Zero Penny Marketing

Why you should NOT use AI content for SEO?

Vishnu Goyal
Vishnu Goyal
Founder & CMO

Back in 2019, I was reviewing an article received for an SEO blog.

First thing, I opened the Grammarly Premium.

Copied-pasted entire content inside Grammarly document.

Hit Plagiarism checker. 

Got the results. 

“72% Plagiarism” - mentioned Grammarly.

Seeing that, I’d simply reject that. 

“Why?”

Well, because in my Content Quality Guidelines, I have always mentioned not to plagiarize please. 

But then, I’d meet more-less-smart folks!

They would know there are tools to quickly check plagiarized content. So, rather than resorting to plain plagiarism, they would play a trick. 

“What trick?”

Well, they’d copy-paste content from multiple sources and paraphrase that by changing a few words here and there!

And I knew no tool in the world that could detect paraphrased content. Even today I don't know.

Yes, many tools claim to detect paraphrasing but hardly have viable accuracy.

And if I approve paraphrased content for publishing, it’d not rank because it is 👇

→ not original at all

→ copied-pasted from sources and just edited a bit

So, while auditing SEO content, I’d need to spend a lot of time manually checking content. 

Having reviewed hundreds of drafts then, I knew most people would simply pick up headings from the first 5-10 top ranking blogs and then paraphrase their content. 

About 80% of the drafts would not make it past paraphrase audit.

Then, remaining 20% drafts, from the ‘Authentic Content Creators,’ I’d check for other quality factors.

Some of those good, couple of changes to make them great, and then getting those live on website. 

Couple of days or weeks later, rankings and clicks would always roll in!

That was the process then. 

Now, bouncing back to AI times!

There is AI.

There is generative AI.

And how does that generative AI work?

AI tools like ChatGPT & Gemini have fed themselves content from billions of pages from the internet without content owners even knowing about it. And they are feeding themselves all new pages too, ongoing.

And when you ask them a question or ask to write or create something for you, they use their AI algorithm to:

→ STEAL content from multiple sources 

→ PARAPHRASE that content

→ And then serve ‘generated’ content to you, which apparently looks like original content

Let me tell you - that ‘generated’ content is ANYTHING BUT ORIGINAL.

“How? Didn’t get your point, Vishnu?”

Okay, let me make my point with an example.

I just Googled “ZeroAdo” 👇

Search results for 'ZeroAdo' in Search Generative Experience of Google.

You see 👆, when I enter ‘ZeroAdo’ in Google Search, it presents a summary about ZeroAdo saying “ZeroAdo is a digital marketing agency that offers organic digital marketing services.”

Then it also lists down the digital marketing services offered by ZeroAdo.

All of that content is correct.

But the question is - “Is that content original?”

Hell no!

Google’s AI copied and framed it all from the website of ZeroAdo.

Not that smart, right?

“Hmm, tell me more.”

Google just scrapped it from the ZeroAdo site and re-framed it a bit.

However, at least, Google is NOT EVIL enough to not mention the source from where it is STEALING all this content! I will give it that.

Now, let’s ask Google’s Gemini about ZeroAdo.

“Okay, sure. Let’s do it!”

I just did. See what I got 👇

Search results for 'ZeroAdo' in Google Gemini.

In Gemini as well, Google shows a slightly different summary of what ZeroAdo is and what services ZeroAdo provides.

This content as well is correct. 

Yet again, the question is - “Is that content original?”

And yet again, my response is - Hell no!

Now, let me show you from where Gemini STOLE & PARAPHRASED content for ‘ZeroAdo’ search query. Tag along 👇

ZeroAdo Company Page on LinkedIn.

👆 Take a look at content in the ‘Overview’ section of ZeroAdo company page on LinkedIn. Gemini copied the list of services from here.

And the summary as well it copied and re-framed using content on the homepage of the ZeroAdo website.

Looking at examples 👆, you know, content ‘generated’ by ‘Generative AI’ is 👇

→ DUPLICATE; NOT ORIGINAL

→ STOLEN from multiple sources 

→ PARAPHRASED and re-framed a bit

→ And then presented to you as ‘Generated Content’

Instead of generated content, I prefer to call it STOLEN content.

And that’s why, ‘generated’ content or AI content doesn’t work for SEO.

For SEO, you need content that is 👇

→ ORIGINAL; not copied-pasted or paraphrased

→ Created by YOU

→ Shows your experience and expertise

→ And also win through like 200 other SEO factors and quality checks!

You got the idea, right?

"Hmm, I got it."

Cool!

See, using AI tools for the sake of reading content and knowledge gain is fine. BUT, using AI to generate content like that and then using that ‘generated’ content in blogs and website copy as ‘original’ content is not okay. 

On top of it all, using that ‘generated’ content expecting it will rank and get clicks - that’s not only ‘not okay’ but that’s also being stupid slash innocent!

Harsh but damn true.

And I know there are many AI tools in the market claiming that their software can help you boost SEO with AI-powered content. 

In reality, NONE of those Generative AI tools can give you rankworthy SEO content.

AI-generated content DOES NOT beat human-generated content. Anyone claiming to be on the other side, I am happily-and-friendly all open for an open and transparent challenge. 

And FYI, Google does have a ‘spam policy about automatically-generated content’ and content created using ‘generative AI’ falls into that spam category. 

“Has Google officially mentioned that AI-generated content is spam.”

No. 

Google never ever gives crystal clear answers like that. It only throws “signals.”

And I experimented with AI content in two different projects - Briefian (closed now) and Unrola. Both times, Google kicked out AI-generated pages out of search.

In its official March 2024 core search algorithm update as well, Google mentioned - “new policy builds on our previous spam policy about automatically-generated content.”

What more clarification do you and I need on how badly AI content sucks at SEO!

Anyway, I am also working on my tea skills! 

Just Googled “How to make a good cup of tea?” 👇

How to make a good cup of tea? - search results in Search Generative Experience of Google.

In the above snap as well, Google’s Generative Experience came up with all steps for me to follow. But it also mentioned all the sources from where it ‘Scrapped’ the content. 

While I go to kitchen for my tea experiment, I will leave you with these questions to think about 👇 

→ Does that count for ‘ORIGINAL’ content?

→ If I use this ‘generated’ content in my blog, will it rank?

By the time my tea is ready, I am sure you will know answers to ‘em all. Or better, you know already!

I hope one day I get to meet you in person; I’d be happy to treat you with my special tea then 🙂

Vishnu Goyal
Founder & CMO
Just one of the 8 billion here; spending most of my time playing with words, numbers, and web in pursuit of an imperfect life, raising humanity, and building one carefree world.