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Artificial SEO: Google’s Core Update and the Future of AI Content

Written by: Molly-Anna MaQuirl | Posted: 07-05-2024

Artificial SEO: Google’s Core Update and the Future of AI Content

This is an AI-generated image created with Midjourney by Molly-Anna MaQuirl

The world of search engine optimization (SEO) has been rapidly evolving over the past few years with the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI). In recent AI news, Google rolled out a major core update to its search algorithm in an effort to weed out low-quality AI-generated content and give preference to original, authoritative content.

This update has massive implications for the future of using AI tools for content creation and SEO at large. In this post, we’ll explore how AI is changing SEO, why Google is cracking down on AI content, and what it means for content creators and SEO professionals moving forward.

How AI is Changing the Shape of SEO

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have already started revolutionizing various aspects of search engine optimization. As these technologies become more advanced, they have the potential to greatly augment and enhance SEO strategies. However, an over-reliance on AI can also lead to issues around low-quality, "thin" content if not used judiciously.

AI-Powered Content Creation

One of the biggest applications of AI in SEO is the use of LLMs for automating content generation. Tools like Jasper, Conversion.ai, Copy.ai and now world-famous ChatGPT allow marketers to produce blog posts, social media captions, and product descriptions within minutes by simply entering a few prompts.

For example, a marketer could use Conversion.ai to draft a blog post by inputting a focus keyword, target word count, and a few bullet points to guide the content. The AI model can then quickly generate an entire draft optimized for the given keyword.

This enables both greater efficiency and scale. Instead of spending hours researching and writing a post, marketers can leverage AI to create multiple drafts in a fraction of the time. However, critics argue this rapid content assembly line promotes quantity over quality. Posts may end up thin, formulaic, and over-optimized just for keywords without adding much unique value.

To avoid low-quality AI content, the key is balancing automation with human effort. AI can provide a solid starting point, but the draft should be refined, customized, and personalized with original and researched insights.

Automating Outreach for Backlinks

Link building is another area being disrupted by AI. Outreach for backlinks was traditionally very manual and time-intensive. But tools like Pitchbox, PersistIQ, and Mixmax now help streamline and automate parts of the process through personalized email automation.

For example, a link builder could use Pitchbox to identify relevant high-authority websites in their niche. The platform then automatically drafts customized outreach emails and sequences follow-ups based on responses and engagement. This scales outreach exponentially.

However, there are risks of overusing automated link building. Without any human personalization, outreach can come across as robotic and spammy. The role of AI here should be to enhance and assist, not fully replace thoughtful human relationship-building. The most valuable backlinks come from genuine connections.

Optimizing for Searcher Intent

AI language models like BERT, which have become significantly more advanced over the years, open new possibilities for optimizing content based on semantic meaning and searcher intent rather than just targeting keywords.

For example, an AI assistant could suggest content ideas around broader themes like "first-time home buying tips" rather than just pulling articles that include the exact keyword phrase. The technology generates content that targets informational search intent rather than rigid keywords.

This allows SEO to focus more on valuable, relevant content that answers searcher needs as opposed to thin content stuffed with keywords. AI has the potential to take optimization to the next level based on true meaning and context.

Adapting to Voice Search

If voice-based searching continues to grow more predominant through assistants like Alexa and Siri, AI can help adapt search results to be more conversational and respond appropriately.

For instance, a page optimized for the keyword "best laptops under $500" may need to shift to instead answer natural language queries like "What's the best affordable laptop I can buy?".

AI content tools can analyze how people speak and ask questions to make SEO content more relatable. However, voice search is still an emerging area. Only time will tell how drastically it may alter SERPs over time.

The possibilities of AI and machine learning are opening exciting new frontiers in SEO. But, risks around thin content and over-optimization come with any new technology. By combining automated solutions with human oversight and strategy, brands can harness the power of AI to take search optimization to the next level.

Why is Google Penalizing AI Content?

The Google core update aims to improve search quality and serve users the most trustworthy results. Much AI-generated content is now created just for ranking purposes without adding much value. So, Google is clamping down on this type of artificial SEO technique.

To be clear: It’s low-quality AI content produced on mass that Google penalize; not AI content in itself.

Unlike what some people may believe, Google doesn't penalize the use of AI-generated content in and of itself. Their main goal is to stop people using AI to produce large amounts of low-quality content to manipulate search results.

Regardless of the technology used to create it, Google wants to ensure high-quality content. So, you have nothing to worry about if you're using AI to create content that is actually educational and beneficial. The main lesson is that while AI can be a useful tool, its application should be considered and emphasized in producing material that genuinely helps people. 

Now that you know Google’s main motto behind AI content penalization, let’s move to some other reasons why it penalizes mass-produced low-quality AI content:

Ensuring Quality of Search Results

A big motivation behind Google's AI update is improving the quality of its search results. Low-quality AI content often lacks accuracy, original research, or a human touch. 

By penalizing this type of content in its algorithm, Google hopes to clear the path for thoughtful, authoritative content to shine in search results. This improves the experience for search users.

Reducing Spam from "SEO Hacking"

Some brands and agencies unfortunately now use AI tools to rapidly generate thin, low-value content just to rank keywords and get traffic. Google sees this as a form of spam SEO behavior.

The Google core update targets sites engaging in these types of artificial optimization tricks to try and play the system. Maintaining transparency and fairness is crucial for user trust when it comes to SERPS.

Protecting Data for Google's Own AI Models

Some speculate that Google wants to cut down on AI content farms because AI learning requires large data sets which they need for feeding their own AI models. By limiting some of this AI-generated content, Google reduces junk information from entering its knowledge graph and training data.

This preserves the integrity of the data that Google feeds into its own AI systems and models, like the natural language AI called Bert or Gemini.

What Does This Mean for AI Content?

The Google core update signals a shift away from artificial, formulaic content designed just for ranking search engines. For both content creators and SEO experts, this requires rethinking how AI tools are leveraged.

Will People Stop Using AI Altogether?

It's unlikely content creators will abandon AI tools completely. Using natural language technology judiciously can help generate initial drafts and outline ideas faster. The key is the human touch after using AI as an aid, and ensuring the content is still high valuable quality.

Blogs, ads, and other marketing content wholly generated by AI with no editing or enhancement from a person has already significantly declined. Google's AI update incentivizes adding your own research, thoughts, and analysis.

Will AI Tools Continue Evolving?

AI Companies such as OpenAI will continue expanding the capabilities of AI copywriting tools. Some may even try training language models on authoritative content to produce higher-quality drafts, though this is difficult to keep up to date.

Others may focus on harmonizing AI with human writing instead of replacing it. Better aids for editing, rewriting, summarizing, and enhancing human-written text can help save time while still being original. As AI tools develop and enhance over the coming years, there is no denying that capabilities for creating genuinely useful content directly from AI tools - that also ranks well - will be possible.

Will People Use AI Differently?

SEO professionals and companies will likely shift strategies around using natural language generation tools. Instead of creating hundreds of articles about similar topics and keywords, they may focus on generating fewer in-depth, authoritative pieces.

Brands may invest more time refining and customizing AI drafts to fit their voice instead of blindly auto-generating pages. And they'll emphasize promoting engaging, valuable content rather than purely chasing keyword targets.

Will Reliable AI Detection Become More Important?

Tools for identifying AI-written text are still emerging and imperfect. Effective detection will become increasingly valuable as companies try to disguise or enhance AI content.

Google claims it can already determine text generated by artificial intelligence to demote it in rankings. Other platforms like LinkedIn and Reddit also say they can classify AI content to curb misuse of generative text technology. Along with this, there are a multitude of ‘content detection specialist tools’ such as ZeroGPT or originality.ai, though most currently prove to give inconsistent results. Only time will tell if these detectors can increase in accuracy.

The Future of Content Marketing

While the Google core update aims to demote low-quality AI content, the technology still holds tremendous potential to augment human-led content marketing if used judiciously. The ideal path forward will likely involve a hybrid approach.

Though wholly AI-generated content faces roadblocks, brands shouldn't abandon the technology altogether. Used strategically, AI can simplify and enhance content workflows in various ways:

  • Brainstorming and ideation: AI tools can analyze keyword and topic data to provide suggested outlines and content ideas for human writers to expand on. This saves time spent researching topics from scratch.
  • Drafting: Natural language generators can create initial rough drafts of blog posts, social copy, and other content that writers can then customize and polish. This automates the heavy lifting of writing a full piece.
  • Editing and optimization: AI capabilities like word choice enhancement, grammar correction, and rewrite assistance can help writers refine and tighten human-written drafts. This results in higher-quality final content.
  • Insights: AI analytics can surface data like sentiment analysis, engagement metrics, and competitor analysis to inform content strategy. This allows for data-driven decisions.

Rather than fully replacing human writers, AI can augment teams as a beneficial aide. The ideal future workflow combines the speed and scale of artificial intelligence with human creativity, strategy, and customization for brand voice.

For instance, a blogger could use a natural language tool to generate a draft article on a trending topic and then spend their time enhancing it with original perspectives, interviews, and images that make it unique - and most importantly, genuinely useful to the reader.

Similarly, a social media manager could use AI to analyze performance data and suggest content ideas, then create thoughtful, on-brand posts tailored to their audience.

With the right blend of technology and human input, brands can leverage automation to create more content faster without sacrificing quality. AI stands ready to help content marketing flourish - not replace the human touch.

Conclusion

Google's major algorithm updates clearly signal the need to move away from over-reliance on artificial intelligence to produce written content at scale mechanically. This reflects a maturing and nuanced stance - not all AI-generated content should be penalized, but low-quality content crafted purely to exploit search rankings will face demotion.

For SEO practitioners and content creators, it emphasizes the continued importance of original research, human-centric value, and customization for your brand voice. Rather than just chasing keywords, it's time to fully leverage AI's capabilities to draft, ideate, and refine diverse written content tailored to what your audiences want to read. This presents an exciting opportunity to elevate content marketing to new heights.

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Artificial SEO: Google’s Core Update and the Future of AI Content

Written by: Molly-Anna MaQuirl | Posted: 07-05-2024

Artificial SEO: Google’s Core Update and the Future of AI Content

This is an AI-generated image created with Midjourney by Molly-Anna MaQuirl

The world of search engine optimization (SEO) has been rapidly evolving over the past few years with the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI). In recent AI news, Google rolled out a major core update to its search algorithm in an effort to weed out low-quality AI-generated content and give preference to original, authoritative content.

This update has massive implications for the future of using AI tools for content creation and SEO at large. In this post, we’ll explore how AI is changing SEO, why Google is cracking down on AI content, and what it means for content creators and SEO professionals moving forward.

How AI is Changing the Shape of SEO

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have already started revolutionizing various aspects of search engine optimization. As these technologies become more advanced, they have the potential to greatly augment and enhance SEO strategies. However, an over-reliance on AI can also lead to issues around low-quality, "thin" content if not used judiciously.

AI-Powered Content Creation

One of the biggest applications of AI in SEO is the use of LLMs for automating content generation. Tools like Jasper, Conversion.ai, Copy.ai and now world-famous ChatGPT allow marketers to produce blog posts, social media captions, and product descriptions within minutes by simply entering a few prompts.

For example, a marketer could use Conversion.ai to draft a blog post by inputting a focus keyword, target word count, and a few bullet points to guide the content. The AI model can then quickly generate an entire draft optimized for the given keyword.

This enables both greater efficiency and scale. Instead of spending hours researching and writing a post, marketers can leverage AI to create multiple drafts in a fraction of the time. However, critics argue this rapid content assembly line promotes quantity over quality. Posts may end up thin, formulaic, and over-optimized just for keywords without adding much unique value.

To avoid low-quality AI content, the key is balancing automation with human effort. AI can provide a solid starting point, but the draft should be refined, customized, and personalized with original and researched insights.

Automating Outreach for Backlinks

Link building is another area being disrupted by AI. Outreach for backlinks was traditionally very manual and time-intensive. But tools like Pitchbox, PersistIQ, and Mixmax now help streamline and automate parts of the process through personalized email automation.

For example, a link builder could use Pitchbox to identify relevant high-authority websites in their niche. The platform then automatically drafts customized outreach emails and sequences follow-ups based on responses and engagement. This scales outreach exponentially.

However, there are risks of overusing automated link building. Without any human personalization, outreach can come across as robotic and spammy. The role of AI here should be to enhance and assist, not fully replace thoughtful human relationship-building. The most valuable backlinks come from genuine connections.

Optimizing for Searcher Intent

AI language models like BERT, which have become significantly more advanced over the years, open new possibilities for optimizing content based on semantic meaning and searcher intent rather than just targeting keywords.

For example, an AI assistant could suggest content ideas around broader themes like "first-time home buying tips" rather than just pulling articles that include the exact keyword phrase. The technology generates content that targets informational search intent rather than rigid keywords.

This allows SEO to focus more on valuable, relevant content that answers searcher needs as opposed to thin content stuffed with keywords. AI has the potential to take optimization to the next level based on true meaning and context.

Adapting to Voice Search

If voice-based searching continues to grow more predominant through assistants like Alexa and Siri, AI can help adapt search results to be more conversational and respond appropriately.

For instance, a page optimized for the keyword "best laptops under $500" may need to shift to instead answer natural language queries like "What's the best affordable laptop I can buy?".

AI content tools can analyze how people speak and ask questions to make SEO content more relatable. However, voice search is still an emerging area. Only time will tell how drastically it may alter SERPs over time.

The possibilities of AI and machine learning are opening exciting new frontiers in SEO. But, risks around thin content and over-optimization come with any new technology. By combining automated solutions with human oversight and strategy, brands can harness the power of AI to take search optimization to the next level.

Why is Google Penalizing AI Content?

The Google core update aims to improve search quality and serve users the most trustworthy results. Much AI-generated content is now created just for ranking purposes without adding much value. So, Google is clamping down on this type of artificial SEO technique.

To be clear: It’s low-quality AI content produced on mass that Google penalize; not AI content in itself.

Unlike what some people may believe, Google doesn't penalize the use of AI-generated content in and of itself. Their main goal is to stop people using AI to produce large amounts of low-quality content to manipulate search results.

Regardless of the technology used to create it, Google wants to ensure high-quality content. So, you have nothing to worry about if you're using AI to create content that is actually educational and beneficial. The main lesson is that while AI can be a useful tool, its application should be considered and emphasized in producing material that genuinely helps people. 

Now that you know Google’s main motto behind AI content penalization, let’s move to some other reasons why it penalizes mass-produced low-quality AI content:

Ensuring Quality of Search Results

A big motivation behind Google's AI update is improving the quality of its search results. Low-quality AI content often lacks accuracy, original research, or a human touch. 

By penalizing this type of content in its algorithm, Google hopes to clear the path for thoughtful, authoritative content to shine in search results. This improves the experience for search users.

Reducing Spam from "SEO Hacking"

Some brands and agencies unfortunately now use AI tools to rapidly generate thin, low-value content just to rank keywords and get traffic. Google sees this as a form of spam SEO behavior.

The Google core update targets sites engaging in these types of artificial optimization tricks to try and play the system. Maintaining transparency and fairness is crucial for user trust when it comes to SERPS.

Protecting Data for Google's Own AI Models

Some speculate that Google wants to cut down on AI content farms because AI learning requires large data sets which they need for feeding their own AI models. By limiting some of this AI-generated content, Google reduces junk information from entering its knowledge graph and training data.

This preserves the integrity of the data that Google feeds into its own AI systems and models, like the natural language AI called Bert or Gemini.

What Does This Mean for AI Content?

The Google core update signals a shift away from artificial, formulaic content designed just for ranking search engines. For both content creators and SEO experts, this requires rethinking how AI tools are leveraged.

Will People Stop Using AI Altogether?

It's unlikely content creators will abandon AI tools completely. Using natural language technology judiciously can help generate initial drafts and outline ideas faster. The key is the human touch after using AI as an aid, and ensuring the content is still high valuable quality.

Blogs, ads, and other marketing content wholly generated by AI with no editing or enhancement from a person has already significantly declined. Google's AI update incentivizes adding your own research, thoughts, and analysis.

Will AI Tools Continue Evolving?

AI Companies such as OpenAI will continue expanding the capabilities of AI copywriting tools. Some may even try training language models on authoritative content to produce higher-quality drafts, though this is difficult to keep up to date.

Others may focus on harmonizing AI with human writing instead of replacing it. Better aids for editing, rewriting, summarizing, and enhancing human-written text can help save time while still being original. As AI tools develop and enhance over the coming years, there is no denying that capabilities for creating genuinely useful content directly from AI tools - that also ranks well - will be possible.

Will People Use AI Differently?

SEO professionals and companies will likely shift strategies around using natural language generation tools. Instead of creating hundreds of articles about similar topics and keywords, they may focus on generating fewer in-depth, authoritative pieces.

Brands may invest more time refining and customizing AI drafts to fit their voice instead of blindly auto-generating pages. And they'll emphasize promoting engaging, valuable content rather than purely chasing keyword targets.

Will Reliable AI Detection Become More Important?

Tools for identifying AI-written text are still emerging and imperfect. Effective detection will become increasingly valuable as companies try to disguise or enhance AI content.

Google claims it can already determine text generated by artificial intelligence to demote it in rankings. Other platforms like LinkedIn and Reddit also say they can classify AI content to curb misuse of generative text technology. Along with this, there are a multitude of ‘content detection specialist tools’ such as ZeroGPT or originality.ai, though most currently prove to give inconsistent results. Only time will tell if these detectors can increase in accuracy.

The Future of Content Marketing

While the Google core update aims to demote low-quality AI content, the technology still holds tremendous potential to augment human-led content marketing if used judiciously. The ideal path forward will likely involve a hybrid approach.

Though wholly AI-generated content faces roadblocks, brands shouldn't abandon the technology altogether. Used strategically, AI can simplify and enhance content workflows in various ways:

  • Brainstorming and ideation: AI tools can analyze keyword and topic data to provide suggested outlines and content ideas for human writers to expand on. This saves time spent researching topics from scratch.
  • Drafting: Natural language generators can create initial rough drafts of blog posts, social copy, and other content that writers can then customize and polish. This automates the heavy lifting of writing a full piece.
  • Editing and optimization: AI capabilities like word choice enhancement, grammar correction, and rewrite assistance can help writers refine and tighten human-written drafts. This results in higher-quality final content.
  • Insights: AI analytics can surface data like sentiment analysis, engagement metrics, and competitor analysis to inform content strategy. This allows for data-driven decisions.

Rather than fully replacing human writers, AI can augment teams as a beneficial aide. The ideal future workflow combines the speed and scale of artificial intelligence with human creativity, strategy, and customization for brand voice.

For instance, a blogger could use a natural language tool to generate a draft article on a trending topic and then spend their time enhancing it with original perspectives, interviews, and images that make it unique - and most importantly, genuinely useful to the reader.

Similarly, a social media manager could use AI to analyze performance data and suggest content ideas, then create thoughtful, on-brand posts tailored to their audience.

With the right blend of technology and human input, brands can leverage automation to create more content faster without sacrificing quality. AI stands ready to help content marketing flourish - not replace the human touch.

Conclusion

Google's major algorithm updates clearly signal the need to move away from over-reliance on artificial intelligence to produce written content at scale mechanically. This reflects a maturing and nuanced stance - not all AI-generated content should be penalized, but low-quality content crafted purely to exploit search rankings will face demotion.

For SEO practitioners and content creators, it emphasizes the continued importance of original research, human-centric value, and customization for your brand voice. Rather than just chasing keywords, it's time to fully leverage AI's capabilities to draft, ideate, and refine diverse written content tailored to what your audiences want to read. This presents an exciting opportunity to elevate content marketing to new heights.