Outsmarting Googles Ranking Algorithm in 2024





Blog Date

June 6, 2024


UK, Manchester

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Outsmarting Googles Ranking Algorithm in 2024

Outsmarting Google’s Ranking Algorithm in 2024

How I Built a Website Made Entirely with Generative AI (And Whether I Managed to Outrank the Algorithm)

It was a sunny bank holiday weekend in the UK, and I was sitting in my garden with a glass of wine, determined to put my digital skills to the test. My mission? To create a website from scratch using nothing but generative AI – and see if I could actually outsmart Google’s ranking algorithm in the process.

As an SEO specialist at a Manchester-based agency, I was well aware of the potential of AI-powered content creation. At work, we had been eagerly experimenting with tools like ChatGPT, exploring how we could leverage this exciting new technology to drive efficiencies and add value for our clients.

However, our legal team wasn’t quite as thrilled about the prospect. Where we saw unlimited opportunity, they saw unlimited risk. We had to navigate a minefield of contract addendums and risk assessments before we could even begin testing AI-generated content on our clients’ websites.

Being the impatient sort, I decided I couldn’t wait any longer. I would create my own testing ground – a website made entirely with generative AI, from the content to the images. And I would do it in the most British way possible: sipping wine in the sunshine, while chatting with my horticulturist husband about our shared passion for growing vegetables.

As I learned from LinkedIn, the key to success would be to create an “entertaining description” for my upcoming talk at Brighton SEO. The brief was to discuss how I had built this AI-powered website and whether I had managed to get it to rank.

The Creation of ‘Horticultured.org’

And so, ‘Horticultured.org’ was born – a website dedicated to the joys of growing your own vegetables, with every single element crafted by AI. Text, images, meta data, even the favicon – you name it, it was all the product of either ChatGPT or a free image generation service.

I chose the topic of vegetable growing for a few reasons. Firstly, it was a subject that my horticulturist husband was passionate about, so I knew I could tap into his expertise to ensure the content was accurate. Secondly, I believed that ChatGPT would be able to produce reasonably high-quality information on the subject, without me needing to spend hours fact-checking every article.

And thirdly? Well, let’s just say that a few too many glasses of wine may have been involved in the decision-making process. As the LinkedIn post mentioned, Drunk Jade had the brilliant idea of using ChatGPT’s translate function to produce a second version of each page in imperfect French. These were then dutifully published alongside the English content, with hreflang tags galore.

Bringing the Website to Life

Over the course of that sunny bank holiday weekend, I set to work assembling Horticultured.org. I have to admit, the process was surprisingly smooth. ChatGPT churned out article after article on topics ranging from ‘How to Grow the Perfect Tomato’ to ‘The Surprising Health Benefits of Eating Your Greens’.

The real challenge came when it was time to generate the images. While ChatGPT had done a pretty decent job with the textual content, the AI image generators struggled a bit more with the vegetable theme. Most of the images looked fine – cabbages, carrots, and the like, all recognizable. But then there were the… interesting ones.

A strange and distorted vegetable image generated by AI

Yep, that’s right – some of the vegetables looked like they had been subjected to a funhouse mirror, twisted and contorted in ways that would make even the most dedicated gardener recoil in horror. But you know what they say – beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And I, for one, found a certain charm in these AI-generated oddities.

The Moment of Truth: Did I Outsmart Google?

So, with my AI-powered website complete, it was time to see if I could actually outsmart Google’s ranking algorithm. As the Google Search Status page revealed, the search giant had been making some significant updates to their ranking factors, with a particular focus on cracking down on spam and low-quality content.

I’ll admit, I had a glimmer of hope that my AI-generated Horticultured.org might just slip under the radar. After all, the content was factually accurate, the images were (mostly) recognizable, and I had even gone the extra mile with the hreflang tags. Surely Google would see the value in my innovative approach, right?

Well, as The Verge reported, Google’s ranking algorithm had become increasingly sophisticated, and it seemed that my little experiment was destined for the dreaded “Discovered: Not Indexed” abyss.

When I checked the site a few weeks later, my heart sank. Horticultured.org was nowhere to be found in the search results, relegated to the digital equivalent of the compost heap. It appears that no matter how much wine I consumed or how many hreflang tags I used, Google’s algorithm wasn’t fooled by my AI-powered shenanigans.

Lessons Learned (and a Chuckle or Two)

While my attempt to outsmart Google’s ranking algorithm may have been a resounding failure, I can’t help but laugh at the sheer absurdity of it all. The idea of me, sitting in my garden, sipping wine and churning out a website made entirely with generative AI – it’s the kind of story you couldn’t make up.

And let’s be honest, the best part has to be the AI-generated vegetable images. I mean, who would have thought that a pepper could look quite like that? It’s a visual masterpiece that would put even the most avant-garde artist to shame.

But in all seriousness, this experience has taught me some valuable lessons about the limitations of AI-powered content creation, even in the ever-changing world of SEO. While the technology is undoubtedly powerful and can be a valuable tool, it’s not a magic bullet. Successful websites still require a human touch, a deep understanding of the subject matter, and a keen eye for quality and authenticity.

As for the future of Google’s ranking algorithm, it’s clear that the search giant is always one step ahead of us SEOs. They’re constantly evolving their methods to stay ahead of the curve, making it increasingly challenging for us to game the system. The best we can do is stay informed, adapt our strategies accordingly, and embrace the changes as they come.

And who knows? Maybe in 2025, I’ll try my hand at an AI-powered website again. After all, I’m sure the technology will only continue to improve, and perhaps I’ll even be able to outsmart Google’s algorithm next time. But for now, I think I’ll stick to my day job and let the experts handle the AI-fueled content creation.

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