No, this is not discrediting ChatGPT in any way.
It is an extremely powerful tool, certainly.
But Miriam Elis conducted a little test to see whether ChatGPT could replace a human local SEO consultant, and… well, the AI provided misleading SEO guidance at best.
Here are some of the “answers” it gave…
Error #1 – Yes, you can create a Google Business Profile for a virtual office. ChatGPT’s positive answer is completely wrong. Google’s guidelines explicitly forbid the creation of listings for virtual offices.
Error #2 – Yes, you can ask Yelp customers to leave reviews. Once again, this is wrong. Yelp prohibits you from asking customers to leave reviews because it would skew the system.
Error #3 – Geotagging images help you rank better. As Miriam points out, this is a local SEO myth that “marketers have to keep refuting” because it continues to survive on the interwebs.
Error #4 – Adding suite numbers will help differentiate co-located businesses. As you would guess, this is another confirmed myth. Google ignores suite numbers.
Error #5 – ChatGPT gave completely wrong instructions. In a final experiment, Miriam asked ChatGPT to write instructions to create a Business Profile for her lead gen business.
First, Google says lead generation companies are ineligible for business profiles. ChatGPT ignored this.
And in the resulting instructions, the bot failed to acknowledge that you can’t create profiles for business without physical locations, either.
Yet ChatGPT gave instructions for the exact thing that you can’t do.
So, does it mean you shouldn’t use ChatGPT?
Nope, quite the opposite. You just shouldn’t mistake it for a search engine or a viable source of information.
Plus, there’s a reason why Google is already planning an alternative that will cite sources, among other things.
Who knows, maybe we will have a viable AI local SEO consultant in the future…