You’ve seen AI content before. Most famously, when someone on Twitter forces a bot to watch 1,000 hours of a TV show, Presidential speeches, or movies in a certain genre and the bot automatically generates hilariously out-of-context results.
Why are we bringing these memes to your attention? What do they have to do with your business? You already know about AI content generators that are used to write copy. You may have even considered trying an AI content creation tool yourself to tackle the writing you need to do to promote your business.
Stop right there, because Google has come out against AI-generated content! In a recent “Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout” meeting, Google’s SEO guru John Mueller clarified that Google’s Webmaster Guidelines have declared AI generated content to be spam since the beginning. Noting that AI content tools are improving, he still explained a couple things of note:
1) Google’s position on AI generated content hasn’t changed. The search engine giant still considers AI content spam and will bury it, but …
2) He possibly revealed that AI-content can only be spotted by humans.
The second point is confusing, even for us. It seems to imply that Google won’t bury your content just because you use AI software to write it, but it’s still a no-no? Let’s take a closer look at the issue and give you some pointers on what you can do to keep yourself on Google’s good side.
Google’s Webmaster Guides
Right on Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, under their Quality guidelines, Google explicitly states they forbid automatically-generated content. Going into more detail, Google explained they’re trying to prevent site owners from abusing their search engine by chocking their content full of unreadable junk just to move up in the rankings.
That’s the purpose, but they also lay out what exactly they consider AI content. This includes content that’s run through a translator without being checked by a human, and pages that are generated with just synonyms or run through AI chains without a lot of thought put behind them.
That means, if your content doesn’t read like a human wrote it, specifically if it’s an unreadable mess with a keyword here or there to try and bump it up, Google will keep it off its search engine or bury it so far down that your customers can’t find you. That’s the last thing you want as a business.
In order to prevent your content from backfiring, does that mean you should stay away from AI? While AI can be a helpful guideline, especially if you’re writing multiple pages about the same topic, it’s no substitute for a human-written, human-edited content.
Why do some people still use AI?
Writing is tough. Creating multiple pages about the same topic, or even the act of putting one word in front of the other can be a slog! Writing really makes you face your abilities and your voice in a way that, for a number of reasons, can make you feel self-conscious about what you sound like to your customer. Beyond remembering grammar, spelling, punctuation, and the elements of style, this is the big reason writing is hard for many people.
Writing for business has some extra challenges. Not only do you have to face your voice and your ability to communicate well on paper, you’re up against the way you can communicate your brand in a tone and style that matches. Like visual design, you have to ask yourself whether your word choices, the way your sentences flow, and everything else feeds into your brand experience and your customers’ expectations.
It’s also time consuming. You have a dozen other things to do and only so many hours a day to tackle them. As AI reads more like a human wrote it, it can be tempting to just forego writing and stick to an AI generator for your content.
Why AI content is a bad idea
AI content that hasn’t been vetted and proofread by a human is a terrible way to create content to stand out. Not just because Google will bury it, but also because of a reason a lot of people don’t think too much about.
It all goes back to branding.
A robot cannot hone in on your brand and tailor your copy to your business. Robots aren’t advanced enough to take the intangibles about your business and create content that really lets your audience know what you’re about.
A brand helps consumers identify a particular business, but not by what they do. Rather, your brand speaks to your business’s intangibles. You may be just a door repair service, but really, you’re repairing your customer’s portals in and out of their home, workplace, or garage; you’re reopening the door to their everyday. If you’re a spa, you don’t just offer massages, you offer a relaxing respite away from your clients’ stressful, busy lives.
Sure, these intangibles can be hard to define, which is why it’s so hard to capture them in your writing. But like your visuals and your overall presentation, your written content should rest with the intangibles of your business to drive positive perception and a cohesive brand experience for the public.
You don’t have the time or the experience to put together stellar content that hones in on your intangibles and lets your customer base know what you’re about. But you don’t want to create content that’s unreadable by people, or gets buried by Google. What should you do?
A professional copywriter or content creator isn’t as expensive as you think. Plus, they have the experience and know-how to touch on what your business really is about. Check “writing copy for your website, eblasts, blogs, fliers, etc.” off your list by getting the support you deserve!
From blogs and eblasts to social media posts and SEO-tailored landing pages, we can create stellar copy that communicates your business’s intangibles, boosts your rankings, and communicates what you can do for your customers. Discover three distinct content management packages that are sure to fit any business’s budget: hourly, annually (including up to 6 hours), or monthly (including up to 2 hours). To learn more about how these packages can be applied, be sure to check out our copywriting, blogging services, and targeted landing pages.
Contact us today to get started. See the difference with stellar copy!