Should You Use ChatGPT AI Content On Your Blog? I Made 4 Websites To Test SEO!

Should You Use ChatGPT AI Content On Your Blog? I Made 4 Websites To Test SEO!
  • 16 min read

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere for the last few months, you know that AI and ChatGPT are all the rage right now. It’s promising to disrupt everything we know on how to produce content, and even reprogram fundamental behaviors learned since the beginning of time to search the internet for information.

How do you know that things are getting serious? Paul McCartney announced that he will be releasing one final Beatles song using AI later this year.

Things are moving fast indeed. Just Yesterday we were stuck writing our own content, it’s time we all Come Together and Let It Be with artificial intelligence to help replace all the things we used to do ourselves. Imagine if all the people did that? Yes, artificial intelligence is going mainstream!

Joking aside, WordPress recently announced that it too would incorporate AI content generation functionality with the launch of Jetpack AI Assistant which is pretty significant in itself!

WordPress Co-Founder Matt Mullenweg on the Ai REVOLUTION

Imagine being able to quickly generate all types of content—headlines, entire posts, even translations—with the click of a button. Imagine significantly reducing your effort and time spent staring at a blank screen. 

Automattic

We originally wrote about the future of AI content back in February after checking out ChatGPT a little with a few simple test prompts, but things have certainly progressed since then as we now see dozens of new companies being launched on a daily basis trying to ride this trending AI phenomenon.

I’m not going to write about how artificial intelligence is going to make your job redundant or attempt to review the impact of AI across a broader spectrum. Instead, the purpose of this post is to talk about AI content generation after testing it myself with four new personal hobby blogs over the last 60 days.

Two of the biggest questions people have right now is this:

  • Does AI-generated content get indexed by Google?
  • Will I get penalized if I use AI content on my blog?

I can tell you that AI content definitely gets indexed, but how Google will deal with it in the future isn’t so clear.

Did I tell you I got a featured snippet using AI content? Read on…

FULL DISCLAIMER: I’m not advocating using AI content on your website. It is up to you to know the risks and think twice before publishing anything other than content written by real human beings.

In this post we’ll address the following topics:

  • There are now hundreds of tools out there that can produce AI content for you
  • First impressions of AI content produced
  • Quality of the output from AI writers
  • Does Google rank AI content?
  • Review the SEO results for the four websites I created
  • Getting a featured snippet using AI content!
  • Can Google detect AI content? Do they care?
  • How will Google respond to AI content in the future?
  • What will happen to content marketing agencies?
  • Should you use AI content on your blog or website?
  • How to use AI content properly on your blog

You will clearly see that I did not use ChatGPT to help write this post, Grammarly is throwing me a ton of reminders that I’m still a lousy writer right now.

How My ChatGPT SEO Hobby Blog Project Started

My daughter is currently a grade eleven high school student, and she asked me if I could help her build a WordPress site for a school assignment early in April.

This sounded like an awesome and possibly rare bonding opportunity, and I couldn’t pass up the chance. I also decided that to make the most of it, I would start up my own little hobby blog for myself as she built her first site.

My daughter said she wanted to include YouTube videos on her site. While she got started on the build of her first blog (a whopping 30% of her final grade), I dusted off an ‘old and bloated’ ThemeForest theme and decided to build a video directory so I could show her how easy it was to embed YouTube videos.

When ChatGPT First Caught My Attention – Time To Start Testing AI Content

You can’t really have an opinion on something unless you’ve actually tried it yourself. It’s like recommending a restaurant that you’ve never visited before. You can’t tell me the pasta is good unless it’s sitting on the plate in front of you.

In that vein, there was a post on LinkedIn talking about using 100% AI content that was generating 750,000 visitors and ranking for thousands of keywords, that was the hook that got me thinking.

Using GPT-4 AI Content For SEO

In Digital Marketing, it does not matter whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned veteran, testing things for yourself is the best way to reach informed decisions. I personally didn’t know anything about the consequences of using ChatGPT for content creation. So I got started with ChatGPT with the goal of using as much AI generated content as possible.

It was then that I started to seriously look at AI tools to write content for my hobby blog, and I began testing to see what impact AI-created content has for publishers.

Which AI Writer Should You Use?

You can create content with ChatGPT directly through OpenAI, but there are now hundreds of competing AI content writers out there to choose from with new ones being launched every week.

I won’t be mentioning the names of any tools I tested because most of them will likely be gone six months from now. I also want to avoid the scenario where casual mention of any tool in this post is somehow a personal endorsement. Go test your own services and make your own conclusions.

To start with a baseline measurement, I chose to use the same AI tool that Jake, the aforementioned LinkedIn poster, used to generate 750,000 visitors. This would give me a starting point to test against other AI writing tools.

Sure enough, the first AI tool churned out a 1500 word article that looked pretty good, but I immediately wondered what the other AI writers would produce on the same topic. Would it be different? Would it be better?

I went on to test an additional 10-15 different AI writers over a couple of weeks, and the output was drastically different in many ways.

Each tool has its strengths and weaknesses, and some have additional article and SEO optimization tools as well. It all depends on what you are looking for in terms of time spent editing your post and being happy with the outcome.

Tools usually charge by the number of words, or flat rate per article and ChatGPT version used. For example, ChatGPT-4 is generally much more expensive than earlier versions.

How To Create ChatGPT Content

Although some AI writers just literally ask for a topic and start writing with a single click, most of them now create an outline before they generate the article. Here is the basic 3-step process used by many of the tools right now:

This is how ChatGPT would write this blog post. The difference is that I’ve already spent 3 hours writing this manually while it will take AI only a couple of minutes.

Step 1: Initial Prompts – Article Setup

  • Depending on the tool, you can choose between GPT3.5 or 4
  • Enter your topic: Should You Use ChatGPT AI Content On Your Blog?
  • Some will give you the option to integrate additional SEO considerations like contextual keywords and entities
  • Tone of Voice
  • Language
  • Point of View
  • Citations, Sources, Tables, FAQs, etc.
How to use ChatGPT to write articles using AI

Step 2: Outline Generation

Now that you’ve instructed how you want your article to be set up, AI writers will then propose an outline based on competitive websites ranking for the same keywords. You can edit these until you are happy before generating your article.

ChatGPT outline editors for better structured articles using H2 and H3 tags

Step 3: Article Creation

The magic begins. Article creation time depends on the version of ChatGPT being used to generate the article, but it usually only takes a few minutes. This article was around 1700 words. You can either cut and paste the article or export it directly to WordPress as a draft.

What does ChatGPT content look like?

First Impressions Of ChatGPT AI Content

Going back to my first project with my daughter on the video embed directory, I have to say that I was impressed with the fact that I was getting full articles now with thousands of words in each of them.

I immediately understood the appeal of using AI-generated content for a blog after seeing the first few articles created, but there were immediate issues that could be spotted where human intervention would be definitely necessary.

One thing I know for sure is that publishing content will never be the same again. AI is powerful, and it levels the playing field for anyone and everyone out there that wants to scale their content production overnight. But what potential impacts and risks does using AI content bring to your business?

Even if you are not a true enthusiast or simply hate the idea, the reality is that if you completely ignore the power of AI-generated content, you might get left behind while other competitors are leveraging AI to scale their marketing efforts in the future.

It’s far from perfect, it will continue to quickly evolve, but make no mistake: AI content generation has already changed things forever.

Finding The Right AI Content Generation Tools

After spending a couple of hundred bucks testing multiple AI writing tools, I eventually went with a premium AI writer that goes well beyond just ChatGPT. It has 50+ SERP data points and NLP algorithms to optimize content even further. I’ll get into that a little more later here as all of these different tools have strengths and weaknesses.

Click to Expand

Using advanced ChatGPT tools that include additional SEO functionality

Issues: Quality Of The Output From AI Writers

Robotic Writing

Written by a robot, sounds like a robot. No matter how well you set things up, it’s still written by a machine. The trouble with AI-generated content is that things get dry pretty quickly, and it’s generally devoid of any personality. I could see scenarios where visitors would never come back to your site after reading an article written by AI that hasn’t had a human who spent time proofing and editing the final product.

Not on Topic

No matter how many times you explain what you want your article to be about, AI writers will demand independence and write something completely different. It’s critical to organize your outline in a way that ChatGPT understands.

Redundancy

Some of this is overzealous optimization where it will literally try to stuff the same keywords in every sentence. Some tools will continue to repeat the same words over and over again to somehow make Google happy, but ends up being content that’s unreadable.

Contradictions

In a single article generation, AI will often state one thing and then directly contradicts itself in the following paragraph. It happened quite often with numbers and stats or just about anything else for that matter.

AI Content Is Not Factual

Often content generated by AI is completely wrong out of the box. Remember that AI isn’t knowledgeable, and the quality of its information depends directly on where it got the information from. I ended up spending considerable time fact-checking each article because I knew it wasn’t right. Several times I resorted to checking Google and manually having to correct everything. Kind of ironic to be honest.

Does Google Rank AI Content?

Short answer: It sure as heck does. But I would proceed with absolute caution. Don’t rush out and use AI tools because of this article. It is too early to tell how this will turn out in the long run and what the long-term effects of using AI-generated content may be in the future.

I’m testing this on my personal hobby blogs only, I would be very hesitant to use AI content in any professional capacity until additional guidance is provided and I’m 100% positive that the results are worthwhile. AI is brand new, and ‘the rules’ will continue to change as Google decides on what it wants to do with such content.

After making that disclaimer, let’s throw caution to the wind and take a look at the stats on my sites to see how well AI content produced for me over the last several weeks.

Setting This Test Up For 4 ChatGPT AI Hobby Sites

The AI Setup

1- Definitely caught the AI bug and created 4 different niche websites over a matter of a few weeks.

  • YouTube video directory
  • a site about electric vehicles
  • a site about seniors
  • a site about Canada (I live in Toronto)

2- I registered new domains for all of them. None of the websites had any existing domain authority.

3- I didn’t do keyword research for any posts. I just prompted whatever came to mind and wasn’t hunting down low-hanging fruit in terms of search volume or keyword difficulty.

4- No real attention was paid to optimizing meta descriptions for optimal CTRs.

5- Didn’t have the time to worry much about things like internal linking or other SEO best practices

There was no strategy here other than producing bulk content using AI tools. Whether it’s written by a human or not, it’s VERY difficult to generate significant website traffic based on the above.

ChatGPT SEO Results

YouTube Video Embed Directory

Setting up my hobby ChatGPT site

This was the first site I started playing around with AI content generation. I noticed that quite a few of my posts weren’t getting indexed in Google as previously mentioned and thought I would fatten them all up and see if anything changed.

Click to Expand

GSC results for ChatGPT content created by AI. Should You Use ChatGPT AI Content On Your Blog?

My first video embed went up on April 7th. I started adding AI content to my existing posts on April 20th.

There are too many elements involved here to say with confidence what the overall impact was on a new domain, but it was clear that dozens of keywords started getting impressions that were generated from the AI content.

Click to Expand

Example keywords with search volume for content generated by AI

I stopped publishing content on May 31st and it wasn’t long before impressions essentially plateaued.

Here is a keyword snapshot of the last 7 days where things really took a nose dive. I don’t think this had anything to do with using AI content to be honest, but rather this is more “SEO 101” related, as Google caught up to the site and wanted more from the content being produced. I really don’t know for sure.

Click to Expand

Recent keywords with search volumes generated by AI

This is where you generally get to work on any new website, examining what content is generating early results and what needs to get fixed up.

The majority of this content was never going to rank because I didn’t do any keyword research. It was competing with established domains that already had authority and were properly optimized.

What would happen if I went and got a few backlinks and did some work on this site? Would it recover or improve over the next few months? I didn’t have time to test that out, but it’s an interesting question.

My daughter ended up getting 100% on her school assignment without my help, so starting this hobby blog was a valuable learning experience for me on using AI content, and even happier that my daughter did well building her first WordPress website.

AI Site About Canada

A site about Canada generated by AI content

I’m not really sure why, but I started my second AI website all about Canada, covering a mix of venues and tourist destinations along with general questions to further test how different content ranked outside of my original WordPress video directory.

This is where ChatGPT can go sideways. When it came to writing about specific venues for example, the output was badly outdated and I started chopping stuff. If you are looking for AI to write academic or content that relies on accurate/recent source information, it can more often than not be a complete miss and requires extensive editing and research before you would ever want to publish anything.

After learning a few things about writing AI content from the video embed directory, I posted my first piece of content on May 11th. My last post was May 25th and the results are definitely different this time around, including getting a featured snippet from Google.

Click to Expand

Slow but steady indexing of keywords with search volumes using ChatGPT

This one was slow to index out the door, I didn’t wait a couple of weeks this time before I started adding AI content like the video embed blog. The number of keywords getting search impressions was much lower, but it was getting a few clicks every day and the average keyword position was much higher.

Remember, this was a brand new domain with no authority and I wasn’t doing any keyword research before posting anything.

I had essentially stopped working on all of my hobby blogs in early June, but kept seeing one post in particular on my Canada site that was generating organic clicks on a regular basis.

It was about the number of bear attacks in Canada. Checking GSC, I saw that the post was ranked near the top. So I searched with the keywords in Google to see if I could find the post. The results were shocking.

Lo and behold, Google had somehow rewarded me with a coveted featured snippet using AI content on a couple of keyword variations!

Brand new domain, no backlinks and there it was. Does Google rank AI content? It definitely does!

Getting a featured snipped using ChatGPT, incredible SEO feat using AI content

Early AI Casualties – Electric Vehicles and Seniors Websites Scrapped

To continue testing, I built two more AI websites about electric vehicles and seniors. Things quickly got carried away after catching the ChatGPT bug now with 4 sites, I needed to slim down my newly found portfolio of test sites and decided to axe these two.

A little piece of advice if you are thinking about starting your own niche site.

Write about something you actually like or have some knowledge of, don’t chase a topic only because it might make you money. I know we posted about picking a profitable niche site, but think of something that you’ll enjoy writing about for the long run that you won’t abandon once the shine wears off.

Wrapping Up My AI Experiment

It’s certainly been an interesting couple of months learning something brand new. I built 4 hobby sites using 100% AI-generated content and it was fun watching what happened over the last several weeks.

It was absolutely wild to get a featured snippet on Google using AI content. I didn’t see that one coming!

I’ll keep these two sites for the next few months and watch what happens next now that they’re basically inactive without new content being added. Will anything change? What will Google ultimately do with them?

(VIDEO) Google’s AI Bombshell: Yoast SEO Predicts Traffic Plunge!

Can Google Detect AI Content?

The idea of leveraging AI content is definitely not new. There have been article spinners kicking around for years now where people would essentially borrow a piece of existing content and mix up the words enough that people couldn’t say it was copied. Content farms have come and gone, too.

I think most people out there don’t have any personal conflicts with generating AI content, but are probably more worried about Google catching them and penalizing their sites as a consequence. It’s all about what can be gotten away with, and those boundaries are yet unknown.

Part of this experiment was to see how unique AI content was. I tested several tools that boasted they could write 100% unique content that Google couldn’t detect. I can tell you that this is false and likely always will be the case.

Do AI Writers Plagiarize Content?

Depending on the AI writer you use to write content, they may generate varying amounts of plagiarized content when ChatGPT produces an article.

Do AI Writers Plagiarize Content?

This can range from an odd sentence here and there to full paragraphs. I’ve seen people on Twitter showing large portions of content being copied word-for-word from the source website after generating content with AI.

This is something to be cautious about. You should consider auditing all ChatGPT content using plagiarism checker tools to clean it up before publishing anything. The last thing you want is to be contacted by the original content creator, either directly or by way of a DMCA complaint! But that may be more difficult than it seems.

AI Detection Tools Are Wildly Inconsistent (And Probably Wrong)

I took the exact same block of text and tested for AI detection with 3 different services, all with very different results.

Almost 100% Human-Generated Content

AI Detection tools put to the test

About 23% AI-Generated Content Detected

AI Detection tools put to the test

100% AI-Generated Content Detected

AI Detection tools put to the test

Reality: Google Can Easily Detect AI Content

There are some paraphrasing tools that avoid detection by mixing things up so badly that it may evade AI detection, but it also means your content ends up a jumbled mess that makes no sense.

With even the most premium AI writers out there today that claim to generate 100% unique content, Google can and will identify it as not being written by a real person.

They’ve been doing this for a long time now. Don’t think you can fool Google in the long run.

Is Google ‘OK’ With AI-Generated Content? Do They Care?

Google has indicated that AI content is fine, even laid out in their official AI guidance docs about it, but at the same time just released a new spam reporting tool where you can squeal on your neighbor/competitor if you think they are using AI-generated content. That would seem quite contradictory to where they stand on this.

I think it’s quite clear that content that’s helpful and follows E-E-A-T principles will be prioritized no matter how content is produced. The biggest ongoing question is what future search algorithm changes Google makes and whether or not it penalizes AI-generated content. Is it worth the risk?

(VIDEO) Chris Lema: Will AI BANKRUPT your WordPress Business?

Adapt Or Die: What Will Happen To Content Marketing Agencies?

Why spend days writing a single piece of original content when AI can produce something in minutes?

There are auto-blogging services out there that can write thousands of articles and export them directly to WordPress, all they need upfront from you are the topics to write about.

AI content is easy and convenient, it saves time and money. This raises the question should you hire a content marketing agency still for your content needs?

The short answer to that question is an emphatic yes you should, probably more now than ever before.

I envision a future where tons of mediocre content is circulating around the internet, even more than there currently is. Making sure your content stands above the rest means a real competitive advantage. You need to resist the urge to be average just because it’s easier and less expensive to generate AI content. Instead, take the opportunity to hire talented writers that can make a huge difference over all that commodity fluff that’s likely to surface.

Smart content marketing agencies will effectively leverage these tools as resources to streamline the process, not replace the people actually writing the content. Good writers will shine even more brightly now that the bar has been lowered. Quality always prevails over quantity.

Verdict: Should You Use ChatGPT AI Content On Your Blog?

Comic on why everyone is quick to move on AI right now

If I could predict the future with a guarantee that it’s 100% safe to use AI content on your website (and that Google would be ok with it) I’d likely already be retired fabulously rich and writing this post from a beach somewhere in Hawaii right now with a fancy cocktail in my hand.

I think AI content is fascinating. You could have ChatGPT write a million words of copy over the course of a day with the hope that thousands of people will magically find your website overnight.

But that strategy will likely land you in the ‘Google Sandbox’ (real or not). It’s never worked that way since the beginning of time. There are no easy ways to build an audience. It’s about hard work and earning visitors coming to your site by giving them what they need and providing value. People engage, share, and come back to your website for those reasons. That’s where the real magic exists.

If you care about your website, there are definitely some ways to use these AI tools effectively by creating better outlines, finding gaps, and optimizing what you already have on your site. Constantly improving your craft as a website publisher, leveraging any means available to become a better content marketer.

Do what I did and create a new little hobby blog or niche site. Test the tools, monitor your SEO and see what happens next. Don’t do it on a site that matters for now at least. Embrace this AI rollercoaster that we’re all part of whether you like it or not and simply enjoy the ride, the adventure has just begun.

New call-to-action
More papers

More blog resources