AI Is Not the Almighty SERP Overlord You Think It Is


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AI Is Not the Almighty Serp Overlord You Think It Is, AKA: 

I Spent Over a Half-Hour Trying to Get Gemini to Write Me a Funny Heder For This Story And Here We Are So If You Think AI Can Write You Stellar Content That Will Magically Make Your SERPs Shoot Up Higher Than Sergey Brin’s Net Worth Then I Guess You’re Funnier Than Gemini And Your SERPs Are Doomed

OK, so I hyperbolize(ish). But so does AI. 

First, let me back up a few steps. 

Firstliest, when I was first tasked with writing this here blog, I posed the question, Is There Ever a Responsible & Ethical Way to AI in Content Syndication? This is also the heder Gemini failed to make “punnier.” Some options it gave me, for your “entertainment,” included:

  • Is There Ever an Ethical AI-dvantage to Content Syndication?

  • To AI or Not to AI: The Ethical Content Conundrum (This plays on Shakespeare’s famous line and adds “content” for relevance)

  • Content Chameleon: Can AI Blend in Without Being Biased? (This uses a metaphor and highlights the potential ethical issue of bias)

  • AI-dentify Your Audience: The Ethical Way to Spread Your Content Wings (This combines the concept of AI with identifying your audience and uses a bird metaphor)

  • The Ethics of Automation: Is AI a Content Distribution Mastermind or a Machine Without a Moral Compass? (This creates a sense of intrigue and uses contrasting metaphors)

  • Content with a Conscience: The Responsible Use of AI in Syndication (This is a simpler option that uses a play on words with “content”)

Gemini AI prompt

To which I responded, ever so politely and helpfully: “Boo. Try again.” And things really just got worse from there. Uninspired by Gemini, I told it Bard was far superior and that it’s really a shame Google killed it for such a weaker model, then moved on to a new query.

That query was: “Is AI going to make content syndication useless?” 

OK, great. Now we’re cooking with the remains of Bard’s plastic, AI ashes. But this time, I wanted to see what would happen if I went to the real pros, aka random bloggers I found while Googling that exact question on the interwebs, you know, the good ‘ole fashion way, back before bots passive aggressively gave us half-baked answers that take more time to fact check than to just research for yourself in the first place. 

Now, this is when a curious thing happened. I started to notice that many (and by many I mean, like, many) of these AI and SEO for content syndication “experts” selling services online seemed rather, well, botty. And not in a good practice-what-you-preach way, either. No, these expert “guides” and “thought pieces” would have earned the dreaded “See me after class” stamp in school, forget about even thinking about passing the journalistic “sniff” test. 

But hey, why believe me? I could just be besmirching the good and fair names of competitors or just making them up altogether to make myself look better, right? Yeah, sure. So then let’s look at an example I found of a terribly egregious AI-produced content piece I found on a site for an SEO-SERP booster ala their AI content generator. I’ve removed their branding to keep it blind, no besmirching needed. But I chose this piece because after seeing hundreds of these AI pieces over the last two years or so now, this one really is a prime example of the first draft that the AI usually spits out. Yes, I said first draft – I have reason to believe this site just published the piece as-is without even editing their AI friend (or at least I hope so). 

Yes, Most AI-Written Content Sucks. I’ll Prove It. 

So, as I was reading the above-mentioned suspicious piece, I elected to go straight to the expert: a free AI detector called Phrasly designed to get suckers to pay for an account to use their robot to make their totally robot-made content apparently sound more human somehow (the irony here is not lost on me). There are other programs just like this as well (Hive, QuillBot, Undetectable AI, Scribbr, just to name a few), so pick your poison. But with my poison chosen and in hand, I threw a couple of paragraphs of the above-mentioned suspicious piece in the AI detector at the time (there’s a limit on the free version, of course), and lo and behold, this is what I found:   

Phrasly AI detector

Yup, 100% likely AI, 7/7 sentences likely AI. And if you take bits and pieces of those sentences or a sentence or two and pop them into Google, you can see a lot of sites with that same or nearly identical language. Because it turns out a lot of people are trying to use AI to slam out as much content as humanly possible. 

And it’d be one thing if that content was good content or even OK-ish. But the closer you look at that content and the more you start reading, the cringier it gets, especially when you keep in mind that in this specific example, I took this from a site that’s selling AI content generation services. Yet the AI content they’re putting up on their own site is questionable at best, not intelligible at worst. To be fair, I found these same trends time and time again across a plethora of sites and blogs.

The more I read these AI-created articles, the more I started to see some pretty standard “formulas” and patterns that AI seems to use when making this content. So, I took some screenshots of some of the most common mistakes AI makes when creating content and why these errors make AI content unsuitable and low-quality SEO content for websites. 

OK, let’s start with the heder and author:

AI detector heder

AI heders really suck; they tend to be really broad, generic topics that don’t actually tell you what the article’s about but instead read more like an SEO phrase or a string of SEO keywords strung together with no context. This is problematic since, well, most obviously, a heder should be both enticing and tell you something about what the article’s going to actually be about (think: “AI may not be good for syndication after all,” or something like that). Moreover, Google and other search engines are going to see this generic heder and see a billion different articles with this same or similar generic title, making it that much harder to rank for it. 

Another thing to address here: Algorithms and readers are smart. Not having a real author name is a huge “an AI wrote this” red flag. And, as you will see from the screenshots below, they will also notice things that may seem like minor formatting inconsistencies. But having the main heder of the entire article sentence-cased while sub-headers for the rest are all capitalized is also odd. AI makes inconsistencies in formatting all the time. So this is another detail you’re going to have to go over with a fine-tooth comb if you indeed decide to use AI to write your content.

AI detector body graf

Now to the actual writing. While there are a couple of things wrong with this first section, what I really want to focus on is what I call “vapid language.” Go ahead and read this first paragraph. Now, what did it say? How many of these sentences could you omit without any meaning being lost at all? AI can’t always comprehend the stuff that it’s sucking up from the interweb, so what it spits out is equivalent to a 14-year-old’s book report on “Romeo and Juliet” but they hadn’t read it; sure, everyone has an idea of what happens in it, but they really can’t tell you the specifics. And throw in a word count? You sure can bet to see a lot of repetitive, vague language that sure sounds smart but that at the end of the day, really doesn’t say a whole lot. 

But if like Shania Twain, that example of AI “bad content” don’t impress you much, just look at the introduction paragraph below it. It’s clear that the user/writer here asked the AI to write an introduction to the topic at hand, but the AI misinterpreted the prompt to mean, “this is the type of stuff you should include in such an introduction.” OK, sure, mistakes happen. The writer could have then asked the bot to write that paragraph, but it’s clear the writer didn’t actually catch that mistake, and it was posted live to their website. Oops. 

AI detector body graf

On to the next one! As I say in this screenshot, I have read hundreds, if not thousands, of AI-written articles over the last two years, and I have never once found one that did not include some sort of “examples” heder, even in stories where an “examples” heder made little to no sense at all. Another note: I don’t know of any style guide that has users format their lists like this, yet I’d say in over half the AI articles, I’ve seen this exact list heder formatting: 

1. Heder Here – Rest of list. 

With this in mind, I must think this much be a weird formatting thing AI created for itself that combined many different style guides. To be fair, I do sometimes see the “Heder Here” part bolded, but I digress. 

I also want to point out these 1’s and 2’s I scribbled out here, as these show up again on the Conclusion section below, too. AI seems to like short, simple, parallel paragraphs. And two sentences seem to be the magical number of sentences per paragraph (or apparently list items, too). So if even before you start reading and you just look at the article and see a bunch of short, even parallel-looking paragraphs, proceed with caution. People usually don’t write so neatly. They write a paragraph until a thought is completely, not until a paragraph looks like it’s the same length of a previous one. So, this could also be a red flag for readers and algorithms who are in the know.

AI detector conclusion

Because I’m no AI bot, I’m not going to repeat all the stuff I already mentioned. But I did elect to skip to this conclusion section to point out a few more things. Let’s start with the first word of each paragraph: “in conclusion,” “one potential direction,” “another promising area,” and just plain ‘ole “however.” I had a teacher once call these “crutch” words or phrases – that is, pretty juvenile, forced transitions that writers rely on to move a story or essay along when they really don’t know what else to do. In other words (another crutch phrase, to illustrate), words or phrases you really don’t see too often in something that should be in a professional article, let alone four consecutive paragraphs. 

And let’s take a closer look at what’s being said here. Yeah, lots of repetition of the two-sentence pattern again, yada-yada. But I’ve noticed there’s an even more distinct thing that AI does in conclusion sections. Go ahead: Take a closer look and see if you can, well, see it. I’ll wait (I’ll put the answer below a few lines to avoid spoiling the answer for anyone who actually wants to guess). 

And the answer is…

Keyword stuffing. Didn’t see it? Look at that first paragraph: content personalization, content destruction, contention curation, analytics, ROI optimizations, content marketing strategies. And the second one: AI in content syndication, natural language processing, NLP, chatbots and virtual assistants, AI-powered tools. And the third: AI in content syndication, privacy concerns, data bias, human oversight. 

At first, a lot of these may not seem like obvious keywords or key phrases, but if you take a look at SEMRush, Moz, SE Ranking, or other such sites, these keywords come up a lot in relation to the umbrella, or “pillar,” terms “content syndication” and “SEO.” So it’s almost like the bots get anxious and just tee up a bunch of keyboards and load ‘em up as a last-ditch effort to get the story to rank higher. 

So, Did It Work? 


I was beyond curious to see how this story was doing in SERP rankings. Because if this site is claiming that AI content can increase SERPs, I thought we should put it the test, right? 

I put the article URL in SEM’s Organic Research tab, searching by “Exact Link” for the last month since the article went live in November 2023. I used this method since I didn’t know what keywords this story ranked for at any time during these seven months. From this, I found that it had only ranked for two terms: 

content syndication vendors

syndicated data analysis

I hid any details that could be traced back to the site, but here’s how it was performing as of May 30, 2024:

Organic search terms

So, both terms are in the top 100 (barely), but it’s also worth noting that they’re ranking for terms that are not seeing much competition or traffic. 

I checked the rankings for this story link every month from November to May. This is what I found: 

November: Didn’t rank for any keywords


Organic search terms

January: Didn’t rank for any keywords

February: Didn’t rank for any keywords

March: Didn’t rank for any keywords

April: Didn’t rank for any keywords

So, there you have it. Whether or not that’s enough data to make any conclusions, I will leave up to you. But if you ask me, I do believe it’s pretty revealing. 

Giving AI the Final(ish) Word

To be fair, I thought I’d give ChatGPT a redemption round and give it a shot at writing my conclusion. Here’s what it wrote: 

In conclusion, the allure of AI as the all-powerful tool for content creation and syndication may be more myth than reality. Despite the promises of skyrocketing search engine results pages (SERPs) and effortlessly generated content, the truth is far from the fantasy. 

Through an exploration of the pitfalls of AI-generated content, it becomes evident that while AI can produce text, it often lacks the nuance, coherence, and depth of human-created content. From generic and uninspired headers to repetitive and vapid language, AI-generated content frequently falls short of providing meaningful engagement for readers or genuine value for SEO.

Moreover, the attempt to manipulate algorithms through keyword stuffing only serves to diminish the credibility of the content further. The reliance on formulaic structures and forced transitions exposes the artificiality of AI-generated articles, making them easily recognizable to both discerning readers and sophisticated search engine algorithms.

Despite claims of enhanced SERP performance, the reality of AI-generated content’s impact on rankings remains underwhelming. Analysis of actual performance data reveals minimal traction in competitive keyword rankings, casting doubt on the effectiveness of AI in content syndication.

Ultimately, the quest for shortcuts in content creation through AI may lead to diminished quality, credibility, and impact. While AI technology continues to evolve, its current limitations underscore the irreplaceable role of human creativity, expertise, and authenticity in crafting compelling and effective content. So, before placing blind faith in the promises of AI, it’s essential to approach with skepticism and a critical eye, recognizing that true excellence in content creation requires a human touch.

(Want extra credit? Go ahead and correct this one yourself.)

Will The Real Human-Written Conclusion Please (Metaphorically) Stand Up?

Girls, guys, and nonbinary pals of the courts of X, Instagram, Facebook, and the comment section, I brought forth to your most honorablest attentions the mass injustices brought upon our great, nay, stellar, to harken back to the introduction, content syndication plans we’ve worked so hard to create. And my henceforth post arguments and extranormal evidences therein shall prove best goodest enough to convince thee to proceed with AI content creation with caution, I do declare.

I’d like to see a robot write that. 

This article was produced and syndicated by

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14 Practical Ways To Make Money with AI

14 Practical Ways To Make Money with AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has reshaped how we live and do business. AI, the processing of information by machines to perform high-level tasks and solve problems, has become an integral part of our daily lives, including virtual assistants on our smartphones and recommendation systems on e-commerce platforms. According to IBM, 35% of companies

 are already using the power of AI, and this adoption is steadily growing.

One of the most compelling demonstrations of the potential of AI in our digital age is ChatGPT by OpenAI. This AI-powered model is an advanced language tool revolutionizing communication, content generation, and information retrieval.

The growing demand for AI technology has created an unprecedented opportunity for individuals and businesses to leverage it for financial gain. This demand presents a unique chance to turn AI into a profitable side gig or full-time venture.

This article explores practical ways to make money using AI for entrepreneurs and businesses looking to improve their operations.

Jacob Wackerhausen/istockphoto

Generative AI tools can produce website content, social media images, or business outlines for increasing profitability. The tools available can be leveraged in different sectors, making them accessible to solopreneurs, small startups, medium-sized companies, and large enterprises in all industries.

For example, Jasper is an AI writing tool that assists you in creating content, including blog articles, social media posts, ad copy, and product descriptions. By inputting a short prompt, Jasper can create an article outline in 30 seconds—saving you time and effort. Writing tools can be a quick and easy way to optimize your content creation, scale your online presence, and create in-depth marketing campaigns to sell more of your products or services.

DALL-E is AI software that can generate unique images based on text descriptions. If you need inspiration for eye-catching graphics for your WordPress website, social accounts, or marketing materials, you can simply provide a textual description of what you want, and DALL-E will generate high-quality images that match your vision.

AI-powered images can shorten the design process and increase the speed to market. This can both save money and increase audience engagement, leading to more sales.

Additionally, AI tools like chatbots can enhance customer support for businesses of all sizes. These virtual assistants can respond instantly to common customer queries, freeing human resources to focus on more complex issues. Quick responses improve customer satisfaction, encourage future purchases, save time, and reduce operational costs.

In the e-commerce sector, AI-powered recommendation engines, like those used by Amazon and Netflix, can be adapted for small businesses. They can help recommend products or content to customers, increasing cross-selling and upselling opportunities.


Scaling a business takes time, effort, and investment in AI tools that can identify external opportunities, optimize operational processes, and enhance customer experiences. AI can revolutionize how businesses operate, including automating routine tasks and providing valuable insights for strategic decision-making.

In this section, we’ll explore how businesses can leverage AI to increase sales and boost their bottom line.


To drive traffic to your social platforms or website, a deep insight into your target audience can help tailor your content and advertisements for your services to your potential customers. AI’s data analysis capabilities can reveal both who your target audience is and also their preferences, behaviors, and even the channels they prefer to engage with.

Email marketing tools like Optimove can analyze the behavior of subscribers, the best times to send email, and track customer engagement, helping you to personalize future email for greater conversions and upselling opportunities.

AI tools like AdCreative can also automate the creation and placement of online ads. They can analyze user data in real time to make split-second decisions on ad placement, ensuring that ads are shown to the most relevant audiences to encourage sales.


Outstanding customer service is at the core of every successful business. Responding promptly and accurately to customer inquiries, reviews, and feedback can enhance your brand image and incentivize customers to return.

HubSpot CRM is a prime example of an all-in-one platform that offers sales, marketing, and chatbot services. AI chatbots can handle a variety of customer inquiries, using templates to provide immediate responses 24/7. This service leads to increased customer satisfaction, lower operational costs, improved sales and conversions, and makes it easier to scale your business without increasing staff.

Drazen Zigic/istockphoto

customer-centric approach to creating digital or physical products can increase sales and profitability. AI can help drive product development by providing a critical analysis of current market trends, collating consumer feedback, and analyzing competitor products so you can optimize your product offerings.

For example, if you create a retail shopping application, you can use AI tools like Salesforce Einstein to optimize your app. With the help of AI, you can generate personalized product recommendations based on a user’s buying history and browsing behavior analysis. These insights can lead to higher sales, improved user experiences, and increased customer loyalty.


Optimizing business operations can cut costs and save time, especially with the supply chain process. Logistics costs are rising with changes in consumer preferences and buying patterns, and employing AI helps reduce costs and maintain profitability in a dynamic market environment.

Through predictive analytics, AI can forecast demand more accurately, reducing the risk of overstocking or understocking. It optimizes inventory management by identifying surplus or shortage, thus minimizing carrying costs. Enhanced operational efficiencies lead to timely order fulfillment, ensuring satisfied customers and repeat business.


E-commerce platforms offer a convenient way to purchase products and services online. AI can provide personalized recommendations based on user behavior and preferences, and can use visual recognition search to simplify product discovery.

These AI applications increase sales as customers find what they’re looking for more quickly, enhance customer retention through personalized engagement, and improve overall revenue growth due to the ability to offer competitive prices that attract and retain customers.


Businesses can provide AI-based analytics services to other companies as a useful tool to assess performance and make informed decisions. AI can process how customers interact with products, uncover emerging trends, identify bottlenecks in operations, and segment customers based on demographics and behaviors.

These services can be monetized by offering a data analysis subscription service, charging clients per data report, or offering training sessions on using AI to generate meaningful business insights.


Individuals looking for a side hustle for extra cash or a full-time income stream can reap the benefits of AI for income generation, enjoying flexibility, scalability, and even passive earnings. Here are 9 ways to earn money with AI as an individual.

Elena Katkova/istockphoto

Providing AI-powered freelancing services like graphic design, data analysis, video editing, or copywriting can be a great income source.

Freelancing using AI tools can improve productivity, speed, and quality, allowing freelancers to handle more projects. Automated design tools enable freelancers to provide unique images and social media posts with a quick turnaround time.

Natural language generation (NLG) tools can help freelance writers by quickly automating content creation processes, producing drafts of articles, reports, and marketing materials. For data analysis, AI algorithms streamline data processing and insights, saving time and increasing accuracy.

These AI-powered advantages allow freelancers to offer competitive services on platforms attracting a global clientele looking for both efficiency and high-quality content.

Jelena Danilovic/istockphoto

There are numerous possibilities for creating AI-powered applications or tools across various industries that you can monetize. First, you’ll need to identify your interests and skills, then conduct market research by analyzing competitors and existing solutions.

Identify gaps in the market and define your target audience, then come up with a plan to solve the identified problem. For example, you might want to create an app to streamline a company’s outreach efforts through automation.

To build your app, you’ll need to be skilled in programming languages, statistics, and using AI frameworks. Consider speaking to users to target pain points and optimize your app’s usability. You can sell your tool on platforms like the App StoreGoogle Play, or your website. Regularly update your application, track its performance through data analytics, and make improvements based on sales data to enhance the app’s profitability.


AI tools can help streamline content creation, boost your online presence, and drive product or service sales. For example, you can use ChatGPT to assist in generating high-quality blog posts for your website that increase traffic, leading to more income from ad clicks and affiliate commissions.

AI-based SEO tools can aid in optimizing content for search engines, increasing your online visibility. AI can also empower personal branding by designing tailored ads. AI-driven marketing tools can segment audiences, generate compelling ad copy, and optimize placements, maximizing reach and conversions.


If you’re an expert in AI, consider offering tutoring services or creating online courses to bring in a stream of income. You could provide learning support on user-friendly platforms to teach other individuals machine learning concepts, strategic ways to use NLP tools, or how to use AI development platforms like TensorFlow.

Writing and monetizing ebooks on platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing is another avenue to share in-depth AI insights. Alternatively, you can create digital courses or tutorials and upload them to platforms like Udemy or Coursera to explain concepts, such as “AI for Beginners,” which can attract a broad audience.


AI microservices refer to small components of software that perform a single function, working with other software pieces to create a larger, complex software system. Examples of microservices include:

  • Image recognition. This microservice can classify images into predefined categories or detect specific objects within images. It’s valuable for applications like content moderation or visual search.
  • Recommendation engines. Based on user behavior, this microservice provides personalized product or content recommendations. It’s commonly used in e-commerce and media platforms.
  • Language translation. This microservice translates text from one language to another, making it useful for global communication and content localization.

To create and monetize AI microservices, identify a niche problem or function, develop the microservice using machine learning knowledge and programming skills, and create an API for integration with other platforms. You can publish your creation on AWS Marketplace for others to incorporate into their own applications. Offer clear pricing, comprehensive documentation, and user support to attract and retain a satisfied user base.


With tools like AI art generators, music composition software, or natural language processing, professionals can more quickly create stunning visuals, original compositions, and compelling written content. Simply provide the  appropriate AI tool with text descriptions of images, an audio sample, or a storyline premise to generate a draft of an image, music, or book.

The AI can create drafts in seconds, enabling content creators to iterate the generation process until they get an output that will help them realize their ultimate vision. This can help creatives overcome issues like writers block, and also improve their ideation and development processes.

Platforms like Shopify or personal websites provide spaces to market and sell AI-generated creations. Additionally, communities such as AI art galleries or digital content platforms like Etsy offer avenues to showcase and monetize AI-generated works.


You can leverage your expertise in AI to help businesses solve challenges or take advantage of opportunities. You may help clients identify areas they can automate to reduce costs, implement AI tools to increase operational efficiency, or integrate AI solutions into their existing systems.

To start a consulting service, build a strong portfolio showcasing past projects, research, and successful AI implementations. You can complete an in-depth portfolio to show your skills. In addition, networking is key—attend AI conferences, join online forums, and engage with AI communities. Building a professional network can lead to referrals and collaborations. Set competitive rates and create a clear value proposition for your clients for a successful career in consulting.

Voronchuk Daria/istockphoto

With AI, individuals can fine-tune their affiliate marketing, making it more precise and efficient, ultimately boosting earnings and streamlining the entire process. AI tools like recommendation engines can pinpoint the best products for a target audience, increasing conversion rates.

Machine learning aids in strategy optimization by automating ad placements, content recommendations, and email timing for optimal engagement. In addition, AI-driven analytics dig deep into performance data, providing insights for smarter decision-making.


Individuals can establish websites or social media accounts for AI-driven product recommendations and reviews using AI algorithms to analyze various products. A user could input their needs, preferences, and the features that interest them in a product. The AI could research market trends and reviews to offer personalized recommendations for the user, helping them find products they’ll be happy with.

AI can also optimize referral links to ensure users are directed to relevant products. This process improves user experience and can increases revenue through affiliate marketing partnerships, as users are more likely to make informed purchases.


Earnings in the field of AI vary significantly, depending on a variety of factors. Expertise level, AI niche, location, and market demand all play a role. Passive income opportunities, like digital products or AI-driven apps, can yield substantial returns over time. Active roles, such as AI consulting, offer high income but require constant involvement.

With the right skills, information scientists can earn upwards of $164,000 annually. Freelancing is another option, with machine learning experts charging up to $50 per hour and the flexibility to command higher rates based on their skills and experience.

As technology becomes more accessible, an increasing number of individuals and businesses will enter the market. To thrive in this competitive industry, AI enthusiasts must always update their skills through online courses, adapt to emerging trends, and focus on specialization within AI niches. While competition is challenging, those who remain dedicated and innovative can still find significant financial rewards in the AI industry.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by



Featured Image Credit: Peacock.


Kaitlyn Farley

Kaitlyn is MediaFeed’s senior editor. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, specializing in social justice and investigative reporting. She has worked at various radio stations and newsrooms, covering higher-education, local politics, natural disasters and investigative and watchdog stories related to Title IX and transparency issues.