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August 3, 2023
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 min read is saying no to AI content. Is Google next?

Medium has updated its policy on AI-generated writing, no longer promoting fully AI-generated content. Will Google follow suit? is saying no to AI content. Is Google next?

Back in January 2023, (through a post from Scott Lang, VP of Content) stated that they allowed AI-generated content on their platform.

Yesterday, they made a new announcement with the update that they allow it, but do not endorse it. And in short, it will not help promote the content. And promotion of your content (through newsletter, on-site recommendations widgets etc) are one of the main reason many use the platform for their publication of content.

So from a SEO perspective, a natural question is, will we see the same change from Google?

What was Medium's policy back in January?

So let's start with exploring what Scott Lang wrote in "How we’re approaching AI-generated writing on Medium" back at the start of the year.

To sum it up, these were the key points:

  • Medium prioritizes human storytelling over AI-generated content.
  • Transparency and disclosure are important aspects of AI-generated writing on Medium.
  • Medium's distribution standards include an AI-specific guideline: any story created with AI assistance must be clearly labeled as such.
  • The culture of Medium encourages disclosure of AI-generated content to empower readers.
  • Undisclosed AI-generated content will not be distributed across Medium's network.
  • Publication editors on Medium have their own guidelines for AI writing, many of which prohibit AI writing entirely.
  • For instance, "Towards Data Science" only accepts posts written by human authors, "Fanfare" bars any writers who submit AI content, and "The Writing Cooperative" requires any use of generative AI tools to be cited like any other source.
  • Medium's approach to AI writing is expected to evolve over time.
We welcome the responsible use of AI-assistive technology on Medium. To promote transparency, and help set reader expectations, we require that any story created with AI assistance be clearly labeled as such. - Scott Lang

Back in January, when AI content and ChatGPT were still in a crazy hype cycle, a big platform like Medium seemly embracing AI content was big news.

The post got turned into headlines like "Medium welcomes posts written with AI as long they’re ‘clearly labeled’".

And with the rise of AI writing platforms (we are a part of this as well here at, a lot of abuse occurred "to use AI as a money printing machine" to quote one of the Youtube videos on the topic.

An example of a Youtuber exploring how to make money on Medium with AI generated content.

What is Medium's new policy?

So, what is the difference in Medium's new stance on AI content based on Scott Langs's new post "Medium is for human storytelling, not AI-generated writing"?

I do not feel there is a super big change compared to their original statement, but it's more a clarification that Medium do not endorse entirely made AI content.

And again underlining they are not promoting and actively distributing this kind of material. And also indicating they are using AI detection algorithms to spot AI content (but at the same time acknowledging that these methods are flawed).

Here are his key points:

  • Medium is a platform for human writing, not for stories generated entirely by AI.
  • AI technology can assist writing, but fully AI-generated stories do not align with Medium's mission of being a place for high-quality human stories.
  • Medium's distribution system filters out a lot of fully AI-generated stories.
  • AI-generated text, even at its best, is considered bland, lacking in human wisdom, and filled with subtle deficiencies.
  • Medium has amended its distribution guidelines to clarify that it allows the responsible use of AI-assistive technology, but does not necessarily welcome it.
  • AI-assistance can empower a writer to improve their writing or help them express themselves in a second language.
  • Medium will not promote fully AI-generated stories to a broader audience.
  • Medium is not a place for fully AI-generated stories, and such stories will not be eligible for distribution beyond the writer’s personal network.
  • Any story incorporating AI assistance must be clearly labeled as such, and AI-assisted text without a disclosure at the beginning of the story will be restricted to distribution on the writer’s personal network.
  • Medium is working on new ways to reduce the reach of fully AI-generated content and increase transparency around its approach to AI.

Is Google next in changing its perspective on AI?

So we extensively covered and verified that Google is not against AI content and do not punish any penalties on AI writing or content, as long as the content is helpful and of high quality.

But could they change their stand like Medium to some extent have done?

I believe there are 5 reasons why we can be sure that Google (who is also heavily relying on AI in all aspects of their business and among the leaders in the AI race):

1. Google's Goal to Catalog All Valuable Web Content

Google's primary goal remains to index all valuable content on the web, irrespective of its source. It does not discriminate between human or AI-generated content, as long as it aligns with its quality guidelines.

As a search engine, Google's role is to direct users to the most relevant and helpful content available rather than control or influence how that content is created.

2. Google's Quality-First Algorithms Don't Discriminate

Google's sophisticated algorithms evaluate all content on its merits, regardless of whether it is human-created or AI-generated.

These algorithms prioritize the relevance, freshness, and quality of content, irrespective of its source.

With the rise of AI tools capable of creating high-quality content, Google now acknowledges AI as a legitimate content generator, provided the content meets the guidelines for quality and user value.

3. Google's Policies Designed for Broad Impact

Given the sheer volume of digital content and the vastness of its user base, Google's policies need to be broad and encompassing. Their stance towards AI-generated content reflects this.

By not discriminating against AI-generated content, Google recognises the evolving dynamics of content creation and upholds its commitment to cater to the diverse needs of its global user base.

4. Google Prioritizes User Experience, Regardless of Content Source

Google's emphasis on user experience remains paramount, and this includes content generated by AI.

As long as AI-produced content is relevant, valuable, and offers a positive user experience, it aligns with Google's objectives. Google's updated guidelines reiterate the importance of content quality over the technology used in its creation.

5. Google's Adaptability to Technological Evolution

Google's adaptability has always been a significant aspect of its operations. This now extends to AI-generated content.

Recognising the strides made in AI content generation tools, Google now welcomes high-quality AI-generated content, as long as it meets its quality and relevance guidelines.

This change signifies Google's acceptance of AI as a valuable tool in content creation and underscores its commitment to technological advancement. I also covered this in my post about their Google Genesis product for AI-based news generation.

FAQ about Medium's AI position

1. Is Medium banning AI content?

No, Medium is not banning AI-generated content. They still allow AI-assisted writing, but they are not endorsing fully AI-generated content. It's also important to note that Medium will not promote or actively distribute such content.

2. What changes have been made in Medium's policy concerning AI-generated content?

Medium's policy has been clarified to state that while they permit AI-assisted writing, they do not necessarily welcome it, and they definitely do not endorse or promote fully AI-generated content. The distribution guidelines have been updated to make clear that fully AI-generated stories will not be eligible for distribution beyond the writer's personal network.

3. How does Medium's policy affect the distribution of AI-generated content?

The policy affects distribution by restricting the reach of fully AI-generated content. Such stories are not promoted to a broader audience and are limited to distribution within the writer's personal network. It also emphasizes the need for transparency and disclosure of AI assistance in creating content.

4. How is Medium using AI detection algorithms to spot AI content?

Although it's not explained in detail in the article, Medium has implied that they are using AI detection algorithms to identify and filter out fully AI-generated stories. However, they acknowledge that these methods may be flawed.

5. What steps is Medium taking to reduce the reach of fully AI-generated content?

Medium has amended its distribution guidelines to minimize the reach of fully AI-generated content. Such stories are restricted to the writer's personal network and will not be promoted to a broader audience. They're also working on new ways to enhance transparency around their approach to AI and limit the impact of AI-generated content. is saying no to AI content. Is Google next?

+20 years of experience from various digital agencies. Passionate about AI (artificial intelligence) and SEO

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