Search marketers are fussing over Google’s John Mueller calling AI-generated content “spam.” He did this during his April 1st Google Search Central SEO office hours while answering questions on his hangout (no kidding).
Mueller’s reaction is not shocking. In addition, auto-generated content has long been included in webmaster guidelines as something to avoid.
However, AI-generated content is a popular topic of discussion on social media, forums, and private groups. Especially in recent years, due to technological advances.
Let’s summarize Google’s history on this topic and what it means for you.
Latest Google statement on AI content
First, it’s always important to remember that when Mueller speaks during office hours, he’s usually answering specific questions about specific situations. His answers are often misinterpreted as having a broader application or more meaning than what he actually said.
The question in this case was how Google would react to websites hosting AI-generated content.
The answer was simple. This falls into the category of auto-generated content. Again, this dates back to Google’s early days.
But here’s where it gets interesting. Can Google distinguish between AI-generated content and human-generated content? Muller declined to say so categorically.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if the content is written by humans or robots. Google can detect high-quality spam, low-quality spam, or outright spam. At some point, it’s very likely that Google’s page 1 search results will be filled with robot-generated content.
Heck, in some SERPs this already seems to be happening. [benefits of AI content] This article was ranked 2nd.
Was it written by a human? Or machine? 🤔
I know a lot of terrible human writers. Publish your content online. But that doesn’t mean Google should index or rank it. But anyone can publish any content online of any quality.
Google’s official guidance on auto-generated content
Quoting straight from the Google Search Central documentation, here’s everything Google says about auto-generated content:
Auto-generated (also known as “auto-generated” content) is programmatically generated content. Google may take action against such content if it is intended to manipulate search rankings to the detriment of users. Some examples include, but are not limited to:
- Text that makes no sense to the reader, but may contain search keywords.
- Text translated by automated tools without human review or curation prior to publication.
- Text generated by automated processes such as Markov chains.
- Text generated using automatic synonyms or obfuscation techniques.
- Text generated by scraping an Atom/RSS feed or search results.
- Splicing or combining content from different web pages without adding significant value.
Learn more about Google’s past statements about AI content
2022: Mueller was asked about Jasper and AI-based content creation tools like Jasper. murmured back: “Content generators/spinners have been around since the beginning of the web. People have used all sorts of tools and tricks to do it (see image). As far as I know, most sites struggles to create high quality content, but doesn’t need help creating low quality content.”
2021: Mueller said Google is likely to focus more on content quality than on how content is generated. So basically, Google might have no problem ranking machine-generated content. But that day has not yet come.
2020: Google’s Gary Illyes said in a discussion about how GPT-3 (a Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 that can generate human-like text and translate content) underperforms, Google said You mentioned that you don’t want machine-translated content to be indexed.he shared an interesting example twitter: Boil together After boiling down, the sugar will dissolve and you can use it.
2019: Mueller was asked whether automatic translation of content could lead to manual action. In short, he said no, but poor content may not rank. However, he noted that at some point “in the future,” Google could be more open to machine-generated content. The point is that Google should not be able to tell if it was written by a script or by a human.
2017: Illyes was asked whether tools that use data to generate human-readable content are considered “auto-generated content.”Illies answered Google was thinking about this, but couldn’t say anything at the time.
2010: Mueller said that using automated translation tools (such as Google Translate) to create website content could in some cases be considered “creating auto-generated content and violating webmaster guidelines.” said there is
Google calls itself an AI-first company. We use hundreds of machine learning models across products like Search, Ads, YouTube, Gmail, and more. why? Because it helps us improve our products.
So why is the content of the search results different? Well, it all comes down to quality, or at least how Google’s algorithms interpret quality.
But this is not ironic. Google consistently wants to reward high-quality content. The Panda update was one of Google’s big attempts to clean up the search results clutter caused by content farms.
Risks and Benefits of AI Content
Below are some risks and benefits of AI content. This is by no means an exhaustive list.
Risk: Google will take action on your page or site
Manual actions can have serious consequences for your brand and business. In addition to all the resources you put into this kind of content, you should put even more into cleaning up the clutter and (hopefully) getting it back in Google’s search results.
Risk: not original
AI content generation is more advanced than the old content spinner, but basically the same. You’re copying other people’s work that already exists online – possibly including your competitors. Following rather than leading is a dangerous model for any business, always at its best and always ensuring he comes second.
Risk: Poor Quality
What you get will require extensive editing. At best, you get vanilla robot content. For the same (or less) time and resources you invest in technology, you can probably hire a human writer.
Pros: Takes longer to write
Humans take time to create content. AI content can reduce this time. That said, resources for proofreading acquired content should be considered. The Associated Press, which made headlines a few years ago by using robot journalists on high-statistics articles, has increased output while freeing up journalists’ time by 20%.
Pros: Good content doesn’t come cheap
And there’s a reason for that. In general, there is more to content than actual writing. You have research (keywords, rankings, competitors, etc.). How much editing do you need? Do you have the graphics needed to support it? Are the writers experts in the topic? Expertise comes at a cost. It doesn’t affect the promotion of the content either. So if you can live on “enough” content (because you have limited resources or budget, or maybe you’re operating in a less competitive niche), AI content can be an advantage. .
Advantage: good for idea generation
Writer’s block sucks. AI can help you come up with content ideas. Right now, it’s not enough to completely create content from scratch. But it might be worthwhile enough to use the tool to brainstorm content ideas.
why we care
A lot of SEO is about weighing risks and rewards. Google’s stance is that if this type of content is detected, it may be subject to manual action or removal from the index. That said, AI can help with content creation. But you still need a human layer. Whichever route you choose, always make sure your company or client is happy and aware of all the risks associated with using AI-generated content.
What’s New in Search Engine Land