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Has AI changed Google's relationship with publishers?

Tom Amitay - Organic marketing & SEO expert
By Tom Amitay
Head and shoulders photo of Michelle Meyer
Edited by Michelle Meyer
Romi Hector
Fact-check by Romi Hector

Published June 13, 2024.

Has AI changed Google's relationship with publishers?

Key takeaways:

  • Google favors websites that provide valuable and informative content.
  • Certain publishers get high Google rankings easily, which raises questions about content diversity.
  • A platform dominated by a few authorities is driving users to alternative sources of information.
  • Google and publishers must adjust their content strategies to match user behavior and stay relevant.

Google's search algorithm plays a pivotal role in shaping how we create and consume content. Below, we take a look at the impact of Google's algorithm on content creation and how it defines the relationship between Google and publishers.

The rise of content creation

Over the years, Google's preference for content-rich websites has led to a surge in content creation. Brands realized that producing valuable and informative content would improve their rankings and attract more organic traffic. This realization spawned the rise of blogging and a concentration of content creation around specific topics.

However, the issue arises when content is created solely for the sake of quantity rather than offering unique perspectives and fresh angles.

While content farms were around long before AI, new AI tools like ChatGPT allow legitimate websites to produce content quickly, resulting in a hyperinflation of information.

So, how does this affect publishers?

» While convenient, AI-generated content can badly affect SEO.

The impact of Google's ranking criteria on publishers

a screen shot of a website with traffic statistics

Google awards certain publishers, like Forbes or New York Times, higher authority because content generation is their core business. They invest heavily in producing reliable and trustworthy content, meaning they meet Google's ranking criteria and receive a measure of favoritism.

This creates an interesting problem:

If Google only favors certain publishers, what does this mean for content diversity?

Content diversity vs. Google's dominance: A power struggle?

Google's dominance in the search engine market raises concerns about content diversity. On the one hand, publishers rely heavily on Google for traffic and conversions. This is so extreme that if Google stops directing traffic to them, it could threaten their entire existence.

But on the other hand, Google needs publishers and other content creators to maintain its user-generated content ecosystem to fuel the user journey.

An expert quote emphasizing there's value in multiple opinions and readers don't want a single authoritarian source of answers

As a result, users are migrating more to social media to find information. This means that search engines like Google and publishers must adapt their strategies.

Adapting to a Google-dominated digital ecosystem

Graphic of a man standing in front of a giant robot representing Google

As AI tools like ChatGPT become more accessible, individual content creators gain a competitive edge. They can act as the expert, producer, and director—all at a lower cost.

At the moment, many authoritative publishers and brands depend on text-based content. But to remain competitive, they should focus on personalized and authentic content, including videos and images.

Integrating their social media presence can also prove beneficial, although monetization challenges may arise due to zero-click content. Brands can create social media videos for more engagement and enhance their overall social media and web content.

AI and Google: What does the future of content hold?

Google's search algorithm has undoubtedly shaped the content landscape, driving a surge in content creation and AI-driven content. Publishers and content creators must adapt to these changes to remain relevant and maintain traffic.

While AI presents exciting opportunities, quality, unique perspectives, and authenticity remain the core foundation of success. The future holds both challenges and opportunities, making it essential to continue to evolve and innovate to capture their audience's attention and trust.

» Here's how expert-focused talent sourcing is revolutionizing content creation.