Google Search Reacts to BankRate AI-Generated Content

Machine-generated content is becoming higher quality with the help of AI, creating content which is more human-like. Whether this is acceptable to Google or not comes down to if it is being created with the intent to help people or rank higher in Google Search.

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is the latest hot topic in SEO and now that we’re seeing more examples of brands using AI-generated content, interest in AI is going to grow further. BankRate is the latest example that has been gaining a lot of attention within the SEO community.

Bankrate & AI-Generated Articles

Bankrate.com are a US-based financial site which has been publishing AI-generated articles over the past couple of months. The finished articles are edited and fact-checked by an editor on their editorial staff team which has been confirmed by a notice on their articles written by AI: “This article was generated using automation technology and thoroughly edited and fact-checked by an editor on our editorial staff.”

We did a Google search of this sentence looking just at the bankrate.com domain and it showed that they have already published around 192 AI-generated articles.

However, the bigger question is whether or not these articles are generating traffic from Google.

Are Bankrate AI Articles Ranking on Google?

At this current point in time, yes. Randomly checking articles we can see that many rank on the first page for both the main keyword and other long-tail keywords. However, we can see that over the past month rankings have started to drop for AI-generated articles as shown in the example below.

Rankings for specific AI-generated article starting to fall

If we compare our recent findings to the research conducted by Sistrix in which they found this specific article example to be ranking first on Google for many main keywords, we can see that most of these have now dropped in position.

There are now only 47 ranking keywords compared to 134 previously. We’ve compared a couple of articles randomly and this seems to be the case with others too. Maybe Google is taking action due to the publicity around the AI articles produced by BankRate?

Google Guidelines on AI Content

Creating AI-generated content is against Google’s guidelines if it has been created primarily for search engine rankings. However, do Google’s systems have the ability to detect AI-generated content without the assistance of human reviewers, and can they differentiate if it has been created for people first?

Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, reiterated Google’s stance on AI-generated content as it’s such a hot topic and it seems that it’s the intent behind why the content has been written that’s important.

Danny also explained “For anyone who uses *any method* to generate a lot content primarily for search rankings, our core systems look at many signals to reward content clearly demonstrating E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness).”

Why is this important?

Machine-generated content is becoming higher quality with the help of AI, creating content which is more human-like. Whether this is acceptable to Google or not comes down to if it is being created with the intent to help people or rank higher in Google Search. However, we’re not sure that Google at this moment in time can distinguish between the two right now. It’s an interesting conversation that will only develop further in time.

If you’re looking for help with your content marketing strategy, GA Agency is an international digital marketing agency ready to assist you with all your digital marketing needs from SEO consulting to paid media. Get in touch for a free consultation and to find out how we can help take your business to the next level.

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