In recent years, Google has made many changes to its policies regarding content generated using artificial intelligence (AI). One such change is the new policy on AI-generated reviews, which is now considered spam and banned. What are the implications of this policy for marketers and website owners? Is there a way to distinguish between reviews generated by AI and reviews written by humans? In this article, we take a closer look at Google's new policy and discuss other key aspects of optimizing content for search engines.
- 1 Google's policy on AI-generated content
- 2 Google Search's flexibility towards AI-generated content
- 3 Clarifications of other Google policies against reviews
- 3.1 Spam
- 3.2 Hazardous products or activities
- 3.3 Phone numbers, email addresses or URLs
- 3.4 Personal and confidential data
- 3.5 Take care of the culture of speech.
- 3.6 Conflict of interest
- 3.7 Illegal content
- 3.8 Malware and phishing
- 3.9 Copyrighted content
- 3.10 Trademark infringement
- 3.11 Plagiarism
- 3.12 Sexually explicit material
- 3.13 Hate speech
- 3.14 Cross-promotion of other products/websites
- 3.15 Off-topic reviews
- 3.16 Providing a false identity:
- 3.17 Language
- 3.18 Duplicate content
- 4 Enforcing Google's policies
- 5 Summary
Google's policy on AI-generated content
Google has made its stance on AI-generated content clear. If the reviews are mainly generated by an automated program or an application using artificial intelligence, they are considered to be in violation of Google's policies and treated as spam. If you come across such content, Google recommends marking it as spam in your feed using the "is_spam" attribute (<is_spam>).
According to an update published by Google, auto-generated content is not allowed. If you identify such content, it should be marked as spam in your feed with the "is_spam" attribute (<is_spam>).
But how to identify whether user-generated reviews are generated by AI is another story. If you post reviews yourself using AI, you must mark them as spam if you use Google Merchant Center.
Google Search's flexibility towards AI-generated content
So far, Google has been quite lenient towards content generated using AI. Google accepts AI-generated content as long as it is useful and helpful. Google's new policy is in some ways at odds with this flexibility, although it applies to reviews, not AI-generated content in general. Google expects humans to leave reviews, not robots.
Clarifications of other Google policies against reviews
In addition to the new policy on AI-generated content, Google also provided clarifications on other policies. We present them below:
Spam content is not allowed. Content containing irrelevant, repetitive or meaningless text should be marked as spam using the"is_spam" attribute (<is_spam>).
Hazardous products or activities
Do not post reviews of regulated products that may cause harm or injury. For example, don't post reviews of guns, tobacco products or regulated drugs. In addition, do not post content depicting or containing instructions for dangerous or widely banned activities.
Phone numbers, email addresses or URLs
Do not include phone numbers, email addresses or links to other sites in the content of your review.
Personal and confidential data
Do not post reviews that contain personal information such as full names, credit card information, social security number, driver's license information, etc.
Take care of the culture of speech.
Do not post reviews with vulgarities, offensive vocabulary or content depicting scenes of violence, serious injury or death. Avoid personal attacks and defamatory comments.
Conflict of interest
Do not post reviews that have been paid for or are otherwise inauthentic. Reviews are most valuable when they are honest and unbiased. We remove reviews that we believe have conflicts of interest and/or were written by employees or individuals with a personal interest in the product. Only post reviews that have been honestly returned from customers who have made a purchase.
Do not post reviews that contain or link to illegal content, such as links that facilitate the sale of prescription drugs without a prescription, illegal drugs, counterfeit products or illegal weapons. This content is not allowed.
Malware and phishing
Do not post reviews that contain links to malware, viruses or other malicious software. We do not allow phishing or other content that harms or interferes with Google's or others' networks, servers or infrastructure.
Do not post reviews that violate the rights of others, including copyrights. For more information or to file under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), see our copyright procedures.
Do not post content that uses a trademark in a way that may mislead about the origin of the product being reviewed.
Do not post reviews that contain appropriation of content created by another person or entity.
Sexually explicit material
Do not post reviews containing sexually explicit material. We also do not allow reviews that sexualize children or portray them in a sexual way. In the case of such content, we remove the review, disable the product review feed, and report the matter to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and law enforcement agencies. This content is not allowed.
Do not post reviews that advocate against groups of people based on their race or ethnicity, nationality, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Aggressive language, terrorist content or content intended to incite and encourage violent acts or extremist behavior is not allowed in reviews.
Cross-promotion of other products/websites
Do not post reviews that contain content promoting other, unrelated sites, products or services. If you identify such content, it should be marked as spam in your feed using the attribute
We may remove reviews that mainly deal with topics other than the product itself. This includes comments about shipping and delivery, experiences with specific vendors, political or social controversies, attacks on others or that do not represent direct experience with the product. This includes vendors' responses to reviewers' comments.
Providing a false identity:
We do not allow reviews from people claiming to be someone else.
Reviews should be posted in the original language in which they were written. Google displays reviews in the original language, with an option to translate them into your language on the Shopping page.
Each review should appear only in one feed and only once in that feed. If the review is for several product variants, mark this up by including multiple unique product IDs and URLs with the review. The same review should not appear in the feeds of different vendors. The vendor should own the reviews and should not send content from other sources to Google. In the case of duplicate reviews in multiple feeds, we can block one or more reviews or entire feeds.
Enforcing Google's policies
Google uses a combination of automated and manual checks to ensure that content and reviews comply with policies. Google's enforcement technologies use machine learning algorithms to help protect merchants and users, keeping our shopping platforms secure. More complex, subtle or serious cases are analyzed and evaluated by our specially qualified experts, who perform content assessments that can be difficult for the algorithms themselves, for example, when understanding the context of the content in question is required.
We take action against content and reviews that violate our policies. This may include rejection of offending content or reviews, warnings or suspension of accounts for repeated or serious violations. We take repeated violations of our policies seriously.
If an image is reported as violating the policy, we now also block related review content.
Google's policy on AI-generated content is new, while other policies have only been clarified. Reviews created by AI are considered spam and are unacceptable. This is a conscious move to limit automatically generated content and promote reviews created by humans.
Optimizing content for search engines is crucial to the success of any website. By following proper SEO techniques and adhering to Google's guidelines, you increase the chances of your site ranking better and attracting more users.
Keep in mind that SEO is an ongoing process that requires keeping up to date with current Google policy changes and adapting to them. Regularly updating the content on the site and ensuring that it complies with current standards is essential.
A well-optimized site can achieve a higher ranking in search results, thus attracting more visitors. Remember, however, that valuable and useful content is key. Provide information that will solve users' problems and respond to their needs. Proper SEO techniques are the key to success in online marketing.