“A.I.” Content Facts, Myths, Fantasies

F.U.D. and A.I.

“FUD” is Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt, of which Google is the undisputed master.

No Shadowplay Site Builder Websites were de-indexed during Google’s core update of March, 2024. In fact, some sites gained indexed pages. We watch the speed of indexing of newly created sites very carefully, as we find it a leading indicator of success. Do we use A.I. content? Of course we do! But we use it to supplement humans, not replace them. The scary fact is, A.I. writing, with the proper prompt, is better than 75% of human writers out there. But A.I. hallucinates, has no context of current facts, trends, or news, and needs constant supervision. We were early adopters of all A.I. modalities, OpenAI of course, but ElevenLabs for audio, and experimented with (and discarded) some specialty trained models designed to create what we can only describe as spammy mass sites.

1. Also, early on, we looked at precedents for how A.I. might be handled. One was obvious, the other a bit more subtle:

“Spinners” Somewhere around 2017, ArticleBot replaced the primitive spinners, and promised “unlimited content”, and this was during a time, when the more content on your website, no matter the quality, would help in Google. It was a technique to generate what appeared to be original content from other content by replacing words or phrases with synonyms. Here is spinning example:

“The dog ran into the house”. Spinners would reinterpret that as “The canine sprinted into the home” or “The puppy marched into the building.”

It was accomplished through “spintax“, which is a syntax that instructs the article spinning software what words to trade out. For example, in spintax the sentence above might be written as “The {dog|canine|puppy} {ran|sprinted|marched} into the {house|home|building}.”

The goal in those days was to pass “Copyscape”, and come up with non-duplicate content a scale. But it never read well, unless you put in tremendous effort with the spintax. ChatGPT can create spintax:

create spintax for the sentence: “The dog ran into the house.”

Spintax is a format used to generate variations of text by including multiple options for parts of a sentence, enclosed in curly braces {} and separated by vertical bars |. Here’s a spintax version of the sentence “The dog ran into the house.”:

The {dog|puppy|canine} {ran|dashed|sprinted} into the {house|home|building}.
This spintax will allow for different variations of the sentence, depending on which options are selected during the spinning process.

Bottom line, spun content was, and is, crap.

2. A more subtle, but analogous approach is that of “Derivative Works”

A public domain book is not under intellectual property rights or copyright, usually because the rights have expired. Once a book enters public domain, it can be reprinted and distributed without the need to get permission from the original author. Once these books were digitized, it was a gold rush of human written, human edited content for internet marketers. But, like A.I., it was discovered by the spammers. (And yes, people used spinning and public domain in combination, often to tremendous effect). Amazon was getting inundated with Public Domain books for sale, so they went through the same exercise the search engines are going through now to figure out how to deal with the flood of A.I. crap that is infecting their indexes.

A derivative work is public domain content that has been altered, enhanced, improved enough to be “stand-alone” work. This is the approach we take with A.I. content. There are four main pillars of this strategy, and all Shadowplay content is evaluated against these guidelines:

1. Structure:

  • Subheadings / subsections, requires additional work and human skill, but worth it
  • Human guided content structure covering different aspects of the topic, not a pasted in A.I. article
  • Internal links to other relevant content on the site

2. Annotated:

  • Annotations, additional content like relevant (human) quotes, literary critiques, detailed biographies, or historical context
  • External, highly related links to authoritative content on the subject

3. Illustrated: 

  • Original illustrations / photos related to the content, (not stock photos)

4. Translate 

  • Original translations (Obviously does not apply, all content is English to English)


The bottom line is Shadowplay uses A.I. in conjunction with human brainpower, a unique style, annotations, illustrations and enhanced structure to create quality content humans can enjoy and relate to.