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Cracking Down on Content Spam: Preparing for Google's SEO Algorithm Updates

December 29, 2023By Kyle Steinberg

Topics: SEO, Artificial Intelligence, Opinion

With the launch of Gemini completed Google has to divert it's attention to the monster ChatGPT & Gemini created. Learn why and how you should to be cautious with AI generated content.

AI's Impact on SEO

AI is revolutionizing every industry, and SEO marketing is no exception. As time has gone on specific tools like Jasper, Writesonic, etc. have taken content generation to another level. However, much of this is spam or just poorly written and the SEO landscape should be prepared for a massive shakeup.

The biggest issue with purely AI generated content is the very system its built on. Tokens in this case are at its core what the AI thinks is the next most likely token to follow the previous and so on. So it's very easy to tell as the content seems very high level, bland, predictable, and buzz-wordy. 

Google's search algorithms have one job, serve the user the most relevant page(s) based on their intent & query. Now that's a hyper dumbed down version of if but you get the idea. Unfortunately, the current algorithms struggle to differentiate AI spam content and Human content. Thus, creating a sea of spammy chaos on SERPs.

The Risks of Using AI-generated Content

Most marketers use AI in some level, from brainstorming to content generation but using content poses risks to your SEO. Some of the risks include:

- Poor quality: AI-generated content may lack the depth, coherence, and relevance. The lack of depth is typically the most apparent unless it hallucinates a response.

- Duplicate content: AI algorithms generate content by forming answers on a "next likely token" basis. This can lead to duplication issues and the always fan favorite, trapped in a repetitive loop.

- Unnatural language: Hastily crafted AI-generated content sounds unnatural. While they'll have they keywords needed to rank the actual copy can sound nonsensical. 

By understanding and mitigating these risks, you can take measures protect your hard earned SEO rankings.

Adapting to Google's Future Algorithm Updates

If there is one thing SEO professionals can agree on, it's Google Algorithm updates are "events". Google updates their search algorithms every 2-3 months but can easily go up or down depending on what they see. Now that so much of their AI build team is "freer" with Gemini released their Search Algorithm will undoubtably be the next to get the AI treatment. 

AI generated content is everywhere in SERPs and the issue focuses more on the quantity aspects. While Google prioritizes user intent and experience what the search engine loves is more and more content. This is what is gives these poor AI generated pieces their power.

I haven't been doing this for decades or anything but I am a student of history. Google has a very long history of altering their search engine algorithms to counter rises in spam. While its taken different forms over the years like affiliate sites, next target is AI generated content. Here is an example of the Florida Update.

Flat out AI content wont be punished just the stuff that sounds bad. Unfortunately, Google also has a history of catch innocent sites in these updates. Sometime in 2024 Google will release its AI-powered search engine, and if history has told us anything, sites caught with this content will have their SEO crushed.

Best Practices for SEO-friendly Content Creation

SEO ranking is insanely easy to lose and incredibly difficult to earn back. It's just  a trust system really. Creating SEO-friendly content is that difficult especially with AI. However, you do need to provide more information to get those "safer" content responses.

Conducting keyword research identifies relevant keywords and incorporate them into your prompts. Focus on long-tail keywords that have lower competition and higher search intent.

Write for your audience, human. So much of our lives will be getting the AI treatment. That doesn't mean people want to read like robots. Triple check your content, if you think it sounds bland, then it does.

The worst blogs are unstructured blogs. AI typically does a good job of this but if no direction was given it may not structure the content into a proper blog format. Headlines, sub-heads, body copy, like you would a school report.

Images and videos really let blogs stand out more and have way more engagement. AI generated images and video are the easiest for any system to identify. Using a raw image or video produced by any AI should be a big no-no. If it helped refine a phot or something like that your in the clear.

SEO is a hard fought battle. You can lose a mile in a second but only gain 100ft in 3 months. Protect your SEO.

Quality Content is Winning Content

My least favorite part of the AI era is all the 10x, 50x, your work talk. AI can absolutely cut down on production time but to 10x your work in this field often means 10x "meh" content. In this AI era quality of your content will be one of the most weighted factors.

Great content will always win in the long run even if they are down now. Quality content prevails for long periods of time even to points past their relevancy. You should be able to read or watch any piece of your content and felt like you learned something or felt a certain way. If you didn't try again.

Link out to other relevant sources. AI content a lot of time seems to forget about linking to supporting or un-supporting content. Linking still plays a vital role in SEO rankings, while it's not a "Top 5" factor it can be the icing on the cake that ranks you over generic AI content.

AI is a powerful tool that we as marketers should use to magnify our skills our fill in the gaps. Using AI to maximize output may be a winning solution now but when the new search engines come online and crush poor AI content where will you be?

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