AI and SEO

AI vs Humans – The SEO Content Experiment by Reboot

Since the launch of ChatGPT, the SEO community has been exploring ways to use AI technology on their websites to create content. However, there is a lack of robust testing on the performance of AI-generated content compared to human-created content. To address this, a controlled SEO experiment was conducted by Oliver Sissons by ReBootOnline to determine if there are any differences in rankings between AI-generated and human-written content.

Is it a good idea to use ChatGPT for your website content?

The hypothesis was in a controlled environment with all other factors equal, AI and human content would perform equally. It was unclear whether Google could differentiate between AI-generated and human-written content and if the use of AI would impact rankings. The objective was to isolate AI-generated content as the independent variable and measure its impact on rankings.

The methodology involved selecting an artificial keyword to avoid external ranking factors, choosing test domains with no previous history, creating optimised content for AI and human versions, and minimizing outside ranking factors. AI content detection tools were used to assess their ability to identify AI-generated content. The test websites were published using a consistent template and closely monitored for speed, performance, and uptime.

Rank tracking was conducted using Semrush to analyze the rankings of the test websites.

The statistically significant results showed that human-written content consistently ranked better than AI-generated content.


The results showed that human-written content consistently ranked better than AI-generated content.


The Significance of human content creators for SEO

The experiment has significant implications for website owners, content writers, and agencies offering SEO Services. While AI-generated content may not outrank human content at scale, the increasing use of generative AI by search engines could bring changes to search results and SEO practices. However, the study had limitations, such as using an artificial keyword and a small sample size.

Acknowledging the rapid advancements in AI and the potential for Google to detect and manage AI-generated content is important.

Human editing and refinement of AI-generated content could yield better results, where a human writer edits the content to align it with the preferred brand tone and style.


Skilled human content writers who can create engaging content that resonates with audiences and search engines are still incredibly important.

If you are going to use ChatGPT or similar for your content creation for small business SEO, we suggest a human edits it, improves the writing and adds their own unique flavour and style that reflects your business's unique brand.


The experiment highlights the ongoing importance of skilled human content writers who can create engaging content that resonates with audiences and search engines.

In conclusion, this SEO experiment demonstrated that human-written content outperformed AI-generated content in terms of rankings. While AI technology continues to advance, the expertise and creativity of human content creators remain highly valued in the industry.

Using AI in your SEO efforts

AI technologies have transformed the way businesses approach SEO website design strategies.

AI enables efficient data analysis and content optimisation resulting in more relevant search results for your customers and improved user experiences. AI tools can process vast amounts of data to gain insights into keyword trends, consumer behaviour, and market dynamics.  AI's applications in SEO are continually expanding, including content creation, content gap analysis, link crawling, metadata creation, and topic cluster creation. It is difficult to keep up!

But using tools like SEMRush and other make these insights and efficiency gains accessible. Because keyword research and content optimisation are easier using these tools, it can free up time for strategic planning. Gone are the old dates of multiple spreadsheets to keep track of keywords and a lot of the most difficult grid work. All of this can be done with a tool like SEMRush.

It does not take the place of real people - as stated above; you need real humans to edit the content provided by AI and a real human for strategic planning.

For further knowledge on AI and SEO and practical measures to enhance your SEO strategy, I recommend exploring June 2023 - WP Engine's webinar mini-series. This series provides in-depth discussions on various SEO topics, offering valuable insights and actionable steps for improving your small business SEO.

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