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Google is Cracking Down on Low-Quality, AI-Generated Content

Are you using ChatGPT to write and mass-produce copy? Google wants none of that. 


Google’s March 2024 search update targets spam, much of which is low-quality, AI-generated content.  


According to Google, “This update involves refining some of our core ranking systems to help us better understand if webpages are unhelpful, have a poor user experience or feel like they were created for search engines instead of people.” 


The Google team expects that their latest update and ongoing ranking system tuning will “collectively reduce low-quality, unoriginal content in search results by 40%.”


Why This Matters


AI-generated content is easy to mass-produce and can potentially manipulate search rankings, but it’s not known for being accurate. Misinformation has been eroding prominent Google search results, bamboozling people with false historical facts and obituaries, AI-generated images instead of real ones, and plenty more. 


Misinformation in the news has also been a problem. I doubt I have to explain why that’s a problem — especially this year! 


Whaddaya Mean by “Spam?”


Google’s update directly addresses three different types of spam:


Scaled Content


Methods for creating low-quality content at scale become more sophisticated over time. With the aid of AI, spammers can produce content quickly; sometimes, it’s not clear if it’s been automated. Google updated its policies to address low-quality scaled content to help maintain the integrity of queried search results. 


Reputation Abuse


Some websites have earned their reputation by creating quality content helpful to visitors. However, they’re also hosting low-value content from third parties that are piggybacking on the site’s prominence to climb the ranks on Search. This practice is as misleading as it is frustrating. If you’re looking up important information on a trusted website, you shouldn’t end up on a page that has nothing to do with your query. 


Google is cracking down on this practice starting on May 5. Trusted sites were given two months to clean up their act and maintain their integrity. 


Expired Domains


Some people purchase expired domains to repurpose low-quality, unoriginal content. As a result, you might click on a prominent page expecting valuable information, only to find yourself getting spammed with ads or misinformation.

How to Keep Your Content Unscathed


No system is perfect, and that includes Google’s search algorithm. Unfortunately, some people’s content may be flagged as spam even if it’s not. Here are a few ways to prevent that from happening:


Keep Your Content Relevant 


If your website is about physics, keep your content about physics. If your blog veers off subject, you could arouse suspicion from Google (and you’ll definitely cause your readers to raise an eyebrow!).


Tell Stories


Personal anecdotes and similar authentic content are much harder to replicate and far less likely to be mistaken for spam. It’s also a great way to connect with your readers. 


Don’t Depend on AI-Generated Content


Don’t want to get flagged as a spammer who uses AI-generated content? Then, don’t use AI-generated content! 


Write your own content — or better yet, hire a professional to craft high-quality, consistent, engaging, and on-brand so you can focus on what you do best. 


And leave it to Google to keep Search clean.