Leontien Rutenfrans

Marketing Manager Textmetrics
January 16, 2018

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Are content creation bots a threat to content writers?

This article was written by a robot. It took me, the robot, about two milliseconds to do. A source here, a source there, add some artificial intelligence and DONE! You too can hire me to write articles for your website, then together, we can fool Google to get you higher in the rankings! Hiring content creators? That’s a thing of the past! I am so much faster AND cheaper. Oh and by the way, I never miss a deadline. The robots are COMING!
Got ya! To be honest, the paragraph above was actually written by a human, all flesh and blood, but the idea isn’t completely fabricated. So-called content creation robots are slowly gaining traction. These are artificial intelligence apps that create coherent stories based on data input. For example, they might create a recap of a sports event or a report on a company’s stock performance. Cool, right? However, unfortunately, you still have to write that romantic love letter to your crush yourself.

 

The magic formula that makes a story

So what does one of those “robot” articles really look like? Good question! A great example is this football game summary in The Washington Post. The sentences make sense, the grammar is solid, and the story has a logical structure. What else can we ask for?!
For now, that’s the strong suit of content creation robots. Our mega talented friends take standardized data and transform them into neutral and coherent stories. It’s bots like these that allow media sources like the news agency, Alternative Press (AP), to boost their editorial output for the web with dozens of additional reports each day.

 

What about creative writing?

I can hear you thinking, writing sports coverage is one thing, but what about stories that follow a less rigid formula? What if the article requires more substance? I, a flesh and blood human, decided to test it out using my friend Articoolo, one of many automated content creators. I entered “What is love?” and was hoping the bot would respond with, “Baby, don’t hurt me” (here’s that 90’s hit, in case you missed it), in which case I would have packed up my pen and left the writing to our automated friends. Instead, the app produced a mediocre article about how to get rid of your love handles. Yay…

 

How do automated content creators affect your SEO?

My “What is love?” question to the AI content creator was admittedly a bit cheesy. There are plenty of humans who wouldn’t be able to answer it either. Perhaps a content robot is better suited to answer practical questions, like “How can I get rid of my love handles?”
What you definitely shouldn’t do, however, is use the robot article listed above. When I googled the first sentence, “To think that the flabby area on the sides of your tummy,” I discovered the exact same thing on six different websites. Google mercilessly punishes that kind of plagiarism, so your article won’t appear in the top 20 results of a search query. Too bad…
Despite this, there are definitely content robots that are able to pass the plagiarism test, especially when creating content in English.
What does that mean for your content marketing? Soon, bots should be able to create (low quality) SEO articles to help boost your Google ranking. It’s a way to trick search engines, but of course, the company’s mission is to offer its users the best possible results, not old content that has been rehashed without any new insights.

 

Use automation as a boost for your own creativity

Neither Google nor your visitors care whether a mediocre article was written by a robot or a human, do you? Either way, it’s a boring piece of content.
Website owners who still rely on content mills will begin to experience competition from content robots. In the battle for attention, giants like Amazon will take an even bigger lead, since their sheer scale makes it easy to take advantage of content automation.
A smarter move is to consider the human side of your organization when creating your content marketing strategy. What kind of unique insights and experiences are your employees willing to share? That could lead to fewer, but stronger articles.
Of course, it’s wise to use artificial intelligence to improve the quality of your human-written articles. During the writing process, Textmetrics offers live insights and tips about the readability and discoverability of your text. The tool can also help you identify keywords that are of interest to your target audience. That way, you let a robot handle what it does best while you stay in control of content and creativity. The perfect match, isn’t it?
Curious to know how Textmetrics used big data-analysis to create better content and to draw more traffic to your website? Click here to try out Textmetrics.

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