Last month we looked at the latest snake oil idea how to ‘transform your marketing’. Artificial Intelligence is your new way to go out and talk to your customers and prospects. It can write faster and better than you or anyone else. No more spending days writing those pesky emails and letters. AI will do it all for you. Want to grow your website with great articles? Why bother spending all that time writing them? A machine can get that done instead. Just sit back and watch your website zoom up the search rankings.
It sounds attractive. It may explain why so many marketers are keen to use AI to ‘generate content’
Of course, it’s also complete hogwash.
As we covered before, these AI platforms are terrible at writing. We have tried them ourselves – they are awful and merely dribble out meaningless word salad. They don’t reflect your brand. They don’t construct a compelling message. And they don’t provide the reader with any value.
Why is why Google has hit back.
Hitting back at AI
Last August, Google rolled out the Helpful Content Update. This revision was aimed at promoting good, useful content that could be of value to the reader. Sites and pages believed to be of little or no value were pushed down the rankings.
Now, Google has rolled out an, er, update to the update. The aim is to refine how Google determines what is good content and what is not. Ultimately, the objective is to make sure you enjoy using Google. That means the search results they serve you are of value to you in some way.
A slight irony though is the update is entirely automated. You could say Google is using a machine to seek out content made by machines. And that means the results of their work won’t be perfect. You may still get some pages appear in Google results with content generated by AI. And some with content written by people may drop down.
This can be due to other factors though. For example, old content which is not considered ‘evergreen’ and has not been updated can have a minor effect.
Does this mean SEO is now dead?
SEO is about making your site and the pages it contains easier to be understood by search engines. When you have content that is of value to a reader, and use SEO to help search engines understand the content, you will have a better chance of a good ranking. It’s when you start trying to game their algorithms with dodgy SEO practices and publishing content that is geared to manipulate rankings that you start to walk on thin ice.
The answer then is to try and make sure the content within your website is of value. This means it should be written with the reader in mind. It should be original, show your knowledge and expertise, and have something which the reader can take away.
This is nothing new really – you wouldn’t buy a book which had page of page of stuff that didn’t tell you anything new. This is where the digital world – and digital marketing – is no different to the real one we all live in. Writing good content which is of help to visitors to your site takes time and some effort. And AI platforms are not the quick cheap dodge they like to make out.
Writing good content isn’t for everyone, especially when you’re trying to deal with everything else on your plate. So get in touch with us to talk about the content on your website, how it be improved, and how to make sure it doesn’t fall foul of Google’s helpful content update.