For a long time, automation has seeped its way through business institutions all over the globe, and now, the once human-dominated content creation function incorporates artificial intelligence on every turn. Still, the use of AI for content creation remains a gray area with some businesses fearing potential punishment by search engines for using AI to generate content at scale.
In this blog, we’ll debunk some commonly held misconceptions about AI in content creation. Next, we’ll shift our focus to creating trustworthy, authoritative, and fluff-free AI content for the web without violating Google’s spam policies.
Table of Contents
Is AI Content Against Google Search’s Guidelines?
Although the use of artificial intelligence in content creation marks a major milestone in the digital marketing realm, some business owners are wary of implementing the practice for their own businesses.
And their reasons for concern are justified. Here’s why:
Back in 2022, Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller clearly stated that AI content was auto-generated content and therefore could attract a manual penalty. For a long time, Google’s Webmaster Guidelines stood strongly against the use of machine learning tools to generate content automatically which was at the time considered spam.
A lot has changed since then, as Google recently reversed its stance regarding AI content.
AI content is not against Google Search guidelines. In fact, Google specifically states that:
“Appropriate use of AI or automation is not against our guidelines.”
However, many content creators take advantage of this and use AI to create content with the sole purpose of manipulating their rankings. Google makes it clear that doing this is a clear violation of its spam policies.
“Using automation—including AI—to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results is a violation of our spam policies.”
Instead, creators should focus on creating content that demonstrates Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (or E-E-A-T, as Google likes to call it).
Google adds that creating people-first content that focuses on the Who, How, and Why keeps you in line with what their systems reward, whether you use AI to generate content or not.
Why Doesn’t Google Search Ban AI Content?
In its guidelines, Google notes that not all use of automation counts as spam. Automation has long been used to create useful content in “exciting new ways,” says Google Search’s Central Blog.
In this statement, the search engine giant expresses that artificial intelligence can generate useful content. Several companies are integrating, not replacing their human writers with AI. For tech companies, this means considering AI-powered content generation tools as assistants and not a permanent replacement for human content writers.
AI content generation tools have been in existence for a while now, but their capabilities have only exploded recently. AI is currently being used to accomplish several tasks related to content creation, including:
- Scraping the web for fresh content ideas.
- Speeding up the content creation process.
- Conducting initial content research.
- Creating blog outlines.
- Writing initial article drafts.
- Rewriting existing content for reuse in other channels.
Last but not least, AI can be used to edit out grammar mistakes, detect plagiarism, as well as minimize the over-use of AI in the final piece. By taking mundane tasks out of content creation through automation, AI content locks the business’s focus onto getting desirable results from its marketing efforts.
Our Process for Working with AI Content
AI content generation tools rely on complex algorithms to scrape data from the web and present it in a natural human-like language. The problem with this simplified process is that artificial intelligence often yields flawed results that need heavy editing before releasing the content out to the public for consumption.
Inaccurate statistics, wrong facts, and low-value, generic information, are all common problems with AI content. When ignored, they contribute to a poor user experience (and search engines punish that).
In plain truth, unfiltered AI content may not satisfy most search engines’ core requirements for high value content – expertise, authority, reliability, and trustworthiness. At RiseOak, we have consistently fine-tuned our process for working with AI content into three major phases:
1. Removing Fluff
Fluff refers to words that do not add any value to a sentence and the reader. These words often appear crammed up into a sentence just to take up space and add to the word count, without necessarily adding extra value/information to the content. When removed, fluff does not affect the meaning of the sentence.
However, not all words that fail to add meaning/information should be considered fluff. Some words offer contextual support, while others help readers better understand the content. To identify fluff in your blog posts, simply ask “Does this word/sentence/phrase add anything to the content?”
Generally, fluff can be identified by the following:
- Redundant words that do not affect the meaning of a sentence when removed.
- Overused adjectives and other descriptive words.
- Unnecessary information that is not relevant to the user’s search intent.
When left unsupervised, AI can generate volumes of fluffy text. Fluff is bad for web content, especially now, when your prospects are overwhelmed with too much information.
That said, we take every measure to prevent your audience from wading through unnecessary text just to find what they’re looking for. That way, your website visitors enjoy a positive user experience and, eventually, trust your content enough to take the specific action that you want them to take.
Despite its advanced capabilities, AI content tools still generate misinformed facts, inaccurate statistics, wrong dates, and people.
Statistics and facts are particularly important in various types of content topics, like tech and health. Product-related content in e-commerce also requires hard facts; for instance, making claims that a product is “the first of its kind”, “best”, or “cheapest” should involve hard numbers without which your content would lose credibility.
When working with AI content, we pay close attention to any statistics generated by the AI tool. We also verify important dates, people, and other critical facts and ensure that they are 100% accurate.
In essence, fact checking is a vital part of working with AI content. Accurate facts keep your content relevant, trustworthy, and credible as a source of information for Google and the target audience in general.
3. Building Trust
AI content should seek to build trust with the target audience by providing reliable, accurate information that can solve problems. However, entrusting this part to unsupervised artificial intelligence could do the exact opposite.
Despite its advanced capabilities, AI severely lacks in the human department, where understanding the reader’s challenges, and providing genuine solutions influences their purchasing decision.
Initial AI content drafts often appear generic, impersonal, and shallow without human intervention. To make AI content build trust with people, we ask important questions, such as: Does the content speak to them directly? Does it have the right tone and style? Or does it patronize your readers, showing sympathy rather than empathy and a genuine willingness to help?
AI content should be turned human – since it’s addressed to real people with real emotions. We add several human elements such as personal customer stories and experiences, expert quotes, reviews and feedback, and other data that can be backed by solid facts. These elements help you connect with your potential customers on a human level.
Although artificial intelligence helps businesses scale up their content production efforts, it is equally important to pay attention to the consumer’s needs. Businesses are strongly advised to refrain from leveraging AI capabilities to create content just to pump more traffic into their websites. Remember, your target audience is made up of real people with real problems that require real solutions.
If you need help conveying your message through content, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!