How to prevent AI-generated content from becoming the new spam

23 June 2023
4 minutes

If you’re like most content marketers, generative AI has been on your mind and in your news feed a lot over the past year. You’ve heard all the hype about how it will revolutionise your workflow, change the internet forever and save you countless hours of work. But is AI living up to its promise now that Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller has declared that the search engine considers AI-generated content to be “spam”?

How can you tap into the benefits of AI while still ensuring your content marketing truly adds value for your readers and earns a high SERP ranking? We’ve got some thoughts on that.

Key takeaways:

  • 90% of online content may be AI-generated by 2026.
  • Irresponsible use of AI will lead to a general decline in the quality of online content.
  • Content marketers now have an opportunity to stand out from their competitors like never before: the key to success is the human factor.
  • Leverage the power of AI, but never forget the importance of human creativity.
Image of a statistic about how AI-generated content will dominate content in a few years

Why is AI content spammy?

If you consider the way generative AI works, it’s easy to understand why AI-generated content often feels so spammy. After all, AI is really only imitating content that already exists. It doesn’t come up with original new ideas or think outside the box. It’s more like a mirror that reflects what’s already out there on the internet.

The problem is, millions of people are already using generative AI without really caring that much – or at all – about the quality of the text they produce. There are already thousands of AI-generated texts being published on the internet every day, and some experts even predict that 90% of online content will be AI-generated by 2026.

As AI-generated content starts to take over the internet, we will enter into a feedback loop: AI models will inevitably start “learning” from texts that are AI-generated themselves. That means lots of online content will become an imitation of an imitation. It sounds like a dizzying race to the bottom of a spam sinkhole. Content will become less and less authentic and more and more generic. It’s not how any of us want to access information on the internet.

A pivotal moment for content marketers

Although there’s been a lot of hype about generative AI in the content marketing world lately, one thing is definitely true: we have reached a pivotal moment. We like to focus on the bright side and see how new technologies are going to improve the lives of marketers and our audiences. Although AI does bring a high potential for spam, it also brings a huge opportunity for marketers who start taking the right approach, right now.

What’s that approach look like? It’s actually quite simple, but still surprising how many brands are already getting it wrong. Since the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022, it’s not just university students who have been taking the easy way out and handing in sloppy, unimaginative AI-generated content. Marketers are doing it too.

We have reached a point where the content landscape is going to be divided into two categories: those who just care about publishing massive volumes of inferior AI content, and those who are still taking the time to produce high-quality work.

If we look at the trend towards AI adoption, it’s likely that the first category (let’s call them the “spammers”) are soon going to make up the majority of online publishers. This leaves a vast vacuum-like hole in the internet that’s just waiting to be filled by quality-conscious marketers who truly have something to say.

We believe in supporting those marketers to leave their original mark in this crowded media landscape and really make a difference for their audiences and their brands.

Vector of a man with a pen in his hands, drawing the word "Chance"

How to stand out with value-added content

In a sea of spammy AI-generated content, the brands that stand out will be the ones who still take time to add the human touch. As AI becomes the norm online, smart readers will quickly become desensitised to generic-sounding content that is obviously an imitation of someone else’s imitation. In other words, you may as well not even bother posting pure AI content, because it isn’t going to impress anyone in the long term.

The formula for success is:

In the increasingly generic content landscape, originality, quality and creativity will shine even brighter than ever. As John Mueller has already said, Google will prioritise human-created content over AI spam. That’s because audiences will always prefer an original point of view over a generic imitation.

This moment is a great opportunity to give your brand a strong competitive advantage. The decisive factor that separates the winners from the spammers going forward will always be the human touch.

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