Sites that contain content written by artificial intelligence (AI) tools should take heed, as Google has spoken on whether it’s within its guidelines, and the answer’s not good.
A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about how Google’s John Mueller isn’t an advocate of content written by AI, with him hinting on Twitter that he saw it as low quality, before outright saying on Reddit that AI can’t produce quality product reviews or blogs.
Now, however, the Search Advocate has gone one step further in condemning AI-created content, outrightly admitting that it’s considered spam and, as such, goes against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
This admission took place during a Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout. It came about thanks to a question regarding GPT-3 AI writing tools – according to Search Engine Journal, the search engine optimisation (SEO) community has much debated on whether these AI tools are accepted by Google.
Mueller answered the question by explaining that AI-produced content is classed as “automatically generated content”, which does indeed go against Google’s guidelines. He described using AI writing tools as essentially switching the order of words or swapping them out for synonyms – which are perhaps two of the most common tricks in the book when it comes to producing content quickly and lazily. Mueller did admit that he suspects AI-generated content today is “a little bit better” than more old-school tools like article spinners, but it’s still automatically generated and therefore classed as spam. What’s more, using these AI tools in any capacity is regarded as spam in Google’s eyes at the moment.
Mueller explained when answering a follow-up question that he couldn’t claim Google could automatically detect the difference between AI and human-written content, but he did say that if Google’s human webspam team happened across content generated by AI, it had the authorisation to take action.
So, if you have AI-generated content on your site, it might be safe for now, but if Google’s team of real people find it, it could well be taken down for going against the search engine’s guidelines.
The Search Advocate did share his thoughts on his vision of AI in the future though, stating that he thinks AI writing tools will evolve over time and become more commonplace, but with manual input still required. He gave the example of using technology to translate a website, but still taking the time to go through the translation manually to check it’s all correct.
The main takeaway from this is that, in Google’s eyes, having quality content on your site that’s written by real humans is key at the moment. Here at Engage Web, with our team of writers based across the globe and journalist-trained editors, we can help you with that. Speak to us today if you’re in need of content for your site, and we’ll be happy to discuss your requirements.