Google wants to close Pandora’s box, fight AI-powered search spam

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In the continual cat-and-mouse game of Google Search versus search engine optimization (SEO) firms, Google seems to be losing lately. Search feels less useful with every passing day as the ChatGPT era has unleashed a tsunami of AI junk that quickly fills up search results. Google played a big part in creating all this with its invention of transformers, and now it’s finally doing something about it. A new blog post details efforts to reduce “spammy, low-quality content on Search.”

Google’s post describes a “March 2024 core update” to the ranking algorithms that it says will show fewer results that “are unhelpful, have a poor user experience or feel like they were created for search engines instead of people.” Google says this “could include sites created primarily to match very specific search queries” and people that are “producing content at scale to boost search ranking.” The company says “based on our evaluations, we expect that the combination of this update and our previous efforts will collectively reduce low-quality, unoriginal content in search results by 40.”

Google’s post is incredibly worded not to mention AI. Google says it wants to “address emerging tactics” like “using automation to generate low-quality or unoriginal content at scale.” Google also notes that “Today, scaled content creation methods are more sophisticated,” but which new “content creation methods” spammers are using is left as a mystery. Google wants to style itself as an AI-first company now. Apparently, that means never directly mentioning any of the downsides of the AI-powered internet Google played a role in creating.

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