Reasons Why Google is Not Concerned About AI-Generated Content
Google’s New Guidance on AI-Generated Content: Why It’s Not Surprising
Recently, Google issued guidelines stating that using AI to generate content is not a violation of their policies. In fact, they even encouraged content creators to consider using AI under certain circumstances. While this may come as a surprise to some, I believe there are three reasons why it’s not unexpected.
Reason 1: Google Can Handle Poor-Quality Content If Needed
Many people have low standards for content quality, as evidenced by their willingness to pay a mere $5 for a few articles on Fiverr. With AI, the cost of producing low-quality content will decrease even further, as individuals will be able to write it for free using AI content tools.
While AI-generated content may be readable and well-constructed, it may lack substance, unique insights, or genuine opinions. However, even if the volume of low-quality content increases, it’s unlikely to be overwhelming. Most content creators using AI tools are already established in the industry, and ChatGPT and other AI tools have been used for content creation for years without causing significant issues for Google.
Moreover, Google has efficient systems in place to deal with low-quality content, regardless of its source. If a site is full of subpar content, Google will reduce its crawl budget to save resources.
Reason 2: Google’s Search Algorithms Can Surface High-Quality Content Regardless of Its Source
Google has several algorithms that work in the background to rank the most relevant and high-quality results for its users. While these algorithms aren’t perfect, they generally do an excellent job of filtering out low-quality content. For example, when you search for “lump on neck,” the top results are typically from reputable health brands or doctors, who have expertise in the subject matter.
AI-generated content may not directly impact some of the critical ranking factors, such as E-A-T or backlinks. However, Google’s algorithms will continue to prioritize high-quality content, regardless of whether it was generated by humans or AI.
In summary, Google’s recent guidance on AI-generated content isn’t surprising, as the search engine has robust systems in place to manage low-quality content, and its algorithms can surface high-quality results regardless of their source.
Content is linked to by people for a variety of reasons, but I believe that these are the two most frequent:
They already know and have faith in the author or brand.
The content is the origin of a unique idea or statistic.
Even if you only publish high-quality content, it takes years to establish credibility in an industry, so it will not happen if you solely publish low-end AI content.
The goal of Google’s helpful content system is to elevate the performance of content that provides a satisfying experience to visitors while lowering the ranking of content that does not.
In a nutshell, here’s how Google explains it works:
The system generates a site-wide signal that is among the many other signals we consider for ranking web pages. Our systems automatically detect content that appears to have little value, low-added value, or is not especially beneficial to those conducting searches.
AI tools are trained on existing content, making it nearly impossible for them to “add value.” They can only summarize and revise concepts that are already available (or that you provide).
Google also states that this is a site-wide signal. This implies that it will still have a negative impact on those who believe, “I’ll just post a bunch of AI content, see what works, and then enhance it.”
Reason 3: Google recognizes that AI can help people produce superior content.
Google is unequivocal about this. Its documentation includes a whole section on how automation can aid in the creation of helpful content.
Not all use of automation, including AI generation, is spammy or harmful. AI has the potential to enhance creativity and serve as a useful tool to assist in creating high-quality content for the web. Let me share three examples to demonstrate how AI can benefit content creation.
Firstly, AI can make content interactive by embedding calculators, such as a tax calculator, within a post to provide additional value to the reader. Secondly, AI can be used for proofreading content, improving grammar, and spelling for a more polished final draft.
Despite the potential for AI-generated content to be of high quality, low-quality content generated by AI may still rank for certain keywords. This is partly because Google’s algorithms are not infallible and may not catch all low-quality content, whether it is written by humans or generated by AI.
In addition, Google can only rank good content if it exists, and sometimes a lack of competition for a topic may result in low-quality content ranking highly. However, Google is aware of the potential benefits of AI-generated content and encourages its use as a tool for creating high-quality content.
Ultimately, the success of AI-generated content depends on the skill and intention of the content creator. Just like power tools, AI can be a useful tool in the hands of an expert, but can also be damaging in the wrong hands. While some may see temporary success with low-quality AI-generated content, it will ultimately fail if it doesn’t deserve to rank in the first place.