Google has announced plans to crack down on AI-generated content that is specifically crafted to manipulate its search algorithms and artificially inflate rankings. This decision, outlined in a blog post on Tuesday, signifies a significant shift in Google’s approach and could impact the overall quality of online content.

According to Google, this initiative involves algorithmic improvements to its core ranking systems and is more intricate than typical updates. The changes will primarily target three types of content abuse, with automated content, including that generated by AI, being the most prominent.

Elizabeth Tucker, a director of product management at Google, explained that these updates aim to refine ranking systems to better discern whether webpages are genuinely helpful or merely designed to appeal to search engines. The goal is to reduce low-quality content in search results and direct more traffic to reputable and valuable websites.

Although the blog post did not explicitly mention generative AI, a Google spokesperson clarified to Gizmodo that the updates specifically target “low-quality AI-generated content that’s designed to attract clicks, but that doesn’t add much original value.”

Google anticipates that these changes will lead to a 40 per cent reduction in low-quality and unoriginal content in search results.

In recent months, there has been a noticeable increase in AI-generated content optimized for SEO, aiming to adhere to Google’s guidelines for higher rankings. This surge can be attributed to the accessibility and ease of use of AI tools capable of producing content that aligns with Google’s preferences.

Apart from addressing AI-generated SEO content, Google’s updates will also target individuals publishing low-quality content on websites with a high reputation score.