Is AI Content Against Google’s Guidelines?
Artificial intelligence (AI) has made waves in the digital world over the last several months. With OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and Microsoft’s Bing, conversational AI tools are becoming more mainstream, causing many to wonder how online search will continue to change. As these large language model (LLM) programs are quickly being integrated into our daily lives, it’s important for medical and dental practices to understand how AI content may affect SEO.
Earlier in 2022, Google Search Advocate Matt Mueller explained that AI content is considered automatically generated content and would, therefore, be treated as spam. The question of how well Google would be able to detect AI-generated content, however, was still unknown. As AI technology has become more sophisticated over the last year alone, Google has shared updated guidance on how they view AI-generated content.
Google Releases Statement on AI Content
In its recent article, Google stated, “Appropriate use of AI or automation is not against our guidelines.” However, the search giant clarified that while using AI tools is allowed, doing so to manipulate rankings is against their spam policies. Rather than banning all AI content from search results, Google has maintained its focus on favoring high-quality content, regardless of how it’s produced.
This is a similar approach to how it handles the black hat SEO strategy of mass-produced human-generated content. Rather than banning all human-generated content, it refined its approach to rewarding the highest-quality content, which typically excludes duplicated text from content farms. As its Helpful Content Update took effect late last year, Google has put a major emphasis on content that’s written for people, versus content that’s written with the main goal of ranking well.
Despite whether content was created by a human or AI tool, Google has made it clear that high-quality, people-first content is what it aims to reward. With the right motivation and SEO strategies, AI can be a valuable tool for helping to improve content for prospective patients.
Google’s Advice for Using AI-Generated Content
Google has recognized that AI can advance our ability to provide helpful content for people, but it maintains high standards for what it deems to be quality content. As medical and dental practices consider the use of AI tools in their content efforts, it’s important to follow Google’s advice for demonstrating what it calls E-E-A-T: expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. In addition, Google has encouraged content creators to think about the “Who, How, and Why.” More specifically:
- Making it known “who” is creating the content, such as with background information or a byline.
- Being transparent about “how” the content was generated, and specifying if AI was involved.
- Understanding “why” the content is being created in the first place, which should be for the benefit of the reader.
By following these guidelines, content creators can increase their chance of being rewarded by Google with high search engine rankings.
Will AI Content Take Over Search Results?
AI content written without carefully crafted prompts or the oversight of a subject matter expert will typically be low quality. Just as Google wouldn’t favor a human-generated page of content that’s not helpful to the reader, its systems shouldn’t reward a page written by AI tools if there are higher-quality pages available. In the eyes of Google, content is content. If it’s helpful, original, and follows the E-E-A-T guidelines, there’s a chance it may perform well. If it doesn’t satisfy these best practices, it likely won’t rank high in search results.
Those using AI programs to write their content as a shortcut to ranking well will likely be disappointed by the results. However, those utilizing AI technology to improve the helpfulness of their content may find it can give them a boost. With the right SEO strategy and evaluation from an experienced human writer, AI can be a valuable tool for helping to inform prospective patients and rank higher in the process.
Get Your Site Seen with Rosemont Media
Want to learn how you can increase your rankings and get the most out of your practice website? Our team at Rosemont Media has years of experience helping medical and dental practices improve their website content to help readers and, in return, perform well in search engines. Contact us today to get started!