Google's change in guidance could transform the way content is created in the future, but how does it affect SEO and content creators going forward?
Google’s Guidance on AI-Generated Content Makes Us E-E-A-T Our Words
Good old Google, keeping us on our toes.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have noticed that LinkedIn feeds and SEO news platforms are currently peppered with blogs discussing how AI is the newly crowned King of the digital kingdom.
To add fuel to the rapidly spreading artificial intelligence fire, it has now dropped the news that its views on using automation – including AI – to generate content have changed. A day after announcing Bard, coincidentally.
They released updated guidance on Wednesday 8th February, leading with the statement that they will be “Rewarding high-quality content, however it is produced”. Emphasis on the latter part of the statement here.
Being the obedient SEO-ers that we are, we’ve always ensured our actions and output aligns with their guidance to ensure maximum success, and that guidance is as follows:
‘Using automation—including AI—to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results is a violation of our spam policies’ - hence our comments in recent podcast episodes and blog posts on the topic of AI-generated content.
Although it has changed its views on how AI can be used and how it’ll be viewed through eyes, the way in which its ranking system works to reward high-quality content uses the E-E-A-T framework: expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
While millions have jumped onto the AI bandwagon, for many different reasons, there are still many improvements to be made to AI tools. It’s for this reason that human input and review are still vital, as noted in the recent tweet by a Newcastle University fellow highlighted:
Why didn't you fact check this example before sharing it? If you use Google to look stuff up you will see Bard has made errors. Try googling: "when was the first direct image of an exoplanet made?"— Chris Harrison (@CMHarrisonAstro) February 7, 2023
How will the change in Google’s guidelines affect creators going forward?
Now Google has recognised that not all use of automation, including AI generation is spam, creators now have their backing to use the tool to create great content for the web.
That being said, they’ve also said, ‘We'll continue taking this responsible approach, while also maintaining a high bar for information quality and the overall helpfulness of content on Search.’
The way in which they’ll persist with their mission to reward quality content will continue, through their ranking systems designed to surface reliable information and the helpful content system which was introduced last year to ensure users receive quality results and content created for people, rather than for ranking purposes.
If you’re considering the use of an AI content generator going forward, it’s crucial to bear in mind their E-E-A-T framework to maximise the potential of the content created.
There are many views on AI-generated content, but it’s vitally important to note that although the output is higher - it’s a machine after all - it lacks creativity, emotion, and personalisation – all of which are key features when writing useful and relevant content for humans.
We know that AI-generated content is here for the foreseeable, more so now that Google has its hat in the ring – stick with us to see how the Google guidance unravels and how and if AI-generated content and SEO can work harmoniously.