Artificial Intelligence in SEO: Uses, Impacts, and Pitfalls

Artificial Intelligence in SEO: Is AI Required for Success?
Artificial Intelligence in SEO: Is AI Required for Success?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming almost every industry, including content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO).

A 2021 report by the American Marketing Association in New York found that nearly 80% of U.S. marketers planned to use AI assistants going forward — a 28% increase from 2019.

AI-powered tools are the future of SEO. They have been used to:

  • Find keyword opportunities.
  • Produce more SEO content.
  • Scale and automate digital marketing activities.
  • Improve search rankings for new and existing topics.

In this article, we’ll learn about artificial intelligence in SEO and its uses, impacts, and pitfalls.


Table of Contents

What Is Artificial Intelligence in SEO?

Artificial intelligence (AI) in SEO refers to using different technologies — such as machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), and image recognition — to enable machines to optimize for search engines.

AI enhances search engine performance by looking for data patterns and making predictions. What differentiates it from other software (and makes it intelligent) is its ability to improve performance by learning from past outcomes.

Benefits of Artificial Intelligence in SEO

Why use artificial intelligence in SEO? According to Deloitte’s 2022 State of the AI report, AI increases job satisfaction and enhances performance.

Specifically, here are a few benefits of using AI in SEO:

  • AI tools take over the tedious parts of SEO, increasing productivity and efficiency. Many SEO tasks are repeatable and automatable, like link building.

According to a 2022 Morningscore study, more than half of SEOs found link building the most time-consuming SEO task. But AI tools like LinkHunter can automate the task for you.

  • AI supplements your content efforts. AI can help you spot content gaps, find relevant keywords to rank for, and even improve your writing.
  • AI improves website performance. AI helps with website audits and technical SEO and can alert you when your website performs less optimally than usual.

How To Use AI for SEO

  1. Keyword research
  2. Competitor analysis
  3. Content creation
  4. Forecasting
  5. SEO analysis
  6. Website optimization

1. Keyword Research

Keyword research and keyword mapping are pillars of a solid SEO strategy.

Choosing keywords to optimize for requires large amounts of keyword data. Google processes 3.5 billion searches daily. According to Google itself, 15% of all search queries are new.

Content is produced rapidly, so you need a solid content strategy to stay competitive. Keyword research isn’t as easy as choosing a target keyword and calling it a day.

You need to consider multiple factors, such as domain authority, ranking difficulty, search volume, and whether the keyword fits the user intent.

Nowadays, instead of choosing a single keyword to optimize for, most SEOs create keyword clusters — groups of keywords representing a single search intent.

For example, the keywords “coffee maker,” “drip coffee maker,” and “coffee machine” represent people looking to buy a coffee maker.

If you’re selling coffee makers, you limit your store by only trying to rank for one of these keywords. Creating a keyword cluster that includes primary and several long-tail keywords allows you to rank for more keywords.

AI helps create keyword clusters through keyword extraction.

With keyword extraction, an AI tool shows the most common keywords in the text at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs).

With this information, AI tools can determine:

  • Real-time keyword metrics, such as search volume, cost per click, and keyword difficulty.
  • Semantic terms, or related keywords, to help with keyword clustering.
  • Autocompletes, similar to Google’s “autocomplete” function, suggest related topics and relevant subtopics.
  • Common questions, or related queries that people often ask. They appear on SERP enhancements like featured snippets or the “people also ask” box.

For example, Writesonic has a free keyword extraction tool. Paste your competitors’ text in the box to determine the keywords they’re ranking for.

Homepage of Writesonic, a keyword extraction tool.

Once you have a list of keywords, a tool like SEO Scout can help you group your keywords into clusters.

Examples of keyword clusters extracted from SEO Scout’s AI-powered software.

2. Competitor Analysis

Competitor analysis (or competitor research) is evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of your and your competitor’s SEO. You use this information to improve your website’s SEO.

Homepage of GetGenie, an AI-powered competitive analysis tool.

An AI-powered competitive analysis tool like GetGenie helps you benchmark your performance against competitors and reveal their strengths, gaps, and weaknesses.

3. Content Creation

Good content takes time to develop. But AI is there to help with issues like duplicate content, increasing content demands, and writer’s block.

Here are a few ways AI supplements your content efforts:


Google penalizes plagiarized and duplicate content that goes against its spam guidelines. That’s why writers must think of multiple ways to convey the same thought.

But writers can encounter writer’s block, which isn’t ideal when there’s a looming deadline.

That’s where AI comes in. AI-powered tools like Wordtune don’t get stuck. They help you paraphrase sentences so you don’t commit plagiarism.

Examples of paraphrased lines written using Wordtune’s AI-powered software
Scaling Content Production

AI speeds up content production. Use it to create outlines, repurpose content, and write blurbs and short descriptions.

You can use AI to write short captions for mediums that aren’t particular about originality, like social media.

For example, use Rytr to generate social media ad copy or Frase to create content briefs and outlines.

Examples of social media ad copy generated using Rytr

Remember, AI tools give you something to work with, but you can’t rely on them solely to write something of value and expertise — heavy editing is required.

Generating Ideas

Need ideas? You can use AI SEO tools like Copy AI’s Blog Idea Generator to brainstorm topics or find common themes when you’re stuck.

Optimizing content

Need an extra set of eyes? AI-powered tools like Grammarly and Hemingway check whether your writing is on-point. Originality AI detects plagiarism and AI-generated content.

Many AI SEO content tools also have a meta description writing feature. Leaving AI to write metadata is fine because only the search engine crawlers read those descriptions. Leveraging AI to write metadata is the perfect case of letting the machine write for the machine.

4. Forecasting

Using AI in SEO allows you to predict rankings and algorithm changes.

AI uses predictive analytics based on algorithmic data to create a model showing minor optimizations’ effects. For example, Market Brew’s AI SEO tool can model algorithm changes, so you can see where your website appears on the SERPs after an update.

Market Brew recalibrates its search engine models when Google rolls out another algorithm update.

Homepage of Market Brew, a tool that models algorithm changes.

5. SEO Analysis

An SEO analysis (or SEO audit) evaluates whether your website follows search engine best practices. You need to perform audits periodically because Google’s algorithm keeps changing.

During audits, researchers provide an initial SEO report to detail the website’s status. They monitor keyword performance, backlinks, and more — all of which AI can automate. Once SEOs have data, they make recommendations for improvements.

Labrika is an example of an AI SEO analysis tool. It checks over 200 ranking factors and shares its findings in a report.

6. Website Optimization

Another AI in SEO use case is website optimization.

A website that adheres to holistic SEO covers content and technical SEO aspects.

Technical SEO ensures search engine crawlers find and index content quickly. It can also involve tasks that enhance user experience (UX), such as improving website speed, mobile responsiveness, and security.

AI technologies like WordLift and Botify take care of your website’s backend. They automatically create sitemaps and structured data. They also optimize internal linking and other on-page-related factors.

Pitfalls of Using AI in SEO

Technology can automate, optimize, and improve processes, but it isn’t perfect. Here are a few reasons to be careful when using AI in SEO:

Inaccurate Information

Using AI for content writing is possible because AI pieces strings of words together after “reading” or “observing” millions of texts. But it doesn’t know the context or meaning of these text strings, so you still need humans to double-check the accuracy.

Not Always SEO Friendly

Ironically, although AI can help SEO, it’s not always SEO-friendly. Google can detect auto-generated content and penalize websites for violating its spam guidelines.

Google has safeguards in place to guard against AI-generated content. It uses human quality raters to qualify whether a piece of content accurately answers a question or provides a good UX.

Google updated its search engine algorithm in 2022 to prioritize helpful content — pieces that offer a unique viewpoint and speak from experience.

Will AI in SEO Replace Humans?

For all the advantages and disadvantages of artificial intelligence in SEO, the question remains: Will AI replace humans?

The question has always been around, but the release of ChatGPT in November 2022 had everyone buzzing.

ChatGPT is an AI-powered chatbot developed by OpenAI that can even mimic human writing.

ChatGPT can write website copy.

After several tests, the consensus is that you shouldn’t worry about AI taking over humans anytime soon — at least when it comes to creating quality content.

AI can’t perform or replicate certain aspects of content creation.

For instance, AI is impersonal. It can’t understand human sentiments, which makes it hard to emulate human writing.

AI lacks authenticity, expertise, and certain nuances in human language. It can’t write personal narratives or recall memories and experiences. It can only write information gathered from data banks.

You still need a human component to bring:

  • Original research
  • Data storytelling and synthesis
  • New viewpoints and counter opinions

Bottom Line: AI can only mimic human language patterns. It can’t make an original thought.

Final Thoughts: Artificial Intelligence in SEO — Is AI Required for Success?

With continued technological advancements, the use of AI in SEO has become more accessible.

AI can automate many SEO functions, analyze billions of data, and predict future performance — solving problems and saving time.

Because AI is so powerful, there are concerns about it replacing humans. But at the moment, AI can’t function as a standalone solution for SEO.

It’s only a tool to supplement your SEO efforts. You still need human expertise to interpret data and create an SEO strategy.

For SEO help and expertise, contact Infront today.

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