Does Google penalize AI generated content?

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Written By Abha Malpani Naismith

Communications strategy. Digital specialist. Brand journalist. Writer. AI enthusiast.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

TL:DR Spammy content written purely for search is what is not ranked by Google.

Like it or not, Google is the only search engine you need to worry about. For context, it has 92.66% of global search market share; the rest of the 7% is divided between Yahoo, Bing, Yandex (I had never heard of this one before! Duck Duck Go and Baidu.

If you are a writer or a copywriter, creating content using a generative AI tool, what you need to keep in mind is this statement:

“Using automation—including AI—to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results is a violation of our spam policies.”

In other words, if you are generating content purely for search rankings, and when read it’s obvious that it is generated by a machine as it will appear spammy, your content will not be ranked.

Google recognizes the critical role generative AI is growing to play and empowers the use of technology:

“This said, it’s important to recognize that not all use of automation, including AI generation, is spam. 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.” – Google search and AI guidelines

Google rewards high-quality content, regardless of how it is produced.

Google has always prided itself on taking responsibility to rank the most relevant, high-quality and credible content for users. Irrespective of the intervention of content automation using AI, they plan to keep their standards high.

“Our focus on the quality of content, rather than how content is produced”

The original principles that ranks content in Google still stand:

Comply with E-E-A-T: Your content must demonstrate qualities of E-E-A-T: expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Read more about E-E-A-T here.

Content needs to answer Who, How, and Why: Who created the content? Provides credibility to the piece. How the content was created? Methodology used to generate the content (testing, surveys or even automation) should be made as clear as possible.

“If automation is used to substantially generate content, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Is the use of automation, including AI-generation, self-evident to visitors through disclosures or in other ways?
  • Are you providing background about how automation or AI-generation was used to create content?
  • Are you explaining why automation or AI was seen as useful to produce content?”

Sharing details about the processes involved can help your readers better understand the unique and useful role that automation may have played.

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