SEO Insights – Are Google Algorithms Okay with AI-Generated Content?

Since ChatGPT is still causing storms all over the digital marketing industry (with as many people in favour as there are against this AI tech), we thought we’d take a look at one interesting aspect. Namely, will AI-generated content, like that produced by ChatGPT, be detected by Google? 

How ChatGPT works

Okay, so we all know that ChatGPT and other similar tools work using AI. But what does this actually mean? Well, ChatGPT stands for Generative Pretrained Transformer, which helps explain exactly what it is that it does.

Essentially, it’s an AI model that has been given millions of gigs of text data that it then converts into conversational natural (humanlike) language. It’s also been put through what is known as supervised learning, which means it has been trained to some extent to avoid producing graphic violence, content with harmful intent, and so forth.

Will ChatGPT replace Google?

In fact, while many people think it may replace Google, it’s far more likely that this tech will become part of our search results. It operates in similar ways, using keywords in your query and instructions to pull a result out of online data – it’s just that the result is a more detailed answer put together from multiple sources and produced in a conversational tone.

Since Google has been very open about its investments in AI, machine learning, and natural language processing (NLP), ChatGPT highlights where the search engine is heading.

Will I get penalised for using AI-generated content for SEO?

In the past, Google was heavily against AI-generated content as it went directly against their Webmaster Guidelines.

Recently, however, they’ve changed their stance. Now they say it’s fine with them – which makes sense because they’re moving rapidly into AI and NLP themselves. But this doesn’t mean your content won’t be penalised!

The guidelines for Google penalties now say that you must avoid automatically generated content intended to manipulate search engine rankings.

At the same time, Google also says that spammy automatically generated content with no originality and that doesn’t offer any added value will be penalised.

This makes sense – after all, Google has always been about prioritising quality, value-adding content because this is what appeals most to users. The content doesn’t have to be generated by people, but it MUST be generated for people – not for the algorithm. And the algorithm has gotten exceptionally more powerful and sophisticated over the last few years.

The problem with AI-generated content

One of the main takeaways here is that unless the content being produced by the AI tool you’re using is grammatically correct as well as curated and reviewed before publishing, you very likely will be penalised.

The other is that you might get away with it for a little while only to be penalised later. This is because:

• If other companies use the same/similar tools to generate content on the same topics as you, there’s going to be a LOT of duplicated content out there, which will make it spam content according to Google

• Google has put a lot of work into identifying automatically generated content in the past, and that isn’t slowing down. For example, BERT (the latest search algorithm for NLP) can run tests to generate Gunning-Fog Index and Flesch Index scores that help predict if the content is automatically generated or not – and this does impact SEO.

• Finally, ChatGPT developers are looking into cryptographic watermarking. This means that the content generated by the tool will have an embedded digital signal that can be detected by algorithms and other tools like plagiarism detectors.

AI-generated content isn’t as easy to produce as you think!

ChatGPT and others like it are incredible tools – but that’s all they are. Generating content from it and publishing it directly for SEO purposes carries a high risk of penalties with Google, for publishing incorrect information, and for incurring spam penalties too. It also needs a lot of instruction to develop any good quality content – which is what the Google algorithm looks for. But yes, it is pretty darn cool!

Need content marketing that Google loves? Chat with the team at Digital Freak today! We’re a no-nonsense, no bs digital marketing company in Melbourne that can handle everything from developing your new website to creating social media ads, Google ads, blogs, and video marketing content!

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