AI-Generated Content Is a Tool, Not a Solution

Artificial intelligence robot writing content on paper.

I am writing to discuss AI-generated content since many of our clients have been asking.

Google says:

“When it comes to automatically generated content, our guidance has been consistent for years. Using automation—including AI—to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results is a violation of our spam policies” (per Google’s guidance about AI-generated content.).

Having many pages generated by AI instead of expertly created E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authority and trustworthiness) content is a clear spam signal, and failing AI detection tests is a clear signal that no effort went into their production. Collectively, that is the kiss of death for a website.

Google also says that it focuses on the quality of content rather than how it is produced. So if the quality and usefulness are sufficiently high, that would overtake the AI issues. But the key is E-E-A-T. So consider new content with these questions in mind:

  • Have you contributed any time, resources or knowledge to making these pages expert?
  • Has there been any personal investment of editing **** in their generation?
  • Has the information been checked for accuracy, recency and completeness?
  • Do these pages reflect your brand’s voice, personality and experience?
  • Or are these pages simply the results of pushing buttons?

The definition of quality is not simply that content exists, but that it is worthy of existing, has merit and contributes value to the visitor. Are you proud to have your name on it?

So, there it is — generate worthy E-E-A-T content OR your pages are spam. With human editing, AI-generated pages could be worthy, but the majority of pages never will be.

Here’s a typical example. Go to ChatGPT and log in. After logging in, at the bottom of the screen you will get a prompt where you enter your query. Start the stopwatch on your phone and enter (paste) this query: “write an article that has this title and discusses “how to repair a broken light switch”, list several types of light switches, add some statistics about the usefulness of multi-way and dimmer light switches, add a 1 question FAQ section.”

As you can see, an article is produced in about 30 seconds. Seriously, you think that you can earn a top-10 ranking out of a million results with 30 seconds of work? I think not. For sites that employ this method, ranking problems will only compound over time. The more low-quality content someone adds to a site, the harder it becomes for any of their pages to rank. Too much leads to a near-death experience.

I want to emphasize that we are unable to say when and if Google will consider your pages spam. But if they were generated easily, if they are based upon a consensus of content derived from many already published sources (hence are nothing new, especially if you did not seriously edit them), and if they fail tests of AI versus human, then they do not demonstrate E-E-A-T qualities. I think it is a serious risk to the health of the entire website.

The trends reported by many SEOs about other sites using AI pages is that traffic grows for about six weeks, then it crashes and the site cannot easily recover. Yes, you may luck out, but it is a risk to your entire business.

I am not here to tell you not to take the business risk. However, I certainly would not take it.

I just felt it necessary to warn you that this is nuclear fire. Be careful.

In my view, AI-generated content is a tool, not a solution.

I hope that this helps.

Bruce Clay is founder and president of Bruce Clay Inc., a global digital marketing firm providing search engine optimization, pay-per-click, social media marketing, SEO-friendly web architecture, and SEO tools and education. Connect with him on LinkedIn or through the website.

See Bruce’s author page for links to connect on social media.

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