Last week Google announced a Helpful Content Update (HCU) which contains two important changes to how sites are ranked, one is dealing with AI-generated content. (September, 2023)

HCU: AI Content Versus Human Content

In their original guidance the police on AI-generated content versus human-generated content, you would score higher (better ranking) with human content. this is the guidance from Google:

“Google Search’s helpful content system generates a signal used by our automated ranking systems to better ensure people see original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results.”

In the recent Google update says, ‘“Google Search’s helpful content system generates a signal used by our automated ranking systems to better ensure people see original, helpful content created for people in search results.”

It would seem that with the update Google is going to lower the bar on evaluating content.

HCU: On Topic & Educational

In the update last week, this is what Google is saying now, “Google generates a signal used by our automated ranking systems to better ensure people see original, helpful content created for people in search results.”

In my view, it seems not much has changed with this update, which means that content created by humans is going to get your more bang for your marketing money in terms of SEO/SEM relating to organic search listing rankings.

I am not saying that website owners need to stop using AI content on sites and social media. But, if you are serious about establishing quality organic listings in search results, which is defined as your listings do not disappear every time Google updates their algorithms, then juice up your human-generated content.

Another update in the HCU last week deal with the method of publishing your content.

The original statement was this ….

“Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?”

The new statement is thus…..

“Is this content written or reviewed by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?”

Yes, they just added the word reviewed which to me is saying there is a lot of content seen by search bots that is BS and does not match or fit within the parameters of the subject being discussed in the content.

It seems to me that the HCU is saying to double-check your content by someone who knows that topic to ensure that your content is on topic and formatted well. These two changes in the HCU are pointing to people throwing content together but not really paying it for human consumption. Or I can say that better, there is no educational value in a lot of the content being published and/or its not formatted properly.

It seems to me that while #1 HCU above loosens the requirements somewhat, this #2 HCU is communicating if you are going to go crazy with AI content you better have someone, who knows the topic being discussed, review it for accuracy and format before you publish.

The last thing you want as a website owner is to get dinged by the search algorithms for website content, which you got cheaply from AI Writer services, but which degrades your organic rankings.

HCU: Site Wide Signal

The third HCU update deals with third-party content and whether or not it’s placed on the main domain or a subdomain. The change mainly reiterated Google's stance that they don’t care where the content is since your entire site is evaluated to detect a site-wide signal.


SUMMARY

Google has taken steps to ensure that AI-generated content does not dominate search results. This includes using its algorithms to identify AI-generated content and to prioritize content from human sources. This helps ensure that quality content created by humans is given preference over content generated by machines.

As always, be sure your content is educational in nature, or as Google says - helpful, since that is the mainstay indicator to build quality content in your website and social media content.

Steu Mann
September, 2023

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