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A smart take on content quality

Here’s an interesting take on the state of content creation by someone who has been a major voice in SEO for many years. AI-Generated Content is the New Floor by Rand Fishkin of SparkToro makes the powerful observation that while we’re wondering if ChatGPT and similar services can break new ground, what they have done so far is to raise the minimum bar for quality of writing on the web.

What does this mean? Well, 25 years ago, anything could rank well, and to be fair, when there was so little around, even poor articles could be more helpful than nothing. As more writing appeared, the requirement to be successful meant making our web pages better “SEO’d” than any competition. By 10 years ago, the target was to be better than the generic (but well SEO’d) rubbish on every conceivable subject being published by low-quality sites rewriting stuff they found around the web.

It’s a new minimum bar

Now? We need to be better than whatever ChatGPT can put together on a topic. Because whatever question we’re trying to answer, it won’t be long until there’s a machine-generated competitor online, if not already. We need to ensure ours is better. That shouldn’t be hard, but it’s a new minimum bar.

The author reckons “the three biggest advantages human creators have over AIs (for now) are emotion, novelty and creative insight.” While the floor for successful content continues to rise, he says, “the ceiling is still higher than most of us can imagine.”