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Deconstructing Originality.ai’s AI Content Detection Claims: Bias or Legitimate Concerns?

Originality.ai has produced an article to answer the question of how prevalent AI content is in Google search results. They tracked 500 popular search terms and found the prominence of ai has increased in the SERPS steadily since 2019. They use archive.org to grab historical content and run it through their service. They have found, not surprisingly, that AI content has increasingly gained a presence in the search results.

Unexpected Result

Founder Jonathan Gillham tweeted

Jonathan claims that AI usage itself is the target of these updates however, this latest study shows AI is even more prominent AFTER the update.

Instead of questioning his theory that AI itself was targeted, he claims that “Google is losing the AI spam war”. I can understand why but I’ll get to that later.

They came out with an article called “Can Google Detect and Does it Penalize AI Content” shortly after the update started rolling out. In it they looked at the public sites that got deindexed for “Pure Spam” and scanned those websites for AI content.

The article concludes, “The risk of AI-generated spam overwhelming Googles search results is an existential threat to Google. This seems to be a clear attempt by Google to not just punish but also make a statement about their view on AI generated spam.”

First, if manual action is the only remedy, then obviously, Google can’t detect AI content, algorithmically.

Second, these were public case study sites in large part. They knew about many of these sites so they could have been targeted for other reasons.

Third, scaled content was targeted with Google’s Spam update and all of these sites pushed out many hundreds of articles and in some cases thousands. This would have happened if they did the exact same thing and hired cheap writers to write each of the articles.

So it isn’t clear that AI content itself was the target and given that AI content is MORE prominent after the updates it seems to me that AI wasn’t the target.

Financial Incentives

Let’s not forget that originality.ai is in business to sell you credits to scan AI content. Their conclusions cannot be removed from this bias. Their goal is to make you scared of AI content. If you are scared of AI content then you will scan text with their tool.

Bad Practices for AI Content

What it seems like to me is that Google hasn’t specifically targeted AI content, but they have started to be aggressive in targeting low-value content. You can make low-value content with AI tools or you can write it yourself.

What is Low-Value Content?

Content that doesn’t say anything new about a subject. The kinds of articles that AI are good at producing. If you give a prompt in ChatGPT like “write an article about how to cook a chicken” it will regurgitate all the known data about that topic. It’s a very low-value article. No new information.

Blasting Out Hundreds or Thousands of Articles

With the Spam Update Google just released the days of blasting out a ton of articles to your site are over. This seems to be what Google was targeting and to specifically AI content. It just so happens that AI writers make it easy to blast out hundreds or thousands of articles. Which is why their was a correlation between AI content and manual actions.

What Should You Do

Don’t worry about AI content. Make your content the best it can be. Whether you hire writers or use AI, it doesn’t matter. Make the content as useful and unique as you can. AI is here and it isn’t going anywhere.

By the way… This was written by a human, I guess.

Learn to find content ideas your competitors are missing, here.

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