Bypassing Google’s March 2024 AI Content Hit

Key Points:

  • Google’s Issues with Most AI Content
  • What Google’s Doing to Combat Low-Quality AI
  • Ensure Your Content Meets Google’s E-E-A-T
  • A Plan of Action for AI Content Use on Your Blog


In March 2024, Google unleashed an algorithm core update that was bound to occur. While some marketers didn’t heed the advice of expert search engine optimization strategists, savvy individuals prepared.

Google recognized that with the invention of artificial intelligence (AI) tools, spammy niche leaders would increase mass-scaling their sites by prompting AI to churn out hundreds, if not thousands, of articles for their blogs.

Initially, Google claimed there would be no pushback against AI content provided it was deemed well-written and valuable. But they’ve had to clamp down and issue new measures to combat AI-driven sites.

Those who sat there and had AI build massive sites with purely AI content are getting hit in the SERPs (search engine results pages). Does this mean you have to stop using AI content?

Not at all! However, you must understand how to use it correctly, so this report will show you how to bypass their strengthened policy and ensure your content is deemed valuable even while scaling.

Google’s Issues with Most AI Content

Usually, when a leading industry expert publishes content, they do more than spit out the facts about a topic. They dispel myths, enlighten their audience, and go to great lengths to ensure you’re consuming material that’s thorough and concisely produced.

However, mass-producing tips for your audience like this means any machine could write them, and it lacks the human element that’s important to providing value to the reader.

In many cases, the way most people use AI is to give minimal prompts that say something like: “Write a 500 word article about gardening tips.” While the information may (or may not actually) be factually correct, it’s sterile and lacking any value past encyclopedic-like advice.

For example, when ChatGPT was asked this very prompt, it replied:

  • Start with the right soil
  • Healthy plants start with healthy soil
  • Ensure your garden beds are filled with nutrient-rich soil
  • It must be well-draining and loose for root growth

Can you see how unhelpful that is? It’s so basic; it’s what a third-grader already knows. A consumer asks, “Well, what does the right soil mean? What is nutrient-rich soil? How do I make sure mine is nutrient-rich? What’s well-draining? How do I do that?”

But before they get those answers, ChatGPT is off to the next mind-blowing tip:

  • Proper watering is crucial for healthy plants.
  • It tells us to water deeply and infrequently.
  • It mentions each plant and zone is unique.

As you can see, this content is worthless. Yet it’s precisely what thousands of marketers use to flood the Internet. Google wants more – and rightly so. When they send visitors to lackluster content like this, people stop using their search engine, so Google took corrective measures.

Before we continue, please understand that Google is not banning AI content. In fact, anyone who has tested their content with AI checkers knows they are a load of rubbish and provide false results too often.

If you’re a good writer, you can type something manually into the software, but the AI checkers deem it AI-generated. Likewise, it randomly clears AI-generated content mistakenly.

What Google’s Doing to Combat Low-Quality AI

Google implemented three new things in its March 2024 update: expired domain abuse, scaled content abuse (where AI comes into play), and site reputation abuse.

We’re only focusing on the scaled content abuse. Google specifically states: “This abusive practice is typically focused on creating large amounts of unoriginal content that provides little to no value to users, no matter how it’s created.”

They don’t care if you’re using AI or hiring 20 Fiverr ghostwriters – the effect is the same. And make no mistake – it’s not the scaling that’s the problem. The little to no value to users has brought this on!

Google states that it is focused explicitly on scaled content if the primary purpose is to manipulate rankings in search results. A true niche leader publishes quality content to serve their audience.

Google has again referred people to their “Helpful Content System” they require, and now, they’re going to pay attention to the rate at which you’re growing your site and evaluating the content to see if it aligns with this policy.

SEO experts say this hit is going to sweep the net, similar to how Penguin and Panda upended everything. You want to immediately take corrective measures and fix any rapidly scaled AI content you’ve used on your blog.

Obviously, this doesn’t affect anyone using AI for lead magnets, email autoresponders, info products, or social media posts. It’s only for optimizing content for search results.

Some marketers were worried that Google would transition to an AI search result, leaving SEO in its wake. But they’re considering putting AI search behind a paywall, which is great news for website owners working on SERP rankings because most consumers are not going to pay for that—they’ll continue using traditional search results.

Many sites are being completely de-indexed, so stop what you’re doing and fix your content before doing anything else. If you rely on search traffic, this is not something to sleep on and fix gradually.

You can check if your site gets de-indexed by going to Google and typing in the search bar to see if your pages are still listed. If they disappear, Google won’t notify you—it’ll just eliminate you from listings.

Ensure Your Content Meets Google’s E-E-A-T

Google tweaked its existing Helpful Content System, founded on the E-E-A-T concept. This stands for Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. Think about those words.

AI typically doesn’t provide any of that. Now, Google has added something to their Search Quality Rater Guidelines that states that even if you inform readers that some of your content uses artificial intelligence and may have errors or be out of date, they’re now considering that the lowest quality justification and describe it as deceptive and untrustworthy.

Most marketers included this disclaimer, thinking it would be helpful as a safety net regarding service, but it did the opposite. In fact, ask yourself why you’d be okay putting up wrong or outdated information.

That’s not a good steward of leadership as an industry expert. Google is also paying attention to the speed with which you publish. Did you make 5,000 articles go live in one day?

Well, then they’re going to scrutinize you more heavily—are you prepared? Don’t think that if you only used a few AI articles, you’re immune to de-indexing, either. There are people who had no more than 8 AI articles, and Google manually de-indexed them due to low quality.

How can you change AI content to make it work better for you? What is Google looking for? Let’s dig in because you’re not going to fully shortcut the content process. It’s your responsibility to ensure it’s viable, and Google will hold your feet to the fire.

A Plan of Action for AI Content Use On Your Blog

Step 1. Think Like a Consumer

If you genuinely want information and Google offers a link you click on, and it’s low-quality AI content, as I showed you before, would you be happy? No.

Therefore, you should show your visitors some respect and publish high-quality content, regardless of whether AI was used to develop it. Before we get to your part, let’s examine the difference in how you should use AI.

Step 2. Look For Content Gaps

Above, we had a very thin prompt about the gardening tips article, didn’t we? You immediately could see information gaps, like the part about the healthy soil – so what you could do after having AI draft the thin content is prompt it like this: “I want to plant a garden, and I know I need healthy soil. Give me a detailed, step-by-step tutorial for determining whether or not my soil is healthy, what I’m looking for, how to test it, and what could go wrong if it’s not fixed.”

AI then gives you further instructions like a visual inspection (telling you what color you’re looking for, texture, odors, debris, rocks, etc. It says to look for earthworms and insects, etc.

This is way better than “make sure your soil is healthy.” It gives you tons more information. So, what else could you do whenever you use AI to fill the gaps with more value-packed detail?

Step 3. Additional Content You Can Add

For the snippet above, you could go outside and take a picture of your garden soil – either to show what’s good about it or what’s bad. You could then add a bit of your commentary, saying something like, “This is the soil from my backyard garden. Notice it is a rich, dark color. It has an earthy smell and crumbles easily in my hands.”

You could also link to a page showcasing good versus bad soil for more depth or embed a YouTube video about it. AI may give you instructions about what could go wrong, such as “Failure to address soil health issues may result in poor plant growth, reduced crop yields, increased susceptibility to pests and diseases, and degradation of overall soil quality over time.”

So gather personalized images or additional commentary showcasing your expertise and hands-on authority – the kind Google is looking for. For example, using the information above, I might add something like: “My first foray into gardening didn’t go so well. I didn’t check my soil first, and I planted [crop]. Look how dismal the harvest was – all because I didn’t check the soil before planting. [and include an image].”

Step 4. A Warning About Your Content Strategies

If you’re not willing to guide your audience and appreciate the process of sharing information with them because you have a passion for it or knowledge about it, then you don’t deserve a top ranking.

You have to add things to your AI content that prove to Google you have the experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness to garner a top spot in the SERPs. Sprinkle these throughout – with personalized commentary, images, links, and more – showing you are a hands-on participant in the content.

AI is a great tool for ensuring a well-written piece of content that covers everything comprehensively. But it can’t be you. It can’t reach the visitor the way a human can.

Step 5. Google Looks For Human-First Content

Google wants you to conduct a self-assessment. When using AI for your draft, add your own touches and then go through the self-auditing phase before hitting publish.

While most people will continue publishing things like: “have healthy soil,” if you go the extra mile to explain what that means and how to do it (even using AI – they don’t care how it’s produced), you’ll be able to use this tool to your advantage.

Google states that they seek substantial, complete, or comprehensive topic descriptions. “Have healthy soil” doesn’t cut it. But when we add all the additional info about soil checks, it starts to appease the bots.

Google says to ask yourself: Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond the obvious? “Have healthy soil” doesn’t, but the additional information certainly does!

Step 6. Discover How To Self-Audit

Learn how to self-audit your content straight from Google here:

Make sure your site and each blog mention your expertise and experience. This is why choosing a niche you are interested in is important, not just something you think will make you money online or boost your local business.

Most importantly, you need to verify the accuracy of the information. Using AI to create content that you don’t know or understand yourself is a recipe for disaster. They want it to be factual and explained well.

According to Google, your readers should “leave feeling they’ve learned enough about a topic to help achieve their goal.” They must be satisfied; “Have healthy soil” won’t satisfy anyone.

It’s a shame many marketers were misguided in developing mass, low-quality content. But even if you make this mistake, it’s not the end of the world. You can take corrective action to repair the damage.

Unpublish all of the AI content you’ve put on your site and put it in draft mode until you go through and apply the helpful self-analysis to each one. Don’t give up on AI! It’s still an amazing tool—and even if you wrote content yourself, you would still have to abide by these new rules. Just slow down and serve your audience the right way.

When you are ready for us to write your company’s content, contact us and schedule a free content consultation.