Google previously said it ranked content in search results to prioritize work created by humans as opposed to artificial intelligence. That’s no longer the case.
The search giant continued the rollout of its Helpful Content Update last week and replaced the words “content written by people” with “content created for people,” as noted by Stack Diary. The change implies that Google – makers of AI technology itself – recognizes the growing role AI is playing in content creation. It also suggests it believes detecting AI content is – or soon will be – impossible to do anyway.
The change follows Google’s announcement in February that it will promote AI-generated content in search results – as long as it is of a high standard.
It’s a change that brand publishers should be cognizant of. Last year, when Google began rolling out its Helpful Content Update we noted that it was just the beginning of an industry-wide move to prioritize quality over clickbait, content that is in sync with what human beings desire. That’s still the case – but who or what actually produces the content may no longer have a significant bearing on how well it ranks in search results. high up it shows up in search results, it turns out.
Last year’s update didn’t seem to affect brand publishers much: data from three separate sources showed either no change or small increases in search traffic to brand publisher sites following the update.
It remains to be seen what the latest tweak will mean for brand publishers, which have been more open than “traditional” publishers to experimentation with AI solutions that help with the ideation, creation, and distribution of content. Many are already dabbling with using one (or more) of the thousands of AI tools out there to figure out if they can help make workflows more efficient or make their content more high quality, at a cheaper cost.
Still, some websites have seen their search rankings plummet since the change was introduced. As Business Insider reports, some have seen AI-generated content overtake them in search results, even if it’s deemed by some as poorer quality than what they’re producing.
Google’s stance on the subject is that content will continue to be prioritized based on its quality. Google’s John Mueller, looking at a site that complained it was dropping in search rankings, said on X: “I think you should focus on unique, compelling, high-quality content that adds to the web. As you have it now, it looks like a compilation of ChatGPT output on topics that tons of sites have already covered.”
Mercury launches ‘Raise’ platform
Fintech company Mercury launched a new content and community effort, called Raise, last week. Raise is aimed squarely at founders – the bank’s most important target customer – and focuses on being a practical resource for that group. Raise includes interviews with founders and investors, databases and resources for startup companies, and access to live and virtual events such as office hours and community AMAs.
Raise has three aspects: “Fundraise,” which asks founders to submit pitches to get in front of investors in Mercury’s network and includes an investor database and fundraising content, such as interviews with VCs.
The second aspect is Network, which includes a Slack community of founders, profiles of industry titans such as Ben Horowitz, and events focused on building companies.
The third is “Get Answers,” which will feature office hours with top investors and founders as well as information about software stacks for early-stage companies and discounts to preferred software and service providers.
Raise was initially launched three years ago as a program firmly focused on helping founders raise seed or Series A rounds. The new version of Raise aims to be a broader resource and is free to anyone, not just Mercury customers.
Raise is separate from Meridian, the brand’s magazine which published its first print issue earlier in the summer. Meridian describes itself as a magazine dedicated to the world of tech, and focuses on profiles and interviews with people behind the tech, such as investor Ben Horowitz and journalist Packy McCormick.
*This item was updated to clarify that Raise and Meridian are separate and distinct efforts from Mercury.
Also worth noting:
- 72% of CMOs say losing the third-party cookie will pose a challenge, but 61% also say it will be good for business. In preparation, companies are using everything from GA4 to digital fingerprinting, to prioritizing first-party data collection.
- We’ll be bringing Toolkits’ community of brand publishing professionals together for a series of exclusive in-person and virtual events this fall and I’m hoping you’ll join us. Please register your interest here.