Roger Monti of Search Engine Journal recently reported that Google is forming a policy on how AI-generated content will interact with E-E-A-T, their framework for evaluating content. What they decide will almost certainly have a significant impact on content marketing, specifically in Your Money or Your Life (YMYL), like law, finance, and medicine.
What is E-E-A-T?
E-E-A-T is an acronym for experience, expertise, authority, and trust. It appears in Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines, and Google identifies the elements of E–E-A-T as important considerations in Page Quality rating. While it is not a ranking factor directly, a page’s E-E-A-T will certainly affect its ranking, particularly in areas that can have a significant impact on a person’s health, safety, or well-being.
Here’s what Google has to say in it’s Rater Guidelines about experience as a part of E-E-A-T:
AI Doesn’t Have Experience with Anything
Since ChatGPT went viral in late 2022, people in every industry have been racing to figure out exactly how to integrate it into their workflows. Generative AI can do a lot of things; it can write college-level essays, categorize data, and even act as a chatbot for customer or client interactions.
One obvious potential use case is using it to create marketing materials such as blog posts
or website content. That said, marketers have been wary of AI content, and rightfully so. As recently as 2022, Google said that it categorized AI-generated content as spam and that it may take action against sites that have it. Since then, Google has changed its tune, saying that it is fine with AI-generated content so long as it is helpful.cont
The problem is that this guidance seems to be at odds with the principles of E-E-A-T. At this point, AI cannot claim to have experience with anything. Presumably, then, AI-generated content cannot generate content that aligns with E-E-A-T.
What Does Google Have to Say?
According to Monti, Google’s Gary Ilyes and others responded to various questions related to AI at Google Search Central Live Tokyo. Presenter and Japanese SEO expert Kenichi Suzuki then blogged about the event. According to the Search Engine Journal article reporting on Suzuki’s blog, Google had the following to say regarding AI-generated content and AI:
- Google’s algorithms and signals are based on human content and, as a result, human-created content will rank higher than AI-generated content
- Google is having internal discussions on how to deal with the fact that AI-generated content cannot align with E-E-A-T principles and will announce its policy once they settle on it
So, What Should Legal Content Creators Do?
All of this uncertainty has many people in the content creation space wondering how to proceed, and the stakes are especially high in the legal industry. As of now, you can use AI to create content, but the last thing you should do is ask ChatGPT to write a blog titled “Don’t Make This Mistake after a Car Accident” and copy and paste the output into a blog. Some of the ways you can safely use AI to speed up the content creation process include:
- Generating content ideas
- Rewriting boilerplate sections of text (for example, using it to rewrite an existing call to action)
- Getting over writer’s block
- Generating lists
- Outlining content
It’s critical to thoroughly review everything that AI spits out, as it regularly “hallucinates,” which is a nice way of saying it generates false information. As a cautionary tale, all you need to do is consider what happened to New York attorneys Peter DoLuca and Steven Schwartz. The two lawyers were recently ordered to each pay $5,000 and send a letter of apology to several judges named as authors of options after they filed a brief written by ChatGPT that cited fake nonexistent cases.
Lawyers and law firm marketing teams who want to use AI to make the content process more efficient should develop best practices regarding how and when to use it. At Lexicon Legal Content, we’re integrating AI into our process in various ways, from editing to content creation, all with full transparency. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you create content that ranks and generates new clients, call us today or contact us online.