rankings on organic search.
SEO Risk for Lower Google Rankings
Finally, Sullivan goes to the new EEAT guidelines and writes, “For anyone who uses any method to generate a lot content primarily for search rankings, our core systems look at many signals to reward content clearly demonstrating E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness).”
Since ChatGPT is so fast, a matter of seconds after a prompt from a human, I’m wondering if Google can detect the time is takes for content development. If the time falls within a minute or two, or seconds, can Google “see” that and use it to identify that it was created with AI? That would be a game changer for users.
Using ChatGPT to write content for your website is a risk for two reasons. First, the AI writing may not be emotionally intelligent enough to connect with your readers. And second, because you may get lower SEO rankings from Google, and your organic search results will be below what most users are willing to dig for. It’s our view that it’s not worth the risk.
Need Help with Writing, Higher Organic Google Rankings, or Marketing & Communication?
Contact R. Michael Brown to get a FREE Digital Biz Assessment: Find Out if Your Business is Marketing Ready!