Google is now clamping down on its stance against artificial intelligence or AI-generated content. In their latest Google Merchant Center announcement, they said they’ll be updating their Product Ratings policies by August 28, 2023. This update includes a new section called “Automated Content.” Here’s what the new section says:
“Automated Content: We don’t allow reviews that are primarily generated by an automated program or artificial intelligence application. If you have identified such content, it should be marked as spam in your feed using the <is_spam> attribute.”
According to this update, business owners are primarily responsible for flagging this AI-generated content. What’s unclear, though, is how businesses should know if the content is AI-generated or not.
This may primarily be targeted at businesses today that use AI applications to inflate their customer reviews since Google wants to ensure the proper representation of brands on their platform.
We’ve previously covered a Tokyo SEO conference where fake experiences generated by AI were a particular concern. This new Merchant Center policy is clearly a step towards addressing that issue.
Unfortunately, this policy only burdens business owners, who are mostly the perpetrators of generating fake reviews. What Google will do to incentivize reporting fake reviews remains to be seen.
Aside from this new policy, Google also clarifies its existing Product Rating policies in the following sections:
As Google trains its algorithms on publicly-available data, we expect it to become smarter and wiser in detecting and flagging AI-generated content. In the meantime, you can ensure being in Google’s good graces by reporting AI-generated reviews yourself.
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