AI-Generated Content and Google's E-A-T Guidelines

This year's Google Search Central Live Tokyo 2023 conference placed the ever-expanding role of artificial intelligence under the spotlight. Of particular interest is the confirmation of internal dialogue within Google regarding potential policy changes related to its AI-generated content policies, based on their alignment with existing E-E-A-T guidelines (Experience-Expertise-Authoritativeness-Trustworthiness).

Over recent years, Google has invested exponentially in new technology to make search results more accurate and personalised. At the heart of this transformation is the notion of 'experience' – a key component of E-E-A-T, which underscores the importance of delivering meaningful and trustworthy content to users.

Despite the growing prevalence of AI in content creation, Google's primary focus remains on quality, relevance, and value. This means that for now, the search engine does not discriminate between human-generated and AI-generated content, as long as it meets these criteria.

Google's Internal Debate on AI-Generated 'Experience'

A significant moment came at the conference when Google Search Team Analyst Gary Illyes was presented with a question regarding a hypothetical scenario:

Question: What would Google do if an experience (which is important in E-E-A-T) is created by AI even though it is not actually experienced?

Response: We are internally discussing how to respond. We will announce when we have a policy that can be made public.

Gary’s response reflects the complexity of the issue. While AI can generate content that appears genuine, the question of whether it truly delivers an authentic 'experience' remains unanswered.

It is this very issue that Google is currently debating with internally, highlighting the need for a strategic approach to AI-generated content in the context of E-E-A-T.

The Future of AI-Generated Content in Google Search

While Google's current stance is one of inclusivity, many experts anticipate a shift in the company's approach to AI-generated content. The emphasis on 'experience' as a pivotal element of E-E-A-T makes it increasingly likely that Google will introduce stricter guidelines and policies regarding AI-generated content.

A proactive step to ensure that users continue to receive content that meets their expectations for authenticity and trustworthiness, based on genuine human experiences, rather than algorithms.

The adoption of AI in content generation has opened the door to entirely new levels of innovation and efficiency. However, it is essential to remember that AI – even at its most advanced level – cannot bring genuine human ‘experience’ into anything it creates.

Relying on Human Expertise and SEO Best Practices

While AI can assist in various aspects of content creation and SEO, the core principles of delivering valuable, authoritative, and trustworthy content remain firmly grounded in human understanding and experience.

As we await Google's updated policies, the human touch remains the only genuinely future-proof approach to both organic SEO and general content marketing. Should Google suddenly decide to take a negative stance against AI-generated content, the consequences for websites and online businesses already relying too heavily on automated algorithms could be severe.