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AI’s Impact on Organic Search and Content Creation

Artificial Intelligence (AI) sounds a little bit like someone is attempting to supplant naturally occurring intelligence with something unnaturally created in a laboratory. It could be compared to artificial sweeteners, tofu, vegetarian beef, or other such things that are often described as fake. Many of us have become accustomed to thinking that while artificial stuff may be better for many reasons, all things “real” still holds favor over fake.

For decades as new technologies revolutionized how we mechanically accomplished just about every aspect of life, the tech experts dissuaded the masses from believing that computers would ever be able to replicate the human mind’s ability to think creatively and subjectively. The idea was that workers who performed creative functions within an organization were safe from the threat of workplace irrelevance. After all, artificial intelligence lacked the ability to parrot human empathy, to recognize and respond to subjective emotional responses, or the ability to replicate genuine human personality. Well!

Artificial Intelligence refers to a computer science that uses computers and smart machines to perform intellectual tasks without the intervention of humans. Originally deployed to perform simplistic and repetitive tasks, AI is quickly morphing into a reality where it is able to frequently replicate the capabilities of the human mind. AI achieves this by utilizing massive amounts of data to enable machines to mimic human thought processes under virtually any circumstance.

Since 2016, the technology has commonly been used by Google to create algorithms that are having a huge impact on search engine optimization and organic search. Most recently, AI is being used to create written and visual content that rivals that of humans. Other common examples of where AI-supported products are receiving consumer favor are personal assistants (Siri and Alexa), Google Maps, live chatbots, interactive video games, wearable sensors and devices, biosensors for medical purposes, robotic advisors for stock trading, and even self-driving automobiles. The growing application of AI technology is causing ethical concerns among many proponents and opponents alike.

Marketers’ concerns over AI-generated content center around the quality and legitimacy of the outputs. The old adage, “garbage-in garbage-out is becoming a regular refrain among marketing professionals who question the quality, validity, and trust of rapidly generated AI content. Some question if AI-generated content is just another way for search engines to manipulate results. According to Google, “When it comes to automatically generated content, our guidance has been consistent for years. Using automation, including AI, to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results is a violation of our spam policies.” Despite the affirmations, many continue to advocate for robust regulations to ensure the ethical and honest application of the technology across all applications.

As digital technology continues to shape a new marketing landscape, brands will need to gravitate towards accepting and utilizing creative AI content to better reach audiences across multiple devices and marketing channels. Those who employ AI will need to consistently revise the algorithms in order to remove biases and unfair assumptions often generated by raw data.  Reliability, safety, transparency, and accountability are critical elements necessary to infuse and promote trust in AI applications.