The pros and cons of using AI content writing tools
The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) programs has allowed writers to streamline content development.
Simple AI writing tools are available for spelling and grammar checks, while more advanced programs provide copywriting and content generation with the click of a few buttons.
But is it worth using such tools when Google is clearly against AI-generated content?
Learn three pros and four cons of using AI content generators before purchasing your own subscription.
The pros of AI writing tools
1. Writing efficiency and scalability
The greatest benefit to using these tools is the speed at which content is generated – significantly quicker than human writers.
Between researching and writing, a two-page article may take a human writer 30 minutes to an hour to complete while this can be done in a few minutes by AI.
Multiplying this writing efficiency by the number of articles to produce at any time, AI writing tools improve the scalability of work.
Other benefits of this efficiency include:
- Meeting the speed-to-market requirement for trending topics.
- The localization of language for each product or service in geographic regions.
- Developing unique social media content with personalization for each platform.
Quality human writers can cost a few hundred dollars per content project, depending on factors such as:
- The number of articles.
- Length per article.
- The technical knowledge required.
- And more.
This cost is often worth it, given the high-ranking results of detailed, well-researched content.
Comparatively, most AI writing tools use a monthly subscription pricing model that limits the number of words, keywords and articles developed in the billed period – with prices often around $100 per month for tens of thousands of words and multiple articles.
Using AI writing tools might be more cost-effective when developing brief, simplistic content.
3. Spark ideas and overcome writer’s block
A common hurdle to human writers is creating authoritative content on subjects they are not qualified experts on. This hurdle requires extensive research and ideas to develop the content.
To overcome this, many AI tools can develop detailed outlines on what to include in the content and key points on the subject.
This circles back to writing efficiency, as AI tools can help overcome writer’s block and spark ideas for content development.
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The cons of AI writing tools
1. Quality concerns and plagiarism
Although AI is considered one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, it still heavily relies on data analysis and algorithms to write content.
The intended tone of an article and the misuse of statistics within the flow of the content are just two of the quality concerns that can be experienced with AI writing tools.
Similar to the quality concern is the potential to be flagged by search engines as plagiarizing other content.
Many AI tools scrape pieces of content from other websites and then re-word them, which is against Google’s guidelines of “stitching or combining content from different web pages without adding sufficient value.”
2. Risk of Google algorithms devaluing your content
Google’s helpful content update aims to “help people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results.”
This clearly states that the search engine prefers human-written content that provides a satisfying experience while also utilizing SEO best practices, and intends to better reward these website pages.
The update also says to “avoid creating content for search engines first”.
As many AI-writing tools analyze search engine results without truly understanding what the searcher is looking for, beyond siloing each search as informational, transactional or navigational, this is not a people-first approach.
3. Lack of E-A-T
Closely related to the risk of Google algorithms devaluing your content, Google’s quality rater guidelines assess how content appears for expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (E-A-T).
This is separated as another con to AI-writing tools given the significance that Google uses E-A-T criteria to help it evaluate good content, and the lack of E-A-T that AI content gives.
Readers are inherently skeptical of online content, due to numerous factors including the rise of misinformation. Showcasing the expertise of the writer of the content, their professional certifications or years of experience are invaluable in terms of overcoming this.
Since AI-written content lacks these credentials, quality raters (and users) will have issues trusting you.
4. Missing creativity, originality and other nuances
Adding creativity to content is what makes articles engaging and shareable, which are two key metrics for success. Because AI does not have emotional intelligence and the ability to understand nuances in the local language, quality human content should continue to outperform AI content.
Again, AI relies on existing content and data for the development of “new” content. Combining this with the lack of creativity, AI is unable to understand search query intent nor plant the seeds for an evergreen content strategy.
AI should be a writing assistant, not an outsourcing solution
After evaluating all of the pros and cons of AI-generated SEO content, there is scope to use these tools for writing assistance. The ability to quickly develop cost-efficient draft articles is enticing, especially when AI tools can help you overcome writer’s block and spark creative ideas.
However, be careful not to become overly reliant on such tools for content generation. Use it to source content suggestions, help paraphrasing short passages, check grammar and spelling and support your research.
Even before drafting content, research:
- What content users are actually looking for.
- How you can demonstrate E-A-T.
- If the content you’re creating is satisfying to the reader.
Lastly, always proofread, edit and humanize your content.
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