Does Google Penalize AI Content? What You Need To Know

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The digital world is always abuzz about what Google’s next move will be, especially when it comes to artificial intelligence-generated content. Virtually overnight, millions are logging in to various AI tools to help them create custom content in a fraction of the time that writing from scratch would. It’s efficient, sure. But does Google penalize AI content? For that answer, you’ll need to understand the search giant’s latest core update. 

Does Google Penalize AI Content?

If you’re wondering, “Does Google penalize AI content?” the answer is nuanced. In short, yes, the search engine giant will soon begin cracking down hard on low-quality AI-generated content. In March, Google rolled out its core update, revealing algorithmic enhancements to improve search results by targeting spammy, unoriginal content. Google’s goal? To slash the amount of that low-quality content by 40%. 

At the heart of Google’s approach to search is the principle of rewarding high-quality content that serves the user’s needs and interests. Google’s algorithms are designed to sift through the vast expanse of online information, identifying content that demonstrates experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, or E-E-A-T. This commitment to quality is not contingent on the method of content creation — whether by humans or machines — but rather on the value the content delivers to the user. 

Google makes it clear in the core update that it does not penalize AI-generated content so long as it is done right. That means dot-coms need to stick to Google’s guidelines. Keep it valuable, and don’t be shady: AI-generated content that is deceptive, malicious, or intended to manipulate search engine rankings is against Google’s guidelines​. And Google warns that it’s watching out for content that’s just trying to game the system.

E-E-A-T and Search Intent: What Google’s After

You can call E-E-A-T-related content the golden rule of Google.

Perhaps it answers a question (What is the best time of year to travel to Barcelona?) or utilizes commentary or insights from a subject matter expert, which in turn leaves the reader smarter than before. 

Google has also updated its guidance to include considerations around the page experience, signaling the importance of not just what the content says, but how it is presented and accessed by users. This holistic view of content quality includes factors like page load speed, mobile-friendliness, and safe browsing.

For content creators navigating the complexities of SEO in the age of AI, the message is clear: Focus on delivering value. Whether leveraging AI for efficiency or crafting content manually, the priority should remain on producing content that enriches the user’s experience. By adhering to Google’s guidelines and focusing on quality, relevance, and user satisfaction, creators can align their content strategies with the evolving dynamics of search and continue to thrive in the digital ecosystem.

Changing Your Backlink Strategy

Google is also cracking down on the misuse of high-authority sites for backlinking low-quality content, intending to preserve the integrity of search results.

“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,” reads a statement from Google in the March 2024 update. “This could include sites created primarily to match very specific search queries.”

New guidelines set to roll out will target the exploitation of “do follow” links and the manipulation of expired domains to artificially boost rankings. These updates reflect Google’s ongoing efforts to ensure a trustworthy and high-quality search experience.

Google says it will roll out the crackdown on May 5.

Creating quality content while ensuring your website ranks shouldn’t be a hair-pulling experience. Triple7Marketing offers quality branded content, search engine optimization and search engine marketing with a carefully trained eye on factors like page load speed, mobile-friendliness, and safe browsing as part of our suite of services.

For a free consultation, contact us today! And, for more insights, industry trends, and updates, follow Triple7Marketing on Instagram, Facebook, X, and LinkedIn @TheTriple7Mark. Join our community of satisfied clients who have experienced success with Triple7Marketing.