Google and AI Content: What to Know (& What to Do)

Google does not penalize AI content, but it does penalize AI content created to manipulate search results, which aligns with the company's long-standing spam policies. While producing AI content is an option, it is not a tactic our team endorses.
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    Sarah Berry SEO Consultant
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  • March 26, 2024
  • 4 min. read

With powerful AI SEO tools like ChatGPT, Surfer, and Jasper, it’s possible to create AI content at lightning speeds. The question, however, is whether AI content can rank in Google Search results. So, does AI content work for SEO? Like most SEO questions, the answer is “it depends.”

While Google believes that artificial intelligence can create helpful content, it also recognizes the potential abuse of this powerful feature in creating content that manipulates search results — and violates its Spam policies.

Learn more about Google and AI content policies now, along with the best next steps!

Google and AI content: What to know

Understand the basics when it comes to Google and AI content now:

What is Google’s stance on AI content?

According to Google, “appropriate use of AI or automation is not against our guidelines. This means that it is not used to generate content primarily to manipulate search rankings, which is against our spam policies.”

Why does Google allow AI content?

Google allows AI content because “AI can assist with and generate useful content in exciting new ways.” Automation, for example, has powered helpful content like weather forecasts, sports scores, transcripts, and finance reports for years.

Does AI content rank in Google Search?

Yes, Google crawls, indexes, and ranks AI content. According to Google, “if [AI content] is useful, helpful, original, and satisfied aspects of E-E-A-T, it might do well in Search. If it doesn’t, it might not.”

Does Google penalize AI content?

Google penalizes AI content when that content violates its spam policies, like being produced to “manipulate search rankings.” The search engine’s March 2024 Core Update targeted this type of content, as well as other black-hat tactics associated with AI content, like:

  • Re-purposing expired domains as hosting sites for little-to-no-value content
  • Bulk-publishing content on third-party sites with zero oversight from the site owner
  • Producing excessive amounts of low-value content

Before the March 2024 Core Update, publishers like The Verge tested the effectiveness of Google’s Spam policies against AI content. In one example, the site published an unchecked, ChatGPT-generated piece that ranks on page one for ‘best printer 2023’ (along with 70+ other keywords):

AI content example

Newly created sites with AI content have not seen the same results, indicating that Google’s other core ranking systems, like PageRank, influence short- and long-term rankings as these sites often dip in performance over time.

As an example, look at the performance of Causal’s site, which uses AI content:

AI content performance

Google and AI content: What to do

You’ve learned Google’s stance on AI-generated content. Now, decide what to do with it:

Should I use AI content for Google Search?

While Google permits AI content, deciding whether to use it depends on the following:

  • The topic, like how to choose a medical care provider vs. the weather for the Super Bowl.
  • The purpose, like summarizing the weekly weather.
  • The extent, like writing a blog post or summarizing a blog post in 50-100 words.

For example, if producing AI content to summarize the weekly weather in under 200 words, it’s likely the AI model, like ChatGPT, can produce helpful content — especially when reviewed by a human editor.

However, if producing AI content on how to choose a medical provider in 800-1200 words, it’s likely the AI model, like ChatGPT, will fail in producing helpful content that users can trust — especially for a Your Money, Your Life (YMYL) topic.

At WebFX (the team behind, our stance is not to create AI content.

From our perspective, human-created content will often provide the most value to readers because it offers authoritative advice from a trusted individual that can help readers make informed decisions, whether choosing a healthcare provider, dermatologist, or a place to eat.

How can I use AI for content?

Should you decide to invest in human-generated content, there are still use cases for AI within the content process that can save time while helping your team create more helpful content for Google Search users.

For example, AI can help with the following:

  • Compiling headline, title tag, and meta description ideas
  • Educating copywriters on complex concepts
  • Generating supporting graphics
  • Proofing content against brand guidelines
  • Developing supporting tools or resources, like a calculator or template
  • And more

For websites looking to produce AI content, paid SEO tools like Surfer and Jasper offer support.

Start producing better content for Google

For Google, helpful content is critical, and while AI can produce helpful content, it’s often in a supporting vs. primary role. That’s why our seasoned SEO team recommends producing human-generated content with the support of AI models like ChatGPT, Gemini, and Claude.

For professional assistance creating effective content, explore our SEO content marketing services!

Portrait of a smiling woman with long hair, transparent background.
Sarah Berry is an SEO Consultant at one of the largest SEO agencies in the USA — WebFX. With more than 10,000 hours of SEO experience, she offers practical insights and strategies you can use to grow your rankings, traffic, and revenue from search.

Add WebFX to your content marketing toolbox today

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