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Does Google Detect AI Content and Does It Affect Ranking?


Blog cover page with the title Does Google Detect Ai Content and does it affect ranking?

Worried about Google detecting AI-generated content and how this might affect your ranking on search engine pages? Here’s what you need to know.


In this article:



 

It’s no surprise that AI has become an increasingly popular tool for creating content. However, it’s important to understand the nuances surrounding its usage.


What's AI-generated content?


AI-generated content is a term used to describe textual, visual, and auditory materials that are created using artificial intelligence algorithms.


These algorithms generate new content based on the patterns and trends they identify in the (training) data fed to it. This training data usually turns out to be information easily accessible on the internet, like Wikipedia articles and popular web pages.


This article’s focus will be on textual content produced by AI.


Google’s stance on AI-generated content


Here comes the billion-dollar question – “Is Google against AI content?”


The answer is NO.



As you can see from the image above, Google in their search guidelines explicitly confirms that they are not against AI or Automation as long as the primary aim of generating content is not to ‘hack’ and ‘manipulate’ rankings with zero regard for readers.


What then does Google find acceptable as regards AI content?


First, it's important you understand the intent of Google in crawling through any content and recommending them to searchers.


Google's algorithm always prioritizes helpful, reliable, and people-first content over incomprehensive and machine-based content.


So the question to ask is, “Does the AI-generated content meet this standard?”


That's to say, “Does it tick the helpful, reliable, and people-centered boxes?”


Before responding with a yes or no, let’s understand what this implies.



A robot in front of a laptop with the word AI


What does Google call helpful, reliable, and people-first content?

Helpful content to Google means content that’s highly informative, comprehensive, and original. One that offers value and information gain to readers, not regurgitated and bland information written for the sake of ranking.


In addition to being helpful, Google requires that content must also be reliable. This means that it should be backed by experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (EEAT). You could possibly interpret that as using proven facts, data, or first-hand experience to support your claims and ensure that your content is accurate and trustworthy.


Finally, your content should be people-centered. This means that it should be tailored to the needs of your target audience. For example, it makes no sense to talk about cars in a food recipe blog.


People-centered content also means that your content should be readable, easy to navigate, and visually appealing. This includes using images and other visual aids to help convey your message.


Cases where AI fails and where it excels

Having seen what Google requires of your content, we want to see how well AI meets these requirements.


Here are some downsides of relying totally on AI tools:


  • Google demands authority and expertise. These two things are obtained from experience. AI lacks that 'experience.'

  • AI is a tool that works with already imputed facts and stats and would need to be continuously updated (trained) to remain relevant. Hence, if there's an update, it may not know it until it’s trained again.

  • The information provided by AI may be wrong (also known as AI hallucination). This means that if you’re using AI to write content for YMYL (your money or your life) topics such as health and finance-related articles, there’s a high chance of misinforming and potentially endangering gullible readers.

  • AI churns out content with vague and mediocre sentences scattered throughout.


However, AI is not all bad. It has some really good attributes:


  • AI is proficient in summarizing large amounts of information to create a concise and coherent summary. It can be a valuable tool for individuals needing to extract key insights from lengthy content quickly.

  • It can help you generate great outlines, in addition to what you've drafted already.

  • It's a fast means of generating a large amount of content in a shorter time.


Should you generate content with AI or not?

Well, it depends on your intent as discussed earlier.


If you aim to create truly helpful content to solve the needs of your readers, feel free to use AI as a starting point. But make sure the content is accurate, up-to-date, high-quality, and truly helpful! And it’s very unlikely AI-generated content would meet those criteria.


But if you’re creating hundreds and hundreds of blog posts with AI because you heard that more content equates to more traffic, then you’ll likely be penalized by Google and lose all your existing rankings.



A photo of a mobile phone with the word Chat GPT


This sounds harsh, but it’s already happening. Recently, Google found out that many bloggers were trying to game the system by publishing tons of articles with AI for more traffic, but these articles were so poor in quality that readers started to complain about the results and advocate for other search engines like TikTok.


To uphold their importance, Google released the September 2023 helpful content update, which cost a lot of websites their traffic.


The impact of this traffic was sitewide, meaning that if Google detected that you had more unhelpful and less helpful content, your entire site would be deranked until you made necessary adjustments.


Some sites fell from 70k traffic to 5k impressions in less than a month. This update could be compared to the Panda update which happened 12 years ago and had a similar effect on sites.


So, as you can see, Google's response to any content is based on its value and not necessarily how it was generated. Whether created by AI or humans, any content produced must be helpful and useful to readers, not written for the sake of search engine optimization (SEO).


How to create content that ranks

With that in mind, here are some tips to create content that ranks and gets you those needed clicks.


  • Aim at satisfying your target audience rather than a machine algorithm: This means your article has to be very informative and solution-centric rather than being keyword-stuffed with the aim of manipulating an algorithm.

  • Create original, detailed, and authoritative content: Make sure every post you write is comprehensive enough to thoroughly answer your readers’ questions. Create in-depth content because Google ranks that type of content higher in search results. Also, make your content actionable and include lots of data references and links to authority websites.

  • Prioritize user experience: To make your writing more engaging, it’s important to use an engaging format, easy-to-understand language, correct spelling and punctuation, and white spaces.


It’s a wrap!


In summary, AI-generated content can rank on Google, but it's important to ensure that the content is of high quality and relevance. Remember that Google prioritizes its users' experience and would only suggest high-quality and valuable content to them.


Thus, your aim when curating any content should be centered wholly on satisfying and bringing the best solution to your target audience and in doing this, you're certainly going to get Google's algorithm in your favor.


119 views2 comments

2 comentários


Gauri Ghatnekar
Gauri Ghatnekar
06 de jan.

Truly, truly, and truly amazing!!!

Curtir
Maggie Aime (The Write RN)
Maggie Aime (The Write RN)
24 de jan.
Respondendo a

Gauri,

Thank you! I’m glad it resonated.

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