Google sign on building

Google’s revision of its spam policy to exclude artificial intelligence (AI)-generated clickbait from search results is poised to benefit companies focused on creating high-quality, user-centric content, experts say, setting them apart in a competitive landscape.

The search giant is taking steps to improve the quality of its search results by filtering out web pages that provide a poor user experience or seem to be designed solely for search engines rather than actual users. This strategic shift is expected to dramatically enhance the caliber of online content.

“Those businesses that rely heavily on generative AI to produce large quantities of content may see a decline in their search visibility if their content is flagged as spam under the new policy,” Chris Lever, head of SEO at Bring Digital, told PYMNTS in an interview. “This will necessitate a shift toward investing in higher-quality content that is expertly written by humans, and maybe assisted by AI content, that better serves the user’s intent.”

Fighting AI Spam

The recent announcement highlighted that Google would update its algorithms starting in May to eliminate low-quality content from its search results. This initiative is in response to the growing trend of AI-generated content optimized for search engine rankings. The ease of use and availability of AI tools have led to a proliferation of content specifically crafted to meet Google’s search criteria.

Google’s forthcoming updates are not only targeting AI-driven SEO content but also aim to address the issue of low-quality contributions on websites with high credibility.

Google Director of Product Management Elizabeth Tucker said the goal of these updates is to improve the ability of Google’s ranking systems to identify useful pages over those engineered for search engine optimization. The aim is to decrease the presence of low-quality content in search results, thereby directing users toward more trustworthy and informative websites.

Building on the lessons learned from an algorithmic change in 2022 focused on reducing unhelpful and repetitive content, Google intends to apply these insights to its next update. This strategy is designed to funnel users toward content that is both useful and of high quality.

Google predicts that the upcoming adjustments will lead to a 40% reduction in spammy and unoriginal search outcomes. Additionally, the updates will better identify and classify expired domains repurposed for clickbait as spam.

Website owners have been given a two-month heads-up to prepare for these changes, which are slated to be implemented on May 5. They are advised to revise their websites to align with Google’s new quality benchmarks, ensuring their content remains visible and relevant in search results.

How to Stand Out in Search

To optimize results under the new Google search guidelines, publishers should focus on creating unique content, Daniel Watkinson, search engine optimization manager at web hosting company 20i, said in an interview with PYMNTS. Google’s focus over the last few years has been on “helpfulness,” so content should have a valid purpose to help the user, providing straightforward answers to the query, he said.

“Another key consideration is how you can add additional value that nobody else is offering — Google holds a patent on an ‘information gain’ score, which assesses content based on how many unique points it contains compared to other similar pieces,” he added.

One of the best SEO practices to alleviate the impact of the algorithm updates is to ensure you’re generating original and valuable content, Evie Sandall, senior SEO specialist at SEO agency Assisted, told PYMNTS in an interview.

“Google has been really pushing the user-first mindset from the first main content update of Panda, which looked to crack down on content farms and spammy content,” Sandall said. “Always keep your user at the forefront of your mind when generating any online content.”