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The Recent Impact of Google Core Updates on AI-Written Websites and How You Can Avoid It

Google Core Updates is there to ensure that low-quality fluff doesn’t penetrate the front page. Here’s everything you need to know about avoiding it with practical tips and Cloudways.
Updated June 12, 2024
A robot writing an article, generated with Midjourney
A robot writing an article, generated with Midjourney

As a writer who’s knee-deep into content creation and SEO, staying ahead of the curve by understanding Google's core algorithm updates is crucial. These updates have the power to make-or-break website rankings and rehaul how content is evaluated. With the rise of AI comes new challenges and considerations when it comes to SEO for AI-generated content.

Tons of Google updates have happened in the last few months, and some have killed websites more than others.

Here's my insight into the recent impacts of Google core updates and sharing strategies to help you navigate what seems to keep changing by the week.

What are Google Core Updates?

Core Updates are basically Google’s version of spring cleaning. They get released to (supposedly) make the user experience better by filtering out low-quality content and prioritizing informative, trustworthy websites. Past updates have addressed issues like thin content, keyword stuffing, and overall website quality.

Here’s where AI factors in

ChatGPT and other LLMs have become so integrated into a writer’s arsenal that some have forgotten that they need to write content on their own. Instead, they fully and mindlessly automate content writing to chatbots and immediately post without checking what’s written down. They churn out hundreds of content monthly without thinking twice about the implications.

Then, the implications came a-knockin’.

Google noticed an uptick in low-quality content so they’ve upped their standards on what they consider acceptable on their website. Apart from limiting spam and prioritizing up-to-date content, they also started cracking down on websites that have slow loading times — something that Cloudways tackles through auto-scaling and managed servers.

The March Google Core Update and Its Impact

In March 2024, Google rolled out its latest off-core algorithm updates that sent shockwaves through the blogosphere. The goal was to reduce the prevalence of low-quality, AI-generated content polluting search results. This included the following:

  • The update prioritized content that Google deemed helpful, informative, and user-centric.
  • It specifically targeted AI-generated content and other low-quality content cluttering search results.
  • Multiple system changes to the core ranking algorithm for better content evaluation.

Google estimates this update, combined with earlier efforts, reduced low-quality content by 45%.

The impacts were widespread. Blogs publishing well-researched, substantive posts from established experts were rewarded with higher rankings. However, those relying on machine-generated, shallow content took a beating (in addition to innocent ones). The writing was on the wall: expertise, trustworthiness, and authority are Google's new north stars.

While the rollout brought temporary ranking flux, one thing was clear — Google's crackdown on low-quality blog content had entered a new phase. The blogs that survived and thrived were those willing to adapt and prioritize user value over regurgitated filler, especially those that already had a pretty solid backing (i.e. not content sites + big brands).

The Google Algorithm Leak

A massive leak of internal Google documents has provided unprecedented insights into how the search engine ranks websites. The documents suggest Google representatives have misled the public in the past about factors like user clicks influencing rankings. Contrary to Google's denials, the leak indicates user click data is utilized for ranking purposes.

The leaked information reveals over 14,000 potential ranking attributes, including elements like website authority, author details, and "Twiddlers" that boost or demote content. While the exact weightings are unclear, this gives SEO professionals new angles to explore for optimizing websites and content.

SEO experts warn that the leak exposes Google's public statements as often inaccurate or misleading. They advise publishers to take a more skeptical view of Google's claims going forward. Website operators will likely run experiments based on the leaks to try to improve their search rankings, potentially impacting how websites look and read.

What is Cloudways?

Cloudways is a managed cloud hosting platform that provides hosting services optimized for various web applications and content management systems like WordPress, WooCommerce, Magento, PHP, Laravel, and more. Here are some key things to know about Cloudways:

  • Cloud Hosting: Cloudways uses infrastructure from major cloud providers like DigitalOcean and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide scalable and flexible cloud hosting solutions.
  • Managed Services: It's a managed hosting platform, meaning it handles server administration tasks like software updates, security patching, caching, and server monitoring on behalf of its customers.
  • Application Optimization: Cloudways optimizes its hosting environment specifically for popular web applications and CMSs, ensuring optimal performance and compatibility. This will be important later on, so keep this in mind.
  • Scalability: Users can easily scale their server resources (RAM, CPU, storage) up or down as needed with just a few clicks in the Cloudways control panel.

So, in a nutshell, Cloudways is a user-friendly, managed cloud hosting solution with advanced features and optimizations. It's a popular choice among developers, agencies, and businesses looking for scalable and high-performance hosting.

Advanced Hosting Features Supporting SEO

SEO is more than content; it’s also often your site’s performance that Google considers in ranking. That’s why Cloudways is a good investment. Worry about what you’re writing and let Cloudways handle everything else, including:

  • Cloudflare Enterprise CDN. Caches serves content from servers located close to the visitor's location. This helps reduce latency and improves website load times, which is a main talking point in the latest Google Core Update. Faster websites also enhance user experience, leading to lower bounce rates and higher dwell times.
  • SSL Certificates. Encrypts data transmitted between the website and the visitor's browser. Having an SSL certificate is a ranking signal for search engines because it promotes trust and security for users.
  • Managed Security. Cloudways provides managed security features that protect websites from various cyber threats, such as malware, DDoS attacks, and unauthorized access attempts.
  • Dedicated IP. Helps prevent potential security risks and reputation issues that may arise from sharing an IP address with low-quality or malicious websites, which negatively impacts SEO rankings.

Practical Tips: How to Enhance AI-Powered Content Creation

Now that Cloudways is taking care of the technical side of hosting, here’s everything you need to consider in writing your content based on the latest Google Core Update:

  • Be Specific. The first thing you need to do is know how to prompt better — that means knowing how to be specific. Always provide enough context and instructions so your LLM of choice knows how to create quality content. Never let it do the research for you, provide it with enough verifiable information to write your article.
  • Fact Check. Most LLMs hallucinate. Fact checking what they write only takes minutes, but makes a whole world of difference especially if you accidentally publish fake information.
  • Go Beyond Keywords. Sure, target relevant keywords, but prioritize creating content that genuinely informs, entertains, or solves problems for your audience.
  • Stay Human. And most importantly, remember that LLMs aren’t supposed to replace you as a writer. AI can’t replace creativity and originality. Use it to brainstorm ideas, overcome writer's block, or generate variations, but focus on crafting original content. Always keep your writing voice heard — that’s what separates human and AI writing.

All Said And Done

So, the bottom line is this: Google's core updates are cracking down on low-quality, AI-generated spam content. But that doesn't mean AI-powered writing is dead — it just means you have to be smarter and more ethical about how you use it.

Use AI as a tool in your process, not a full content generator. Guide it, fact-check it, and let your authentic human voice shine through. Partner that with a hosting solution like Cloudways that optimizes for speed and search engines, and you're set.

The future of AI content in SEO is only going to get bigger, especially with Google's new Search Generative Experience feature. Being able to use AI responsibly while keeping the human element will be crucial. Predictions point to a rise in AI content assistants and better ways to merge machine and human input seamlessly — and I, for one, am excited.

At the end of the day, great content balanced with great tech is what will keep you ranking high. Google supposedly wants to see the human touch, not just robotic ramblings. Give the people what they want and use great hosting: your quality words and thoughts delivered lightning fast. That's how you'll keep winning in this AI-powered world.

Want to learn more about AI-powered blog writing? Check out this article. Have fun!

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Written by Justin Gluska
Justin is the founder of Gold Penguin, a business technology blog that helps people start, grow, and scale their business using AI. The world is changing and he believes it's best to make use of the new technology that is starting to change the world. If it can help you make more money or save you time, he'll write about it!
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