Google Merchant Center Policy Tags AI-Generated Reviews As Spam

Automated review content created by generative artificial intelligence (GAI) will be considered spam and against Google’s policy, according to the Google Merchant Center policy blog. It's sort of a wild shift in events, as the company delves deeper into the technology, but the notice did not come without clarification.

Google posted the update to clarify its existing Merchant Center policies and enforcement.

The product rating policy will be updated on August 28, 2023. The company also provided additional guidance on how it will enforce the policies.

“Automated Content: We don’t allow reviews that are primarily generated by an automated program or artificial intelligence application,” the post reads. “If you have identified such content, it should be marked as spam in your feed using the is spam attribute.”

Google generally has accepted when people use GAI to generate helpful content. But Google is not the only company in this situation.

Amazon began testing the use of GAI to generate summaries of reviews left on some products. It’s not the review itself, but a summary of what shoppers liked and disliked about the product, along with a disclaimer that the summary is “AI-generated” from the text of customer reviews.

LinkedIn began testing a feature that gives users an option to generate and share a post using GAI. The feature works by typing in at least 30 words that outline the main idea. Then the technology generates an initial draft based on that input. 

“When it comes to posting on LinkedIn, we’ve heard that you generally know what you want to say, but going from a great idea to a full-fledged post can be challenging and time consuming,” Keren Baruch, director of product at LinkedIn, wrote in the post. “So, we’re starting to test a way for members to use generative AI directly within the LinkedIn share box.”

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