Google's Latest Core Update as a microchip in an AI circuit board
During any year, Google adapts and changes its search algorithms. Known as core updates, it is often minor adjustments that most people and businesses don’t notice. However, every so often, a core update is much broader in its scope, and this is exactly what’s happened. 
Google’s latest core update addresses the increased use of AI-generated content and improves how Google assesses and ranks online content. The emphasis has been put back on quality and comes at the same time as a spam update. So, what does it mean for those creating AI content, and what is the impact on businesses? 
A robot using a laptop while sitting at a desk

Google’s core updates 

In August last year, Google released the first of two major core updates focused on high-quality and user-led content. The second update on 5th March this year, released alongside a spam update, it has to be said, caused a ripple or two. 
The main focus of both core updates is: 
To reduce the amount of unoriginal, low-quality content appearing in search results 
To deal with the evolving new and abusive practices surrounding AI-generated content 
There are two key areas that Google has targeted – the use of AI-generated content and content abuse. Let’s look at each area. 
A magnifying glass looking at a search box

Addressing AI-generated content 

Google aims to reduce the amount of unhelpful content that isn’t original. They’ve also refined their core ranking systems to better understand web pages that contain low-quality content that delivers a poor customer experience. 
Google believes these two core updates should reduce the amount of poor quality, low value and unoriginal content that appears in search results by as much as 40%
As part of Google’s research before issuing these updates, they discovered that scaled content creation has become far more sophisticated, often through automated tools. It is being generated for search engine results rather than for providing informative, people-led content. 

Dealing with spam content 

The other area Google has addressed in March’s core update is spam content, which is in several different forms. While Google has had systems and policies in place to deal with spam content, it hasn’t been enough. The new update allows them to take more targeted action against websites and content platforms that are churning out poor quality, unoriginal content. 
Another aspect they’ve focused on is site reputation abuse. This is where websites with high-ranking content allow poor quality content from a third party to be posted, enabling that party to benefit from the host’s good reputation. This is deemed by Google as confusing and/or misleading content for the user. As such, websites doing this will be punished. 
A final example of online spam content is expired domain abuse, where expired domains are bought and repurposed with the sole intention of gaining a higher search ranking using unoriginal, low-quality content. The important point to note is that Google does not intend to block this form of content, principally because many websites host advertising content for their regular readers. However, content that is posted purely to manipulate search rankings will be blocked by Google’s spam policies. 
Suspected spam phone call on a mobile phone

What does Google’s update mean for you? 

For business owners, website owners and developers, more thought has to go into the content being generated. Google’s latest core updates have made it very clear that it’s no longer acceptable to solely rely upon (a) AI-based content generators, like ChatGPT and Gemini, and (b) content must be high quality, of value to users and people-led. 
Since the 5th March core update, a study has revealed that of 79,000 content-forward websites that Google indexed, 1,446 of the sites (2%) have already been issued with a ‘manual actions’ notice from Google. This tells the website manager that certain web pages don’t align with Google’s new policies. It transpires that Google has since deindexed those websites, which accounted for more than 20 million visitors a month, and they aren’t showing up in their search results. This equates to a large amount of lost revenue. 
A further study by the same company found that when they analysed the 100 most recently posted articles on these websites, half of them had produced content that was as much as 90% AI-generated
Google’s Helpful Content guidelines explain that the purpose of the latest updates is to ensure only original, high-quality content reaches the echelons of top search results to boost user value. 

How to ensure your content stays on the good side of Google? 

The good news is that Google has allowed websites time to adjust their content to adhere to the new rules. 5th May is the cut-off point, which for some major websites is a tight time frame. So, what should you do to ensure your website complies with Google’s new systems and policies? 
Audit your website. First and foremost, go through all the content on your website and make sure it is original, of high quality, in line with Google’s new spam policy and provides value to your readers. 
Remove, improve and add. Any content identified as low quality, lacking the human touch, unoriginal and doesn’t help the reader must be removed or improved. You may find you need to add new content to fill the gaps, but make sure it follows Google’s Helpful Content guidelines. 
Adopt a people-led approach. All marketers and content generators now need to adopt a more people-led, or human-forward, approach to creating content. While nobody is against the use of AI tools, including Google, it has to be used in moderation and with the user’s experience in mind, not the search engine’s. 
With these core updates from Google, it’s a warning across the bows for many content generators and marketers. As long as you are creating content that is high-quality, original and provides value for the user, there shouldn’t be any issues. 
At it’seeze, our network of experienced website experts throughout the UK and Ireland is experienced in generating content that meets Google’s requirements and the latest core updates. We make sure your website content aligns with your SEO strategies, building a website that reflects your business and keeps your content relevant, engaging and on brand. Get in touch with us today to start your it’seeze journey. 
Tagged as: AI
Share this post:

Leave a comment: 

Our site uses cookies, including for advertising personalisation. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings