Two vintage robot toys with a google logo in the middle.

High-quality content has always been at the heart of what makes Google tick. In the last couple of years, they’ve begun ramping up their efforts to penalize websites that publish low-quality content culminating in their most recent algorithm update.

In one of our previous NAV43 articles, we looked at the new “Helpful Content Update” that Google rolled out in August 2022.

This algorithm update is specifically targeting the implementation of E.A.T. best practices, as well as scrutinizing content generated by AI tools. 

Is this update specifically to battle AI content?

The popularity of AI content creation tools has skyrocketed in the marketing industry over the last couple of years.

Whether it is Jasper, CopyAI, or even a tool like Frase.io, AI tools have become invaluable in any competitive content creation strategy. 

A huge contributing factor to the success of these tools is that they are dedicated to constant updates and improvements. It’s getting a lot harder for internet users to detect what content is A.I. generated, and what is written by a human writer.  

This does not however mean that Google can’t detect AI-generated content. 

At the moment a lot of industry experts are running tests to see how google interprets the AI content they produce, but I would say it’s safe to say if you are relying completely on AI content you are in for a wild ride with this new “Helpful Content Update’.

Is Google punishing sites for using AI?

To think of this update as a direct punishment for using AI would be a mistake.

Think of it more as a way to keep content editors in check to make sure they are properly editing their content, whether it was generated through human writers or an AI content writing tool.

Google’s main focus is and has always been to deliver the best and most helpful content to their users based on a specific search quarry. 

If this is achieved through using an AI writing tool as opposed to a human writer, Google is totally fine with that.

At the moment, however, using an AI content writing tool 100% for your entire content creation process does not deliver strong enough results to pass Google’s high threshold of “people-first content”.

This new update is Google’s way of incentivizing content creators to approach the quality of their content from a people-first perspective. The update is meant to encourage content creators to combine quality content with Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E.A.T.) signals, to combat what could be a less than great user experience outcome when using AI-generated content.

Understandably, it’s tempting to consider using AI for your entire content creation process. Imagine the potential of generating hundreds of articles a month without having to manage a bunch of writers.

Truth be told, there definitely are some short-lived benefits to following this approach. If you put out a large amount of purely AI-generated content, in the beginning, Google is not going to be able to determine if that content is user-focused or not. 

This huge amount of content getting published in a short amount of time is going to send topical authority signals to Google that will probably spike some of your rankings. 

But in the end, eventually, all of this content will be weeded out as not helpful. This scenario is exactly what the new update is all about. 

Although you might see some initial gains, you will in time see some sharp declines, and potentially some penalties when following the 100% AI strategy.

How can marketers effectively leverage AI?

So if generating hundreds of articles with an AI tool is not the way to go, how can marketers still effectively leverage AI as part of their content process while at the same time adhering to the new update guidelines?

In short; this update means there needs to be more of a focus on a strong content editing process.

A good way to do this is by making AI tools available to your human writers to allow them to

amplify their storytelling and unique voices.

Content editors will then in turn use AI tools in the editing process to fact-check and make sure the content produced is helpful, and accurate as per Google’s guidelines.

By utilizing AI in this way, you are still saving a lot of time during the writing stage, but also ensuring you put out content that is helpful and valuable to the end user.

Make AI part of your marketing toolkit

Please keep in mind that AI writing tools are merely one set of tools in a marketing specialist’s toolkit. At NAV43 we use a variety of tools to help us achieve consistent success for our clients. 

We effectively utilize tools for:

  • In-depth keyword research
  • Keyword clustering 
  • Grouping keywords together on the base of semantics
  • Leveraging the hub and spoke method as part of our content strategy
  • Keyword performance monitoring
  • Scalable brief creation

Our writers and editors work in sync to leverage these new AI tools to improve efficiency and amplify their own skill sets, with the focus always on creating compelling content that achieves SEO success.

The big thing Google wants content creators to focus on with this new update is to make sure your content is compelling and provides value to your user but also keeps SEO best practices in mind.

Final thoughts

AI content creation tools are likely here to stay. They are very useful tools. They are cost-effective, and fast, and allow a content manager to automate certain parts of the content creation process that is less user experience focused with great results. The trick is to use it in conjunction with the new update guidelines to ensure your content is helpful and adds value to your reader.

Here at NAV43, we have a team of experienced writers that leverage AI tools effectively to create content that is focused on a superb user experience and achieve SEO results.

The digital marketing landscape is shifting at a tremendous speed. At NAV43 we are consistently testing new tools and ways of doing things to stay ahead of the curve. Reach out to [email protected] if you are looking to speak to a specialist about your SEO strategy.

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