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March 2024: Google algorithm update - A crackdown on low-quality AI generated content

28 Mar 2024

Early this month Google released an update to its algorithm to address increasing incidences of spam that have been affecting the quality of search results on their platform. Their objective is to continue delivering the most useful content and help people connect with high-quality websites. Their latest update works towards that objective. Let’s jump into what the key changes are and how it may impact the search ranking of your site.

Improved quality ranking
One of the updates to Google’s algorithm is to improve their core ranking system. Effectively, serving to better detect spammy content from websites that previously used tactics to circumnavigate Google’s spam detection.  

New spam policies
With this update Google have rolled out some new spam policies to keep low quality content out of search results, including expired websites. Leading search engine publication Search Engine Journal reports that Google has deindexed (i.e. removed from their search results) thousands of websites, specifically targeting low-quality content and AI-generated spam.

Websites with AI generated content
One of the most interesting parts of Google’s latest core update is its treatment of AI generated content. The majority of sites most impacted by this update contained very high levels of low-quality AI-generated content that had not been subject to human review.

For many content creators AI can be used as a time saving tool to assist in the content creation process. Provided these tools are used responsibly, and not to mass produce spam, then most website owners will have nothing to worry about in respect of this update.

To be clear, Google is not targeting sites that have used AI to assist in delivering rich, unique and well written content. It’s the sites that are producing large amounts of low-quality AI generated content that are in the firing line.

Despite this latest update, our advice on creating content hasn’t changed. Let’s take a look at the top three ways to improve your site’s chances of improved visibility in Google’s search results.  

Create original content
By creating your own content you’re ensuring that it is original. Original content will pass Google’s spam checks and result in your site being indexed on Google Search. That doesn’t mean you can’t use AI to assist in this process, but it does mean you should tread very carefully if you think you can produce AI content at scale with the aim of manipulating Google’s search results.

Be helpful
If your content is of high quality and provides useful, helpful information to the consumer then Google will likely reward your site with searchability in search results.

Pay attention to user experience
Does your site offer a good user experience, or does it feel like it was created for search engines instead of your readers? Build and maintain your site with the user in mind. Google is smart enough detect the difference.

AI assistants offers a great way to save time by generating content quickly. But like most shortcuts there is often a catch. Google is clear here, they want websites to be useful to humans, they’re not interested in dishing up websites to the top of their search results that contain a bunch of content written by robots. Avoid too much automated content and showcase a human presence in your website. Stick to this strategy and you’ll be noticed (and appreciated), not just by Google but by your audience too.

Written by
Tamron gained extensive experience in digital marketing from many years working for New Zealand’s largest corporates to more recent years working on his own enterprise. His business offered a complete array of services from professional photography/videography through to website development and digital marketing. These experiences have equipped Tamron with a broad set of skills to employ here at Apex Digital.

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