Will Google Penalise Your Website for Using AI Content?

Is using AI to write content inherently bad? The short answer is no, but there are ways to use it that can result in getting penalised. 

We’re running through the best ways to use it, and what not to do.

Understanding Google’s Webmaster Guidelines on AI content

First, let’s run through Google’s actually policy. Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller has stated that AI-generated content is considered automatically generated, and therefore, is categorised as spam according to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. 

Google emphasizes quality and intent. Content, whether produced by AI or human intellect, must prioritise E-E-A-T: Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. These factors contribute to what Google calls “people-first” content – material that serves the user’s intent, provides valuable information, and enriches the reader’s experience.

Automatically generated content is considered spam and action will be taken. So, how can we use AI safely?

Using AI as a tool

According to Google’s guidance on AI, we don’t have to completely discard AI tools – rather integrate them into content strategies. 

Using tools like ChatGPT can streamline content writing and help creators to produce work more efficiently. What Google is against is mass producing content in order to manipulate search rankings. If you suddenly go from posting one post a week, to 30 a week, that’s a serious red flag. You can scale content, but you’ll need to do it incrementally.

Using AI ethically

The best ways to integrate AI content into your strategy is by:

1. Using AI to Enhance Creativity, Not Replace It

AI can offer creative insights and prompt new ideas, but the final touch should always have a human element that aligns with your brand’s voice and your audience’s needs.

2. Focus on E-E-A-T

Whether drafting a blog post or a comprehensive report, ensure that the content reflects expertise and trustworthiness. Utilise AI to gather data and insights but rely on human expertise for the final analysis and presentation.

3. Quality Over Quantity

Aim for impactful content that resonates with your audience, rather than churning out high volumes of low-quality posts. Let AI assist you in research and drafting, but the final content should always pass through a rigorous human-led quality check.

Avoiding search-engine first content

These questions are straight from Google’s SEO fundamentals. Consider them when writing content, and when using AI tools to create content;

  • Is the content primarily made to attract visits from search engines?
  • Are you producing lots of content on many different topics in hopes that some of it might perform well in search results?
  • Are you using extensive automation to produce content on many topics?
  • Are you mainly summarizing what others have to say without adding much value?
  • Are you writing about things simply because they seem trending and not because you’d write about them otherwise for your existing audience?
  • Does your content leave readers feeling like they need to search again to get better information from other sources?

Final thoughts

Google’s recent clarifications on AI-generated content should be viewed as an opportunity to innovate responsibly. AI has the potential to unlock new horizons in digital marketing, provided we use it ethically. 

AI will inevitably become more integrated into our daily lives, so adapting to that will become imperative in digital spaces.