Duplicate content can make your website rankings drop. But how serious is this? Will Google de-index you completely so your company will disappear from all search results? Luckily Google is more nuanced about the issue of duplicate content. But we’ll definitely have to keep a sharp eye on how AI-writers influence online content.
Duplicate content according to Google
Duplicate content can either be seen as plagiarism or as spam. This happens when big chunks of text are recycled. Imagine a service provider reusing the same page twenty times with just replacing the location: same text for Amsterdam for London for New York for Hong Kong and so on. This would clearly be duplicate content.
Google guidelines and algorithm
Google is mostly lenient on duplicate content because sometimes you just can’t avoid it. There are only so many words for webshops to describe a product, and very often multiple shops copy the same product descriptions from their supplier to their own website. Although Google can definitely penalize duplicate content, it only does so if it’s done with bad intent. Google algorithm is ever changing though and only known to a select few. We cannot know what will happen next.
How does AI generate content?
An AI-writer is a language learning model that trains itself on existing web content. All the ideas it came up with, did already exist. AI cannot come up with original ideas. This implies that AI recycles existing content and rearranges this – or not – in a new text. In a future where a great deal of the web consists of AI-made texts, the AI will train itself on its content. There is a risk that AI-generated texts will start to look more and more alike.
Of course, a great prompt is imperative to generate a great AI text. Put a generous amount of effort in for a tailor made prompt and never use the ready made prompts offered online: if all musicians use the same loops, all tunes will sound alike.
The content explosion and indexing
It’s already happening: AI makes content generation faster and cheaper. This results in much more content on the web. Google already told us that it favors quality over quantity. But we don’t know yet how Google will handle the challenge of indexing all this growing content. Some experts think that Google might not be able to index the whole web, because it will cost their bots too much energy and time. So far this is just speculation. We just don’t know yet.
Duplicate content versus similar content
A basic Google guideline is that website content has to offer something valuable to visitors. We can be sure that this basic quality content rule will not change. So how valuable is your apple pie recipe if there are already 25000 apple pie recipes online? Although your original recipe might not be duplicate content, it will be similar content. And this might just be the type of content that Google might skip in the future.
Avoid duplicate content by humanizing AI-texts
Humans can do things that AI cannot yet do. We can produce new, illogical ideas and have brilliant insights while under the shower. Always use your human qualities to prepare and edit an AI-written text. Alternatively or additionally, you could use a software like Textmetrics. In Textmetrics you define your own writing rules to generate a style that is more human and that always suits your brand.
By humanizing an AI-text you avoid duplicate and low-quality content. And remember always to come back to this blog where we will keep you in the loop on all things AI and Google!