This is potentially good news, I don’t know…
Today, Google has clarified that AI-generated content is not against its guidelines, revising its previous stance on AI-created material, and how it will, or won’t be ranked by Google Search.
In a post on the Google Search Central blog, Google explains that:
“When it comes to automatically generated content, our guidance has been consistent for years. Using automation- including AI - to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results is a violation of our spam policies. This said, it's important to recognize that not all use of automation, including AI generation, is spam. Automation has long been used to generate helpful content, such as sports scores, weather forecasts, and transcripts. AI has the ability to power new levels of expression and creativity, and to serve as a critical tool to help people create great content for the web.”
So pumping out a bunch of SEO-optimized junk from ChatGPT is no good - but useful, valuable, thoughtful uses of AI are different.
Most of the examples provided here are fairly binary, but technically, Google is saying that it will allow AI-generated content to be ranked in Search, so long as it’s not spammy rubbish.
Google’s even more explicit further on in the post:
“Appropriate use of AI or automation is not against our guidelines. This means that it is not used to generate content primarily to manipulate search rankings, which is against our spam policies.”
That means that you can, in fact, get ChatGPT or a similar tool to put together your blog posts, then you can check and edit them, and post them on your site, without risk of being penalized by Google for such.
Which had been a key concern. Google has previously stated very clearly that AI content is against its guidelines, while various tools that can detect AI outputs are also in development. That would have put many businesses off from using AI outputs - but Google says that, actually, this is okay. So long as you don’t go crazy with it.
In terms of how to use AI content, Google says that disclosures are not necessary, but are recommended - though you shouldn’t list an AI tool in the regular author field.
“Giving AI an author byline is probably not the best way to follow our recommendation to make clear to readers when AI is part of the content creation process.”
So, you can actually get ChatGPT to write content for you. I wouldn’t personally do it, as most of the outputs I’ve read have been stunted or stale, or clear derivatives of other work. But maybe, if you get an AI tool to come up with the first draft, then edit, check, add in resources, etc. Maybe that could help to streamline your content efforts.
Also, despite Google’s explanation here, you can bet that billions of pages of SEO-optimized junk are already being pumped out by spammy content peddlers.