AI content Neil Patel opinion

Google recently released a new Search Essentials rules guide. And then Neil Patel decided to write a blog of his own, focusing on what Google’s Search Essentials guide tells us about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Sounds innocent enough, doesn’t it?

Then Neil decided to go and comment on content quality. Again, fair enough and makes complete sense – content is essential to SEO.

But then… Neil went there… he commented on AI created content and how it’s a good way to create quality content. Neil Patel encourages the use of AI tools. 

For us as a professional copywriting team, and to every writer in the world, this is an insult to what we do.

Listed as a good way to ‘rank well’, he also references the use of AI within his own Ubersuggest tool, noting that ‘over 20,000 people use it daily’.

Eugh. Please stop, Neil.

What did Neil actually say about AI content?

He made three points. The third was the issue:

“With your content marketing efforts if you want to rank well you really only have a few good options…

… Use an AI tool to create content, and then use a human to HEAVILY modify it.”

He did follow up with tips on how to ‘edit heavily’, but there is so much wrong with this.

Neil isn’t using AI as a way to create content, and you shouldn’t either

Neil has a writing team, he’s not using AI to write his content. His content is decent to be fair, but that’s thanks to the hard work of his copywriters, not AI bots.

So, to make sense of his point of editing the AI content HEAVILY, he’s saying, in other words: once you’ve got the bare bones of the content, you need to make it fit your website. You’ve also got to ensure it’s something your audience can relate to.

But whilst he details the ways in which you can ‘heavily’ edit an AI’s words, we see a huge problem in following such advice. Think about it:

  • What’s the point of using AI to write something you’re going to completely change anyway?
  • Allowing an AI to write website content for you, which is then edited by your own hand, is a waste of time and money. There’s no personality, no intention, and barely anything you can use as is.
  • Which means there’s absolutely no value to be gained this way, especially if you’re using AI tools because you’re already on a tight schedule. Editing is not the stage in which you create – it’s where you edit. It’s where you build on content you’ve already designed to be the perfect fit for your website.
  • Here’s more detail on why advice like this is short sighted and misleading.

Anyway, all of this get me pretty narked about his comments, devaluing the importance of quality content creators, content writers and copywriters out there. This is for you guys!

How AI content works

We think of AI as a complex algorithm that can perform at a higher rate than a human brain. And in that lies the biggest misconception: your brain will always perform better from the perspective of creating content than a machine will.

Sure, AI is fantastic in dealing with large amounts of data, and with that it can do amazing things with that data that our minds cannot very easily, or at all.

But AI content writers are actually very simple in its mechanics. It crawls the web to research the topic, keywords and brief you feed into it, and then regurgitates the information it finds into something semi-readable.

To clarify: anyone using an AI writer tool will be able to set their desired style and tone and which keywords to use for SEO. Some tools can even produce ideas for what to write about. Then, via the use of language generation algorithms, the AI will then attempt to write something identical to what a real human would write when given the same prompts.

However, you won’t find anything within this content that’s fresh or offers a new take on a subject. Because AI generated content lacks that core human element that makes something worth reading.

Why AI is not a solution for your copywriting needs

Yes, you could let AI write your content. Issue is, will it cut the mustard in the eyes of Google? Not if the content quality is poor it won’t.

Google wants unique content that’s written to a high standard. A fresh perspective is what will get Google’s and your target audience’s attention.

Meaningful, unique and tailored content will always win. AI won’t produce that for you.

Read this if you’re being silly and thinking AI content is a good time – every reason you must not use AI writing tools!

Robots lack personality and emotional intelligence

Ask a robot to be sarcastic, they can’t. Sarcasm and humour are so important for human connection. Having a tone of voice and being able to convey your message in a natural and human way is hard to achieve for a lot of writers. Get it right, and you will absolutely win with your content.

Asking a robot to connect with a real person is not going to work.

Robots can’t speak with the same tone and style that makes the human voice so nuanced. You won’t recognise yourself in the writing, and that’s terrible for curating a cohesive brand image.

As a result, the content you’re left with is entirely unoriginal and offers no value to a reader. It’s not worth reading, it’s not worth ranking, and search engine algorithms are far more likely to flag it as poor quality content.

Why Neil Patel’s suggestion to edit AI content ‘heavily’ sucks

Google places high value on original content that’s been written by a real person for other real people. And editing is your chance to hit this target from your first draft.

For crying out loud, didn’t we just see the ‘helpful content update’ from Google roll out too. Everything comes back down to QUALITY CONTENT. AI content is a lazy shortcut. You’re going for a quick win, and you’ll get burned.

Using an AI writer is more work to edit. In fact, you’ll be rewriting the whole thing. And then you’ll be sat there thinking, might as well just written it yourself, or hire someone who actually knows what they’re doing.

Editing an AI’s content is a waste of time and money

In the end, you’ll be left with twice as much work to do. There’s nothing good to edit – you won’t be able to find anything that resonates with your target audience. Because an AI cannot keep all the details about reaching your audience in mind.

Sure, you can input certain commands to try and generate the right words, but an AI algorithm is nowhere near as spongy as the human brain. And ultimately, an AI will struggle to create content that is able to convert.

Your brand’s tone of voice is so important for building a connection with your audience. A lack of authenticity is harmful to a brand.

I’ve had the displeasure of reading AI produced content. It’s clunky, repetitive and boring. AI, to seriously compete against professional copywriters needs to up its game.

For those of you serious about growing your business online with the help of content

Our team of humans are talented writers. We can be funny, we can write in different tones, and best of all, we know how to get a message across in a way that helps you to achieve your goals.

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