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Google Tests Generative AI to Help Owners Write Business Descriptions but also Bans AI in Reviews

August 31, 2023 /
Ratings and Reviews 

Google often generates an “editorial summary” on the top of listings, a short two sentence description of what the business can offer a customer. This summary pulls from reviews, the business’s website, and the business’s own owner description to try to succinctly explain the organization. It’s essentially written by AI. While these summaries are often mediocre, Google attributes that to their short length and expects users to find full information in the owner-provided descriptions. Google is however attempting to automate these descriptions as well, by offering AI-generated suggestions for that information.

For some users, when they attempt to edit their Google Business Profiles, Google is showing owners a potential AI-powered business description. This is proving useful for some, but Google presents these suggested descriptions as a “creative writing aid”. Google insists that business owners review these descriptions for accuracy, as AI is known to sometimes generate non-factual information. Google listed the following tips for users intending to use the AI tool.

  • Ensure your Business Profile is up to date– this feature uses info from your Business Profile to suggest a description of your business. Update your Business Profile to include your latest info for better suggestions.
  • Add more details about your business– you can add details about your business to the description field and AI will use this info when it generates a suggestion. For example, you can write your own description and use this tool to offer suggestions to improve it.
  • Review for accuracy– this tool can help you save time and write a description for you, but you should review it for accuracy before you update the description for your Business Profile.

Along with this new AI tool that Google’s provided themselves, Google posted an update against the use of AI tools in merchant center reviews. The new “Automated Content” section reads: “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.”

The lack of confidence in AI’s ability to provide honest and factual information within reviews further cements Google’s stance on the topic. AI is only intended to act as a potentially helpful tool and not a replacement for creative human work. While AI could in theory provide all the content that short sections of writing might need, users ought to utilize AI as one would a thesaurus, trying to find the verbiage that compliments their preexisting writing, and not trying to replace their own writing entirely.