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  • Writer's pictureCarli Van Stolk

Does Google Penalize AI-Written Blog Content?

Updated: Feb 19

With the emergence of large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT, marketers can create blog content like never before.


ChatGPT can write dozens of blog posts in a day—a volume that previously would’ve taken weeks. 


Sure, AI can help you write articles at scale. But how does a swath of AI-written content impact your search rankings? 


The purpose of your blog content is to improve your SEO. And while high volumes of content certainly benefit your SEO, quantity doesn’t equal quality. 


As the world’s largest search engine, Google dictates what ranks in search and what doesn’t. So the question begs to differ: does Google penalize AI-written content? 


AI-Written Content: From 2022 to Now


Google itself has its own LLM tool: its ChatGPT equivalent, Gemini. Penalizing AI-written content from Gemini and other AI tools wouldn't be the best business move.


But previously, in 2022, John Mueller, Google’s Search Advocate, said that Google would penalize AI-written content because it was considered spam. 


We know now that 2022 was a wildly different time. In February of 2023, Google released a statement that said it rewards high-quality content—no matter how it’s produced. 


So today? The answer is no: Google does not penalize AI-written content.


But there are some caveats. First and foremost: AI-written content doesn’t mean that it's high-quality.


What is High-Quality Blog Content? 


According to Google, high-quality blog content demonstrates E-E-A-T: Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.


Google introduced Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness in 2014 as “human” factors to judge the quality of your content. And in December 2022, they introduced the additional E: Experience. Each of these factors will determine how highly your content ranks. 


Here’s a brief overview of each one: 


Expertise: this refers to a combination of education or training and as such, a high level of knowledge in one field. 


Experience: similar to expertise, this means someone has first-hand experience on a topic. For example, someone writing an article on a product review that they have actually used versus someone who hasn’t. 


Authoritativeness: this refers to the perceived credibility of the creator. Factors that contribute to authoritativeness include quality backlinks, the reputation of the website, content accuracy, and user experience.


Trustworthiness: this refers to the credibility and reliability of the information, and it’s the most important of the E-E-A-T family. This is what Backlinko says on why trustworthiness is so important: “if content is accurate, well-sourced, and transparent then it’s more likely to be trusted by both users and search engines.” 


But writing content with ChatGPT alone doesn’t guarantee these ranking factors.


Don’t Copy and Paste from ChatGPT Without Editing


Although Google said that it won’t penalize AI-written content, it has said that it recommends all content written by LLMs be edited by a human first.


And this isn’t just for accuracy. 


In line with E-E-A-T—particularly trustworthiness—there are plenty of additional factors impacting your search ranking that ChatGPT can’t do. 


Some include: 


  • Using sources and internal and external links

  • Including search-optimized imagery

  • Ensuring content is up-to-date


If you’re directly copying and pasting a ChatGPT article onto your site—without editing and including the factors above—you’re not adequately demonstrating E-E-A-T.


For example, here’s what happens when we ask for sources from ChatGPT:



A screenshot of a conversation between ChatGPT about whether it can add sources to its statements


Backing up its statements with sources and links just isn't possible.


But factors like links, imagery, and up-to-date content demonstrate expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. 


Whether your content is written by LLMs or not, without these, you won’t rank as highly as you can.


The best thing to do? Use LLMs and human effort—all with the underlying goal of providing genuinely helpful content for your audience.


Here's How to Use ChatGPT to Rank Highly


Let’s set the stage. Say you’re a SaaS startup and your product is an AI chatbot. You just launched this year, and you need to improve your search rankings fast


Here are some tips on how to incorporate ChatGPT and still rank.


1. Build out a content strategy. Plan out your content topics with a keyword cluster strategy, making sure to focus on a frequent publishing cadence. This will help build up your authority, improve your search rankings, and demonstrate E-E-A-T in every blog. 


Note: you can use ChatGPT to help create keyword clusters, but make sure to find specific target keywords in a tool like Semrush—and try focusing on long-tail keywords at first.


Here are keyword cluster ideas from ChatGPT:



A screenshot of a conversation between ChatGPT about creating keyword clusters for an AI chatbot company


2. Review these keywords in your SEO software tool and source long-tail ones to write your article on. 


3. Conduct a brief competitive audit on your first target keyword. This shows you what’s ranking in SERPs and what you need to do to help yours stand out. 


4. Use ChatGPT for research, your brief (if you’re outsourcing) or your initial draft. 


5. Now review it. Once you have your first draft of the article, this is where the human legwork comes in. You need to write, edit, and/or rewrite the AI-written content. Make sure the article thoroughly demonstrates E-E-A-T and has a unique tone and voice (as though you’re talking to a human), is scannable, and includes a natural incorporation of the target keyword.


6. Next add links. Include both internal and external hyperlinks to back up your content. 


7. Now add imagery. Make sure your images are unique, high-quality, and optimized for search. Try playing around with AI for these. And if you’re a SaaS company, I recommend adding screenshots of your tool—especially for walkthroughs—to help users familiarize themselves with your product. 


8. Edit again. Plug the article into ChatGPT or Grammarly to check for any grammar errors.


9. Aaand voila! Your blog is ready to publish. 


To Summarize: Use ChatGPT—but Not Exclusively


So there you have it. Yes, you can and should use ChatGPT to create your content—whether for research, a brief, draft, or the blog post itself. Google won’t penalize you for it.


But no, don’t use ChatGPT exclusively. And definitely don’t copy and paste your ChatGPT-written article into your site. 


You need high-quality content to rank, and an AI-written article alone isn’t enough. 


To rank highly and demonstrate E-E-A-T, you need internal and external links, imagery, and up-to-date content—among other factors like a unique voice and scannability.  


Otherwise, your content won’t rank as highly as it should. And to be honest, that’s a huge waste of your hard work.


Managing your content and SEO can be overwhelming. Need support? Get in touch.

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