Is AI-Written Content Good for SEO?

David Lyons

David Lyons

Self confessed nerd and lover of all things tech. Particularly anything audio/visual and gaming, currently pulling my hair out over Demon's Souls on the PS5 and trying not to buy a new OLED TV.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is continuously evolving. What worked in 2022 may not work in 2024 and beyond. The role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in content creation has been a topic of much discussion and debate, especially in terms of SEO. As AI technologies advance, they offer unprecedented opportunities to produce content at scale. Mass amounts of content can be produced for little to no cost. But how does this fit into Google’s stringent quality guidelines? 

Understanding Google’s Perspective on AI-Generated Content

Understanding Google’s perspective on AI-generated content is crucial. Google’s mission is to organise and make the world’s information universally accessible and helpful. Their ranking systems are designed to reward original, high-quality content that exhibits expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, collectively known as E-E-A-T. This criterion applies regardless of how the content is produced—whether human or AI-generated. According to experienced copywriter Ed Prichard, E-E-A-T is one of the reasons professional content writers are still highly valued in a world of AI-produced content. Even if AI content is used, it still needs a professional copywriter to oversee its creation.

AI in Content Production: Not a Black-and-White Issue

Concerns surfaced about the surge in low-quality content produced en masse by content farms about a decade ago. Google didn’t ban human-generated content in response; instead, it improved its systems to recognise better and reward quality content. Similarly, the use of AI in content generation isn’t outright rejected. Instead, Google distinguishes between AI used to manipulate search rankings (which is against their policies) and AI used to create genuinely helpful content.

AI has demonstrated its potential to generate content in various fields, such as sports scores, weather forecasts, and event transcripts. This recognition from Google underscores the possibilities AI holds to foster new levels of creativity and usefulness, as long as it adheres to the quality standards expected in human-created content. This should instil a sense of optimism about the role of AI in content creation for SEO.

The Role of Google’s Spam Policies and AI

Google’s spam policies play a significant role in governing AI-generated content. Using AI to churn out content solely for ranking manipulation is a violation. However, Google’s SpamBrain system and other algorithmic tools are well-equipped to detect and demote such content. It’s essential for content creators to understand that misuse of AI for SEO purposes not only degrades the quality of the web ecosystem but also risks penalisation by Google.

Best Practices for Using AI in Content Creation

Producing High-Quality, People-First Content

The key to success in Google Search remains the production of high-quality, original content that puts people first. Regardless of whether the content is AI-generated, it should be informative, well-researched, engaging, and add value to the readers. Creators should focus on the “Who, How, and Why” of content creation, ensuring that it meets the high standards of E-E-A-T.

Evaluating AI-Generated Content

When using AI to assist with content creation, it’s crucial to maintain a human touch. Human editors should always review and refine the final content to ensure it aligns with Google’s quality guidelines. This emphasis on human oversight should reassure the audience about the quality control in AI-generated content for SEO.

Transparency and Ethics in AI Usage

Google advises transparency about using AI in content creation, particularly when it could impact public perception or trust. Disclosures about AI involvement can help manage reader expectations and maintain credibility. Additionally, giving AI an author byline is generally discouraged unless it is clear to the reader that AI was involved in the content creation process. This emphasis on the ethical use of AI should make the audience feel responsible and aware of the potential risks in AI-generated content for SEO.

FAQ on AI Content and SEO

Is AI content against Google Search’s guidelines?

No, using AI in content creation is not inherently against Google’s guidelines. Problems arise when AI is mainly used to manipulate search rankings.

Why doesn’t Google ban AI content?

AI can be a tool for creating valuable and engaging content. Banning AI would ignore its potential benefits in enhancing content quality and accessibility.

How does Google prevent low-quality AI content from dominating search results?

Google’s algorithms, like SpamBrain, are continually updated to detect and demote low-quality content, whether human or AI-generated.

How does Google handle AI content that spreads misinformation?

Google’s systems prioritise high-quality, reliable sources, especially for critical information. Both human and AI-generated content are held to these standards.

Should I use AI to generate content?

AI should be seen as a tool to assist in creating high-quality, people-first content. It is likely to fail if it is used merely as a shortcut for SEO manipulation, which could lead to penalisation.

While AI-written content can be good for SEO when used responsibly, the focus should always remain on quality, relevance, and value to the reader. By adhering to Google’s guidelines and using AI ethically, content creators can leverage AI to enhance their SEO efforts effectively.

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