Google's new position and policy for AI text and content [2024]

Google recently released a blog post on their Search Central platform that clarifies their stance on AI-generated content.

Written by
Daniel Højris Bæk
Calendar Icon - Dark X Webflow Template
April 24, 2024

We have already, over the last couple of months, covered how Google has updated and made its position on AI content more clear.

Even so, many SEOs have continued to argue that Google is against AI.

And anyone using AI for content generation will face penalties.

Now this discussion can be put to rest, as Google have posted a whole blog post in their Google Search Central and making it clear that AI content is ok.

Let's review the takeaways and how to interpret the new policies and Google stand.

Content of the Google Policies blog post

I believe this Google statement is the best, to sum up, the position (and what I have been arguing so far):

[Google is] rewarding high-quality content, however it is produced

Google in the blog post highlight that they do not care how content is being produced.

The Google blog post on AI-content in they Google Search Central

And that even human-generated content can be spammy in the same manor that one could argue AI content sometimes can be.

For example, about 10 years ago, there were understandable concerns about a rise in mass-produced yet human-generated content.

No one would have thought it reasonable for us to declare a ban on all human-generated content in response. Instead, it made more sense to improve our systems to reward quality content, as we did.

The focus is on rewarding the quality of content, rather than how it is produced.

It's also nice to see that Google, by this, once and for all, rebukes the misunderstanding that the John Mueller statements lead to.

The quote by John Mueller on 'SEO office-hours' in April 2022 that lead to the confusion.

What type of AI content will then get a penalty?

The wording that Google use to highlight the type of AI content that is against Google AI guidelines is  content that "game search engine rankings" and "manipulating ranking in search results".

They instead emphasize that one should focus on "content created primarily for people".

As SEO professional this seems a big vague or at least a bit unclear.

We all to some degree in my view try to game the search engines and ensure our content will rank higher in Google.

Google in the blog post link to their spam policies where the term "Spammy automatically-generated content" is outlined as follows;

  1. Text that makes no sense to the reader but contains search keywords
  2. Text translated by an automated tool without human review or curation before publishing
  3. Text generated through automated processes without regard for quality or user experience
  4. Text generated using automated synonymizing, paraphrasing, or obfuscation techniques
  5. Text generated from scraping feeds or search results
  6. Stitching or combining content from different web pages without adding sufficient value

Unless you use very bad AI-generating platforms and techniques, I believe you disregard  #1 about AI texts that make no sense.

This is a leftover from the time when people used content spinners to create endless random garbage texts.

So if we use these to evaluate AI content, I think we can translate it into;

  • You need to add a human touch
  • You need to focus on high quality instead of a lot of low-quality
  • You need to enrich the AI text in some ways (perspective, examples etc)
  • You should not just have the AI rewrite existing text

So if I should make examples of what not to do it would be;

  • Getting the AI to write the article, based directly on another article about the topic
  • Automatic translation of this blog post into multiple languages without review if it were correctly translated

Still where it might be a bit unclear is where the term "adding sufficient value" is used or "without regard for quality or user experience".

Eg. if I used AI tools that are made to generate high-quality content or add examples from different other articles, is it then ok?

What type of AI content should you generate?

So what type of content should you try to generate with AI assistance?

In short, you should try to meet the searchers' search intent.

"Our focus on the quality of content, rather than how content is produced, is a useful guide that has helped us deliver reliable, high-quality results to users for years."

Google's ranking systems aim to reward original, reliable content.

Therefore, regardless of whether or not AI is involved in the content creation process, it is crucial to evaluate the content in terms of Who, How, and Why it is produced.

And then your writing should be centered around the Google E-E-A-T principles of expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.  

Understanding Google E-E-A-T

Google's E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness) is a principle used to score content on websites to assess the credibility of the content and its website.

Recently, an extra "E" for Experience was added to E-A-T, making it E-E-A-T.

  • expertise
  • experience
  • authoritativeness
  • trustworthiness

These factors are used to determine the quality of content and to ensure that websites provide accurate, reliable, and trustworthy content.

E-E-A-T is centered around trust and helps to evaluate the performance of the search ranking systems, making sure that the content is unique and beneficial for people.

To improve E-E-A-T score, it is essential to create original and helpful content, avoid duplicating content, and include relevant and high-quality images and videos to enhance the user experience and credibility of the blog.

It is also crucial to focus on adding a personal touch by including your own experience and insights in your content and to ensure that your content is written by experts in the field and is authoritative and trustworthy.

Examples of AI-generated content that meet Google's guidelines

So an example of AI-generated content that I believe is in line with the AI guidelines is this very article you read now.

It might come as a surprise, but AI content does not necessarily just mean wall of texts, simple topics and 100% automated.

As discussed in this article on 'AI-generated content' or 'automated writing' can cover a range of different use cases of AI.

At its most basic level, automated writing software can refer to any type of tool that helps to streamline the writing process.
This includes tools such as
grammar checkers, spell checkers, and text expanders.

This also highlights why Google cannot be against AI content, as it will be almost impossible to define an draw a line between AI-content and non-AI generated content.

Eg. something where part of it, a headline or a human-written text that's been improved, spell-checker or SEO-optimised are all examples of AI-content.

In the case of this very blog post you are currently reading I have used AI for;

  • headline optimization
  • competitor benchmarking
  • summarising
  • finding relevant topics to cover
  • writing of parts of the text
  • spell-checking
  • paraphrasing badly written sentences
  • SEO scoring
  • outbound link identification (many competitors point to 'Google Search Essentials')
  • hero-image generation (yes, images are also AI content)

And in regards to following the Google E-E-A-T, this very section you read now was something an AI pointed out I should include.

Another example that would fall into the category of what many will think of when thinking of AI content is this blog post 'Automated Writing Software - The Pros and Cons' where the main text is generated by AI.

An excerpt from my mainly AI generated blog post

After initial AI generation, I review and edit with "my human touch and perspective added" as well as try to optimize it to become a high-quality article for the ones that want to understand the PROs and CONs of automated writing.

What are the implications of violating Google's position for AI content?

So what are the risks associated with not following Google's guidelines for AI content?

The "classic penalty" from Google is downranking the pages positions in the search results.

The more extreme penalty is whole blacklisting domains.

Normally we experience these penalties in the following cases;

Downranking in SERPs

Over-optimization: If a website uses black hat SEO tactics to excessively optimize their content for certain keywords, it can trigger a penalty from Google.

For example, if a website repeatedly uses the same keyword in their content or stuffing their pages with irrelevant keywords, Google may penalize them by reducing their search engine rankings.

Thin content: If a website has low-quality, shallow, or duplicate content, it can trigger a penalty. For example, if a website has pages with very little content or pages with content copied from other websites, Google may penalize them by reducing their search engine rankings.

Blacklisting of domains

Link schemes: If a website is found to be engaging in link schemes, such as buying or selling links, it can trigger an extreme penalty. In such cases, Google may blacklist the entire domain, making it virtually impossible to rank in search results.

Malware and phishing: If a website is infected with malware or is found to be involved in phishing scams, it can trigger an extreme penalty. Google will blacklist the domain in such cases, as they want to ensure the safety and security of their users.

Examples of penalties

I do not have any good examples of penalties being provided based on AI content (please email me if you know of some), but here are some of the general examples of companies that have been penalized by Google for not following its guidelines:

Interflora: In 2013, the flower delivery service Interflora was penalized by Google for using advertorials to manipulate its search engine rankings. As a result, Interflora's website was removed from the search results for several days.

BMW: In 2006, BMW was caught using "doorway pages" to rank for keywords it wouldn't otherwise have been able to. As a result, the company's German website was removed from Google's search results for several days.

J.C. Penney: In 2011, J.C. Penney was caught using "black hat" SEO tactics (in this case link-schemes) to manipulate its search engine rankings. As a result, the company's website was removed from Google's search results for several days. In 2011, was penalized by Google for offering discounts to university websites in exchange for links back to its site. The company's website was removed from Google's search results for several days.

Aligning AI Text For Content Quality

In conclusion, here are some points to bear in mind from Google's policy blog post.

  1. Produce original, high-quality, people-first content demonstrating qualities of E-E-A-T (expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness).
  2. Remember that not all use of automation, including AI, is spam, and that automation has been used to create helpful content.
  3. Recognize that poor-quality content isn't a new challenge for Google, and that its systems work to surface high-quality information from reliable sources.
  4. Evaluate content in terms of Who, How, and Why, in relation to how it is produced, regardless of whether it is AI-generated content or not.
  5. Consider having accurate author bylines when readers would reasonably expect it, such as to any content where someone might think, "Who wrote this?".
  6. Add AI or automation disclosures when it would be reasonably expected.

Google's new position and policy for AI text and content [2024]

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.