Content Moats in the Age of AI

Content Moats in the Age of AI

Content strategy needs a new process. Why? Generative AI is changing the game.

The classic playbook of having Top, Middle, and bottom-of-funnel content still applies, but when you no longer need the expertise to create convincingly expert content (even if the info is false), there is a double-edged sword of having a shallow moat:

1. Easier for you to break in

2. Harder to defend once you’re inside (or on the top of SERPs)

So what can you do?

Either make your content moat wider, deeper, or, better yet, both.

Building a wider content moat

Taking your existing content moat and making it wider is one of the easiest ways to increase your SEO defenses.

What does that mean exactly, though?

If the list of keywords you rank well for is your moat, going wider means having more keywords in your defenses. They may be lower ranking or lower traffic, but going broader means leaning into quantity over quality to protect your organic traffic.


Simplicity: beginner

Defensibility: low

Strategy: Programmatic SEO


Wide-moat SEO takes the idea of “less is more” and reverses it: more is more.

Make a keyword list using your preferred method, then crank out as many articles for them as fast as possible. Yes, it’s the shotgun, spray-and-pray approach, but with the available LLM and GPT-powered AI writing tools, you can create hundreds of articles in days instead of months.

No, they will not be “high quality,” but that’s not the goal of a wider moat.

Make as much content as possible and spread your keywords out across the top, middle, and bottom of the sales funnel.

Congratulations! You’re widening your moat.

Building a deeper content moat

If going wide means lots and fast, what does building a deeper content moat mean?

Well, it’s the opposite approach: fewer, incredibly high-quality content pieces designed to get:

- backlinks

- repurposed into other content

- featured in Google snippets

- reach the front page of search results

These kinds of blog articles can’t be created by a bot because there is so much research, expert knowledge, and tactical information in them that a language model can’t replicate it. We’re talking about quotes from subject matter experts (or customers), real-world examples hand selected for quality, and opinion pieces that go against the status quo.

You can’t use robots to create that. You can try, but it will be terrible–not to mention you would have AI-hallucinated quotes and examples to show for it.


Simplicity: advanced

Defensibility: high

Strategy: High quality content

If you do it right, these blogs are going to be long. These are the pieces that become content pillars and help pull in traffic for years to come. We’re talking about thousands of words, not just hundreds.

And it can’t just be fluff either: visitors need to start reading your content because there is a promise of value and then continue reading it because of the continuous value you are delivering for the entirety of the article.

In-depth, insightful, thought-provoking content that gets the attention it deserves: boom! Deeper content moat. ✨

Content moats are easier said than done

When it comes to executing content moat strategies, there is more to it than just picking your tactics and getting to work.

If you are just starting out, writing only deep-moat blogs isn’t going to help you very much. When you don’t have the domain authority (as defined by Moz, Ahrefs, or otherwise), nobody out there will ever get to see your hard-hitting, high-quality writing.

On the other hand, if you only try to get as wide as possible, everybody else has access to the same tools you’re using: the result is that your wide moat shrinks and doesn’t protect your traffic nearly as much as a defensive strategy as you thought.

The secret, then, is a blend of the two: deep and wide.

High volume of quick articles to cast a wide net.

Curated group of high-quality articles to anchor keyword clusters and reach the front page.

Thanks to AI-enabled writing tools that is going to become the new baseline for content growth. Thanks, Sam Altman. 🤖



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