The quick answer: According to Google’s February 2023 guidelines on AI-generated content, Google reiterated that it doesn’t hate automatically generated content – as long as it helps users and abides by Google’s spam policies.
With AI writing tools such as ChatGPT and Jasper emerging left and right, content creators enjoy benefits like faster turnaround times and easier topic ideation. They’re especially helpful for writers who need some inspiration to get started or teams that lack the time or workforce to publish blogs regularly.
But even if these content creation tools can mass-produce content in seconds, it’s crucial to understand how search engines actually respond to them. Does Google penalize AI generated content? More importantly, what does the search engine giant recommend to businesses engaging in AI content marketing? We answer these essential questions in the following sections, but let’s begin by breaking down what AI generated content is.
What Is AI Generated Content?
AI-generated content refers to any content produced using artificial intelligence tools. These AI writing tools utilize natural language processing (NLP) and deep learning to understand and mimic human language. As a result, they can create written or spoken text as if a human made it.
OpenAI’s ChatGPT is one of today’s most commonly used AI tools in content creation. It is trained to provide a detailed response to prompts it receives, whether it be by writing a blog, creating a social media post or drafting a script for your video content. AI text generator tools can also produce other types of content used in various marketing strategies, such as the following:
• Landing pages
• Product descriptions
• Ad copies
• Post titles
• Topic ideas
One of the biggest benefits of using artificial intelligence tools is that they can produce content within seconds. This allows businesses and organizations to create blogs, landing pages and social media copy more quickly without hiring more people to do the job.
With that said, it’s crucial to note that today’s AI text generator programs still have many limitations. Besides lacking human personality and original opinions, the content they generate can contain wrong information. Publishing auto generated content without human review can negatively impact your credibility and authority.
Most importantly, misusing them can do your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts more harm than good. And what is AI generated content if it will lead to penalties from Google?
Google’s Guidance on Writing Content Using AI
If the traffic you generate significantly impacts your business, it’s critical that you know how to use these content creation tools wisely. Specifically, you want to understand Google’s guidelines on AI and automatically generated content and how algorithms are rating this type of content.
In a Google SEO office-hours hangout in April 2022, Search advocate John Mueller was asked how Google reacts to publishing AI-generated content. You can watch the recording here, but here are his two main points:
• Content generated by artificial intelligence falls under automatically generated content.
• Using AI to produce content is essentially the same as simply translating, using synonyms and shuffling words around – it’s against Google’s webmaster guidelines and is considered spam.
Google’s Clarification in November 2022
In November 2022, the Google team clarified speculations about auto generated content and how it affects performance on the search engine. Google Public Liaison for Search Danny Sullivan explained in a series of tweets:
• AI content isn’t necessarily bad, as the issue isn’t about what was used to produce content.
• The focus should be on the quality of the content, not the tool.
• Google’s ranking systems aim to put helpful, reliable, people-first content in front of users. Anyone looking for success in the search engine results pages must ensure the content they publish possesses these qualities.
The Most Recent Statement
Google published a comprehensive blog summarizing its guidelines for AI-generated content in February 2023. You can access the resource here, but let us summarize its key points.
KEY POINT #1: Google Rewards Quality Content However It Is Produced
As mentioned, the issue isn’t necessarily about artificial intelligence writing your content. Regardless of how your content is produced, Google will reward it as long as it demonstrates E-E-A-T: experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.
Considering this, here are some helpful questions to ask when evaluating your content, AI-generated or not:
• Is your content based on first-hand experience?
• Do you have expertise on the topic you’re covering?
• Are you an authority or trustworthy source for your topic?
Google’s ranking systems are designed to show searchers reliable information. The content you produce and publish must comply with its search quality rater guidelines to perform well on SERPs – and avoid penalties.
KEY POINT #2: Using AI To Manipulate Search Results Rankings Violates Google’s Spam Policies
When you use AI to write your blogs for you without creating something original or adding to its value, this is where things start becoming problematic. Here are some examples of auto-generated content that Google regards as spam:
• Content that contains keywords but does not make sense to readers
• Content generated using automated paraphrasing or synonymizing
• Automatically translated content published without human review
• AI-generated content published without regard for user experience.
KEY POINT #3: Automation CAN Create Helpful Content
Not all use of automation is spam. AI content creation tools can be used to help brands and organizations publish helpful content for web users.
It all boils down to maximizing their capabilities to aid your AI content marketing efforts rather than solely relying on them. Verify, enrich and personalize auto-generated content to satisfy search intent. In doing so, you can unravel how to produce original, high-quality and people-first content with E-E-A-T qualities.
How To Create AI Content Google Loves
Like enlisting SEO content writing services, using AI tools in content creation is handy when improving your efficiency. However, it helps to remember that these tools are far from perfect. They still have many limitations despite the advantages they bring, so adding human review and strategy to the mix is imperative.
On that note, here are four tips for creating AI content that both Google and your readers will love.
1. Know and Understand Your Audience
Whether you’re a one-person team using AI or a big group of writers working together to produce content, always begin with understanding your audience. Who are you writing for? What’s their purpose for using specific keywords for searching about particular topics? The information you will share and how you’ll deliver it should depend on who consumes your content.
When you engage in AI content marketing with your readers in mind, you’re on the right track to producing helpful, valuable content.
2. Follow the E-E-A-T Principle
While there’s still much to be uncovered about how AI content will perform in SERPs, we know for sure that Google loves quality content. So as you work with your preferred AI text generator program, make it a habit to check your generated content against its search quality rater guidelines and make the necessary enhancements.
It becomes much easier to hit goals or meet editorial deadlines with artificial intelligence writing your content. But remember that AI won’t have the experience and expertise you possess. Following the E-E-A-T principle by adding expert insights can help improve your performance on search rankings.
3. Don’t Forget About Strategic Keyword Use
Sure, artificial intelligence tools can whip up ready-to-publish content in seconds, but did the copy cover all the essential points to help its intended audience? Did it use your primary and secondary keywords correctly?
As humans, we have the ability to understand the bigger picture. So while AI does the legwork of generating text, it’s a smart approach to use it to gain more time for making strategic decisions, like addressing search intent.
When you take the time to identify and use valuable search terms in your auto-generated content strategically, you also boost your local SEO efforts and online visibility.
4. Edit and Fact-Check AI-Generated Content
This can’t be stressed enough: AI can be a powerful tool for content creation, but it’s far from perfect. It can get factual details wrong and even make things up. As such, publishing content straight out of your text generator is not a good idea.
Instead, always edit and fact-check the content you generate, especially when you want to share information or mention data. Researching, verifying and cross-referencing from multiple sources may be tedious, but fact-checking is worth your time and effort in today’s search engine AI era. It allows you to share high-quality, accurate and trustworthy content with your audience while protecting your brand’s credibility.
Write High-Quality Content That Appeals to People and Algorithms
While AI tools bring numerous advantages, like faster turnaround times, they must be used appropriately. As Google stated, publishing artificial intelligence writing primarily for search rankings is against its guidelines and will therefore be considered spam.
Still, the search engine giant clarified that its ranking systems reward quality content, no matter how it’s produced. So if you’re keen on utilizing auto generated content, constantly ask yourself throughout the content creation process: is your content helpful, reliable and people-first?
The key to succeeding in today’s search engine AI age is to master working with artificial intelligence. When you find the right balance between AI support and human creativity and strategic thinking, you can unlock more efficient ways to deliver valuable content.
Hiring SEO content writing services is another practical way to produce original, quality content more efficiently. Working with an experienced agency like Thrive means having a team of strategists, writers and editors you can rely on for effective content marketing. We handle everything from keyword research and strategy development to writing and publishing content to help you appeal to search engines and your readers.
Let’s turn your content ideas into blogs and landing pages Google and people will love. Get in touch today to discuss how our SEO content writing services can supercharge your digital marketing efforts.