Google vs. AI-Generated Content Business Owners Guide

Google vs. AI-Generated Content: Business Owners Guide

As a marketing agency, we like to keep our finger on the pulse of the ever-evolving world of digital marketing. Today, we want to discuss a topic that has been generating quite the buzz among small business owners and the world in general: AI-generated content.

At first, the idea of content at the click of a button may seem life-changing, but there are complications that may impact how helpful these tools can be for business owners on a mission to grow their search engine ranking. And although it may be tempting to jump in two feet first, one important thing to consider is how AI-generated content fits into Google’s spam guidelines.

We will provide an in-depth look at each aspect you need to be aware of and offer actionable advice for incorporating AI-generated content in a way that supports your SEO efforts while ensuring you adhere to Google’s quality standards.

Understanding Google’s Spam Guidelines

Google’s primary goal is to provide users with the most relevant, high-quality search results, ensuring their users can quickly find exactly what they are looking for. To achieve this, they’ve established a set of guidelines that webmasters and marketers must adhere to in order to maintain and grow their website’s position in search results. These guidelines help protect the integrity of search results, ensuring users receive accurate and helpful information. As a small business owner, it’s crucial to familiarise yourself with these guidelines and ensure your website’s content adheres to them. Some important aspects of Google’s guidelines include avoiding keyword stuffing, deceptive practices, low-quality content and other “Black-Hat” techniques.

The Impact of AI-Generated Content on Google’s Perception

AI-generated content can be viewed as spammy by Google, primarily because the quality and relevance of such content can be unpredictable. AI tools, like ChatGPT, have a tendency to generate content that might not always be coherent or contextually accurate, which can lead to a poor user experience. Moreover, AI-generated content may inadvertently engage in keyword stuffing or other spammy practices, which can result in penalties and negatively impact your search rankings.

In Google Search’s Guidance on AI, they state that when AI-generated content is “used to generate content primarily to manipulate search rankings, this is against our spam policies.”

If you are hoping AI-generated content is a quick way to boost your SEO, sadly, this is not the case, and using AI in this way could led to some serious penalities. 

It’s worth noting that AI-generated content is not inherently bad; in fact, it can be helpful when used appropriately. However, it’s essential to understand the potential pitfalls and ensure that your following Google’s guidelines. There is no feeling worse than watching your website drop in the rankings as you took a shortcut that didn’t work out.

Best Practices for Business Owners Using AI-Generated Content

With the potential risks in mind, how can business owners safely utilise AI-generated content without violating Google’s spam guidelines? Here are a few tips to help you navigate this complex landscape and ensure your website’s SEO remains in good standing:

Use AI-generated content as a starting point.

Rather than relying solely on AI-generated content, consider using it as a foundation for your own original work. This will allow you to maintain control over the quality, relevance, originality and context of your content while still benefiting from the time-saving aspects of AI tools.

However, in order to really build a persona for your brand and connect with your audience, you need to have a consistent style and tone of voice while also being unique, creative and value-led. While AI can make content creation quicker, the jury is still out on whether the content it creates is more engaging and captivating. By taking inspiration from suggestions made by AI, you can take some of the creative processes off your to-do list without losing the essence that makes your business unique.

Heavily edit and proofread.

Always review, heavily edit, and proofread any AI-generated content to ensure it adheres to your brand’s voice, tone, and messaging, as well as Google’s guidelines. This will help you avoid any issues with content quality, incorrect information, or spammy practices. Make sure to double-check facts, sources, and the overall coherence of the content.

Sadly many companies have already discovered the hard way that AI tools can make up facts, sources and information, leaving them looking foolish, misleading their customers, and opening them up for criticism. OpenAI even stated that “ChatGPT sometimes writes plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers.” This is especially dangerous when it comes to using AI to write for your business.

Avoid over-optimisation.

While it’s important to include relevant keywords in your content, AI tools can focus too heavily on them, which may catch the attention of Google – and not in the way you hope!

You need to be incredibly careful that you don’t upload content that goes overboard on the keywords. Keyword stuffing is highlighted in the Google Spam Policy and can really impact your ranking and the readability of your content. Focus on creating valuable, engaging content that appeals to your target audience rather than trying to game the system by stuffing your content with keywords. Remember, user experience should always be at the forefront of your content strategy.

Diversify your content.

To ensure your website provides a well-rounded and informative experience, don’t rely solely on AI-generated content. If you are working with a small budget or limited spare time, consider creating a mix of AI-generated and human-created content. This will allow you to benefit from the ease of AI-generated content while still maintaining a personal touch that resonates with your audience.

If you rely solely on AI-generated content, you may find your brand looks a little robotic or stiff and doesn’t have that human touch that consumers love. Plus, you want to use your blog content to inspire and build your reputation as an industry leader. This is far easier to do when you can inject your own original creative ideas into the content.

Monitor your content’s performance.

If you are using AI-generated content, keep a very close eye on your website’s analytics and search rankings to identify any potential issues that might arise. This will help you stay proactive in addressing any problems before they escalate into more serious penalties. Regularly assess user engagement metrics, such as bounce rates and time on page, to ensure your content is effectively serving your audience.

If you find that people are suddenly navigating away from your blogs now, you need to quickly pivot your approach and ensure you don’t do long-lasting damage to your site.

Stay informed on updates and advancements.

The AI landscape is constantly evolving, with new tools and capabilities emerging regularly. Staying up to date on the latest developments can help you make informed decisions about how to effectively use AI-generated content in your marketing strategy.

Only last April, Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller said, “Content automatically generated with AI writing tools is considered spam, according to the search engine’s webmaster guidelines.”, so even though Google has backtracked on this statement, there is no guarantee they won’t change their mind again!

The world of AI-generated content is still relatively new, and as such, it is essential for business owners to approach it with caution. By following our tips, you can harness the power of AI while minimising the risks associated with it. However, nothing beats the expertise and creativity of human marketers, like the team at Cheshire Cat Marketing, who understand the nuances of your business and can create truly tailored and engaging content.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for personalised, human marketing support that caters to your unique business requirements. Our team of experts is always ready to lend a helping hand and guide you towards success. By working with us, you’ll benefit from a comprehensive marketing strategy that goes beyond AI, ensuring your business thrives in the competitive online world.

Remember, the key to a strong online presence lies in striking a balance between leveraging cutting-edge technology and maintaining the integrity of your content. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and stay ahead of the curve.

Contact Cheshire Cat Marketing today for exceptional marketing support that goes beyond AI.

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