Projections for Google’s AI policy for generated content have sparked a significant debate in the world of SEO professionals. And for good reason. Any judgments Google takes regarding this new method of content creation and its policies will have far-reaching consequences for businesses, marketers, and SEO professionals alike. In this blog, we will discuss Google’s new AI policy thus far and how you can keep creating content that Google will approve of.
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The Introduction of AI in Content Creation
When AI-generated content tools were first introduced, it raised a lot of panic in the world of SEO. Experts questioned whether good content creators and web developers could actually stay ahead of AI. While Google does understand that AI has its place in automation and has even introduced Google Bard AI, they are not taking AI generated content as lightly as some AI tools such as Sports Score predictions. Instead, Google emphasized that high-quality content is the real focus which AI struggles to create.
Understanding Google’s Emphasis on Quality
In the past, mass-produced content caught Google off guard–although last time, it was mass-produced by humans. Back then, Google’s answer to this wasn’t to outright ban this surge of content; instead, they enhanced their algorithm to recognize and reward high-quality content that was good for its users. It looks as if Google will do this again for AI.
Google states it will stay dependent on its E-E-A-T system, which stands for expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. All content that ranks high must fall within those parameters. To improve content even further, Google recommends asking “Who, How, and Why” when developing it. This principle encourages content to be human-focused. This is due to a part of Google’s algorithm, which is designed to give satisfying results for the user based on the intent of the search they made.
As we create more content, it’s important to keep in mind that if AI-generated content can’t add something unique or beneficial to the user, it won’t rank for long, and using it will be a waste of time. Since AI-generated content cannot create unique, valuable content yet, it is unlikely to attain a high ranking for competitive keywords. Currently, using it will be at your own risk.
Google Search’s Published Policy Guidance for AI Content
In February 2023, Google developers released a blog about their search guidance for AI-generated content. In this, they discuss how Google is still figuring out the evolving world of AI-generated content and how it will fit into our search for information.
In summary, Google has not placed any restrictions on AI that can predict sports scores or weather, but they are completely against trying to manipulate ranking systems with an influx of poorly written, inaccurate content on your website. Because of this, they advise original, quality content using the E-E-A-T principle. For this, it doesn’t matter how the content is created as long as it is for the people and not the algorithms and follows responsible AI guidelines. One way to ensure you are creating content that won’t be penalized by Google is to consider “Who, How, and Why” in relation to your content. This will make sure it adds value to the humans who search.
3 Key Penalties to Keep in Mind For AI-Generated Content
The Role of Transparency and Labels
In the EU, there is a massive push to label content that is AI-generated to avoid misinformation and encourage transparency. As it stands, Google only recommends labeling AI-generated images using IPTC image data metadata. Or if you are using Imagen, which is Google’s text-to-image generator, there is now a technology called SynthID, which adds a watermark to that image. For text, the content just needs to serve people, not the algorithm. However, with such a big push for change in this arena, it would be worth staying on top of.
Google’s AI Policy on Reviews
Recently, Google has updated its merchant center policy with a huge change that will affect every business. Their change? Reviews generated by AI or automated programs are now considered spam. This policy update is to help Google search results remain authentic and provide real opinions from real people.
Similar policies are already in place, such as one from The FTC, or Federal Trade Commission. One of their responsibilities is eliminating unfair or deceptive marketing from the market. The FTC has put forth a strict policy against reviews that companies pay for and even has the power to file a lawsuit and impose fines if it discovers purchased or fake reviews.
AI Limitations and the Inaccuracy Factor
AI is not very accurate yet; its output is purely based on its input, and that input may even be inaccurate data itself. ChatGPT, for example, actually declines in accuracy over time. This inaccuracy massively affects certain industries, such as legal, financial, or medical advice. When AI generated content in these sectors is not checked, it is not only unethical but dangerous. Google, therefore, penalizes inaccurate information in these sectors and rewards those willing to put their name to the content and check for errors.
How to Stick to Google’s Recommendations for AI-Generated Content
Here is a strategy that you can employ to stick to Google’s recommendations for AI-generated content:
Step 1: Focus on Quality Content
No matter where your content comes from, you should always make sure it is high-quality and genuinely helps people.
Step 2: Adhere to E-E-A-T Guidelines
Stick to the guidelines of Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. These are the key to Google’s ranking system.
Step 3: Prioritize People-First Approach
Create content with the intention of helping people, not manipulating the system.
Step 4: Understand Search Intent
Keep the intent of the user in mind as you create your content to provide meaningful answers.
Step 5: Transparent Authorship
Where possible, attribute content to its creators and make bylines. This adds a proponent of trust and accountability.
Step 6: Explain Automation’s Role
Be transparent if AI has contributed to your content creation, and explain how it contributes to serve the user.
Step 7: Review and Edit Content
If you use AI to craft your content for you, always make sure to edit and add a human touch. Look out for accuracy issues, too.
Step 8: Disclose AI Use When Relevant
Where it is relevant, disclose that the content is AI-generated. This could include metadata.
Step 9: Stay Updated with Guidelines
Keep up with Google’s guidelines to avoid any penalties to your website. Adapt as needed.
Step 10: Monitor and Adjust
Monitor your AI-generated content and gather user feedback. Be prepared to make the changes needed to serve your audience best.
Conclusion: Google’s AI Policy
Google’s AI policy reflects a view that is trying to balance useful tools for SEO specialists and the people who use their search engine to find information. The emphasis on content quality, user intent, and transparency is what really drives the decisions being made in this realm. However, it’s important for web developers, content creators, SEO professionals, or businesses to keep an eye on Google’s guidelines and use that as the compass for how content creation with AI will move forward. As of now, it seems clear that as long as you create content with AI that is of high quality and accurate, content creators can still use AI while adhering to Google’s principles.
If you need assistance with custom content that ranks and gets clicks, improves your brand’s exposure online, increases quality traffic to your site, and converts visitors into customers, contact ClickGiant today. We are a leading digital marketing agency serving clients nationwide.