Disclaimer: Due to the rapid evolution of ChatGPT this blog (an intended transcript of the video) has been enriched with additional information to ensure its timely accuracy as of the 5/23/23 airdate.
So, you’ve spent the last few months hearing a lot about Chat GPT, and you might be asking yourself, can I use this to scale my SEO content? As with many answers in SEO, yes and no.
Chat GPT (and other AI tools, such as Bard) are definitely going to be useful tools for content generation for your website. However, just because Chat GPT can do a great job of spitting out a list of ten FAQs about the 2023 F-150, doesn’t mean that it can write SEO content for you.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Before we get into the limitations you should be aware of, let’s talk about what ChatGPT actually is and dispel a few myths.
ChatGPT stands for ‘Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer’ and (like many tools that advertise themselves as AI) it’s not a true artificial intelligence. Think of it as a chat-bot front end to a curated data model that allows for (i) easy follow-up questions, (ii) the challenging of incorrect premises, and (iii) rejection of certain requests deemed inappropriate.
Beginning with a use-generated prompt, and informed by a combination of public and private content it was pre-trained on prior to mid-2021, ChatGPT creates a translated response in whatever format the user has requested based on the calculated probability of a word’s appearance. Think of it as being similar to the predicative text feature on your phone, building an answer based on what it thinks should come next.
It’s also not dissimilar to a ten-year old with access to the internet. It can help with basic tasks but may need more clarification, conversational context, or to be retold the same thing several times.
ChatGPT Limitation #1 | Incorrect Information
Go to Chat GPT’s homepage (where you can enter a query or a prompt) and the first thing you’ll see in its limitations is that it may produce incorrect information. Right there on the homepage, they’re calling out that it may not always be right. And that’s natural, because (i) it had to source the information that it’s getting from around the web (ii) human beings wrote the information on the web and (iii) human beings are fallible. Therefore, the information that Chat GPT gives to you can be fallible.
So, ChatGPT is useless?
Well, no…it just means that you need to human fact-check what it produces for you. If you asked for an article on F-150 towing capacity, you might want to fact-check that article – to make sure it provided you with the correct values – before putting them on your website. This is especially important when it comes to critical information that requires accuracy in the interest of safety, ethics, and/or liability. While “miles per gallon” might not be a make-or-break feature, someone towing more than they ought to with their F-150, could become a safety problem.
ChatGPT Limitation #2 | Harm & Bias
The second thing that you’ll see on the Chat GPT homepage under limitations is that it may produce harmful or biased information. To provide some clarifying context, “harm” might apply to situations like the one above – towing more than they ought to with their F-150.
“Bias” could be found if you asked ChatGPT for an objective evaluation of an electric vehicle versus its gas equivalent, and you got something very slanted towards EV’s. Remember, ChatGPT is pulling its information from content compiled from the internet, and there’s plenty of biased content and strong feelings one-way-or-another on this topic. Even if studies have shown environmental advantages to EV’s, it’s best not to editorialize your dealership’s content.
ChatGPT Limitation #3 | Limited Knowledge
And then the third limitation that you’ll see on the homepage of Chat GPT is limited information about events and the world after 2021. Remember how we told you it was pre-trained on the internet in mid-2021? Well, until the next update, that’s the scope of its knowledge. So, if you’re writing an article about a 2023, there’s bound to be some limited information there.
And what we’ve noticed is that Chat GPT has a tendency to just sort of fill in the gaps with whatever it can surmise. If you ask it for information post-2021, sometimes it’ll get accurate information from its source material but what happened when we asked it to write us an article about the 2027 F-150?
Well, nobody knows what the 2027 F-150 is going to be like, yet it wrote an article factually stating what engine it had, how much horsepower it produces. It was able to do so through a combination of calculating word probability and incorporating…
ChatGPT Limitation #4 | Hallucination
That’s right…hallucinations. That’s the technical term used by ChatGPT and, according to studies, about 20% of the information it generates is simply the tool trying to fill in the gaps of its knowledge by dreaming up the answer.
And this is where all of these things kind of come together.You’ve got an issue with fact checking and the accuracy of the information, you could potentially have bias right there baked into that kind of an article and it took its limited information, post a certain period of time and just sort of filled in the gaps.
So, with all of those limitations in mind, the biggest problem with Chat GPT is really that it’s going to become the new lowest common denominator.
What’s going to happen is, as more people try to use its outputs for SEO content, each website is going to start to have very similar AI-written, AI-driven content being sourced from the same basic material across the web. As a result, all of it becomes redundant content to one another, the space becomes saturated with it, and none of it works for SEO anymore. Why? Because Google is looking for standouts when they’ retrying to evaluate content for its merit. This is why you’re still going to need to write your own content – or heavily modify the output from Chat GPT to make it unique, built for the human consumer, and correct.
Think About It…
If you and your competitor across town are both feeding the same prompts into Chat GPT to produce similar pieces of content aimed at similar keywords, the output will be very similar. Maybe they won’t be identical – because everybody will phrase their prompts differently – but when you and your competitor have, for all intents and purposes, near identical information on your website both produced by Chat GPT around the same topic, you will be on equal footing and no one will get an edge.
The difference maker is the human element. It’s you or an expert vendor putting human judgment, human eyes, human fact checking into the piece of content to make it more readable, more valuable to the end user.
- Chat GPT (and similar platforms)should be viewed as a tool rather than a solution, and you should be conscious of their limitations.
- If they’re used to generate content, human fact checking is imperative to ensure accuracy and prevent the spread of harmful, biased or presumptive mis-information.
- As widespread usage increases, content generated by these tools will run the risk of becoming redundant and indistinguishable from content generated on similar subject matter.
- Your best bet to stand out is going to be your continued generation of your own unique human