There has been an ongoing fight between human and AI writers. With the release of ChatGPT, this battle has further intensified. However, the efficacy of AI-generated content for Google algorithms still remains questioned.
For years, Google has maintained a constant position regarding using automation in SEO. Google terms using AI-generated content to manipulate ranking in SERPs is a violation of spam policies.
The time, however, has now changed. With rapid advancements in generative AI and machine learning, Google has now released new guidelines about AI-generated content. Hence, the search engine now says that AI-generated content will not be marked as spam as long as it demonstrates qualifies of E-E-A-T.
What is meant by E-E-A-T? Does AI-generated content perform well in Google ranking systems? How can professionals use generative AI to produce quality content? Read this blog to get detailed answers to these questions.
Understanding the Concept of E-E-A-T
Google is clear about its content policy. Its ranking systems reward content that offers an excellent experience to visitors. Google algorithms are designed to benefit people by presenting reliable information.
Simply put, if your content is helpful, people-first, and reliable, Google crawlers will rank it faster. Hence, Google advises content creators to focus on quality rather than quantity. Instead of creating search engine-first content, focus on people-first content for better results.
The concept of E-E-A-T was introduced to assess the content quality. It refers to the content that demonstrates aspects of experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Google’s automated ranking systems evaluate content based on these four factors. Most importantly, trust is paramount because it directly affects user experience.
In addition to creating content from the E-E-A-T perspective, professionals should also evaluate their content in terms of “Who, How, and Why.”
Who: Who authored the content? Know the background information about authors, their expertise, areas of interest, and relevant details.
How: How was the content created? Were AI tools used? If yes, why did you consider automation necessary for content generation?
Why: Why was the content created? Consider the primary goal, such as educating visitors, targeting potential customers, and converting leads.
Which Content Underperforms in Google SERPs?
In October 2022, Google released Google Search Essentials (formerly Webmaster Guidelines). According to these guidelines, spammy AI-generated content with poor quality fails to rank in SERPs. The content with the following characteristics is identified as spammy by Google algorithms:
- Meaningless text with high perplexity that makes no sense to the readers
- Text overstuffed with search keywords or irrelevant terms
- AI-generated content published without human curation or proofreading by an expert
- Text translated by automated translation tools published without proofreading
- Text paraphrased, spun, synonymized, or obfuscated by automation tools
- Text directly copy-pasted or stitched from different webpages
- Text that does not add sufficient value to readers
Google Guidelines on the Use of Automation
There is a common misconception that Google prohibits the use of automation altogether. The reality is different.
Google is not against automation. Instead, it is against spamming and keeps taking various steps to identify and block spammy content. Besides, Google spam policies also restrict content creators from using AI to generate content and manipulate SERP rankings.
That said, Google recognizes the use of automation and AI content generation. Many websites ranked on Google have been using automation for weather forecasts and live scores. Similarly, generative AI also serves as a critical tool to produce value-driven content for the web.
Nevertheless, Google never compromises the quality of content published by web owners. Hence, Google’s ranking system prioritizes valuable, people-first content demonstrating the E-E-A-T. Even if a company uses AI-generated content, it must add value and meet the E-E-A-T guidelines to get a higher ranking.
Google’s Advice For Creators Regarding AI-Generation
Google recommends professional content creators and experts to master the concept of E-E-A-T. They should learn how to produce quality content that is helpful and people-first. Before publishing, whether human-written or AI-generated content, proofread it thoroughly and make necessary adjustments.
Here are a few ways content creators can use generative AI tools to produce content that meets the E-E-A-T guidelines:
1. Content Ideation
Generative AI is impressive technology. Being a professional content creator, you can use AI tools to generate innovative ideas and marketing hooks. Make sure to include the relevant keywords and phrases in your prompt. You will get valuable suggestions on blog titles, email subjects, templates, taglines, and much more.
The best part of AI generations is the diversity of suggestions. No matter which niche or industry you are targeting, these tools can be helpful for inspiration and brainstorming. So, you can never get short of content ideas when you learn the correct use of automation.
2. Online Research
After finalizing the topic, the next step to generate quality content is to conduct thorough research. This step sets the foundation for a successful journey with potential customers. If your content is well-researched, it will impress readers and influence their buying decisions. And AI can help content creators in achieving this goal.
AI tools like Google Bard and Microsoft Bing AI are beneficial in this regard. These tools fetch real-time information from the internet and present it engagingly. Content creators can use these tools to research online and find reliable information.
This way, AI can save valuable time and help content creators deliver optimized users to their page visitors.
3. People-first Content
The goal of a content creator is to benefit the target audience, not to manipulate the search rankings. For this purpose, you need to create people-first content with value addition. Google defines the people-first approach in five steps:
- First, understand your target audience and keep potential customers in mind when generating content.
- Incorporate in-depth knowledge or first-hand experience to make your content look genuine and value-driven.
- Identify your target goals and generate content primarily focusing on these objectives.
- Assess content quality after you have finished writing. Ask yourself whether a reader shall feel enlightened after reading your content. Keep yourself in the place of that reader and think rationally.
- Eventually, analyze your experience reading your content. Even if you have written it yourself, read every paragraph word by word. Adjust the content tone, structure, and chroma. Make it look natural and less robotic. Don’t overstuff keywords or unnecessary material.
4. Ask “Who, How, and Why”
Content creators should answer three primary questions to produce quality content per the E-E-A-T guidelines. First, they should answer who created that content. If a professional writer writes the content, define their expertise and answer if they have written similar content before.
Answering “Who” is necessary because it outlines key areas the author is expert at. Responding to these questions would positively affect the reader’s experience.
Secondly, describe the mechanism followed to generate content. How was the research performed? Who provided information about the target audience? Was any sales funnel used? Did you get any help from generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Bard, or Bing AI? Answers to these questions will enhance the content quality significantly and optimize results.
Finally, Google asks content creators to understand the rationale behind producing that content. Keeping it more straightforward, what is the ultimate goal? Set the content tone according to that objective.
Two things should be kept in mind as a content creator to produce content that performs well in Google SERPs. First, Google doesn’t prohibit the use of automation unless AI tools are used for search engine rankings manipulation. So, you need to learn the ethical use of AI technology.
Secondly, never rely on the content generated by tools like ChatGPT, Bard, or Bing AI. These are assistive platforms powered by advanced generative AI technology. However, they can never replace a professional human writer. Hence, always thoroughly proofread your content and make necessary adjustments before publishing it on your website.
Lastly, Google automated ranking systems always evaluate the content quality. Therefore, make sure your content demonstrates E-E-A-T, i.e., experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. This way, Google will rank your content higher in SERPs.