AI-generated content and the search engine landscape

Generative AI is rapidly reshaping the SEO landscape as we know it. By providing marketers with a new and faster way to create content, AI can, if used correctly, help scale any SEO campaigns.

Even though artificial intelligence isn’t a new concept, generative AI had a major breakthrough last year, as we saw a majority of Fortune 500 companies adopting ChatGPT in 2023.

Generative AI is now an integral part of our professional lives, embedded in various tools and platforms. These include customer relationship management tools like HubSpot, search engines, social media networks, advertising platforms, and productivity tools. As of April 2024:

  • Google is experimenting with AI-powered Circle to Search and Search Generative Experience (SGE).
  • Bing provides a combined search, summaries, image creation capabilities and chat experience via Copilot powered by GPT-4.
  • Baidu provides an artificial intelligence chatbot and cloud development platform that is comparable to those offered by Google and Microsoft.
  • HubSpot introduced AI to their tools, aiming to help SMBs boost productivity and work smarter.

Since the key feature of generative AI is the ability to create new outputs, the internet has been flooding with AI-written content. While it can help with productivity and scaling, it is important for brands to understand how AI-generated content could impact SEO and in what way marketers can leverage AI to support their work.

The pros and cons of using AI for content creation and SEO

Creating high-quality, relevant content that provides value to your target audience is one of the most important strategies for improving website rankings. This involves producing news articles and optimizing content for target keywords.

Today, AI technology enables content creators and marketers to efficiently uncover relevant keywords and ideas for their content, summarise or enhance insight from the original content, and give inspiration. It can also accelerate content production by creating outlines relevant to the blog topic, and ensure content meets Google's ranking criteria.

While AI can speed up the content production process, content created with generative AI tools focuses on velocity over quality and most often misses the human touch. For example, many AI models cannot distinguish whether the information they collect from the web is correct or not. Some may pull in information that is inaccurate, unreliable or even biased as they rely on limited data.

Additionally, your newly produced content can be a duplicate. Imagine many marketers turn into ChatGPT, asking the same questions and copy-pasting the result on their website as such. When Google crawls these pages, it may identify them as unoriginal and lacking in expertise. This may create challenges for the target audience and search engines, limiting the chance of brand being discovered in a sea of nonsense.


Furthermore, generative AI has severe limitations and liabilities, including the tendency to “hallucinate” by fabricating information when it doesn’t have an answer. It lacks creativity and produces output that tends to be generic and formulaic. The content produced is only as good as the input (prompts) and oversight (editorial process) is – garbage in, garbage out.


Can AI-generated content lower your search rankings?

Google's EEAT model describes the elements of good content and is an important framework to apply when producing quality content optimised for search. The letters EEAT stand for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. This means that Google ranks content based on how much first-hand experience the author has in the area being covered. Furthermore, it evaluates how much the author has expertise, skills and knowledge of the subject. The authoritativeness of a page indicates the reputations of both the author and the website, assessing whether they are well-regarded. Additionally, Google evaluates the page's accuracy, honesty, safety, and reliability. According to Google, AI-generated content will not automatically impact search rankings. However, automatically generated content may not meet the requirements of EEAT.

Create future-proof thought leadership and content strategies

The challenges associated with producing high-performing and high-quality content become more manageable when an organization has a well-defined branding and thought leadership strategy in place. Such a strategy emphasises establishing a strong brand identity and positioning the organization as an authority in its field.

This entails not only following a comprehensive SEO roadmap but also adhering to a quality content creation model that prioritises relevance, depth, and value to the audience. By aligning content creation efforts with strategic branding and thought leadership initiatives, organizations can effectively address issues related to originality, expertise, and overall content performance, thereby enhancing their online presence and credibility.

Here is a checklist to ensure your AI-generated content meets Google’s requirements:

  • Fact-check you AI-generated content to avoid being flagged as spammy by Google.
  • Refine vague paragraphs for clarity and get rid of broad statements.
  • Revise for consistency, removing redundant words and concepts.
  • Review the copy and add personal elements — for example, a real-life example or even a humourous touchits the context.
  • Run through content with a subject matter expert (SME) to make sure all statements and suggestions are correct.
  • Make sure to optimise your content for targeted keywords and search intent.

The search is changing

Google frequently releases Core Updates to enhance search results and safeguard users from low-quality content. Websites prioritising content for search engines over human audiences often face significant impacts from these updates.

AI will unquestionably alter the search landscape. When content, AI, and SEO come together, producing high-quality, relevant, and trustworthy content will become more important than ever. AI can assist with many tasks, such as keyword analysis, content creation, and data analysis. However, harnessing its power requires understanding its limitations and validating its outputs.

Are these issues something your organisation is struggling with? Contact Emily to hear more about the subject.