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9 Words to Avoid on the Internet

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

You may have heard that Google and some others are frowning on AI content. If you fill your site with it, your search engine ranking will plummet. 

And... Google (and others) believe that they can tell the difference between humanAvoid these artificial words writing and AI writing.

Part of it is the fact that nothing AI writes feels personal. Unless someone edits to add personality, you won't find sentences beginning with "My favorite clients..." or "The last time I visited..."

An article I read this morning explained that the "no AI" bots also look for words that AI seems to love to use. He called them trigger words, and he warned against using them. Or at least against using them inappropriately, as AI does. 

Here's the list:

  • cognizant
  • synergy
  • pertinent
  • delve
  • peril
  • testament
  • treasure trove
  • tapestry - when not speaking of textiles
  • landscape - when not speaking of actual land

Keeping in mind that marketing copy should be written to a 7th grade reading level, you wouldn't use most of these anyway. But if you're tempted, think twice. 

You might get labeled "artificial."



Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

I cannot recall seeing any of those words on a real estate listing so there is little chance of them being used.

Apr 16, 2024 03:03 PM
Marte Cliff

Ed Silva, 203-206-0754 A couple of them might fit - such as "landscape." 

Apr 22, 2024 12:44 PM
Michael Elliott
Fathom Realty - Burlington Township, NJ
Burlington, New Jersey Residential Sales

I thought this was going to be mentioning swear words.

Apr 16, 2024 03:24 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

Ha! Ha! Good one Michael Elliott 

Apr 16, 2024 04:13 PM
Marte Cliff

Sorry to disappoint, Michael Elliott!


Apr 22, 2024 12:43 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

These are very interesting trigger words Marte Cliff . I can see why Google and some others are frowning on AI generated posts. AI is useful in an outline but human writing offers so much more..just read Aura Alex ..a very gifted writer.

Apr 16, 2024 04:16 PM
Aura Alex

Thank you, Dorie Dillard Austin TX, for the mention. 

Apr 16, 2024 04:37 PM
Marte Cliff

Dorie Dillard Austin TX - human writing is more interesting for many reasons. And I have read Aura Alex - and I agree!

Apr 22, 2024 12:47 PM
Aura Alex
Seattle, WA
Retired Real Estate Pro

Hi, Marty.

You have a valid concern about Google and others frowning on AI. While I don't disagree with some of the "trigger" words, I have used all of them in my writings long before AI came about. For example, attorneys and high-level business English frequently use 'pertinent' and 'synergy.' Some, like tapestry, testament, and peril, are often used in narrative (creative) writing.  

It will take more than some "trigger" words determined by AI experts today, as no one knows when and how we can develop apps that will do nothing but detect AI content by some formula developed by another AI competitor. 

Ironically, Google would frown on its own AI app, Google Bard, now Gemini, as it is a generative AI chatbot developed by Google!

Also, for an average blogger, it's not easy to determine if their writing falls within the 6th-7th grades as most readers prefer. I use ProwritingAid for everything else that Grammarly does not provide other than spelling and grammar suggestions. ProwritingAid tells me when my content is challenging to read (and what grade) and suggests that I simplify it (it doesn't write for me). Many times, it's correct, and I take its suggestion. 

Apr 16, 2024 05:05 PM
Kathy Streib

Aura Alex i've used Grammarly for years and just as you do, I will make suggested changes if it seems to work for me and still sound like how I would say something. 

Apr 20, 2024 11:30 AM
Marte Cliff

Aura Alex - As computers and programs come and go, the built-in tools change. Once upon a time I had something - probably in Word - that would tell me the word and character count and the reading level. That was handy. 

I've been writing marketing copy for so many years now that I naturally shy away from words that some might misunderstand. And I find it funny when some writer is trying to be sophisticated and uses a completely wrong word.

I am sometimes tempted to write and ask them if they realize what they just said. But I never do. 

Apr 22, 2024 12:53 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Marte-Interesting list of words and thankfully, I don't recall using them (much).  I would love to know was is totally AI written or what is AI assisted. 

Apr 16, 2024 06:33 PM
Marte Cliff

Kathy Streib - We may be seeing a lot that is AI assisted, and that is probably OK.  My son tells me it's wonderful for creating outlines, but I've never learned to use outlies, so... 

I do use it to generate ideas sometimes. 

Apr 22, 2024 12:56 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

Super good info Marte Cliff . I have never used AI and I don't need to get flagged by Google. I think I can spot AI and I'm sure I've seen it many times in the rain.

Apr 16, 2024 06:50 PM
Marte Cliff

I'm sorry to hear that, Bob "RealMan" Timm. I like to think that here in the Rain we are connecting as people. Our words help us become acquainted. 

Apr 22, 2024 12:57 PM
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

Most of those words I would not use in an ad for real estate. However, I have used landscape before. And I have used tapestry more than once when channeling my Carol King stage of marketing!!!😉  

Apr 17, 2024 12:35 AM
Marte Cliff

Debra Leisek - There are a few that I might use in certain places.

For instance, if I was writing about the time I was showing clients a home and found a "treasure trove" of morel mushrooms growing under a tree in the back yard. Since the house was unoccupied, my clients went home with a bag full of mushrooms that day. And yes, they did buy that house!

That was even more memorable for me because it was (and is) the only time I've found them - even when I was trying. 

Apr 22, 2024 01:02 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker
Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.
Apr 17, 2024 04:55 AM
Marte Cliff

I hope you have a great day as well, Richard Weeks

Apr 22, 2024 01:03 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Interesting. I'm sure that list will grow over time!

Apr 17, 2024 05:15 AM
Marte Cliff

I'll bet you are right, Kat Palmiotti. And I would expect that different AI programs might decide to overuse / misuse different words. After all, I think they are being programmed by different people.  

Apr 22, 2024 01:04 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I loved this post, Marte. Can't remember using these words in relation to my business, unless fully applicable. When I was in college back in the Middle Ages (1960's) my journalism major friends were taught to write for an average high school graduate's vocabulary. Times have sure changed and not for the better.

Apr 17, 2024 05:18 AM
Marte Cliff

That's so true, Nina Hollander, Broker. And what I think is sadder is that today the average high school graduate probably has about the same vocabulary as the 6th or 7th grader.  

Apr 22, 2024 01:07 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Marte Cliff they can't read, they can't write, they don't know geography or basic history. No wonder we rank so low versus many other developed countries in terms of our education system.

Apr 22, 2024 01:41 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Apr 20, 2024 06:26 PM
Marte Cliff

Thank you Kathy Streib!

Apr 22, 2024 01:07 PM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I cut my real estate teeth writing Classified Ads !!! Nothing can scare me off !!! ………..

Apr 21, 2024 12:59 PM
Marte Cliff

Michael J. Perry - Classified ads are difficult! I remember my first broker wanting us to "put the reader in the house" while at the same time using as few words as possible because she was paying for the ads. 

Apr 22, 2024 01:09 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

I have noticed when using AI that it uses a lot, I mean a lot of adjectives, more so than I would normally use. But, one should always read over and edit what it creates to personalize and make it your own.

Apr 22, 2024 07:53 AM
Marte Cliff

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 - I've heard that before. And we all know what Mark Twain would have to say about it! 

I agree that you should edit anything and everything that AI writes. And if it includes facts, check for accuracy. After that - run it through a program to check for plagiarism. 

Apr 22, 2024 01:12 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


Interesting read and tips that prompted some good discussion. I suspect we will be haring more and more about what to do with AI as well as when to avoid using it in our writing. 


Apr 22, 2024 01:34 PM
Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farm & Commercial Land Broker-Auctioneer Serving Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm & Commercial Property For Sale 308-627-3700

As I Mentioned on another blog post....nothing....absolutely nothing...surprises me anymore.  I can only wonder what AR or other sites will be like in a few years or decades...and if anything is real...

Apr 23, 2024 07:16 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Marte, as I look for posts to include in my Sunday favorites post, I've noticed that an awful lot of the writing on ActiveRain looks like it's created by someone other than a Realtor. Many large brokerages provide pre-written newsletters and blogs for their agents to use - and my company's are quite well done. But each set of writers seems to use a sort of template, and these posts are getting easier for me to spot. In the old days, someone in Seattle would have spotted them and removed points!

Apr 25, 2024 06:10 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Marte Cliff - Between 1997 and 2002 one of my HR responsibilities was to conduct employee testing for mechanical engineers and technicians. The minimum reading and math skill to pass was the equivalent for an 8th grader. When I questioned why so low, I was told that was the average reading and math skill for High School grads, and if they raised the requirements, they wouldn't get viable candidates to fill the jobs. 

I always thought that was so sad. Especially when it comes to product safety for consumers. Perhaps that's why we've seen an increase in product recalls. 

May 02, 2024 06:51 PM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

In reviewing the list, I have never used any of those words, except landscape with real estate.  My sense is 7th grad level is probably too high. I was taught sixth grade level. And that is a shame given how much the US spends on education.

May 05, 2024 07:46 AM