In August 2022, Google released its Helpful Content algorithm update which promised to reduce the visibility of automated and AI-generated content in search engine results. This update was eagerly anticipated by SEO professionals around the world, as it had the potential to drastically alter the role of automation in modern SEO. But what impact did this update actually have and what are its implications for businesses, writers, and editors going forward?

Impact of The Helpful Content Update on AI Generated Content

When Google rolled out its Helpful Content algorithm update, many people expected that it would lead to a dramatic reduction in AI-generated content appearing in search engine results. However, after months of analysis and data collection, it appears that the impact was not quite as drastic as initially expected. While some sites associated with low quality automated content saw their rankings drop significantly, others held steady or even increased their already high positions. This begs the question – why did this major update not have more of an impact?

On one hand, there may have been unrealistic expectations from those expecting drastic changes overnight. It takes time for algorithm updates to be fully implemented and for their effects to be seen across all areas of SERPs (search engine ranking pages). On the other hand, there may have been other factors at play that limited the reach of this update such as sites using sneaky tactics like cloaking or keyword stuffing that helped them avoid detection by web crawlers.

Regardless of why it didn’t make a bigger splash when it first rolled out, what does this lack of major impact mean for businesses looking to use automation tools in their SEO strategy? The answer here is mixed – while some may be encouraged by the fact that they don’t have to worry about seeing a massive dip in traffic thanks to this algorithm change, others may choose to tread carefully before investing heavily in automated content creation tools due to lingering uncertainty surrounding how effective they will really be long term.

Google Search’s NEW guidance about AI-generated content

Google recently updated their content guidelines to allow for AI produced content as long as it offers valuable information to the end user, it’s essential for any business on the web to take heed and start learning how to properly use this technology. AI copywriting can save you massive amounts of time and can be used if you leverage it correctly. However, there are still certain areas where manual editing must be employed to ensure accuracy and value in regards to the content that is being created. Keeping up-to-date with the latest advances in technology will help ensure that your business remains one step ahead of the competition.

Ethical Challenges

In addition to considering potential impacts on SEO performance when utilising artificial intelligence content tools, we must also consider ethical challenges surrounding automation technologies used in SEO contexts – both from a business perspective and from an individual perspective. For businesses utilising these tools, safeguards should be put in place to ensure quality is maintained when using AI content tools and precautions should always be taken by those implementing them – such as regularly checking quality standards and monitoring changes over time with web analytics software like GA (Google Analytics). For individual writers or editors working alongside these technologies there are additional ethical considerations like job security, which can affect morale if not properly handled or monitored over time.

Google’s Helpful Content algorithm update had big implications for those looking to use AI generated content within their SEO strategies but ultimately ended up having less impact than initially expected. As such businesses must consider both performance impacts when leveraging automation technology within their SEO strategies along with ethical considerations related job security and wages for human workers who interact with these technologies on a daily basis. By thoughtfully considering these impacts business owners can make informed decisions about how best to integrate automation into their strategies going forward while still maintaining quality standards and protecting human employees from exploitation or burnout due to shifting job expectations brought on by technology advances over time.


If you’re based in Essex or London and looking for help with your SEO, speak to an SEO consultant today.

Alice Baker, Senior Digital Marketing Executive. Sierra Six Media.