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SEO and Google’s new guidelines for AI-produced content

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20 April 2023
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SEO and Google’s new guidelines for AI-produced content

Using AI to create valuable content won't result in penalties from Google, but it's important to be mindful of certain considerations when incorporating AI into SEO content. Despite the Bard announcement mishap, Google redeemed itself by releasing new search guidelines in early February which endorse the stance that many SEO experts have been advocating for: the type of content creation tool you use is not the priority, as long as the content you produce adds value for people and doesn't manipulate search engines.

With Google's standpoint now public knowledge, where should SEOs direct their efforts? In this article, we'll explore the following aspects:

•    The integration of AI and Google.
•    Precautions to keep in mind when utilizing AI for content.
•    Key skills that SEOs should focus on developing.

The integration of AI and Google

Google and Microsoft Bing have incorporated AI-driven content to generate search results, which should not be a surprise to anyone. According to Google's guidelines, they have been using AI in some capacity for a long time. The evolution of AI and machine learning has significantly transformed the PPC game, as paid search marketers are well aware.
It is likely that both companies anticipated the use of AI in content production when it became widely accessible, which was marked by ChatGPT's release.
Asking individuals not to use AI is not practical. Instead, both search engines are competing to establish themselves as responsible curators of AI content.
Creating valuable content has always been a top priority for many creators. Now, it's clear that Google has the same standard. After all, humans are capable of writing spammy content just as easily as AI. It's similar to saying that a calculator produces incorrect math results because you didn't compute the answer manually.
The "spam vs. quality" argument has been discussed before, especially in relation to links. At present, Google's primary focus is on beneficial content, regardless of the technology used to create it.

Precautions to keep in mind when utilizing AI for content.

Using AI as a tool to create valuable content will not result in penalties from Google, but it is crucial to use these tools appropriately. Google is not endorsing the idea of solely relying on ChatGPT or similar AI tools to produce content.
Like any tool, ChatGPT and its competitors are simply tools that require human input to be useful. If the tool is not used properly, it will only replicate and present the information provided without adding any additional value to the users.
For instance, using ChatGPT to generate the location information for numerous identical franchise doorway pages could be viewed as a low-quality use case, which might not be acceptable to Google. While it is unknown what a penalty for misusing AI would look like, it is possible that Google could impose a manual hit or adjust its algorithms to detect manipulated AI. This could have unintentional consequences for well-intentioned SEOs who unintentionally violate the guidelines.
As experienced SEOs know, Google's algorithms have occasionally penalized legitimate white-hat companies in the past, which raises concerns that significant algorithmic changes could result in similar penalties at scale.
Regarding the guidelines, the section on AI disclosures appears to be the most ambiguous.
Key skills that SEOs should focus on developing
AI is poised to become a difficult tool for content production, and SEO professionals who have not yet learned about its details should take it seriously. The abundance of AI-generated content presents a significant opportunity for skilled writers and marketers to differentiate themselves from the upcoming influx of mediocre copy.
Although AI-produced content is a faster way to establish a baseline, it is still only a baseline. The more value good writers can bring, the easier it will be for Google to differentiate the genuine worth of content.

SEO professionals should learn how to:
•    Develop valuable inputs.
•    Offer good source material, such as initial sets of keywords or intelligent ideas for content briefs.
•    Add their distinct skills and research to the refinement stage to make content genuinely unique and valuable.
•    Understand user psychology and needs, and employ these principles to add distinct and genuine value.

In the end, the more SEO professionals practice using AI – even to accelerate routine tasks – the better they will become. They will become more familiar with the publishing environment, AI's capabilities, and, perhaps most importantly, its limitations.

The use of AI in content creation presents a modern take on an age-old SEO debate. On one hand, you can try to manipulate the algorithm and take shortcuts to achieve quick success. On the other hand, you can focus on building exceptional websites and producing high-quality content with an excellent user experience across various platforms.
Google has been transparent about its stance on the matter. Marketers who remain committed to creating value through customer understanding will ultimately shine. Even though the tools and methods may change, the objective remains constant. The primary aim is to generate useful content for users.


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