Are you wondering if AI-generated content is bad for SEO?

In this era where AI is revolutionizing the content creation process, it’s a query that’s on the minds of many SEO enthusiasts and content creators.

With the emergence of LLMs and AI-written content, the digital landscape is full of possibilities—and concerns.

Can these AI apps produce content that performs well, or do they lead to a rapid decline in search rankings?

This blog post explores Google’s guidelines on AI-generated content, the ability of search engines to detect AI-created content, and how you can use AI to enhance your SEO efforts.

Let’s unravel the myths, understand the facts, and navigate the future of SEO!

The answer: It depends

Can Google Detect AI Content

AI-generated content isn’t inherently bad for SEO.

The primary focus of Google is to detect if the content is original and useful, regardless of whether it’s created by humans or AI.

Content that merely repeats existing information without adding anything new may be seen as less valuable.

The concept of “duplicate content” can potentially extend to AI-generated pieces that lack human insight or originality.

However, AI-assisted writing can thrive if it incorporates unique perspectives, valuable information, and genuine insights, aligning with Google’s goal of improving its search engine beyond providing just links.

Therefore, for better SEO outcomes, content creators should emphasize originality, usefulness, and value in their content, irrespective of the tools they use.

Google guidelines on AI-generated content

Google Search Central AI Guidance
Google’s guidance on AI-generated content

The conversation around AI-generated content and its impact on SEO has been a hot topic in the evolving landscape of digital marketing.

According to Google’s recent guidance, the focus remains on rewarding high-quality content, regardless of how it’s produced.

This approach highlights Google’s neutral stance on automation, including AI, in content creation as long as the content follows its quality guidelines.

Google EAT Principle
Google about EAT

Instead, Google emphasizes the importance of content that provides genuine value, aligning with the principles of E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness).

Google AI Advice
Google’s advice about using AI-generated content

This framework is crucial for content creators aiming to rank well in search results. It suggests that content should not only showcase the author’s expertise and authority but also prioritize positive user trustworthiness.

The introduction of the Helpful Content Update further illustrates Google’s commitment to prioritizing content that meets user needs effectively however it is produced.

This update aims to elevate content that offers direct and valuable answers to user queries, enhancing the overall search experience.

Google Search Coffee Recipe
Google Search offering direct answers to user queries

For example, when users search for recipes, they expect quick and straightforward answers.

After all, it makes sense for them because Google, as an advertising company, wants people to spend more time on their website than on your website.

Content that buries useful information beneath ads or unrelated content, compromising the user experience, is not aligned with Google’s vision for helpful and accessible content.

Coffe Recipe With Clear Instructions
A blog with clear instructions

Let’s consider a blog post about a specific recipe. To align with Google’s guidelines, the post should present the recipe directly, offering clear instructions without unnecessary diversions.

This approach ensures that the content is not only user-friendly but also considered high-quality by search engines. It reinforces the importance of creating content that serves the user’s intent first and foremost.

Contrast it with this:

Website with Poor UX
A blog surrounded with advertisements

Poor UX, right?

To sum it up, when it comes to AI generated content, Google’s guidelines and updates advocate for a balanced use of AI in content creation. AI can enhance the content creation process, making it more efficient and potentially more creative.

However, the core message from Google is clear: the value of content is determined by its quality, relevance, and usefulness to the target audience, regardless of how it is created.

But it’s not that plain and simple.

Read on.

Can Google detect AI-generated content?

Let’s unravel a hot topic that’s buzzing in the SEO and content creation world: can Google actually detect AI-generated content?

The short answer is, “I guess no. Why should it?”

It’s a complex issue, and as of now, it seems like Google may have bigger fish to fry than dedicating immense computational resources to distinguish whether content was written by humans or AI.

Google won’t be involved in the arms race

AI Arms Race Google OpenAI
Google AI vs. OpenAI

The digital world is witnessing an intriguing arms race: on one side, tools are being refined to generate AI content that mimics human writing more closely than ever.

On the other hand, technologies are being developed to detect content created by AI.

However, it appears Google isn’t eager to jump into this arms race.

Why?

Because Google’s primary mission is to organize the world’s information in a useful and accessible way, not to police the origins of every piece of content.

By focusing on the value and helpfulness of content, Google can sidestep the endless back-and-forth of detection and evasion. ⚔️

Instead of expending resources to dissect whether content is AI-generated, Google’s algorithms might be more focused on how users interact with content. Browser patterns, engagement metrics, and the uniqueness of content can be far more telling indicators of value than the source of its creation.

My hypothesis

In my opinion, Google prioritizes detecting unoriginal content. Whether the content is generated by AI or humans, it is considered less valuable if it only repeats existing information without adding anything new.

What matters is whether the content offers something new, useful, or insightful.

The idea of “duplicate content” can expand to include AI-generated pieces that lack human insight or originality.

Spammy Content
Credits – Examples of spmmy auto-generated content

However, this doesn’t mean AI-assisted writing is doomed.

Instead, it highlights the importance of incorporating unique perspectives, valuable information, and genuine insights into AI-generated content.

By promoting content that enriches its machine learning algorithms (such as Bard and Gemini) with fresh and insightful data, Google can enhance the value and conciseness of AI-generated answers, allowing for better understanding and organization of information.

After all, improving its AI with unique ideas aligns with Google’s long-term goal of providing more than just links and provide answers beyond the traditional “10 blue links.”

So, when ranking a specific web page, it makes sense for Google to not only consider user behaviors but also to look for any information that may not be present in its current AI datasets.

If the content on that web page offers unique ideas that contribute to its dataset, it makes sense for Google to prioritize and rank the content higher, potentially driving more traffic to it as a valuable source in its generative search experience.

Proof that AI-generated won’t hurt you

I have been using AI to augment my blog post writing process for a long time. Many others are also doing the same and achieving good results on Google.

And it’s perfectly fine.

As I mentioned before, Google does not care about how you create content. Rather, it focuses on user interaction and how well your content satisfies their intent and helps them complete their tasks.

For example, I am ranking well for the keyword “Jasper vs ChatGPT“. This content was created by AI based on my detailed outline.

Ranking in #5 position

I’m pretty sure that it will be in top #2 or even #1 position over time.

I would not be ranking here if I had not provided a detailed outline and included my insights before expanding it into a blog post with AI.

And you can see the rankings are holding really well and improving day by day.

This is encouraging, and I have included some screenshots from the Jasper community, where people are also getting good results with AI.

And this one.

Or this one

However, I cannot promise that these people’s rankings will be maintained.

Their blog post writing workflow may have involved repeatedly hitting the “generate” button, but just to let you know, Google doesn’t bother detecting whether a piece is AI-generated or not.

How to make sure AI content won’t hurt you?

To ensure that AI-generated content helps instead of hindering your SEO efforts, you need to use it wisely and maintain your distinctive style.

Here’s how to do it:

Use AI to augment your intellect (not replace)

Use AI to augment your intellect

When using AI for content creation, it’s important to view AI as a tool that enhances your creativity rather than replacing it.

If you rely solely on AI, your content may lack originality and blend in with existing material it has been trained in on the topic.

To make your content stand out, infusing your own insights, experiences, and perspectives is crucial. AI can assist in refining your thoughts and improving the structure of your content, but the creative spark should originate from your own intellect.

Credits – ChatGPT Whisper text-to-speech

For example, utilizing speech-to-text technology like OpenAI’s Whisper can be a game-changer. It allows you to effortlessly capture your thoughts and ideas, which AI can then help organize and articulate more effectively.

Using ChatGPT to expand on blog outline

Similarly, you can provide your blog post outline to ChatGPT and ask it to expand one section at a time, gathering your input for each section before expanding it.

The goal is to ensure that your content carries your unique perspective, adding value and distinctiveness.

By combining the capabilities of AI with your own creativity, you can create content that not only ranks well but also engages and informs your audience in a meaningful way.

Write data-driven blog posts

Data driven blog post

AI has limitations when it comes to conducting original research and evaluating the credibility of sources.

To overcome this limitation, conducting thorough and independent research is crucial. By underpinning your content with hard facts, studies, and statistics, you can boost its authority and usefulness to readers.

Perplexity offering research papers and case studies

Platforms like Perplexity can help you dive deep into topics by surfacing research papers and case studies, elevating your content from opinion to evidence-based insights.

Additionally, ChatGPT Browse feature and AI tools like Jasper or Reword can assist in integrating these findings into your content, ensuring that it is rich in information and presented seamlessly.

In an era where misinformation spreads rapidly, backing your statements with citations and original research sets your content apart as trustworthy and reliable.

Wikipedia Organic Keywords in SEMrush
Semrush organic research dashboard for Wikipedia

There is a reason why Wikipedia’s search traffic is growing after every recent Google update. This is because they support their statements and claims with numerous citations and links to research papers.

Humanize AI content

Humanize AI Content

To ensure AI-generated content aligns with your intended tone of voice and target audience, it is crucial to train the AI accordingly.

This is important because AI-generated content can often be generic without the desired tone of voice.

ChatGPT Tone of Content
ChatGPT analyzing BuzzFeed content’s tone of voice

To achieve this, you can utilize ChatGPT by pasting in any paragraph or article to help the AI determine your tone of voice. By doing so, the AI can create similar content in the future while maintaining the desired tone.

Furthermore, to make the AI-generated content appear more human and avoid detection by tools, there are several tips you can incorporate.

  • You can use varying sentence structures, breaking patterns, sprinkling in self-references, or even introducing a few punctuation errors that can mimic human imperfections and make the content more authentic.
  • Additionally, including a mix of longer and complex sentences alongside shorter ones, allowing for unpredictability in word choice, and aiming for high readability scores can further enhance the coherence and naturalness of the content.
  • Finally, you can utilize tools like QuillBot or Netus AI Bypasser to paraphrase AI-generated content, making it even harder to detect.

It’s important to remember that the goal is not to contribute to the AI arms race, but rather to focus on creating valuable and engaging content that resonates with your audience.

Also read: How to Manually Detect AI Content?

Wrapping up

To wrap it up, the impact of AI-generated content on SEO is still a topic that’s up for debate.

But here’s the thing: Google cares about high-quality content, regardless of whether it’s AI-generated or not. So, the key is to focus on originality, usefulness, and value.

To ensure AI content works in your favor, think of it as a tool to enhance your intellect, not replace it. Inject your insights, do thorough research, and back up your claims with credible sources. And don’t forget to humanize that AI content by aligning it with your own tone and target audience.

As the AI landscape continues to evolve, smartly navigate the landscape, combine AI with creativity, stay updated on AI and SEO developments and levarage AI to boost your content and SEO success.

Let AI be your ally in creating content that stands out and takes your SEO efforts to new heights!