by Jonathan Gillham
Content is king, and Google knows it. Google has been known to penalize websites for low-quality content, so what about content created by artificial intelligence? Does Google penalize AI content? Let’s take a look.
Interested in a study answering the questions…
What is E-E-A-T?
Originally, Google used a concept known as E-A-T, or Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, to evaluate the quality of content on the web.
E-A-T is an important factor that Google’s algorithms consider when ranking web pages in search results. It is especially critical for content related to YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) topics such as medical advice, financial information, and legal guidance.
E-A-T is not a specific metric that can be measured with a single tool, but rather a set of signals that Google’s algorithms use to evaluate the quality and credibility of the content. Here’s a closer look at each of the components of E-A-T:
- Expertise: This refers to the level of knowledge and skill that the content creator has in a specific field. The author should have relevant credentials, education, and professional experience to demonstrate expertise. The content should reflect a deep understanding of the subject matter and provide valuable insights or new information.
- Authoritativeness: This refers to the reputation and standing of the content creator within their industry or community. To establish authority, content creators must have a record of producing high-quality and well-received material that is referenced or cited by other authoritative sources in their industry. This builds the reputation and standing of the author within their community.
- Trustworthiness: This refers to the dependability and precision of the content. To foster trust, the content must be factually correct, current, and free from bias or mistakes. The author should also make clear any potential conflicts of interest, sources of funding, or affiliations that may influence the content.
E-A-T is of utmost importance for YMYL content. Google’s algorithms prioritize high E–A–T standards to ensure users are presented with accurate information, as inaccurate or misleading material can have potentially dire consequences.
The most recent addition to this algorithm is another ‘E’, Experience; this means that the content creator should have relevant life experience in the given topic in order to be considered authoritative and trustworthy.
The key distinction between Expertise and Experience is that Expertise emphasizes an individual’s skillsets and knowledge, whereas Experience centers on the creator’s firsthand life experiences. To illustrate, if the content relates to a travel piece, it is essential for the author to have visited or resided in that particular region.
Does Google Penalize AI Content?
How is E-E-A-T relevant to AI content generation? Basically, Google is known to penalize websites that publish low-quality content, and AI-generated content has often been considered a potential source of bad quality. Take note of the word “potential”.
A recent tweet by Michael King (@iPullRank) last November 2022, asking for clarification about this issue, led to an interesting exchange.
According to a response by Danny Sullivan, (Google’s Search Liason), content produced for the sole purpose of increasing search engine rankings is not allowed. As long as the content is helpful and created for people first, it does not violate these guidelines.
In addition, he mentioned that it is made known that content created mainly to increase search engine rankings by any means is not accepted. On the other hand, if the content is useful and was crafted with people in mind first, then there should be no problem.
So what does this mean?
Google’s Anti-Spam policy dates back to 2003 and has been revised multiple times since then. It is clear that Google takes a firm stance against content manipulation, but it is somewhat unclear whether or not AI-generated content falls under the same umbrella.
The policy specifically mentions that content created for the sole purpose of increasing search engine rankings is not allowed; however, it does not explicitly state that AI-generated content falls into this category.
Some might say that Sullivan’s response contradicts what happened last October 2022. According to a tweet, Google penalized many websites that have been using AI-generated content.
Most notably, marketing guru Neil Patel’s website was penalized for using AI-generated content, even though much of his site’s material was human-written.
How to Combat Google’s Hammer
If you’re planning to blend organic and AI-generated content into your SEO strategy, it’s essential to understand Google’s guidelines for E–E–A–T. Content created with E–E–A–T in mind will be more likely to pass Google’s scrutiny and rank higher in search engine results.
Google’s SEO Fundamentals also remind us that content should be crafted for people first and foremost, not just for search engines: quality and user experience should take precedence over AI–generated content.
For this reason, it’s important to make sure that the content you are creating has been thoroughly checked for accuracy and reliability before publishing. This will help ensure your content meets Google’s standards of E–E–A–T and avoid any potential penalties or sanctions.
To do this easily and effectively, use an AI and plagiarism checker like Originality.ai; it will scan your content quickly to detect whether it was written by an AI or not.
As a demonstration, we generated some text using Chat–GPT and checked its authenticity with Originality.ai.
The results revealed that 98% of the content was generated by AI. This is invaluable if you want to ascertain whether your content has been created by an AI or a human. It may be vital in preventing Google from penalizing your website.
So, does Google penalize AI content? We can’t be certain, but it seems likely that some AI–generated material may be susceptible to sanctions.
To ensure your SEO strategy is successful and compliant with Google’s standards, you should write content that meets the E–E–A–T criteria and checks for accuracy and reliability before publishing.
Additionally, using an AI and plagiarism checker like Originality.ai will help identify any potential issues with your content before it goes live on the web.
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