Justin has been an entrepreneur, innovator, and marketer since 2008. He’s believed in and practiced SEO marketing for more than 15 years. In the 2020s, Justin saw the future of AI, GPT, and how it would impact content creation. He jumped in AI head-first, and now, he’s built the dream tool he wished he had 15 years ago: Content at Scale.
You’ve been involved in SEO since 2008, how did you initially get started in the industry?
I taught myself dreamweaver and photoshop in highschool and started building websites. This was around 1998. It wasn't until 2008 I decided to put that to use as a business venture. My second client in wanted SEO work and I never looked back. I liked the recurring revenue model of SEO vs one-off website projects and so I focused my efforts there going forward.
When did you first begin exploring using AI for content generation?
Even back in 2009 I was using article spinners to try and scale things up, but the output was so bad I couldn't use it. GPT-2 wasn't there yet, but in 2021 I felt like AI was advancing far enough along that this was worth exploring. That summer is when we started development.
Could you share the genesis story behind Content at Scale?
All my ventures had relied on content marketing. Even LeadFuze, which was the software product I launched in 2014. Despite it being solely for outbound sales, the product relies 100% on inbound traffic. So I figured even if the Content at Scale product doesn't work, I would still be able to use it for my own things. It was clear content marketing was going this route and this was going to be an opportunity.
Content At Scale focuses on the long form SEO niche, can you discuss why you chose to target this niche?
It's the one I know deeply. It's that in-depth knowledge that helps us differentiate from the fly-by-night tools released by developers. I have sold millions in SEO contracts and have done SEO at a deep enough level that I knew exactly what needed to be built.
How is Content at Scale better for long form than competing options such as Jasper?
At the time, there was no other long form SEO writer on the market. Jasper was really the only main competition, but I felt like for what we were trying to do with they weren't really competition. Just that I felt a decent percentage of their users were using them for long-form blog purposes. So, I wanted to just go really deep on that aspect.
Can you discuss how Content at Scale minimizes or mitigates LLM hallucinations?
I won't share all of the details for competitive reasons, but one aspect that is known is crawling of data in real-time to help guide the content. This has multiple benefits beyond just the writing, but this helps. We are also about to go even much further into this by doing more than just crawling the top ranking content, but I can't share much more on this just yet.
Content at Scale was one of the first companies to focus on offering content that is undetectable as being AI generated content, can you discuss your views on why this is important?
Not one of, we were the first. This was our number one objection and something that was important because at the time Google wasn't happy with AI content taking over their search results. Their stance on this changed and they no longer care how the content is generated so long as it's valuable to the reader. Now, I know they have released a paper talking about their AI detection research, so I still think it matters somewhat in that if they know an article is AI written, they might not give the top rankings. They won't necessarily “punish” it per se, but it won't always have the top ranked spot like you might see some AI content have now. I still think long term you want your content as human-like as possible.
For entrepreneurs who are focused on SEO, outside of great content what are the elements that need to come together to rank high in Google?
We have developed a whole framework around what we call AIO editing. This essentially means adding that human component where possible to help demonstrate your expertise on the subject matter. Assuming your content is well optimized though, the most important thing you can do is build links. We have a whole link building department on-staff (not outsourced) just for this purpose. When your competitors also have access to platforms like Content at Scale, and you are all publishing more content as you should, then Google has to decide who gets the rankings. And they're going to give it to the one's with quality backlinks. Those are like votes for your site so building that authority becomes critical.
What is your vision for the future of SEO?
I shared a bit about it above with links, and humanizing the content as much as possible. I think these elements will remain the most important factors for rankings as a whole. Especially to go deeper into topics than what AI can generate on its own as we start to see more generative AI in the search results. But my recommendation is to let the AI do the heavy lifting. Once you see your content get to page 2 and 3, that is the time to really invest in it. See what you can add to the content to get that to page 1. This way you aren't spending the time on this for every single piece of content.
Thank you for the great interview, readers who wish to learn more should visit Content at Scale.