Since November of 2020, CNET, a tech news site owned by Red Ventures, has been quietly publishing low-quality articles written by AI tools. Their intent was to first rank highly in Google search, and then monetize that traffic with affiliate links – which plays out to be a massively lucrative strategy, if effective. Not to mention, using AI to write content (instead of humans) would also cut CNET’s expenses significantly, really maximizing their ROI.
Good idea, right? Not quite. There are a few problems with this, one of which being that creating low-quality content specifically designed to rank goes directly against Google’s SEO guidelines.
But another problem, one that is relatively new to our industry, is that their use of AI was kept hush-hush, without any true transparency about the author of their robo-content. And what we’re quickly learning is that when robots report tech news instead of humans, the authority and trustworthiness of their content is pretty non-existent – further rebelling against SEO best practices.
Now, we can all make assumptions about how Google will punish CNET for publishing content designed to boost their revenue, but the reality is that we really don’t know. With the growing popularity of AI and transformation of the technical landscape, we’re all left wondering: will Google penalize AI-generated content?
- Google’s guidelines emphasize the importance of creating high quality content with expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) in order to rank
- Google released its own AI chatbot, Bard, indicating that it supports the use of AI for content creation as long as it delivers value to humans
- Being transparent about your content’s author is key to demonstrating authority and trustworthiness to your audience
- By refining AI-generated content with one’s own experience and expertise, marketers and content creators can use AI as a tool to deliver value to their audiences
By using AI as a tool, content creators can deliver valuable, high quality content to their readers while also meeting Google’s guidelines.
Will Google Penalize AI-Generated Content?
Good question. The simple answer is no, we don’t think so. Here’s why:
Since AI generated content is relatively new and quickly catching steam, there is a lot of misinformation out there. We have to look at the cold hard facts we already know.
In the past, Google has been pretty clear about its undying love for high quality content. If you’re not familiar, you can read about Google’s guidelines and latest Helpful Content Update here. Fast-forward to the present, Google has joined the masses and released its own AI chatbot, Bard.
Now, considering these two factors, it makes the most sense for Google to support what most SEO experts have been singing for a long time: as long as you’re delivering value to humans via high quality content, your means of getting there doesn’t matter. In other words, Google is still devoted to rewarding helpful content, regardless of who, or what, produces it.
From Google itself:
“Google’s ranking systems aim to reward original, high quality content that demonstrates qualities of what we call E-E-A-T: expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.”
Source: SEO Inc.
From this, we can gather that the who, how, and why of content creation isn’t necessarily what you need to worry about. Instead, it’s using these elements to weave expertise, experience, authority, and trust into your content.
What we also need to keep in mind is that Google will penalize unoriginal, generalized content – which accurately describes the natural state of AI-generated content. This all goes to say that it’s not the creator of content that we need to be weary of – it’s (still) the value it delivers.
How To Use AI To Generate Content Without Being Penalized
So now we know: Google isn’t going to ding you if you keep AI in your writing-toolbox. The key to success is learning how to properly use AI so your content is chock-full of:
As long as you incorporate these key qualities into the who, how, and why of your AI-generated content, your content will hold value in the eyes of Google.
For your content to be well-received by both your audience and Google, make sure readers don’t have to ask “who” created your content. Be transparent about your content’s author/s by including bylines, and don’t be afraid to give further background and information on their areas of expertise, either.
This really hones in on the “authoritativeness” and “trustworthiness” of E-E-A-T, positioning your content to offer value to readers and perform well on SERPs.
To best utilize AI to create high quality content, we recommend asking AI to generate a baseline for your writing.
Image Source: ChatGPT
Then, you can mix in your own experience and expertise and curate the copy it spits out. This way, you can ensure you’re publishing pieces that demonstrate authoritativeness and trustworthiness to readers.
Google says itself that:
“AI has the ability to power new levels of expression and creativity, and to serve as a critical tool to help people create great content for the web.”
As marketers, content creators, and business leaders, it’s important for us to harness the power of AI so we can use it to offer more value to our audiences. You can start by learning how to:
- Further develop valuable insights provided by AI using your own experience
- Integrate credible sources into AI-generated content
- Refine AI-generated content using your own unique skills and research
The more you practice and perfect using AI as a tool, the better your content will perform in the publishing environment. By turning AI-generated content into creative expressions of value, we can use AI as a tool to better serve our communities.
Start Creating High Quality Content Today!
So, will Google penalize AI-generated content? No, quite the contrary – Google supports the use of AI tools as long as you devote yourself to delivering high quality content. By incorporating expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness into your writing, you can satisfy both your audience and Google’s guidelines.
Are you ready to master Google’s algorithm? The best way to start is by publishing high quality content consistently. Get started today by checking out our weekly blog content service, or schedule a free consultation now to learn more!