4 Sites Scaling Content with AI (Probably)

Maybe you want to build a content empire with AI content or maybe you can think of nothing worse.

Either way, there’s no denying there is an emerging trend of getting robots to write content for you.

It feels like a new AI content generating tool is released everyday, but does it actually work?

Below, I’ve found some sites that are producing lots of AI content, and added my thoughts.

Please note: I won't reveal the sites out of respect to the owners. If you want to go find them, be my guest. Regardless of your feelings towards churning out masses of AI-generated content, it's not cool to out people's niche sites.

Examples of sites (probably) pumping out AI content

Things to keep in mind:

  1. Numbers are pulled from Ahrefs, so only an approx value
  2. I don’t know 100% that it’s AI content. It’s been produced pretty quick + the quality suggests AI. But could quite easily be spun.
  3. None of these are my sites!
  4. I’m trying to keep this fairly unbiased. I like to keep an open mind (but not so open my brain falls out)

Time to enter the wild west of AI content:

Site #1 – the sh!tty blog

(This is the site I shared on Twitter here.)

Key stats

  • Organic monthly traffic: 1.3 million
  • Organic keyword rankings: 4.3 million
  • Content length: avg. 790 words per article
  • Indexed pages: 549,000
  • Monetisation: display ads

Thoughts/Observations

  • The most polite thing I can say about the content is: it’s shit.
  • Site design is outdated. It looks like the kind of blog you setup at the start of your career when you had high hopes of being an Amazon affiliate millionaire but it turned out that is pretty hard to do so you abandon the blog because it fills you with shame but yet it still earns a trickle of income which makes you resent it more and so you try to make subsequent sites look nothing like it, which of course I have ZERO experience in myself…
  • Content is targeting low competition, information search terms across the one (quite big) niche.
  • Only 7 pages get more than 1000 organic views per month (according to Ahrefs).
  • Backlink profile is crappy, scraper sites, coupons, blogspot, you know the drill.

Site #2 – the Quora rip off

Key stats

  • Organic monthly traffic: 3.8 million
  • Organic keyword rankings: 8.8 million
  • Content length: avg. 760 words per article
  • Indexed pages: 651, 000
  • Monetisation: display ads

Thoughts/Observations

  • Kinda like a Quora rip off. Site design is ok. Not the best UX but not the worst.
  • Content quality-wise, it reads OKAY. It’s not amazing but it more or less makes sense…
  • … however, given that this is mostly answering questions, I don’t know how accurate the factual content is.
  • Content is targeting question keywords across every niche you can think of.
  • Pretty good backlink profile, has links from decent sites + sites you will have heard of (like Wikipedia)

Site #3 – the copycat

Key stats

  • Organic monthly traffic: 1.0 million
  • Organic keyword rankings: 4.3 million
  • Content length: avg. 940 words per article
  • Indexed pages: 670, 000
  • Monetisation: display ads

Thoughts/Observations

  • Lowest traffic out of the four sites, a measly 1 million, pffft loser.
  • Almost exactly the same design as Site #2, so likely to be the same owner.
  • Nothing much to add to this one, everything stated for Site #2 applies here.
  • Apart from the backlink profile, that’s pretty crap for Site #3

Site #4 – the almost a copycat

Key stats

  • Organic monthly traffic: 2.6 million
  • Organic keyword rankings: 7.1 million
  • Content length: avg. 1023 words per article
  • Indexed pages: 428, 000
  • Monetisation: display ads

Thoughts/Obervations

  • Similar Q&A format again but a slightly different design to the previous two.
  • Content is clunky, it reads okay but it isn’t the best.
  • Lots of weird redirects to other sites within answers
  • Not so sure this one actually is AI content, reads like someone has scraped PAA boxes and rewritten (or ran through a spinner).

Insights (from people who know what they are talking about)

Here’s a collections of insights, thoughts and experience from people who have dabbled in AI:

AI has been the buzzword recently. I’ve tested various tools, specifically Jarvis. The main issue is validity of the content. If data is involved, it outputs wrong data that looks made up. I’ve concluded that this will work in niches and/or topics that doesn’t require data, or the content needs to be overhauled by an editor. In that case you are better off writing the article from scratch.

Mushfiq, TheWebsiteFlip

Questions about AI content

Is this definitely AI content?

I don’t know. Maybe. Yes. No. Pick one.

Some of the content is ok, some is terrible and some is decent. So it’s hard to say for sure, but there’s likely to be AI content involved just due to the sheet scale of getting this much content out the door.

Will you reveal the sites?

No.

Does AI content rank in Google?

It does.

I’ve tested this by creating an outline, generating content for an existing site and doing some basic on-page SEO.

Notes about the test:

  • Target keyword was deliberately low comp (KD = 0) but gets approx 900 searches p/m
  • Published on an 18 month old niche site
  • Did basic on-page SEO to the article
  • Built 3 internal links from pre-existing, relevant pages.

Page indexed quickly and ranked in 7 days. Dancing up and down page one:

Learnings:

  • From my limited use of it, I’d say you’ll only see results in some niches with certain types of content.
  • It’s also not the type of content you’d build a brand on.
  • Can rank for low comp terms but it’s no excuse for creating crap.
  • It’s just a tool, there’s still lots of deciding factors for if it will work for your keywords/niche/site. I ranked a few articles with it, but a few articles isn’t good enough for me to fully climb aboard the AI content train.

How can I test this myself?

Sign up to an AI tool, have a play around with it and start producing content. Post it and see if it ranks.

Here’s some AI writing tools to check out:

What does this mean for the future of content?

I think we are going to be seeing more and more of this kind of content.

AI content generators are decent at creating readable content. There still needs to be a human involved though. The output is only as good as the input.

As for SEO, yeah you’ll probably be able to rank for low competition keywords but you won’t be able to build a brand on this content. It really depends what you want. And I’m not biased, I get wanting to anonymously churn out content that ranks AND creating content you are proud of and that people in the industry respect.

You can probably do both 🤷‍♂️

Ryan Law has a better answer to this in his article: The Search Singularity: How to Win in the Era of Infinite Content. Go read that instead.

Is this wrong?

Well it depends who you ask. And the type and quality of content you are generating.

If an article meets intent, covers a topic succinctly and ticks on-page SEO best practices, does it matter who wrote it?

Cliche alert: it depends.

Content is subjective, but if you are using AI to generate content that meets search intent, is formatted nicely and answers a question concisely AND factually, then is that any different to hiring cheap writers to produce the work for you?

The AI content debate divides two main groups: writers + SEOs.

Warning: huge sweeping generalisations incoming.

Here’s the problem:

  • Writers can get caught up in making content perfect and obsessing over minor details that very few people (other than fellow writers) will care about or even notice.
  • SEOs love a good hack or tactic or loophole to exploit. It’s kinda in the job description.
  • So the writer inside of me hates AI content because it’s more noise in an already noisy world. And it’s not even good noise sometimes.
  • The SEO inside admires the work behind the scenes to produce this much content on a regular basis.
  • As an SEO, scaling up content production is heavily limited by budget, so AI could be a way for small fish like me to compete with big fish.
  • Combined, my feelings sit somewhere in the middle.

Summary

Should sites scale content production with AI?

I thought it would be fitting to end this article with a conclusion generated by AI.

Take it away Jarvis:

AI-powered content creation is likely to have a significant impact on how businesses operate in the future. It will take some time for companies to figure out how best to utilize this technology, but it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on. 

So I guess, it depends.