Bankrate.com, a US financial site, has been publishing AI-generated content for a few months. Does this work in Google Search? How could Google deal with AI-content in the future? More importantly, is this a model that can be recommended?
Automatically generated content is not new – structured content such as sports results or stock market news has been automatically converted into text by websites for several years. Since the success of OpenAI with GPT3/ChatGPT , the topic has picked-up momentum in recent months.
Bankrate.com, a US-based financial site, has been publishing computer-generated articles for the past few months. The articles are checked and reviewed before publishing. At least that’s the statement in the author info on the page:
A Google search for exactly this sentence shows us that about 162 articles have been published on the domain for about 6 months, which were automatically generated:
The big question that all SEOs will now ask themselves is – do these articles rank on Google?
For Bankrate.com, this specific use-case and the current point in time, one can say: yes, it works.
Many , randomly-checked articles rank on the first page for both the main keyword and many other long-tail keywords:
Why does this work on Bankrate.com?
Google has been surprised by the recent, rapid advances in generative AI technology. Contradictory statements and hectic changes to guidelines show that Google currently has no strategy for dealing with the topic.
Bankrate.com benefits from this vacuum and ranks on Google with automatically generated content, without Google evaluating it differently to human-generated content. Google’s helplessness shows that this works in an environment such as financial information (a clear Your Money, Your Life topic and therefore highly visible on the radar at Google).
What options does Google have?
Can Google recognise automatically generated content and treat it differently? While this question is currently a hot topic, it’s clear to me that Google can’t win this race, and trying to distinguishing content by creation method method isn’t helpful.
However, I could imagine that Google will make authors more responsible in the future. If Google succeeds in getting authors to vouch for the quality of the content published under their names in machine-readable form, the search engine can ultimately ignore how the content was created – as long as the quality is good enough.