How many of us regularly append “reddit’ or “site:reddit.com” to a query on Google? I know I do it regularly, and I suspect you do too. And the reason is that Google search results are getting worse when it comes to queries that seek the opinions of real people. Most articles on the web are not like the ones I write here on NameHero. They’re written by “SEO writers” who take ages to get to the point, regurgitate whatever they find elsewhere, and don’t present actual opinions.
People are hungry for content written by humans. And with the birth of AI-generated text like that generated by OpenAI, the problem will only get worse.
Google HAS to Respond Eventually
It’s impossible to imagine that if I observe something, then the guys at Google haven’t. People appending “Reddit” and “Quora” to their search queries is problematic because it implies that they don’t trust that Google will surface that content naturally as being the most helpful – further implying that what Google does surface isn’t good enough.
And that’s a trust issue – one central to Google’s search dominance. If people lose trust in Google’s ability to surface the most useful content, it’s just a matter of time before users choose something else.
So Google has no choice. They HAVE to start surfacing more human, more opinion-based content because that’s what users are hungry for.
Mueller Sounds Confused over AI Content
On the one hand, Google has indicated that AI-generated content is against Google’s guidelines. On the other hand, I’ve seen some of Mueller’s tweets indicating that if AI content is “useful” or “helpful”, then it’s valid. Of course, we should take whatever Mueller says with a pinch of salt because he doesn’t really know what’s going on.
How to Future-Proof your SEO Efforts
Sooner or later, Google will massively update its search algorithm to penalize sites with “cookie-cutter” content. And here’s what you can do to protect yourself.
1. Have Actual OPINIONS
Ever read a comparison article that merely lists the features of two products and ends with a s****y conclusion like “Ultimately, the best choice comes down to what you need”.
Go out on a limb. Have real opinions! Give advice. Be opinionated! That’s what people want. That’s how HUMANS write. People want to hear YOUR opinion, not dispassionate “pros and cons” (though you should absolutely include those as well).
Of course, to have a strong opinion, you must be passionate about what you’re writing and know what you’re talking about. These aren’t qualities that a typical content mill writer possesses, nor does AI.
Get to the Point
No one wants to read half a page of how your recipe was handed down by your grandmother before you spend the last 300 words describing the actual recipe.
GET TO THE POINT!
If you want to pad the length of your article, you can always add the grandmother stuff after the meat. I understand that you might want users to scroll through your article to see more advertisements, but you can’t have everything. When someone asks you for a recipe, you give them the answer without first boring them to death.
Write in the First Person if you Can
People want to feel that they’re reading something written by an actual human being. Use “I” frequently in your articles, if you can. When you do this, you’ll automatically find yourself writing more conversationally and less like a robot.
Conversely, AI never uses “I”. And neither to content mill writers. Future-proof your articles by adding a personal element.
Current Search Results Can’t Continue
The current Google algorithm does a bad job of answering queries looking for opinions or specific information that doesn’t fit the knowledge graph. When the inevitable update hits to crack down on cookie-cutter content, you had best be prepared.
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!
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