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Google March Core Update: AI Kills SERPs! Focus on High-Quality Content Instead

A few months ago, I published an article about AI writing. Long story short, my position was that you shouldn't do it, mostly because AI content can never be fully compliant with Google requirements and quality frameworks.


And a few days ago, Google released a new core update that, so far, got over 1,400 websites deindexed from the SERPs, mostly for thin AI content (but also for spam and other transgressions).


If this happened (or is about to happen to your website), what can you do?


Before I answer this question, it's important to understand what's really going on right now. Google is on the "killing spree" for low-quality websites that are full of content that's:

  • AI-generated

  • Written exclusively for "SEO purposes"

  • Lacking value for the reader

  • Misleading


Originality.ai study: Over 1,400 websites dexinexed for low-quality content

Some time ago, Originality.ai published an interesting study on the effectiveness of Google's new update. In March 2024 alone (it's March 12 when I'm writing this post), 1,446 websites got a manual action from Google. In other words - they were deindexed or dropped so far down in the SERP no one really cares about them anymore.


And now, the most important bit:
  • 100% of websites that got a manual action from Google showed signs of using AI

  • 7 of the 14 websites the Originality.ai team analyzed had over 90% AI-generated articles


AI writing: Google March update
Source: https://originality.ai/blog/google-march-2024-manual-action-ai-update-list

If your website is full of low-quality content written just for so-called "SEO purposes" (I'm putting this in quotes because that's not the right way to do SEO in 2024!), generated by AI or low-paid copywriters who were just told to put keywords in their texts, your website can be next in line.



High-quality content is the answer (and it has always been)

I mean, I get it, everyone's hyped about AI; now we can do so much stuff much easier and faster. But many companies (mostly those smelling some significant content marketing savings) took it one step too far.


They fired their content teams (or the majority of them) and turned to ChatGPT for free and easy content. But these companies (I really hope that's not you!) forgot that Google has always been about providing users with high-quality, helpful content (that's literally how they named one of their recent updates!).


And that's something AI can never help you with. That's because AI is incapable of creating anything new (let alone anything creative). It can only rewrite what it already has in its database.


  • AI has no real-life experience

  • AI has no idea what are the needs of your ICP (Ideal Client Profile)

  • AI is not creative

  • AI has no expertise; it cannot judge whether the stuff it's producing is helpful or correct, for that matter

If you couldn't resist AI's charm, you must now take one step back and do it the right way this time. Here's what you should do:


DELETE ALL THE THIN CONTENT ON YOUR WEBSITE

I know, it hurts. But you're better off with no content at all with AI-generated generic content that does nothing (and can get your website deindexed as of March 1, 2024). If you have some keyword-stuffed articles, do the same thing; just hit the delete button.


FOCUS ON HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT

Just forget about mass-produced thin content. Focus on its quality; make providing value your main goal. Think about your users and their needs and give them posts and articles they need or are interested in. Moreover, add a personal touch to what you publish by adding case studies and real-life examples. Show how what you talk about can be implemented by your clients. That's how you do it.


QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY

If your SEO agency is telling you to publish MORE AND MORE, just don't, unless you have the necessary production capacity. But you should never trade quality for quantity. It's better to publish one great, in-depth piece that amazes your clients than to publish five weak posts that say nothing new.


WRITE THE WAY GOOGLE LIKES

It's no mystery that Google has its own content frameworks and requirements that you need to adhere to if you want to rank high organically. The two most important ones are Google E-E-A-T and Helpful Content.


In the article that I link to, Google specifically says:

Focus on people-first content

And that's what you should do! That's the shortest recipe that will help you avoid penalties from Google for low-quality, thin, AI-generated content. Hope this helps!


And if you're running an IT/SaaS company and you need help with your content, I'm here to help. I invite you to schedule a free content consultation so that we can chat about your content needs. Looking forward to it!


Talk soon!

Mike

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