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All You Need to Know About Online Advertising (Done Simply)

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All You Need to Know About Online Advertising (Done Simply)

Online advertising is paying for exposure or traffic on the internet. It really is that simple. Even an ad blocker won’t prevent you from seeing online ads all the time.

No other form of marketing evolves and changes as much as online advertising. We constantly have new platforms, ad formats, targeting options, bidding techniques, and automations. It’s difficult to keep up with the trends.

The basics aren’t rocket science, though. Get the essential knowledge right, and you’ll be prepared to tackle any online advertising news that comes your way.

In this simple guide, you’ll learn the following:

Ready to get off on the right foot on your online advertising journey?

What are the main benefits of online advertising?

All the benefits of online advertising can make up a lengthy list. But there are three main benefits that justify sending a big chunk of your marketing budget to Google, Facebook, Twitter, and others.

1. Online advertising channels can cover every stage of the marketing funnel

A marketing funnel is a model that depicts how people become customers—from first learning about the brand to making the purchase. It’s also related to the concept of the customer journey. Here’s how it works in a nutshell:

Funnel with four sections. From top to bottom (Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Conversion)

The beauty of online advertising is it can help you achieve any objective that you have as a marketer. Its use cases cover the whole funnel—from increasing brand awareness at the top to influencing purchase decisions at the bottom. You can even do all of this within one platform like Google Ads.

2. You can target potential customers really well

You don’t even need to be in marketing to know about the granularity with which you can target people on the internet. Examples include showing banners on relevant websites, YouTube ads based on the watch history, and reminders about abandoned carts.

For an example of targeting options, take a look at our four most promoted pages in Google’s paid search results:

When people click through to those pages, they’re likely to sign up for a free Ahrefs Webmaster Tools account or even for our complete toolset. That’s because they’re already aware of the problems they need to solve and are looking for a solution. And that’s what we provide.

3. You can measure it easily

Most online advertising platforms provide a tracking pixel—a piece of code that connects the ad click with what the user does on your website. It keeps you in the loop about important metrics, such as the return on your ad spend.

On its own, marketing data analytics is a complex field. However, the technologies behind online advertising channels make tracking and measuring your marketing campaigns easily accessible.

Here’s what such reporting looks like in Google Ads:

Line graph at top. At bottom, table with ads and corresponding data such as ad type, clicks, CTR, etc

What is the role of online advertising in marketing?

You can’t just blindly throw money into Google Ads and expect to take over the market. Regardless of your skill level, your results will be vastly diminished if you’re not guided by a proper marketing strategy.

Here’s a simplified marketing strategy checklist to assess whether you’re ready:

That’s quite a lot of things that have nothing to do with online advertising, right? That’s because online advertising represents just a piece of the promotion part in the famous four Ps of marketing, which form your marketing tactics. And tactics are just a third of the overall marketing:

Pie chart showing online advertising only makes up a small part of marketing

Online advertising is simply a communication medium. It provides tools to target people in all stages of the marketing funnel. But in the end, it’s just a minor part of marketing.

Keep this section in mind as a key takeaway. Today’s marketing suffers from too much attention being paid to tactics, especially the promotion part. Always look at the bigger picture and align your advertising efforts with your marketing strategy based on proper market research.

And now, you’re ready to dive into the nitty-gritty of online advertising.

What are the key principles of online advertising?

There’s a lot happening behind the scenes of showing your ads to the right audience. Creating the ad itself as an end product is usually the easier part. The key principles lie in setting up your ad account and planning your advertising budget.

Let’s first get the money side of things out of the way. This makes it easier to understand the ad account management part.

Buying the ads

Advertising consists of buying exposure to potential buyers. In the online space, it’s most often in the form of an ad view (impression) or a click to your website. This is the basis for the two most common bidding methods you’ll encounter:

  • CPC (cost per click) – This is where the whole discipline of PPC (pay-per-click) marketing stems from.
  • CPM (cost per mille or cost per thousand) – This is most often used for cost-per-thousand impressions. But it’s also applicable elsewhere, e.g., $30 CPM for podcast sponsorships where the variable stands for (projected) listens or downloads.

Page to set bid. Shows optimization options and text field to add CPC bid

So what’s the bidding about? Technically, any advertising space is an auction.

With online advertising platforms, these bids on clicks or impressions are entered into an auction system that decides which ads will be shown where and for how much. While the bidding price plays a significant role here, it’s not the only factor the ad systems consider when choosing auction winners.

Setting up the ads

This subsection could easily be a book on its own for each advertising platform. While going into details here doesn’t make sense, there are two essential aspects of setting up the ads that are universally applicable.

The first aspect is the overall hierarchy of your ad account. Every ad platform has a management system that should make creating, changing, or updating ads easy and quick to do.

Whenever you want to create an ad, you can’t just do it right away. Every ad needs to be in its ad group, and the ad group must be part of a campaign. Such a hierarchy allows advertisers to manage the whole ad account efficiently.

Here are examples of what you can set up in Google Ads:

  • Campaign level – Campaign objectives, campaign types, ad networks, audiences, budget, and bidding
  • Ad group level – Targeting options like keywords, websites, and interests
  • Ad level – Ad headlines, descriptions, and URLs

The second aspect is about pairing campaign objectives with suitable campaign types and ad formats. As mentioned earlier, you could drive the whole marketing funnel with online ads. A lot of ad platforms only show you possible campaign types based on the objective you choose, such as Google Ads here:

Selection of campaign types

While this prevents you from creating a completely nonsense campaign, some campaign types and ad formats can help you achieve your objectives better than others. You should know about the best use cases for major ad formats.

Let’s go through this right away.

Main online advertising channels

There are three main online advertising channels: search engines, websites in ad networks, and social media. While these deliver the majority of online advertising, it’s only fair that I at least mention the smaller channels as well:

  • Sponsorships
  • Influencer marketing
  • In-app mobile advertising
  • Smaller platform-based ad systems like Quora, Reddit, or Brave Ads

With this out of the way, let’s get into search, display, and social media ads.

Search ads

Just to make sure we’re on the same page, let’s have a look at some examples.

These top four results are search ads:

Google SERP for "wordpress hosting"

These ads make it easy for websites to be more visible at the most crucial part of the customer journey—making a purchase decision. That’s because as an advertiser, you can estimate how close a searcher is to making a purchase based on what they search for. There’s a big difference between people looking up “what is wordpress hosting” and “cheap wordpress hosting.”

If the user input (search query) matches what advertisers set up (keywords), a search ad will be displayed. These keywords have three match types that let advertisers dictate how closely their keywords should match the search queries. Think about it as controlling how narrow or broad the targeting in search ads should be.

Before setting any search ads up, you should do keyword research. That will provide you with all the data and information you need: what people search for, how often (search volume) they search for it, and how much you’re expected to bid (avg. CPC).

You can get limited data in Google Keywords Planner. But your best bet is to go for a third-party SEO/PPC keyword tool like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer. Just type in a few (seed) keywords that capture the nature of your business and product offering and take it from there:

List of keywords with corresponding data such as volume, CPC, etc

Once you’re done with the basics and setting up the search ads, then a lot of your work revolves around refining your keyword lists and adjusting bids. You’ll most likely start with Google Ads. But don’t forget about Bing, DuckDuckGo, or local search engines if applicable.

Display ads

Many websites monetize their traffic by providing space to display ads:

Example of webpage with dedicated space for ads

You can picture these ads as an online version of billboards or LED screens. They can contain static and interactive images or even short videos. The main difference is display ads are one click away from the promoted website. On the other hand, billboards have much higher friction.

For this reason, display ads are great for increasing brand awareness and consideration among your target audience. They can also work to drive conversions when you target visitors of your website who showed interest in your products (retargeting).

I’ll give you an overview of how the biggest ad platform for display ads—Google Display Network (GDN)—works. In Google Ads, you can either target people (audiences, demographics) or content (keywords, topics, placements) with your display ads.

The easiest way to launch your display campaign is to use the predefined affinity categories as audience targeting. Here’s an example of those:

List of affinity categories

Sounds good so far, right? Well, unless your target market is really broad, it’s likely a waste of your ad budget. That’s because Google isn’t really that good at profiling its users. Here are a few interests that Google associates with me:

List of interests

You can find yours by logging in to your Google account > Data and privacy > Ad settings.

I haven’t been to half of those places and have no interest in most of the things listed. I probably just searched for or clicked on something at some point that caused Google to put me into related affinity audiences. Because of that, it shows me display ads that I’m not even remotely interested in.

A great targeting option that’s easy to set up is to build your own custom intent or affinity segments.

These segments are created based on a set of searched-for keywords, visited websites, or used apps. You can basically tell Google to show your ads to people who searched for certain things or visited websites related to your business.

Social media ads

The term “social media ads” encompasses a lot of different ad platforms and formats. For most people, this is likely what comes to mind when you say social media ad:

Braun's Insta post of its new shaver

That’s an example of an image ad (in this case, in a carousel format). But there are many video ads as well. There are even video-only platforms like Tik Tok. What about YouTube? That could also be considered social media, right?

There’s no point in listing all of it here. You get it. Social media ads compete with the versatility of Google Ads, as they can easily drive all stages of the marketing funnel too. Videos work best for top-of-the-funnel, while conversions will most likely be made from clicking on image ads.

Account structures and bidding work more or less the same across the board. What I’ve shown you so far in Google Ads is applicable to Facebook Business Manager, Twitter Ads, and other platforms as well.

That said, I’ll leave you with four important tips that will increase your advertising efficiency on social media and beyond:

  1. Make your ads worth the distraction – People go to social media to check their feeds. You can’t make your ads fit what they’re thinking about. That’s a huge difference compared to search ads and well-targeted display ads.
  2. Target reasonably sized audiences – If you set up targeting that shows a huge reach potential, try to remove the broadest audiences. Interests like “football” or “technology” include almost everyone. You won’t reach the truly engaged audience that way.
  3. Favor the more precise targeting options – Use data from your pixels that allows you to retarget your website visitors and also create whole audiences based on them.
  4. Beware of ad fatigue – If you are too narrow with your targeting, make sure that you don’t spam the audience with your ads all day long. Allocate a reasonable budget and watch your Ad Frequency metric that reflects potential ad fatigue.

Final thoughts

You’re now equipped with the proper knowledge to successfully kick your online advertising journey off. Doing is the best way to learn. Start small, make mistakes, burn some pennies, and keep learning.

To deepen your knowledge of online advertising, I recommend you also check my article on PPC marketing for beginners. Focus on one ad platform. And once you feel confident that you know your way around it, start scaling your campaigns up and give other platforms a shot too.

Any questions? Feel free to ping me on Twitter.




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Keyword Mapping. A Practical Guide for the Curious

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Keyword Mapping. A Practical Guide for the Curious

Deciding whether a keyword should be targeted by a separate page or clustered with other keywords is a common problem in SEO. Keyword mapping is a process aimed at solving this.

Keyword mapping is popularly defined as assigning keywords to pages. But what you really need to solve the problem is assigning topics to content types

In this article, I’ll explain the benefits of this approach and, more importantly, I’ll show you the process. No templates required.

Benefits of keyword mapping (the alternative way) 

Fact 1. Google may see seemingly different keywords as the same topic.

For example, we rank for these keywords in the top 10 with a single page: 

  • seo basics”
  • how to use seo” 
  • beginner’s guide to seo”
  • getting started with seo”
  • seo knowledge”

Fact 2. Conversely, Google may see seemingly similar keywords as different topics. 

For example, let’s compare “digital marketing” with “online marketing.” I’d say those two keywords are pretty close to each other. Google disagrees. 

Low SERP similarity score signals potentially different topics
Everywhere you look, the same story. Top-ranking pages and our SERP similarity score (100-point scale; the more, the higher similarity) say that these are completely different topics SEO-wise.

The above two facts are also reasons why keyword mapping by just relying on keywords is not the optimal way. You won’t know whether you’re wasting your time targeting the same topic with different keywords or just “confusing” Google. 

But why content types instead of pages or even URLs? Because before you decide what page will be used to target the keyword, you’ll need to identify the search intent of the keyword. And a good starting point for that is identifying the dominating type of content on the first page of Google. 

To sum up, the benefits of keyword mapping using topics and content types are: 

  • Seeing keywords the same way Google sees them: as topics and subtopics. 
  • Incorporating search intent into the process. 
  • Keeping an organized list of topics, which also helps to prevent duplicating content.

Note

Keyword mapping can’t substitute keyword research. While keyword mapping is basically a form of organizing keywords, keyword research provides you the keywords and the confidence that: 

  • Your keywords have traffic potential.
  • You can match the search intent behind your keywords.
  • Your keywords will bring valuable traffic. 
  • You can rank for those keywords. 

Learn how to choose the right keywords with our full guide.

Going further, we’ll look at two levels of using this method: the fast lane and the more thorough one. 

Learn more: What Is Semantic Search? How It Impacts SEO 

Level 1 – Fast, reasonable job

You’ll need a keyword research tool that can do keyword grouping based on what’s on the SERP, such as Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer. In the case of this tool: 

  1. Enter your keywords
  2. Open Matching terms report
  3. Go to the Parent topics tab 
Three steps to find Parent Topics via Keywords Explorer

If you click on a Parent Topic, you will find separate topics “distilled” from your keywords. So for example, you will see keywords like “can babies get covid” and “babies and covid” grouped under the same topic. 

Keywords grouped under the same Parent Topic

Sidenote.

To identify the Parent Topic, we take the #1 ranking page for your keyword and find the keyword responsible for sending the most traffic to that page.

At this level of keyword mapping, your target keyword is the Parent Topic (not the keywords inside that Parent Topic). 

The next step is to identify the content type. The easiest way to do this is to see what kind of content dominates the first three to five results in Google. 

Typical content types are:

  • Articles
  • Videos
  • Product pages
  • Product category pages
  • Landing pages 
Top-ranking pages with a dominating content type
For example, the dominating content type for “teething symptoms” is the article.

As a result, assigning topics to content types will give you a super simple yet highly actionable database.

Topic Content type
Teething symptoms Article
When do babies roll over Article
Baby formula Mixed (product pages on top)
When can babies have water Article

Sidenote.

What about secondary keywords or supporting keywords? We recommend picking them in the content creation phase as subtopics needed to cover a topic in full. Learn a few ways you can find them here.

So this is the fast method. The great thing about it is that it automates keyword grouping by using real SERP data (and not just semantics). 

However, it has its downsides too. Sometimes, it “hides” less popular topics that could potentially be targeted with a separate page. Here’s why. 

The parent keyword is derived from the top-ranking page on the SERP. If Google thinks that the best answer to the query is found on a page that is targeting a broader topic, it will still use it. This may result in a confusing SERP like this one: 

Confusing SERP example
The top result is a featured snippet taken from a page with a broader topic. Hence, the Parent Topic (here seen as “Top keyword”) in Ahrefs. But pretty much every other page on the SERP targets the keywords directly.

This kind of situation probably won’t happen too often. But if you want to squeeze everything out of your keyword mapping process, you need to go to level 2. 

Level 2 – Thorough but time consuming

In level 2, we’re going to take a closer look at the Parent Topics to see what’s in them. 

  1. First, you should pick a Parent Topic.
  2. Sort keywords inside the topic by KD (Keyword Difficulty). Big differences in KD will be an indication of a different set of pages on the SERP.
  3. If you see a keyword with a significantly different KD than the Parent Topic, click on the SERP button.
  4. See if the top-ranking pages, excluding the first result, talk about the keyword instead of the Parent Topic. You can use the Compare with feature for a quick overview of the situation. The lower the SERP similarity score, the higher the probability you’re looking at two different topics. 
How to investigate Parent Topics

Let’s look at a couple of examples. 

In the first example, we’ve got a keyword with a KD score that’s 20 higher than the Parent Topic. Upon investigating, we see that we may be dealing with two separate topics: The SERP similarity is quite low. Also, there is only one common result, while other pages target the keyword directly. 

Keywords grouped under the same topic but have dissimilar SERPs

Next example. Here we have “teething symptoms” (KD 65) and “when do babies get molars” (KD 28). Looking at SERP similarity, we see that this, again, may be a case of two topics. 

Low SERP similarity between two keywords

But there’s more. Only the bottom results target the keyword directly. Others talk about teething timelines, stages, charts, etc. This is a hint for yet another way to rank for the keyword. 

Only bottom results target the keyword directly

Generally speaking, when you see that you’re dealing with a separate topic “in disguise,” the decision comes down to:

  1. Targeting the Parent Topic anyway. For example, if the top result is a featured snippet, you may be able to win it with a page on a relevant broader topic. 
  2. Marking the keyword as a separate topic and targeting it directly with a separate page. In this case, add that keyword as a topic to target and note down the content type. 
  3. Turning to SERP analysis in tougher cases (like our example above). 

Final thoughts 

Feel free to customize the process and add your own data points. If you feel like going a step further and assigning URLs, your website folders, or introducing some kind of prioritization (e.g., business potential), this won’t hurt. 

However, keep in mind that keyword mapping is not a good way to design your entire website structure. Most often than not, not all pages on your site should be search-based. 

What are the next steps after keyword mapping? 

Got comments or questions? Ping me on Twitter or Mastodon



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Everything You Need To Know

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Of all the many, many functions available in Google Ads, I have a few that are my favorites. And sitelink assets – previously known as sitelink extensions – are at the top of my list.

Why? Because they’re so versatile. You can do almost anything with them if you think through your strategy carefully.

For example, you can use the mighty sitelink in your advertising to:

  • Promote low search volume themes.
  • Push lagging products out the door.
  • Maximize hot sellers.
  • Highlight certain product categories.
  • Answer common questions.
  • Handle PR problems.

And that’s just a start! Sitelink assets can almost do it all.

Best Practices For Using Sitelink Assets Extensions

If you truly want to get the most out of your sitelinks, you need to think about your intention.

To help you with that, I’m going to lay out a few sitelink guidelines.

1. Get clear on your objectives. Before you start, you need to think about your goals. What are you trying to achieve with these assets? Are you advertising products or services? Will the asset work well with both branded and non-branded keywords? Your answers to these questions will help determine if your sitelinks are versatile and useful to the searcher.

2. Use sitelinks as part of your larger strategy. Don’t think of your sitelinks in isolation. You should also consider the accompanying ad, landing page, and other assets. Make sure they all work together in service to your overarching strategy.

3. Use a mix of sitelinks. Sitelinks can serve multiple purposes, so make sure you’re using a variety. For example, you don’t want to use every sitelink on an ad to promote on-sale products. Instead, use a mix. One could promote an on-sale product, one could generate leads, one could highlight a new product category, and one could direct prospective clients to useful information.

4. Create landing pages for your sitelinks. Ideally, you want to send users to landing pages that tightly correlate with your sitelink instead of just a regular page on your website.

5. Track sitelink performance and adjust. It’s not enough to set up sitelinks. You should also track them to see which links are getting traction and which ones are not. This doesn’t mean that all sitelinks should perform equally (more on this below), but it does mean they should perform well given their type and objectives.

Why it’s Better To Use A Mix Of Sitelink Assets

Let’s dive deeper into this idea of using a mix of sitelinks by looking at an example.

In a new client account, we created four different types of sitelinks:

  • Two sitelinks are product-focused (as requested by the client).
  • One sitelink connects users with an engineer to learn more about the product (“Speak to an Engineer”). It has more of a sales focus.
  • One sitelink allows users to learn more about the products without speaking to an engineer (“What is?”).

The “What is?” sitelink is outperforming the “Speak to an Engineer” sitelink when we measure by CTR. While we need more data before making any changes, I predict we’ll eventually swap out the sales-y “Speak to an Engineer” sitelink for something else.

The fact that the educational link (“What is?”) is performing better than the sales-y link (“Speak to an Engineer”) isn’t too surprising in this case. The product is a new, cutting-edge robot that not many people are aware of, yet. They want more info before talking to someone.

Screenshot by author, January 2023

By using a mix of sitelinks, and assessing the performance of each, we gained a lot of valuable information that is helping to guide our strategy for this account. So going with a mix of sitelinks is always a good idea. You never know what you’ll discover!

Sitelink Assets Examples

Now, let’s look at some specific examples of sitelink assets in Google Ads.

Example 1: Chromatography

Sitelinks extension - Chromatography exampleScreenshot from Google, January 2023

Application Search: This ad is for a highly technical product that can be used in a wide variety of applications. (Chromatography is a laboratory technique for separating mixtures.) So putting “application search” in a sitelink here might make sense. It helps prospective clients find what they’re looking for.

Sign up and Save Big: A good sitelink for lead generation and potential revenue.

Technical Support: I’m not a big fan of putting technical support in sitelinks. Tech support seems more targeted to current users rather than prospective users. But who knows, maybe they really do want to help current users get tech support via their advertising.

Guides and Posters: Again, this sitelink is a bit unusual, but it might be appropriate for this product. Perhaps people are downloading branded posters and posting them in their workplaces. If so, it’s a great way to build brand awareness.

Example 2: Neuroscience Courses

Sitelink Extensions - Nueroscience courses exampleScreenshot from Google, January 2023

I love everything about these sitelinks! The advertising is using them to reach people in all phases of the buyer journey.

For people not ready to commit:

  • Study Neuroscience: This sitelink is broad and informational. It’s helpful to people who have just started to explore their options for studying neuroscience.
  • Get Course Brochure: This sitelink is also great for people in the research phase. And while we mostly live in an online world, some people still prefer to consume hard-copy books, brochures, etc. With this sitelink, the school is covering its bases.

For people getting close to committing:

  • Online Short Course: This is the course the school offers. It’s a great sitelink for those almost ready to sign up.

For people ready to sign up:

  • Register Online Now: This is the strongest call to action for those ready to commit. It takes people directly to the signup page.

Example 3: Neuroscience Degrees

Let’s look at another example from the world of neuroscience education: this time for a neuroscience degree program.

Sitelink extensions - neuroscience degree exampleScreenshot from Google, January 2023

In contrast to the previous two examples, the sitelinks in this ad aren’t as strong.

Academics Overview: This sitelink seems more appropriate for a broad term search, such as a search on the school’s name. If the searcher is looking for a specific degree program (which seems like the intention based on the term and the ad), the sitelinks should be something specific to that particular degree program.

Scholarships: Just as with the above sitelink, “Scholarships” doesn’t seem very helpful either. The topic of scholarships is important—but probably doesn’t need to be addressed until the person determines that this school is a good fit.

Example 4: Code Security

Next, let’s look at two Google search ads for code security products.

Sitelink extensions - code security exampleScreenshot from Google, January 2023

 

The sitelinks in these two ads look like typical assets you’d find for SaaS, cloud-based, or tech companies. They click through to a lot of helpful information, such as product plans and success stories.

I particularly like the Most Common Risks sitelink in the second ad. It leads to a helpful article that would be great for engaging top-of-funnel leads.

On the flip side, I’m not a big fan of the Blog sitelink in the first ad. “Blog” simply isn’t very descriptive or helpful.

Still, there are no right or wrong sitelinks here. And it would be interesting to test my theory that blog content is not a top-performing asset!

Sitelink Assets Are More Than An Afterthought

I hope I’ve convinced you of the usefulness and versatility of sitelinks when created with specific objectives that align with your broader strategy.

So don’t create your sitelink assets as an afterthought.

Because if you give them the careful consideration they deserve, they’ll serve you well.

Note: Google sitelink assets were previously known as sitelink extensions and renamed in September 2022.

More resources:


Featured Image: Thaspol Sangsee/Shutterstock



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AI Content In Search Results

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AI Content In Search Results

Google has released a statement regarding its approach to AI-generated content in search results.

The company has a long-standing policy of rewarding high-quality content, regardless of whether humans or machines produce it.

Above all, Google’s ranking systems aim to identify content that demonstrates expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T).

Google advises creators looking to succeed in search results to produce original, high-quality, people-first content that demonstrates E-E-A-T.

The company has updated its “Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content” help page with guidance on evaluating content in terms of “Who, How, and Why.”

Here’s how AI-generated content fits into Google’s approach to ranking high-quality content in search results.

Quality Over Production Method

Focusing on the quality of content rather than the production method has been a cornerstone of Google’s approach to ranking search results for many years.

A decade ago, there were concerns about the rise in mass-produced human-generated content.

Rather than banning all human-generated content, Google improved its systems to reward quality content.

Google’s focus on rewarding quality content, regardless of production method, continues to this day through its ranking systems and helpful content system introduced last year.

Automation & AI-Generated Content

Using automation, including AI, to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results violates Google’s spam policies.

Google’s spam-fighting efforts, including its SpamBrain system, will continue to combat such practices.

However, Google realizes not all use of automation and AI-generated content is spam.

For example, publishers automate helpful content such as sports scores, weather forecasts, and transcripts.

Google says it will continue to take a responsible approach toward AI-generated content while maintaining a high bar for information quality and helpfulness in search results.

Google’s Advice For Publishers

For creators considering AI-generated content, here’s what Google advises.

Google’s concept of E-E-A-T is outlined in the “Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content” help page, which has been updated with additional guidance.

The updated help page asks publishers to think about “Who, How, and Why” concerning how content is produced.

“Who” refers to the person who created the content, and it’s important to make this clear by providing a byline or background information about the author.

“How” relates to the method used to create the content, and it’s helpful to readers to know if automation or AI was involved. If AI was involved in the content production process, Google wants you to be transparent and explain why it was used.

“Why” refers to the purpose of creating content, which should be to help people rather than to manipulate search rankings.

Evaluating your content in this way, regardless of whether AI-generated or not, will help you stay in line with what Google’s systems reward.


Featured Image: Alejandro Corral Mena/Shutterstock



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