According to Search Advocate John Mueller, content written automatically using AI writing tools violates Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
In response to a question regarding GPT-3 AI writing tools, this topic was discussed during a recent Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout.
The usage of GPT-3 tools is up for discussion in the SEO community, whether they’re acceptable from Google’s view.
As per Mueller, AI-generated content falls into the category of auto-generated content, which might result in a manual penalty.
Unfortunately, without the help of human reviewers, Google’s systems may be unable to recognize AI-generated content.
As we’ll see later in this article, AI writing tools have practical uses, and many reputable firms use them without trouble.
Let’s start with Mueller’s response to a query concerning Google’s attitude toward using these tools.
Google’s Webmaster Guidelines prohibit the use of automatically generated content.
Google’s perspective on auto-generated content has consistently been clear, as Mueller points out:
“For us, these would, essentially, still fall into the category of automatically generated content, which we’ve had in the Webmaster Guidelines since almost the beginning.
And people have been automatically generating content in lots of different ways. And for us, if you’re using machine learning tools to generate your content, it’s essentially the same as shuffling words around, looking up synonyms, or doing the translation tricks that people used to do. Those kinds of things.
My suspicion is maybe the quality of content is a little bit better than the old school tools, but for us, it’s still automatically generated content, and that means for us, it’s still against the Webmaster Guidelines. So we would consider that to be spam.”
Is it possible for Google to detect AI-generated content?
Can Google spot the difference between human-written content and machine-written content?
Mueller makes no assertions regarding Google automatically detecting AI-written content.
However, if Google’s webspam team discovers it, they are entitled to take action.
“I can’t claim that. But for us, if we see that something is automatically generated, then the webspam team can take action on that.
And I don’t know how the future will evolve there, but I imagine, like, with any other of these technologies, there will be a little bit of a cat and mouse game, where sometimes people will do something, and they get away with it, and then the webspam team catches up and solves that issue on a broader scale.
From our recommendation, we still see it as automatically generated content. I think over time; maybe this is something that will evolve in that it will become more of a tool for people. Kind of like you would use machine translation as a basis for creating a translated version of a website, but you still work through it manually.
And maybe over time, these AI tools will evolve in that direction that you use them to be more efficient in your writing or make sure that you’re writing correctly, like the spelling and the grammar checking tools, which are also based on machine learning. But I don’t know what the future brings.”
Google, according to Mueller, does not take into account how AI writing tools are used.
He says that using them in any form is considered spam.
“Currently, it’s all against the webmaster guidelines. So from our point of view, if we were to run across something like that, if the webspam team were to see it, they would see it as spam.”
See the video below to hear his entire response:
English Google SEO office-hours from April 1, 2022
“Media, universities, and other organizations are using artificial intelligence for research automation and cross-referencing, crawling and classifying content in various languages to identify emerging trends, generating article and paper summaries, fact-checking, crunching data, and even writing full articles.”
Mueller said using AI can help content creators overcome vocabulary challenges and increase the quality of their writing.
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