Google has updated its Product Ratings policies, effective August 28, 2023, on artificial intelligence (AI) and automated content.
Kudos to Duane Forrester, who spotted and shared the policy update on Twitter.
Automated And AI-Generated Reviews
The addition clarifies that reviews generated by an automated program or AI application are not allowed and should be flagged as spam.
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
Enforcement Of Updated Policies
To ensure compliance, Google combines automated and human evaluation methods.
Machine-learning algorithms will support this effort while specially trained experts deal with more complex cases requiring context.
Actions against violations can range from disapproving violating content or reviews, issuing warnings, or suspending accounts for repeated or severe offenses.
The corresponding review content will also be blocked if any images are flagged for policy violation.
Additional Product Rating Guidelines
Existing Product Ratings policies aim to maintain the authenticity, legality, and ethicality of the reviews on their platform.
The policies highlight Google’s stance against spam, urging users to flag irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text as spam using the <is_spam> attribute.
The policies also prohibit dangerous products or acts and reviews of potentially harmful or widely illegal regulated products.
To protect reviewers, the policy prevents sharing personal and confidential information, phone numbers, email addresses, or URLs in the review content.
To ensure a clean and respectful review environment, Google’s policies disallow obscene, profane, offensive language, violent or defamatory content, and personal attacks.
The rules clearly state not to submit reviews that stem from conflicts of interest or contain inauthentic remarks.
This includes reviews paid for, employee-written, or composed by individuals with a vested interest in the product.
Illegal content, including unlawful links or those linked to malware, viruses, or harmful software, is strictly prohibited.
In alignment with Google’s safety standards, the policy strictly prohibits sexually explicit content in reviews, promising immediate removal and, in cases involving minors, reporting to law enforcement and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
Reviews that infringe on copyright, trademark, or involve plagiarism also fall foul of the guidelines.
Google’s policy strongly objects to hate speech, cross-promotion of unrelated products or websites, off-topic reviews, impersonation, and duplicate content.
Regarding language, reviews should be submitted in the original language, with Google offering translation options for users.
This underscores the role of humans in review and rating systems and limits the utility of AI-generated reviews, which could affect how some businesses promote their products.
This commitment helps to ensure that the information and reviews in Google search results are reliable, which is essential for online businesses and consumer trust.
Featured image: Alexander Limbach/Shutterstock
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