The State of Generative AI for SEO

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Generative AI and SEO

The State of Generative AI for SEO

Generative AI has rapidly emerged as one of the most transformative technologies. It can churn out text, images, and even videos in a flash. In the field of SEO, where content reigns supreme, this technological leap carries profound ramifications. On one hand, generative AI could revolutionize content creation, allowing SEO teams to produce a high volume of optimized material efficiently.

The ability to quickly generate drafts, product descriptions, metadata, and more using AI writing assistants could streamline workflows and content output. Additionally, AI analysis could uncover new keyword opportunities and content insights from large datasets.

However, embracing generative AI is not without its challenges. Factual inaccuracies, inherent biases present in training data, plagiarism concerns, and the potential for search engines to penalize AI-generated content are all risks that must be carefully managed. There are also long-term questions around the impact of AI-generated content saturating the web.

As generative AI capabilities rapidly evolve, SEO professionals must think strategically about how to leverage this technology responsibly while maintaining high content quality standards. Developing robust review processes, focusing on differentiation, and staying ahead of potential search engine policy shifts will be critical.

Use Cases of Generative AI for SEO

Generative AI opens up a wide array of use cases for SEO professionals:

  • Content Creation – Drafting blog posts, videos, images, product descriptions, social media posts, PR and marketing copy using AI writing assistants.
  • Content Optimization – Generating titles and thumbnails, helping with site design and UX optimizations, automating A/B testing methods so that you can evaluate and optimize versions of your sites, and uncovering long-tail keywords, meta descriptions, and schema markup to enhance on-page SEO.
  • Keyword Research – AI-powered analysis helps unearth hidden keyword clusters and content opportunities, keeping you ahead of the curve.
  • Outreach – Using AI to craft customized outreach emails and copy at scale or analyze user sentiment and emotional cues from text or voice inputs to create offers that are tailored to better match users’ emotional states and needs.
  • Personalization – Generative AI models can analyze user behaviour, preferences, and historical data to generate personalized content recommendations. By understanding user patterns and interests, the AI can suggest relevant articles, products, or services, increasing engagement and satisfaction (Yoast).
  • Backlinks – AI can quickly uncover important insights from large volumes of SEO data related to backlinks and traffic.

Industry Impact

The impact of generative AI varies depending on the industry, especially how much that sector relies on informational searches. E-commerce companies are leveraging AI for richer product listings and voice search capabilities. For publishers and affiliates, Google’s AI-powered Search Generative Experience (SGE) poses risks by directly answering queries that drive website traffic.

SGE is an experimental search feature that uses generative AI to provide users with concise overviews of search topics, potentially reducing the need to visit external websites. However, competitors like Microsoft Bing and Perplexity also challenge Google with advanced AI search capabilities that could impact traffic sources.

The influence of generative AI is not uniform across all industries and is significantly influenced by each sector’s dependency on informational searches. For example, e-commerce businesses use AI to enhance product listings and voice search features.

Meanwhile, for publishers and affiliates, the challenge comes from Google’s AI-powered Search Generative Experience (SGE), which can directly answer questions that generate traffic for websites. SGE, an exploratory search function, employs generative AI to deliver succinct summaries on search topics, potentially diminishing the visitors’ need to click through to external sites.

Yet, Google faces competition from entities like Microsoft Bing and Perplexity, which offer sophisticated AI search functionalities that may alter the dynamics of web traffic sources.

Risks and Challenges of AI

AI is undeniably impressive, yet it’s far from flawless. Imagine your new AI writing assistant accidentally writes a product description for a snowboard that claims it can fly. Not ideal, right? Here are some potential pitfalls to watch out for:

  • “Fake News” Factory: AI might inadvertently fabricate information, producing what some term as “hallucinated facts”. Monitoring the accuracy of information is, therefore, essential.
  • Bias Blind Spots: The effectiveness of AI models directly correlates with the quality of their training data. Biased data leads to biased AI-generated content, emphasizing the need for careful consideration of potential biases and the pursuit of varied datasets for training AI tools.
  • Copycat Content Blues: Replication and plagiarism create problems for everyone, including search engines like Google. It’s vital to ensure your AI doesn’t unintentionally mimic existing content. Utilizing plagiarism detection tools is a wise precaution to prevent issues.
  • The AI Echo Chamber: Should AI-generated content begin to predominate online, it might result in a cycle of AI learning from AI-generated materials, ushering in an era of bland, repetitive output. Emphasizing quality and innovation, as much as efficiency, is crucial.
  • Search Engine Sleuths: Search engines like Google are taking steps towards detecting and penalizing AI-generated content. We’ve already seen cases like Sports Illustrated facing penalties for content created using AI writing assistants.

By understanding these challenges, you can avoid potential potholes and leverage AI as a responsible SEO tool.

Best Practices

Imagine you’re a chef with a brand new, super-fast food processor. It can chop, slice, and even julienne vegetables in seconds. It’s a game-changer, but you wouldn’t throw all your ingredients into the machine and call it dinner, right? Similarly, generative AI is a powerful tool, but it needs your guidance to be truly effective.

Here’s how to be a responsible AI sous-chef in the SEO kitchen:

  • Fact-Check Like a Pro: Just as you wouldn’t serve raw chicken, don’t publish AI-generated content without verifying its accuracy. Set up a thorough review process, such as designating a team member to confirm the accuracy of all statistics and statements before publication.
  • Embrace The Editor’s Eye: While AI can produce content rapidly, it may lack the nuanced touch of a human. Think of yourself as a seasoned editor, refining the AI’s output to ensure it aligns with your brand voice and resonates with your audience.
  • Focus on What Makes You Special: In a world of AI-generated content, differentiation is crucial. Utilize distinct data sources, like customer surveys or industry analyses, to shape your content strategy.. For example, an e-commerce company with a loyal customer base could use AI to analyze purchase history data and identify buying trends, then craft highly targeted blog posts based on those insights.
  • Don’t Forget UX: High-quality content is only effective if paired with an excellent user experience. Make sure the AI-crafted content is well-organized, user-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing.

By following these best practices, you can leverage generative AI’s power to create high-quality, informative content that keeps you ahead of the curve.

The Future of Generative AI for SEO

Generative AI is poised for significant advancement, evolving into multimodal systems that understand text, images, audio and video input. Predictions indicate a shift towards market diversification, with the emergence of specialized vertical AIs and large, general-purpose models. Search engines are beginning to emphasize content verifiably created by humans through initiatives like “Hidden Gems,” which could dramatically alter the search landscape by using AI to assess content quality and interpret user intent more deeply.

While uncertain, generative AI’s trajectory presents substantial opportunities for SEO practitioners to enhance content, analysis, and operational efficiency. However, it also requires the development of stringent quality controls and a solid strategy for differentiation to navigate potential future challenges effectively.


In conclusion, generative AI has quickly transitioned from an experimental technology to one with a significant impact on the real world, including the SEO industry the ability to guide their development and application responsibly through human-guided approaches will separate the winners from those rendered irrelevant by a deluge of non-distinct AI-generated content.

The landscape of SEO is evolving. To maintain a competitive edge, businesses must judiciously harness the power of generative AI while confronting its inherent challenges. The potential for factual errors, ingrained biases, and the unpredictability of search engine responses demand vigilance.

As we stride towards an era where SEO thrives on a symbiosis of artificial and human intelligence, a delicate balance must be struck—leveraging AI’s efficiency while ensuring the authenticity and integrity of content through human oversight and curation.

Other Useful Articles:

Check out my previous article at – How Generative AI is Reshaping HR – Kieran Gilmurray

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