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Google Takes Aim at AI Content - New Search Update Targets SEO-optimized Spammy Websites

After a long debate on whether Google allows AI content or not, there is some direct hint at what it does. For websites using AI content to boost SEO ranking, it’s finally time to switch to organic methods and use AI content checker Originality AI to be sure that the content is 100% human-like. The top-of-the-list advice for them is to use human content that adds value to the search engine results. 


Since the arrival of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, there has been an unprecedented rise in the number of AI writers. People use them extensively to create blogs and other types of web content with the main idea of posting regularly and creating long-form content and with it, manipulating SEO rankings. Both regular posting and long-form content matter in a big way to Google ranking.


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What do users look for on Google and what the latest update is all about?


Users look for many key things on Google - some of them being product recommendations, user reviews, product/service deals, how-to and DIY ideas for common problems, solutions to common queries, and discounts on things they plan to buy. AI text generators can be used to produce content in big volumes. This means search engines now return low-quality or spammy websites. All these websites don’t deliver the expert reviews or useful promotions they promise, despite their high ranking which they have gained by posting mass volumes of content.


That’s all set to change with Google's latest search update, the company has recently announced. Google has announced a search quality update. This latest update will specifically focus on improving the search quality ranking of websites. It will update Google Search’s spam policies mainly to target spammy websites that are based on AI content. 


Google’s new policy aims to keep low-quality and fake content out of search results. For example, some people make use of existing domain ranking and backlinks of expired websites (usually businesses or blogs that are no longer functional). These websites are repurposed as spam repositories by new owners. Another example of it is obituary spam that Google’s latest update is targeting.


AI content to be penalized by Google?


Overall, like many previous updates, this one too intends to improve Google’s ranking system. It will downrank pages that have been created for search engines instead of for people and as per company updates, it seems that the AI content is the main target here. So the websites that have a poor user experience or have been purposefully designed to match a very specific search query will be impacted. As per Google estimates, this new update and its prior efforts will be able to reduce low-quality and unoriginal (basically AI content) by as much as 40%.


Yet again, Google has not explicitly mentioned the terms ‘artificial intelligence’ or ‘AI’ directly. But if you want a very specific mention, this core update post on Search Central does. The post clearly says that the core update intends to target content at scale. This means any text produced by AI content tools to manipulate rankings will be on target. AI-generated content with this aim equals scaled abuse. 


Although GPT content is difficult to identify in some cases, Google has a set of parameters to make the work easy for its algorithms. Overall, to know if the text is 100% human-created or with AI tools, or if it’s a combination of the two (including AI text humanizer), the company will use several methods that are highly advanced. 

This simply means it’s time to switch to human content and use the best AI content checkers if you spin fake text with the help of GPT tools, no matter which one you use, free or paid. Using AI content detection tools and Semrush for SEO is still the safest option to gain organic rankings and keep your audience engaged with your blogs and articles.



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Use of AI writing tools to manipulate SEO ranking


Google will also focus on the abusive behavior of creating content at scale to boost SEO rankings. This will impact web pages that pretend to offer answers to popular search queries and rank high for that but don’t actually provide much value to the end user. This is impacting the expectations of the user and also the ranking of other good quality websites that produce human content that adds real value to the searcher’s queries. 


So it does not matter which AI content writer tool you use to generate content at scale and what results it shows in AI content detectors, Google’s algorithms have always been capable and are now even more advanced to identify AI content and even humanized content.


Highly popular AI content detection tools Originality.ai and Copyleaks produce almost perfect results to show you whether the content you are checking is AI-generated or not. These top-rated AI content checker tools have the ability to identify even the smallest parts of a large piece.


The updates will also address another type of content that it has always focused on – the one that is primarily created by humans but is of low quality and doesn’t add much value for users. The ultimate goal is reducing the presence of content in search results that lack originality and do not provide users the results they should ideally get.


Website reputation abuse as per Google new update


Google’s changes will also address ‘site reputation abuse,’ which is when a website that typically features valuable and relevant content but also hosts low-quality content from third parties on their domain. They do this to confuse users and lean on the site’s existing reputation.


Google offers an example of how a health and fitness website may also include travel reviews to gain ranking benefits and appeal to a wider audience base. This will have a direct impact on numerous product review sites that seemingly no longer do real hands-on testing, just pretend that they do.


So, a health and fitness site talking about travel gear reviews or a software review site reviewing home décor or gardening products is set to be on the receiving side with this policy update. This will also put a control on backlink sellers who post any random topic with some section in their article talking about the backlink buyer’s product or service.


Regardless of how relevant the post is to the host site, the content still comes out as spammy. Backlink selling and buying are most common on these spammy sites which ratchet up their article numbers and length with AI tools for content generation and boost their DA (domain authority) through PBNs and other black-hat backlink strategies.

An example of this is My Zeo, a sleep coach company that closed down in 2013. Their website, which has now been repurposed, is still active with backlinks from all top websites including CNN, Business Insider, ESPN, NY Times, etc. with its total backlinks counting 40k+ from 5.2k+ referring domains. The website now sells backlinks (paid posts) and accepts posts from every niche, some even those that good websites outrightly reject.


Post for YouTube creators and marketers - Inside the mind of a video marketing champ


Genuine content creators are hit most by the use of AI techniques to rank high on Google


The issue of scaled abuse and manipulations in search rankings was recently covered by a German report that found that Google’s Search quality was objectively getting worse. The report was based on an analysis of thousands of search terms over the year. Search marketers and SEO specialists have also agreed with this assessment. They say that with the help of AI content, the scammers are ahead of Google search engine algorithms and they are winning by a fair distance.


Meanwhile, good-quality websites that focus on a niche market are hurt by the increases in SEO spam. They see themselves losing the race as they are pushed down in results despite their human-led, expert product research and high-quality non-AI content.

Some time ago, HouseFresh published a detailed article on how Google is killing independent sites like theirs by ranking AI-generated content or fake reviews that are produced by content agencies to whom the production process is outsourced. It talks about how product recommendations from big media publishers like Real Simple, Popular Science, Buzzfeed, and many other big websites were outranking its reviews on Google, even though they are not legitimate editorial reviews. Many of them cover low-quality products, stock images from freelancers, and content creation sourced from agencies and still manage to rank on top.


Just some time ago, Futurism published an article on how a big digital brand like Sports Illustrated publishes fake AI content for product recommendations. They rank on top with it because of their website authority. When questioned by Futurism, the fake content was immediately removed by the magazine.



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High-authority sites are the biggest users of AI content for SEO ranking boost


If Google successfully addresses these problems with its search quality update and is successful in tackling AI-generated content, especially fake product reviews that are mass-produced and published by high-authority digital publishers, it will certainly have a significant impact on how consumers perceive the usefulness of Google Search. Use of AI content is widespread and within a year it has flooded many websites as it offers them an easy way to post long-form articles regularly.


But rising awareness levels mean people have become increasingly concerned about the quality of content. Publishers are seeing diminishing clicks to websites and it's the right time that Google works on it seriously. Google has already been on the receiving side due to its slow progress in AI programs and also because of unexpected results from its AI model Gemini (re-branded from Bard).


The way people search is changing with AI models being integrated in search engines and it’s just the beginning. With many more advancements expected in the near future, it’s time for Google to step up and keep the searches alive and while doing this, also keep SEO relevant.


For publishers, it’s time to agree that AI articles might have worked for them so far but now they need to switch to good old methods of text creation. That means they need to give up AI text generators, whether it’s tools that create content from scratch or tools that help them humanize AI text.


Human content that showcases quality and is based on genuine experiences will stay ahead of AI content and that’s clear from the latest SEO ranking updates from Google. It's also a good idea to use AI content detection tool Originality AI to be sure that the published text is 100% human or not.


Let’s answer some common questions about AI content use and what Google plans to bring forward to control it.





What is AI in content?


AI in writing is the use of AI tools like Jasper, Rytr, Quillbot, SEO.ai, ChatGPT, Google Gemini, etc to generate content. Although AI in content includes many key tasks like ideation (brainstorming ideas and topic suggestions) and editing and optimization (plagiarism check, proofreading, use of keywords, etc.), here we are talking about the generation of blogs and other forms of web content (basically the writing part) that helps your website gain ranks in Google search engine.


How do you write AI content?


AI writing means the use of AI content creation tools. These tools use AI algorithms to analyze a large amount of data and text and they use this analysis to generate content that is informative, creative, and optimized for search engines. To create AI content, you first provide a prompt or topic or maybe a set of keywords to write the content. This could be any form of text – from a full article to a social media caption, email newsletter to sales copy.


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Can you really detect AI content?


Yes, there are some great tools that work on advanced AI algorithms to identify GPT content. They are programmed and constantly updated to detect content from various AI content writer tools. They are highly accurate and show detailed results like which particular parts have been written by AI tools, and by which method (GPT, Gemini, etc). The best names in this regard are Originality.ai and Copyleaks.


These best AI text detection tools deeply analyze AI text on various parameters like grammar, structure, and coherence and go further to check statistical patterns and source analysis to provide the best results. Originality.ai AI text checker is highly popular and considered an indispensable part of content creation and the overall SEO process.


Does Google reject AI content or deindex such websites?


Google doesn't outrightly say that it rejects AI content but as seen in recent updates, it is certainly targeting sites that are based on AI generated text. A detailed report by Originality.ai shows that it has recently targeted thousands of websites that have been manipulating SEO rankings with AI content and other spammy techniques. Some had 100% and some were just single-digit AI content. So it’s clear that Google has no liking for fake content.


How does Google know if the content is AI-generated (GPT text)?


Like its SEO algorithms, Google doesn't lay out the exact methods used to detect AI-generated content in the open. That’s because it will allow people to use manipulative techniques to rank high. Some of the certain ways Google uses to identify AI written content include language patterns and style analysis, semantic coherence, source and context, metadata, and coding structures. 


It’s important to note that AI content detection and AI content creation tools are in a race to beat each other. Writing tools might claim that they can produce undetectable AI content but that’s not a solid claim given that AI content detection tools like Originlaity.ai and Copyleaks produce outstanding results. To add to that, there’s Google which has its own set of algorithms to identify fake content.



How do I pass AI content detector?


It's important to understand that your goal shouldn't be to bypass detection. Human-written articles and other forms of text have always ranked high based on their ability to engage your audience. You could use AI content tools for ideas and SEO optimization but experts advice is to not to use AI tools.


Using tools to humanize AI content or spending endless time to manually humanize fake content means you end up spending more time and effort than you would on developing 100% human text. Your idea to escape AI detection is not the ideal approach if you want to see your site ranking high organically.


If you will use GPT content, no matter how many backlinks you create or work successfully on other technical parameters, your SEO strategy will be flat.


What are the ways to humanize AI content for free?


In case you have decided to use AI text generation tools to produce blogs and other web content, here are some ideas to humanize AI content for free:


Work on sentence structure - AI often gets stuck in repetitive sentence patterns. Work on it by using a mix of short and long sentences and variations in sentence starters.


Use synonyms and transitions – Chuck out all the overused words with synonyms. Use natural transitions between ideas to create a human-like flow. You need to ensure that your new words do not change the meaning of sentence in some way.


Use real examples, anecdotes, and humor – This is the most natural thing to include in AI texts to make it look human. Where appropriate, use real-world examples, anecdotes, or even a touch of humor. Use current data and related statistics to give your writing a more engaging and relatable look.


Fact-checking, sources, and credibility - AI content is infamous for giving out wrong details on various topics. You should double-check all information for accuracy from reputable sources and also cite credible sources.



How can you bypass AI detection tools/checkers? 


If you are looking for ways to bypass AI content detection tools, you are working with a tricks mindset. This means you are not adding any value to the content and not working on SEO the way you ideally should. The advice here would be to focus on value, not tricks. 


The AI detection tools have become common and are continuously evolving. In the early days of SEO, plagiarism detection was a big deal but it was quickly tackled with the arrival of advanced plagiarism tools like Copyscape. It's the same for AI content now. It’s easily detectable with high-end tool Originality.ai. If you are using some free AI detection tool that keeps marking your fake content as human-written, then you need to try one of these advanced tools and face reality.


It’s again important to note that there are plenty of paid and free tools to humanize AI content but none of them offer the quality that you would expect. The use of wrong synonyms, forceful paraphrasing, and adding more irrelevant words are the common techniques they use to bypass AI text detection.


Try any free tool first to see how it works and you will be able to analyze this. Paid tools to bypass AI text detection work on similar algorithms - it’s just they are marketed well so our advice for you would be simple - either humanize AI content yourself or don’t do it at all and write fresh human articles.


Are AI content detectors accurate? If yes, then to what degree?


Yes, to a great extent. They are accurate to the extent that they’ll keep you safe from any unwanted problems that arise from using AI text. The accuracy of AI content detector Originality.ai is almost perfect. Some free AI content checker tools produce good results (not excellent) so to be on the safer side, it’s a good idea to go with the best tools. After all, there’s a lot at stake.


Your entire SEO efforts could be ruined in a matter of seconds if Google algorithms somehow detect and mark your website as spammy. It’s the best policy to use a premium tool to be 100% sure that your content is not AI – whether you have outsourced it to an agency or a freelancer or you write it by yourself. Always use the best AI detection tools and popular SEO tools like Semrush to stay ahead in the race.


Is Google penalizing or banning AI content in 2024?


We can easily ‘yes’ for an answer to this. based on several recent reports and Google’s updates, AI content will be penalized in some or the other way by the company. People are mass-producing content with the help of AI text generators and Google has termed it as abuse.


This outright manipulative technique to rank high in search engines has created a lot of noise and based on that, Google has made it clear that content at scale is nothing but scaled abuse. It’s also targeting websites that publish AI or fake product reviews, recommendations, and deals to manipulate SEO ranking and outdo genuine sites.