Can Google really detect AI-generated content?

Marley Braunlich

Marley Braunlich

01 / 17 / 2023

Can Google really detect AI-generated content?

Marley Braunlich

01 / 17 / 2023


You may have heard some people discussing whether or not Google can detect AI content. While some say yes, Google in fact can detect AI content and it goes against their guidelines, others say this is not true and that the future of content generation will definitely rely on AI. We’re here to give you an answer you can finally depend on. 

Here’s what we know: Google can detect high-quality and low-quality content regardless of its writing source. Whether content is written by a human or AI, Google looks for certain criteria and indicators that determine the quality of the content. When using AI tools the right way, AI-written content is undetectable to Google. Let’s talk about what the right way looks like. 

When using AI copywriting or content generation tools, it’s important to still read through the content. Every article, either written by a content writer or an AI tool, needs some proofreading and editing before it’s ready to publish. It’s important to read through your content to ensure everything makes sense and is relevant to include. Even checking basic things like grammar, spelling and punctuation is essential and determines a good article from an excellent one.

A mistake people often make when using AI tools is they forget about the human element and let the tool do all of the work. In order to get the most out of your AI tool, you need to give it clear instructions and a relevant keyword. Finally, you should take artificial intelligence-generated content with a grain of salt. Sometimes you may need to refresh the generated paragraph to get a better one. Other times, you may need to rearrange your article in an order that makes more sense. Or maybe the AI tool you’re using pulled a statistic from a competitor’s site and you’d like to swap this out for a stat based on your own company’s data. In each of these instances, a human reviewing the content is crucial. 

AI tools have many advantages that should not be overlooked. Here are a few benefits of AI content generators, like Contentedge:

  • Saves you time
  • Great for brainstorming new topics
  • Gives you SEO-optimized outlines and content
  • Affordable cost for freelancers or companies
  • Improves chances of ranking in Google SERPs
  • Recommends semantic or related keywords
  • Includes competitor analysis
  • Grades your work

If you use an AI tool and add a human touch throughout the article, you are sure to have high-quality, deep content that will have a higher chance to rank on Google. 

Understanding Google Search Essentials (formerly known as Google’s Webmaster Guidelines)

For years, Google has been putting out guidelines and regulations about sharing content online via Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. These guidelines just got a refresh and are now called Google Search Essentials.

Within Google’s long list of recommendations, policies and requirements, there is a section on AI-generated content. In this section, Google tells us what they specifically do not like or wish to see from AI-generated content. 

Here’s what Google regards as spammy AI content:

  • Text that makes no sense to the reader but contains search keywords
  • Text translated by an automated tool without human review or curation before publishing
  • Text generated through automated processes without regard for quality or user experience
  • Text generated using automated synonymizing, paraphrasing, or obfuscation techniques
  • Text generated from scraping feeds or search results
  • Stitching or combining content from different web pages without adding sufficient value

This does not mean Google prohibits the use of AI tools to generate content or that AI content will not rank on Google. All that this says is that low quality content will not be rewarded. 

You should ensure your content is high quality, accurate and provides value to the reader regardless of how it was written. 

“The Helpful Content Update” and AI-generated text

In August 2022, Google finished rolling out a new algorithm update called the “Helpful Content Update”. The helpful content update rewards content that creates a good user experience with a focus on people-first content. The goal of this update is to ensure useful, high-quality content shows up in the search results. Your content is helpful if a user can get their questions answered, learn about a topic and feel that they have had a satisfying experience while on your site. 

The Helpful Content Update is bringing our focus back on the end user. Not only should sites follow SEO best practices to get their content to rank on Google, but the end user should always be kept in mind when creating the content in the first place. This algorithm update encourages content creators and writers to create people-first content so users can get the best experience when visiting your site. 

Does This Algorithm Update Impact AI Content?

Some individuals speculate that this algorithm update was designed to penalize AI content. However, Google is unable to detect content from AI writing platforms.

The Helpful Content Update was not addressing AI-written content. Instead, this algorithm update addresses low-quality pages that do not serve the end user. For example, content that is keyword stuffed, has a low word count with surface-level content, or doesn’t address the user’s search query. 

To satisfy the user’s request and intent, each page you create should offer as much value as possible and be a great reference or source on a topic. Low-value pages are being weeded out by this update. Some low quality pages include programmatically generated pages or what Google is calling “spammy AI content.” 

AI is a powerful tool that helps content writers create valuable, SEO-optimized content. AI empowers writers and content marketers to write deep articles that cover a variety of questions and concerns about any topic. AI tools can help writers create better, people-first content, which is being rewarded by this update. 

What Is AI-generated Content?

When we talk about AI-generated content, we’re referring to content that is created and published by a machine. This type of content is usually generated based on a set of rules that are applied to a database of information. Machines can produce AI-generated content in a variety of ways. For example, a machine might use natural language processing to analyze the text of thousands of blog posts on your website and then generate new blog posts based on the common ideas in those articles. Or, it might use machine learning to analyze the number of times certain words appear on your website, and then create new blog posts that include those words at appropriate intervals.

Do AI-written Posts Rank in the SERPS?

Search engines including Google, Yahoo, and Bing use algorithms to evaluate the relevancy of web pages. The algorithm looks at the content of a web page and the links leading to it from other sites. This information is used to determine the ranking of pages in search engine results. In recent years, we have seen a significant increase in the use of automated tools that help webmasters create content that can help their pages rank higher in search engine results. One of these tools is artificial intelligence or AI. 

So do AI-written posts rank in Google search results? Absolutely! 

Marketing and SEO expert, Mike King, states in his article debunking myths about AI content that “Despite Google’s policies around AI Content, using the tech correctly does not necessarily impact your visibility and search traffic negatively.” 

There are a lot of people making money right now building out sites that are largely using AI content. Here’s an example of how sites are increasing their rankings and overall income through AI content: 

See the entire Twitter thread to see what others have to say here.

Software Google might use to detect Machine-Generated Content

Glenn Gabe is an SEO expert and he gives us his thoughts on AI content and tools used to detect low quality pages in this article. Glenn covers three helpful tools you can use to evaluate AI content and get a quick understanding of the quality of writing. Here is a list of tools that can detect AI content: 

These tools are examples of software that Google could be using to detect AI content. But is it possible that Google is doing this at scale? It’s possible, however we think that is unlikely. 

Finally, Glenn notes that we should be looking for low quality AI content, as the Helpful Content Update is not aimed at all AI content. 

Quality Is Key, Obviously

The quality of the content is still an important thing to keep in mind. 

For example, if you use AI to start writing a blog post and then revise the article, add some additional content written by a human or add in your brand voice, Google will see your post as original, high quality content and rank it accordingly. 

If you use an automated tool like an article spinning software or an AI platform to create thousands of articles for you that provide little to no value to the end user, Google will see those as spammy and not rank them as high. 

Or if you are directly publishing GTP-3 text, there is a higher chance that Google could detect that the content was created with AI. If you are using a more sophisticated tool like Contentedge, something like this is far less likely to occur. 

Kevin Indig makes some great points about the importance of quality over origin in his article on machine-generated content. One of the many interesting things he states is that “Google even recommends automating meta-descriptions for large sites.” Google understands that AI tools are beneficial in specific instances, like creating meta descriptions, summaries, definitions, transcriptions and more. 

AI-written articles will definitely rank in the SERPS and are even more likely to do so when they follow SEO best practices and Google Search Essentials’ guidelines.

How does AI impact my SEO efforts?


Many people ask how they can improve their ranking in search engines like Google or Bing with the advent of AI. If your goal is to improve your search engine ranking, here are a few things you should know:

First, don’t try to game the system by stuffing keywords into your page or creating links that don’t actually go anywhere (known as ”link spamming”). This type of activity will get you penalized by search engines, which is not what you want. 

Second, if you want better rankings in search engines, focus on creating great content (not just text but also images, video etc.) that users will find valuable and share with others. If people share your content with others (via social media or email), that’s a sign that this is good content and other people will find it valuable. Sharing of content also shows Google and other search engines that this is relevant content that users find useful and want to read/see/hear about. 

Third, focus on driving targeted traffic from other websites back to your own site via links from high-quality sites (i. e., sites that already have a good reputation). 

There are a variety of ranking factors to consider when creating content and getting your articles to rank can take time. If you have been struggling to get your content to rank on Google, working with an SEO agency, like RankScience, can help you grow your organic traffic and get your site ranking faster. 

Using an AI Copywriting Assistant

As mentioned earlier, AI copywriting tools are valuable for anyone writing content that wants to rank on Google. There are many AI tools out there, but only a handful that can create unique content that provides value to the reader.

Contentedge is a free copywriting and content generation tool that creates SEO-optimized content for you. This tool is useful for anyone who wants to create high-quality content that ranks on Google. Contentedge creates unique, original content using natural language processing (NLP) and gathers data from GPT-3, IBM Watson, and their own proprietary NLP models. 

Simply enter in a keyword or topic you want to write about and get an outline or paragraph text generated for you! Not only does this tool speed up your writing process, but it also provides new ideas to include in your article, important keywords and SEO recommendations you can apply to your post. Using an AI tool like Contentedge will help you create people-first content that ranks on Google faster. 

10k+ freelancers, writers, business owners, startups and content creators use Contentedge to churn out more content and grow their businesses. 

Surprise! We actually used Contentedge to write some of the content in this article. 

Give AI Copywriting A Spin 

Are you ready to create more content that ranks faster on Google and provides value to end users? Sign up here to get started with Contentedge for free. This tool is used by over 10,000 writers and content creators to level up their SEO and content strategy. 

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