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AI-Generated Content for SEO: To Use or Not to Use?

There is a lot of ambiguity about whether or not you can use AI-generated content to rank higher within Google. With the increasing popularity of Chat GTP, for example, it is a common question. After all, it is relatively easy to fill an entire site with hundreds of articles within a few days thanks to this new technology.

The NLP-based language model effortlessly writes one article after another by sometimes just coming up with a title. If you know the right "prompts," you can even have an entire keyword and content strategy conceived and worked out by Chat GPT.

But the question is whether Google will accept this or penalize you for it and your entire domain will never rank again.

Google's business model gives answers

There is no clear yes or no answer as to whether Google will accept AI content. Because to understand it, it is wise to first look at Google's business model.

Google's primary business model consists of revenue from ads. In addition, they generate revenue from so-called cloud services, among other things. But to earn that revenue from ads, they must be able to remain the best search engine in the world. They do this by promising to show consumers the best search results. And in this promise lies the answer to the question of whether AI content may be used on a site to rank.

One of Google's official statements is, "When it comes to automatically generated content, our guidelines have been consistent for years. Using automation - including AI - to generate content for the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results is a violation of our spam policy."

And that makes sense, because their goal is to provide the user with the best search results, and AI content can potentially affect the quality of the results

AI-generated content can also enrich Google

The statement above from Google does not say that you should not use AI-generated content at all. It just says you shouldn't use it if the sole purpose is to rank. What do they mean by that?

Google rewards content creators who create the best possible content and punishes those who fill their sites with copied incorrect or poorly written content. Makes sense if giving the best search results is your core business.

So if you use AI to write the best possible informative articles Google has nothing against that. In fact, they will reward that. But what does Google consider good content?

First, they want it to be "well" written, have depth, have a good structure, and be original and current. In the last two points lies the problem with AI-generated content. Chat GPT, for example, uses information up to 2021. This means that the content generated by Chat GPT can never be current and is often not original.

How to make smart use of AI-generated content for SEO though

Say you are writing an article on leadership and you want to list the types of leadership styles out there. You can best have that generated by AI. That part of the article need not and cannot even be unique or topical. But whatever else you write about it has to be in order to rank high.

You can also use Chat GPT to create a content plan with topics your article is about, or you can ask for suggestions for titles and meta descriptions. Usually, better suggestions come up than you can come up with on your own in such a short time.

How does Google know if an article has used AI?

It is Google's core business to analyze content - read all content on a site. Nothing or no one on earth is better at that. Therefore, they can always tell if an article has used AI technology. Even if you use smart tools that rewrite the generated text to a more human way of writing, Google will detect this 99% of the time.

Therefore, if you are using AI-generated content, it is wise to mention this in your article. In the same way, you would with other source citations. Google asks for this as well.

Resume: Yes, it is permitted by Google to use AI-generated content, but under certain conditions. If you do it to improve the quality of your article then you will rank higher as a result. If you do it because you are trying to trick Google by doing so, Google will give you a penalty. So caution is advised.

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