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2023 Google Updates: AI-Generated Reviews And Product Ratings Policies

A tab showing Google's homepage with a cup of coffee beside it

Starting from August 28, 2023, Google has made revisions to its Product Ratings policies concerning artificial intelligence (AI) and automated content.

The new policy reads:

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

The new inclusion provides more precise guidance, stating that evaluations produced by automated software or AI applications are prohibited. These reviews must be marked as spam.

To guarantee adherence, Google utilizes a blend of automated and human assessment approaches. Machine-learning algorithms will aid in this endeavor, while specifically trained experts will handle intricate situations that demand contextual understanding.

Responses to breaches may encompass disapproval of infringing content or reviews, issuance of alerts, or the suspension of accounts in cases of recurrent or serious transgressions. If any images are flagged for violating policies, the associated review content will also be restricted.

Extra Guidelines When It Comes To Rating Products

A man searching up reviews on Google homepage on his laptop

The existing guidelines for Product Ratings are designed to uphold the credibility, legality, and ethical standards of reviews hosted on Google's platform.

Spam: These policies emphasize Google's strong stance against spam, encouraging users to use the attribute to label irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text as spam.

Dangerous products or acts: The regulations also explicitly forbid dangerous products or actions, as well as reviews concerning potentially harmful or widely illegal regulated items.

Personal and confidential information: In order to safeguard the privacy of reviewers, the policy prohibits the inclusion of personal and confidential details, phone numbers, email addresses, or URLs within review content.

Keep it clean: With the aim of maintaining a respectful and clean review environment, Google's policies disallow the use of obscene, profane, offensive language, along with content that is violent, defamatory, or involves personal attacks.

Conflict of interest: The guidelines clearly indicate that reviews originating from conflicts of interest or containing fabricated statements should not be submitted. This covers reviews that are paid for, authored by employees, or created by individuals with vested interests in the product.

Malware & Phishing: Any form of illegal content, which includes unlawful links or content associated with malware, viruses, or harmful software, is strictly prohibited.

Sexually explicit material: In accordance with Google's safety criteria, the policy unequivocally bans sexually explicit content within reviews. Such content will be promptly deleted, and instances involving minors will be reported to law enforcement and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Plagiarism: Reviews that violate copyright, trademark rights, or engage in plagiarism also run afoul of the guidelines.

Promotion of external products or websites: Reviews must not contain promotional material for unrelated websites, products, or services. If you come across such content, please label it as spam in your feed using the <is_spam> attribute.

Off-topic reviews: The policy from Google vehemently opposes hate speech, the promotion of unrelated products or websites, reviews that are off-topic, impersonation, and the submission of duplicate content.

Repeated content: Every review should be present in just one feed and should not be duplicated within that feed. If a review is relevant to various versions of a product, this should be indicated by using distinct product identifiers and URLs alongside the review. The same review must not be found in feeds from different retailers. Retailers should be the legitimate source of the review and should not share content copied from other origins. In instances of identical reviews across multiple feeds, one or more of the reviews, or even entire feeds, may be subjected to blocking.

Language: Concerning language, reviews should be composed in their original language; however, Google provides translation alternatives for users.

Final Words

In essence, Google's updated Product Ratings policies reflect a holistic approach to maintaining a trustworthy and valuable space for sharing authentic product experiences, contributing to the overall betterment of the online reviewing landscape.


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