Google says AI-generated content violates policies

Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller says that content automatically generated using AI writing tools is considered spam under the search engine’s webmaster guidelines.

This topic was recently covered during a Google Search Central SEO office time hangout in response to a question about GPT-3 AI writing tools.

There is a debate in the SEO community about using GPT-3 tools and whether they are acceptable from Google’s perspective.

Mueller says that AI-written content falls under the auto-generated content category, which could result in a manual penalty.

However, Google’s systems may not be able to recognize AI-generated content without the assistance of human reviewers.

As we will explain later in this article, there are practical uses for AI writing tools and many reputable organizations are using them with no problem.

First, let’s look at Mueller’s response to the question of how Google views the use of these tools.

Auto-generated content violates Google’s Webmaster Guidelines

Regardless of the tools used to create it, machine-written content is considered automatically generated.

As Mueller is quick to point out, Google’s position on auto-generated content has always been clear:

“For us, these would still essentially fall under the auto-generated content category that we had in the webmaster guidelines almost from the start.

And humans have auto-generated content in many different ways. And for us, when you use machine learning tools to generate your content, it’s essentially the same as just shuffling words, looking up synonyms, or using the translation tricks people used to do. Such things.

My suspicion is that the quality of the content might be a bit better than the really old tools, but for us it’s still auto-generated content and for us that means it still violates webmaster guidelines. So we would consider that spam.”

Can Google recognize AI-generated content?

A follow-up question is asked about Google’s ability to identify content written by machine learning tools.

Can Google understand the difference between content written by humans and content written by machines?

Mueller makes no claims about Google automatically detecting AI-written content.

However, if Google’s web spam team finds it by accident, they have the right to take action against it.

“I can’t say that. But if we see something generated automatically, the webspam team can definitely do something about it.

And I don’t know how the future is going to play out there, but I can imagine that like any other of these technologies, there’s going to be a little game of cat and mouse where sometimes people do something and get away with it, and then the webspam team catches up and solves this problem on a broader scale.

From our recommendation, we still see it as auto-generated content. I think maybe over time this will evolve to become more of a tool for people. Similar to how you would use machine translation as the basis for creating a translated version of a website, but you still go through it manually.

And maybe over time these AI tools will evolve in the direction you use them to be more efficient when writing or to make sure you’re writing correctly, like the spelling and grammar checking tools that are also based on them machine learning. But I don’t know what the future holds there.”

Mueller clarifies that Google does not take into account how the AI ​​writing tools are used.

Using them in any form is considered spam, he adds.

“Right now, this is all against webmaster guidelines. So, from our point of view, if we encountered something like this, the webspam team would consider it spam.”

To hear his full answer, watch the video below:

What does this mean for your website?

Here’s an insight from the head of the SEJ editorial team on what Mueller’s response means for your website.

“I think the biggest takeaway from this particular Q&A is that Google’s algorithms aren’t able to auto-detect content generated by language models like GPT-3,” he says Miranda MuellerSr. Editor-in-Chief here in Search Engine Journal.

“The message here is that if Google detects auto-generated content, the webspam team could take action. But we’re not talking about the 2003 article weirdos.”

“Artificial intelligence is used by media, universities and other organizations for research automation and cross-referencing, crawling and classifying content in many languages ​​to identify emerging trends, create article and paper summaries, fact check, data processing and even to write full articles,” she stresses.

“The Associated Press started using AI to generate stories in 2014. The use of AI in content creation is not new, and the most important factor here is its intelligent application,” says Miller, noting that the use of AI can help content creators overcome language and literacy barriers , improve writing quality and more.

“These are good results. Wouldn’t it be weird if Google banned the use of AI by webmasters and content creators to improve user experience when they use it so heavily themselves?” She adds.

Featured Image: Zapp2Photo/Shutterstock

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