Why ChatGPT is Really Bad for SEO

Now that Google has raised the bar in terms of what it takes to get your content indexed and ranked, it’s a good time to evaluate what went so wrong after the arrival of generative AI.

Indeed, the new content quality requirements mean it is no longer viable to hire the likes of ChatGPT for article writing. And I’m sorry to say that AI-generated images have met the same fate.

Most of us always knew that ChatGPT was nothing more than an article spinner, but we trusted it anyway because we didn’t want to get left behind.

Let’s see what lessons we can learn from this debacle, which can be used to improve the success rate of our handwritten content.

Bad SEO: Writing

In actual fact, this AI tool is a pretty competent writer within the confines of the tool itself i.e. during your interactions with it. But ask it to write a structured piece of content to publish online and it seems to lose its edge.

ChatGPT writes formulaic introductions and conclusions

The main body of the content is where the chatbot is most at ease in terms of producing semi-original content, so it’s a real shame that it usually gets sandwhiched between a cookie-cutter intro and conclusion.

Words like “delve” and phrases like “in this article, we will explore…” are absolutely rife in ChatGPT-generated introductions. This means search engines can confidently label your content as AI spam without reading the rest of it!

It’s the same story in the concluding section. Why can’t ChatGPT open with something a little more inventive than “In summary” or “In conclusion”? Perhaps the bigger question is, why does it insist on writing conclusions in the first place (it’s not a necessary component in article writing)?

ChatGPT lies about the scope and depth of its content

The word count for ChatGPT-written articles tail off at around the 500-word mark. Keep this in mind as you read the following list of common ChatGPT titles:

  • The ultimate guide
  • A comprehensive guide
  • An in-depth guide
  • The complete guide

Can you spot the problem here? There’s a mismatch between the description of the content in the title and the actual length of the content. This is an unmitigated disaster in the realm of SEO, because you are misleading visitors.

SEO experts disagree on a lot of things, but nobody disagrees that title tags carry a significant amount of weight with regard to how search engines understand and judge content. Yet ChatGPT is happy to mistitle your articles without a care in the world.

ChatGPT breaks Google’s golden rule

The main message to come out of the recent updates is that search engines want you to write for users and not…search engines. These are Google’s own words.

Even though ChatGPT has access to the internet, it clearly hasn’t made an effort to enlighten itself on the best SEO practices as set out by Google following the HCU, because it continues to write exaggerated titles, keyword stuff, and rewrite other people’s work.

Bad SEO: Images

Visual media is having an ever-growing influence on search engine rankings and ChatGPT offers its own AI image generator so that users can take advantage. However, images of this kind are very problematic for SEO.

AI images lack authority

Imagine you’re looking up information for a medical issue and all the images you see are AI-generated.

Imagine you’re in the market for a gardener and the images in the portfolios you’ve looked at are AI-generated.

Imagine you’re following someone’s fitness journey for inspiration and all the images showing their body transformation are AI.

If you are truly an expert in your niche (which you should be, in order to grain traction in the SERPs), you should be able to back this up with real-life photos, to show that you have real-world experience, which indicates your skills and knowledge can be trusted.

In any of the above scenarios, alarm bells should be ringing loudly, because it suggests the author doesn’t possess first-hand knowledge on the subject matter. In other words, the author and their content lacks authority.

AI images have a bad reputation

Rarely a day goes by where an AI image isn’t in the news for all the wrong reasons. For instance, celebrities and public figures are constantly having to issue statements to distance themselves from fake images circulating online.

But it’s far worse than that. Law enforcement is having a say on the way AI-generated images are regulated because some people create images of the most inhumane things you can think of.

Given the scale of the problem and the limited tools to contain it, you can see why Google is reluctant to reward content featuring AI imagery with high rankings and sizeable traffic.

AI images are linked to AI-generated text

Think twice before using ChatGPT’s text to image model or risk arousing an air of suspicion about how the rest of your content was created.

To put it simply, if you took a shortcut when it comes to supplying images for your articles then it stands to reason that the text was also likely a product of AI.

I can’t say for certain whether Google draws such correlations, but I know that any user who has their wits about them will connect the dots in this way. If your readers distrust your content and dash, this will obviously be felt in your website’s SEO performance.


ChatGPT has a negative impact on SEO because it uses repetitive words and phrases, writes misleading titles, and prioritizes search engines over users.

Images created in ChatGPT are also bad for SEO as they are controversial, indicate a lack of authority within your niche, and may cast doubt on the authenticity of your written content.