Google Genesis (AI-based news creation) is coming - and it's impacting SEOs

Google Genesis (AI-based news creation) is coming - and it's impacting SEOs. Learn about the tool and its implications for SEO professionals.

Written by
Daniel Højris Bæk
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April 24, 2024

Mentions of a new Google tool called "Genesis," which utilizes the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to generate news articles, are floating around.

Google Genesis apparently aims to assist journalists by automating certain tasks, allowing them to focus more on other aspects of their work.

One of the first media outlets to mention Google Genesis was The New York Times

While this development has sparked curiosity and concern within the industry, it presents some key takeaways for SEO professionals.

What is Google Genesis?

Google Genesis is a groundbreaking AI tool developed by Google that has the ability to generate news articles.

The tool uses advanced algorithms and machine learning to analyze information and create written content. It is designed to assist journalists by automating certain tasks, such as writing headlines or suggesting different writing styles, so they can have more time to focus on other aspects of their work.

What we know about Google Genesis

  1. Google Genesis is an AI tool developed by Google.
  2. It uses advanced algorithms and machine learning to generate news articles.
  3. The tool aims to assist journalists by automating certain tasks, such as writing headlines or suggesting different writing styles.
  4. Google Genesis has been demonstrated to news organizations like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and News Corp.
  5. Google is currently testing the tool, and its internal name is Genesis (so it's not publicly available yet).
  6. Google Genesis has sparked both curiosity and concern within the industry.
  7. Google Genesis is part of Google's efforts to utilize AI technology in various fields, including journalism.

Why is Google Genesis good news for SEOs?

The rise of Google Genesis brings positive news for SEO professionals as it indicates Google's acceptance and support for AI-generated content.

This reassures SEOs who may have been concerned about potential penalties for utilizing AI content. With the introduction of Google Genesis, SEO professionals can now confidently leverage the power of AI to create high-quality content more efficiently and effectively.

Moreover, the fact that Google has demonstrated Google Genesis to reputable news organizations like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and News Corp signifies Google's commitment to maintaining the quality and credibility of the content generated by this tool.

As an SEO expert, the release of Google Genesis clearly indicates that Google is not against AI-generated content. This opens up new avenues for SEO professionals to leverage the power of automation while maintaining quality and credibility within search engines. - Torbjørn Flensted, SEO Expert

This means that as long as SEO professionals adhere to Google's content guidelines, they can use AI-generated content without fearing penalties.

The CNET AI news case

The CNET case is a cautionary tale for the potential risks of relying on AI-generated news articles. I see this mentioned in many places where Google Genesis is being discussed.

Earlier this year, CNET faced significant backlash after using generative AI (without any public announcements) to produce articles, which resulted in factual errors and even instances of plagiarism.

After discovering that the posts were bot-written, critics of this initiative decried the move as an attempt to eliminate work for entry-level writers. They expressed concerns over the known inaccuracies of AI text generators. In response to the outcry, CNET's editor-in-chief Connie Guglielmo confirmed using AI in creating articles, insisting that every story had been fact-checked and edited by an experienced editor before publication.

However, it was quickly observed that the AI-produced articles contained several factual inaccuracies, despite Guglielmo's assurances.

One article offered an incorrect explanation of compound interest, wrongly suggesting that an initial deposit of $10,000 in a savings account earning 3% interest would yield $10,300 at the end of the year.

Another described loan repayments incorrectly, and the AI also provided a wrong definition of certificates of deposit. These errors brought to the fore a fundamental issue with AI text generators: they often fail to distinguish between fact and fiction, leading to glaring inaccuracies in the output.

Key issues include:

  • Inaccurate financial information: The AI-generated articles offered incorrect explanations for concepts like compound interest and how loan payments work. These inaccuracies could mislead less informed readers.
  • Lack of transparency: CNET initiated the AI-written article project without public acknowledgment, and the fact that the articles were AI-generated was originally hidden behind a human-sounding byline.
  • Risk to entry-level writers: Critics argue that allowing AI to generate articles could potentially eliminate jobs for entry-level writers, a development seen as harmful to journalism.
  • Potential for misinformation: AI text generators can struggle with discerning fact from fiction, which may generate content that includes factual inaccuracies. Despite assurances from CNET that AI-generated content is reviewed and fact-checked, several errors were identified.
  • Impact on the credibility of AI in journalism: These issues raise doubts about the reliability of AI in producing accurate and fact-based journalistic content, a growing concern as more media outlets experiment with AI-generated content.

In conclusion, the instances of inaccurate loan repayment descriptions and misguided definitions of financial terms highlight a critical flaw in AI text generators.

Further perspective

The emergence of Google Genesis brings both opportunities and concerns for SEO professionals.

On one hand, it signals Google's acceptance and support for AI-generated content, reassuring SEOs who may have been worried about penalties.

On the other hand, recent cases like CNET's use of AI-generated articles that contained factual errors raise concerns about the accuracy and credibility of AI-generated content.

Google Genesis (AI-based news creation) is coming - and it's impacting SEOs

This is an article written by:

+20 years of experience from various digital agencies. Passionate about AI (artificial intelligence) and the superpowers it can unlock. I had my first experience with SEO back in 2001, working at a Danish web agency.