Rank Math SEO Launches Content AI Feature – WP Tavern


Last week, the popular Rank Math SEO plugin received a major update that includes a new artificial intelligence system. The Content AI feature is a SaaS product that acts like a personal writing assistant to improve search rankings.

“We created Rank Math’s Content AI feature to revolutionize the content production and optimization process with proprietary AI that gives SEOs and content marketers a competitive edge,” said Bhanu Ahluwalia , Marketing Director of Rank Math.

The system allows users to search what their content should look like based on a keyword. Each keyword analysis costs one credit. This data is stored on the user’s server, so the same keyword used on multiple posts doesn’t cost more. Users get five free credits after creating a user account with Rank Math. However, they need to upgrade to one of three trading plans, ranging from $ 59 to $ 499 per year, for more.

Each of the trading plans comes with a specific number of credits. They’re marketed as free extras, but they’re not “free” for users who want to upgrade for credits only. The team says they are working on a pricing solution to address this issue.

Users should see a new Content AI module that they can activate from the plugin dashboard screen. Enabling this option creates a new tab under the Plug-in General Settings page for further configuration.

General settings for content AI.

The Content AI functionality works with the WordPress editor, the classic editor, Elementor and Divi. However, the team plans to extend this support to other page builders in the future.

Users can then enter a focus keyword from the post-edit screen and click the Content AI button. From there, they can search for the chosen keyword and Rank Math retrieves the suggestions from their system.

WordPress editor with Content AI score and content suggestions in the right sidebar.
Example of a post with the Content AI score.

The scoring system is easy to understand. Above 80 (in the green) is considered “good”. All of the following may require some work based on the plugin’s recommendations.

The main suggestions of Content AI focus on the total number of words, links, titles and media. When asked how the numbers were calculated, Ahluwalia said: “This is a calculation made based on the top-ranked content on search engine results pages (i.e. say the characteristics of classified content). ” It’s a proprietary system, so maybe the team isn’t ready to give the exact details.

The feature also allows users to copy related keywords to use in their posts, offers questions for the content to answer, and lists potential links to use.

The following video explains how Content AI works:

Are content scores a good thing?

I am admittedly skeptical of any claim from SEO tools. There is value in most plugins in the space, and Rank Math is no different. However, I also want end users to take SEO or content scores with a grain of salt. Hitting a specific word, link, header, or media count isn’t going to make or break you. These should be guidelines, not goal posts.

When asked how the score was calculated, I was directed to a knowledge base article on the Rank Math website. Nothing in the Content AI section explicitly explains the “calculations” behind the score. Essentially, the documentation refers to how the AI ​​analyzes search results for various factors and describes how the tool works. There is generally solid advice throughout, but it doesn’t respond to how those scores are calculated.

Of particular concern was the recommended number of media for each post. I had access to a full demo of the feature with a few dozen posts to check. Almost everything I browsed in Content AI had a recommendation to use 18 media. The number felt bad. While I can’t claim to be an SEO guru, I don’t see why a typical 1,000 or 2,000 word article should require so many images or videos. Even with media optimized for the web, this could make pages load faster for many site visitors.

“It depends entirely on the focus keyword you set for your post,” Ahluwalia said of how the recommended number is determined. “Page speed is a ranking factor, but the number of media and its associated directive is a very easy way to see and quickly determine if this is something you need to do to rank as well. If we look at, for example, the keyword ‘SEO tools’, the recommendation is as high as 26, which is not surprising since the majority of ranking content has not only covered essential SEO tools. , they covered the 15, 20, even 109 “best SEO tools.”

“This concern about media usage in content when it comes to page speed is surprisingly common, but the reality is that content without a design generally doesn’t perform particularly well (although it does end up ranking, then not from the point of view of conversion / social sharing because people leave with the impression of meeting a wall of text). Much of the content on our site wouldn’t be the same without the images in the posts to paint a full picture and distill the complex SEO processes / ideas into something very simple for people to understand.

I generally agree that sites should use media alongside text. Going through one of the demo articles I had access to, the content didn’t seem to justify the recommended number.

This particular message had 1199 words and 32 paragraphs. It also featured six images, which presumably played a significant role in the 20/100 score. Content AI recommended 18 media instances.

Rank Math Content AI scores displayed on the right with recommended numbers.  On the left, the number of paragraphs (32) is highlighted.

If the post had reached the recommended media count, there would have been an image for at least every two paragraphs. Even with half that number, visitors are unlikely to think they are just “hitting a wall of text”.

Maybe the analysis is correct. It might help the sites to rank. But, so much media mixed with text seems to me to be a suboptimal reading experience.

My main concern with tools like Content AI – this applies to SEO plugins in general – is that site owners try to make sure they are in the green. Instead of writing for readers, they write to rank. The two things are not mutually exclusive, but when end users regard the recommendations as gospel, it can lead to a delay in prose.

“We totally agree, and while AI content has come a long way, we’re also very fond of well-researched content that’s put together by humans like you and me (like everyone else. content from our own blog), “said Ahluwalia.” The goal of Rank Math Content AI is assisted content production and optimization (simplified by software).

“Generally speaking, as you say, traffic light style scores or numeric scores don’t paint a full picture of most content. It was a really big motivator for new content optimization suggestions that go beyond typical scoring (it’s the same no matter what topic you’re writing about). When you write something that is not research driven at all (ie. Specific set of people you have in mind. That content is still incredibly valuable. “

He went on to say that for what the Rank Math team calls “search-driven” content, there are specific elements that well-ranked competitor content has in common.

“It goes without saying that when using content optimization tools, the consideration of writing good, useful content must be present in order for the end result to be truly exceptional,” he said. . “The goal here is to help create content, ensuring that it meets search intent and responds to what search engines deem valuable and useful content.”


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