There’s a debate in the SEO community about the use of GPT-3 tools and whether they’re acceptable from Google’s point of view.
Mueller says content written by AI falls under the category of auto-generated content, which could lead to a manual penalty.
However, Google’s systems may lack the ability to detect AI generated content without the assistance of human reviewers.
As we’ll explain later in this article, there are practical uses for AI writing tools and many reputable organizations are using them without issue.
First, let’s look at Mueller’s response to the question about how Google views the use of these tools.
Automatically Generated Content Is Against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines
Regardless of the tools used to create it, content written by machines is considered automatically generated.
As Mueller is quick to point out, Google’s position on auto generated content has always been clear:
“For us these would, essentially, still fall into the category of automatically generated content which is something we’ve had in the Webmaster Guidelines since almost the beginning.
And people have been automatically generating content in lots of different ways. And for us, if you’re using machine learning tools to generate your content, it’s essentially the same as if you’re just shuffling words around, or looking up synonyms, or doing the translation tricks that people used to do. Those kind of things.
My suspicion is maybe the quality of content is a little bit better than the really old school tools, but for us it’s still automatically generated content, and that means for us it’s still against the Webmaster Guidelines. So we would consider that to be spam.”
Can Google Detect AI Generated Content?
A follow-up question is asked regarding Google’s ability to identify content written by machine learning tools.
Can Google understand the difference between content written by humans and content written by machines?
Mueller makes no claims about Google detecting AI written content automatically.
Although, if Google’s webspam team happens to find it, they’re authorized to take action on it.
“I can’t claim that. But for us, if we see that something is automatically generated, then the webspam team can definitely take action on that.
And I don’t know how the future will evolve there, but I imagine like with any other of these technologies, there will be a little bit of a cat and mouse game, where sometimes people will do something and they get away with it, and then the webspam team catches up and solves that issue on a broader scale.
From our recommendation we still see it as automatically generated content. I think over time maybe this is something that will evolve in that it will become more of a tool for people. Kind of like you would use machine translation as a basis for creating a translated version of a website, but you still work through it manually.
And maybe over time these AI tools will evolve in that direction that you use them to be more efficient in your writing or to make sure that you’re writing in a proper way like the spelling and the grammar checking tools, which are also based on machine learning. But I don’t know what the future brings there.”
Mueller clarifies Google doesn’t take into consideration how the AI writing tools are being used.
Using them in any capacity is considered spam, he adds.
“Currently it’s all against the webmaster guidelines. So from our point of view, if we were to run across something like that, if the webspam team were to see it, they would see it as spam.”
To hear his full response, see the video below:
What Does This Mean For Your Website?
Here’s some insight from the head of SEJ’s editorial team on what Mueller’s response means for your website.
“I think the biggest takeaway from this particular Q&A is that Google’s algorithms aren’t able to automatically detect content generated by language models such as GPT-3,” says Miranda Miller, Sr. Managing Editor here at Search Engine Journal.
“The message here is that if Google detects automatically generated content, the webspam team could take action. But we aren’t talking about the article spinners of 2003.”
“Artificial intelligence is being used by media, universities, and other organizations for research automation and cross-referencing, crawling and classifying content in many languages to identify emerging trends, generating article and paper summaries, fact-checking, crunching data, and even writing full articles,” she points out.
“The Associated Press began using AI for story generation in 2014. Putting AI to work in content creation is not new, and the most important factor here is its intelligent application,” Miller says, noting that using AI can help content creators overcome language and literacy barriers, improve the quality of their writing, and more.
“These are good outcomes. Wouldn’t it be strange for Google to ban the use of AI by webmasters and content creators for the purposes of improving user experience when they use it so heavily themselves?” she adds.
Featured Image: Zapp2Photo/Shutterstock
WordPress Gutenberg 13.8 Offers Greater Editing Flexibility
WordPress Gutenberg 13.8 is here, unpacking further incremental improvements to the Gutenberg block editor.
Some of the improvements are relatively trivial additions, like adding a WhatsApp icon to the Social Icon Block.
But others are more important because they give template designers the ability to provide more design options for their users.
Chief among these is a new feature that makes it easier to see template parts and to insert them from the block inserter.
This option is aimed at template designers who can now make it easier for users to choose variations.
According to WordPress:
“Gutenberg 13.8 introduces improvements for those who leverage variations and patterns to provide flexibility for their users.
The specific template part variations are now available in the block inserter, making it easy to add “Header”, “Footer,” or “Newsletter Subscription” template parts to your site.”
New Template Search Component
Another useful update is the addition of search functionality that makes it easier to locate and use specific template parts.
The functionality is described as:
“Adds a new search functionality to the template parts replacement modal.
…It makes it easier to find specific template parts.”
Border Block Support for Color, Width, and Style
The Image block now supports the full range of border controls, including Color, Style, and Width.
Testing of the new feature went well, with one contributor commenting:
“Great work getting this to the finish line @aaronrobertshaw! Tested with a few different block and classic themes, and all working nicely
Crop tools are working nicely in the editor with and without a custom border
Custom border color is working nicely in the editor and site editor
Image border in global styles works well”
Video of New Border Block Control
Improvements to Accessibility
Gutenberg 13.8 ships with cumulative improvements to accessibility.
Fixes included adding tooltips and fixing a mismatch between the visible text and the aria-label of the Toggle block inserter button.
These are some of the improvements:
- BorderControl: Update labelling, tooltips and wrap with fieldset and legend.
- Add aria-hidden to query pagination arrows.
- Fix labelling and semantics of the paragraph block Left to right control.
- Fix mismatching label and visible text on the Toggle block inserter button.
- Fix the description text of block movers for horizontal movement.
- Replace clickable div elements with buttons in the Add template modal.
Improvements to the Code
One improvement that’ll be welcome to SEOs is the removal of React fragments from the Block Library.
It’s not a dramatic improvement. But changes in the right direction are always welcome when it comes to code size, even something as small as this.
Incremental Change Continues
WordPress Gutenberg 13.8 continues to evolve with incremental improvements, which is the hallmark of most updates to WordPress and the Gutenberg full site editor.
Read the Official WordPress Announcement
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