All the publishers and editors out there thinking of replacing their journalists with AI might want to pump their brakes. Everybody’s boss, the Google algorithm,

John Mueller, Google’s SEO authority, laid the issue to rest while speaking at a recent “Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout.”

Per a report from Search Engine Journal’s Matt Southern, Mueller says GPT-3 and other content generators are not considered quality content, no matter how convincingly human they are:

These would, essentially, still fall into the category of automatically-generated content which is something we’ve had in the Webmaster Guidelines since almost the beginning.

My suspicion is maybe the quality of content is a little bit better than the really old-school tools, but for us, it’s still automatically-generated content

it’s still automatically-generated content, and that means for us it’s still against the Webmaster Guidelines. So we would consider that to be spam.

Southern’s report points out that this has pretty much always been the case. For better or worse, Google’s leaning towards respecting the work of human writers.

Let’s play devil’s advocate for a moment. Who do Google and John Mueller think they are? If I’m a publisher, shouldn’t I have the right to use whatever means

The answer is yes, with a cup of tea on the side. The market can certainly sort out whether they want opinionated news from human experts or… whatever an AI can hallucinate

But that doesn’t mean Google has to put up with it. Nor should it. No corporation with shareholders in their right minds would allow AI-generated content to represent their “news” section

\There’s simply no way to verify the efficacy of an AI-generated report unless you have capable journalists fact-checking everything the AI asserts

Essentially, big G just wants to make sure there aren’t bad actors out there generating fake news articles to game SEO for advertising hits.