Wednesday, February 8, 2023
At Google, we've long believed in the power of AI to transform the ability to deliver helpful information. In this post, we'll share more about how AI-generated content fits into our long-standing approach to show helpful content to people on Search.
Rewarding high-quality content, however it is produced
Google's ranking systems aim to reward original, high-quality content that demonstrates qualities of what we call E-E-A-T: expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. We share more about this in our How Search Works site.
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.
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.
Focusing on rewarding quality content has been core to Google since we began. It continues today, including through our ranking systems designed to surface reliable information and our helpful content system. The helpful content system was introduced last year to better ensure those searching get content created primarily for people, rather than for search ranking purposes.
How automation can create helpful content
When it comes to automatically generated content, our guidance has been consistent for years. Using automation—including AI—to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results is a violation of our spam policies.
Google has many years of experience dealing with automation being used in an attempt to game search results. Our spam-fighting efforts—including our SpamBrain system—will continue, however spam is produced.
This said, it's important to recognize that not all use of automation, including AI generation, is spam. Automation has long been used to generate helpful content, such as sports scores, weather forecasts, and transcripts. AI has the ability to power new levels of expression and creativity, and to serve as a critical tool to help people create great content for the web.
This is in line with how we've always thought about empowering people with new technologies. We'll continue taking this responsible approach, while also maintaining a high bar for information quality and the overall helpfulness of content on Search.
Our advice for creators considering AI-generation
As explained, however content is produced, those seeking success in Google Search should be looking to produce original, high-quality, people-first content demonstrating qualities E-E-A-T.
Creators can learn more about the concept of E-E-A-T on our Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content help page. In addition, we've updated that page with some guidance about thinking in terms of Who, How, and Why in relation to how content is produced.
Evaluating your content in this way, whether you're using AI-generated content or not, will help you stay on course with what our systems seek to reward.
To further help, here are some answers to questions you may have about AI content and Google Search:
Is AI content against Google Search's guidelines?
Appropriate use of AI or automation is not against our guidelines. This means that it is not used to generate content primarily to manipulate search rankings, which is against our spam policies.
Why doesn't Google Search ban AI content?
Automation has long been used in publishing to create useful content. AI can assist with and generate useful content in exciting new ways.
How will Google Search prevent poor quality AI content from taking over search results?
Poor quality content isn't a new challenge for Google Search to deal with. We've been tackling poor quality content created both by humans and automation for years. We have existing systems to determine the helpfulness of content. Other systems work to elevate original news reporting. Our systems continue to be regularly improved.