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The use of AI in SEO (ft. Jennifer Lopez)

Did you know Jennifer Lopez recently produced and starred in a movie about AI?

I was pretty surprised to discover that, but it was a good watch this past weekend, if you like that kind of thing. (It’s called Atlas.)

The potential of AI really scares me. I regularly dream about an AI apocalypse and this movie validated some of my fears.

But I’m also inspired and curious about AI.

We humans are brilliant tool builders, and AI might be one of the best tools we’ve built so far.

AI and SEO

But I have to be honest: while I’m super impressed at the progress that has been made, and the potential for AI, it hasn’t really been as impactful on my day-to-day life as I was hoping it might be.

Lots of people assume that AI will take over SEO, because they think SEO is all about data and numbers and mechanical content.

However, there’s a lot more to SEO than that.

And while there’s certainly potential for AI tools to become very powerful in assisting with analysis of large amounts of data in future, it isn’t there yet.

Trust me, I would absolutely LOVE for AI to take some of the more mundane aspects of SEO off my hands.

But there are some really important areas that AI currently just doesn’t catch, which for me mean I can’t yet rely on it for SEO content or strategy:

  • Nuance

  • Creativity

  • Originality

  • Inaccuracies

  • User intent.

There’s no question that AI will become more useful in future.

But in the meantime, the qualities in the list above sound a lot like the qualities that separate regular contributors in a business from outstanding players.

And this is where I’ve landed:

AI can’t compete with emotional intelligence.

You see this in all industries and at all levels.

  • Tradespeople

  • Developers

  • Designers

  • Copywriters

  • Analytics

  • Managers

You often have experts who are unmatched in their technical ability.

And yet if they don’t have the ability to truly understand their client’s goals, incorporate those goals into a meaningful and productive strategy, and communicate effectively with their client or stakeholders, that technical brilliance can be redundant.

And it’s why good SEO strategy still has to be human-driven.

For now, at least.

SEO strategy has to be human-driven

Until AI is able to…

  • ….Allow for nuances within a business

  • Understand the real underlying goals of target customers

  • Produce content and recommendations that fulfil those requirements and generate sales…

… humans have to remain at the heart of SEO strategy.

And the same goes for copywriting, sales, marketing, branding, social media, design.

You can use AI for those things, but at the moment, it’s like paying someone $5 on Fiverr to create a logo for your business.

It will look like terrible, and everyone will know.

(For the record, I don’t have anything against Fiverr – it has its place in business.)

So my recommendation is this:

Prioritize emotional intelligence and building strong relationships.

I know that sounds a bit general and not very SEO-specific.

But it will help every single aspect of your business, not just your SEO.


My name's Claire and I’m an SEO and content strategy expert. I help startups and ambitious businesses improve their content, so that customers can find your website in search, and so that when they do, they convert.


I’m a former startup CEO, and I’ve worked for some of the world’s biggest publishers (Penguin Random House, Oxford University Press), as well as training with Google's in-house SEO team. I even built a website to attract 45k in organic search visitors/month. Drop me a line if you need help of any kind with SEO and content.


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