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Core Web Vitals Ranking Factor is More than a Tie Breaker

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Core Web Vitals Ranking Factor is More than a Tie Breaker

Google’s John Mueller answered a question on Reddit that expressed skepticism of Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor. Mueller affirmed the importance of CWV as a ranking factor and noted that it is far more than just a tie breaker.

Ranking Factors

Back in the early 2000’s Google used ranking factors tied to keywords to understand what a web page was about. Anchor text, number of links, keywords in headings and titles all helped web pages rank at the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Websites could acquire thousands of reciprocal links and do the on-page SEO and rank at the top.

But that was before natural language processing, advanced machine learning and AI technologies put a stronger emphasis on relevance signals.

Google Has Lowered Expectations of CWV Ranking Factor

It’s not unexpected that members of the search community would express skepticism of the CWV ranking factor.

Google itself has been downplaying how powerful CWV is as a ranking factor.

John Mueller himself said this about Core Web Vitals:

“…relevance is still by far much more important.

So just because your website is faster with regards to Core Web Vitals than some competitors doesn’t necessarily mean that …you will jump to position number one in the search results.”

Google published a Core Web Vitals FAQ that also lowered expectations of the CWV ranking factor.

The FAQ stated:

“Page experience is just one of many signals that are used to rank pages.

Keep in mind that intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a page with a subpar page experience may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.”

Skepticism of Core Web Vitals Ranking Factor

Thus it’s not surprising that today there are some who express skepticism of the power of CWV to influence search rankings.

This is what was published on Reddit:

Anyone else not buying Core Web Vitals?
I just find it hard to believe that this actually becomes a greater part of the ranking algo. Has anyone seen dramatic gains or decreases based on it so far?”

Someone else observed:

“I believe Google admitted it’s basically just a tie breaker.

If two pieces of content are equally high quality and relevant to the search term and all the other ranking factors are equal, but one site has better core web vitals, it will rank higher.

I imagine it’s quite rare for two articles to be equal on all other factors so I think that’s why we don’t see much impact from it.”

Given Google’s recent history of lowering expectations of achieving top rankings with a high core web vitals score, it’s not unreasonable to hold the opinion that the CWV ranking factor is a minor and lightweight ranking signal.

CWV Ranking Factor Is More than a Tie-breaker

Google’s John Mueller replied that affirmed that core web vitals should not be dismissed as a ranking factor.

He insisted that it could be felt more strongly in some sites than others.

Mueller wrote:

“It is a ranking factor, and it’s more than a tie-breaker, but it also doesn’t replace relevance.

Depending on the sites you work on, you might notice it more, or you might notice it less.

As an SEO, a part of your role is to take all of the possible optimizations and figure out which ones are worth spending time on.

Any SEO tool will spit out 10s or 100s of “recommendations”, most of those are going to be irrelevant to your site’s visibility in search.

Finding the items that make sense to work on takes experience.”

CWV Has Value Beyond Being a Ranking Signal

Mueller next stated that CWV has value that extends beyond a ranking signal, rightly pointing out that speed related user experiences can affect how much a website earns.

He pointed out the self-defeating nature of promoting a site to the top of the SERPs only to have the earnings never reach their potentials because of low page speed experiences.

It’s a good point!

Mueller wrote:

“The other thing to keep in mind with core web vitals is that it’s more than a random ranking factor, it’s also something that affects your site’s usability after it ranks (when people actually visit).

If you get more traffic (from other SEO efforts) and your conversion rate is low, that traffic is not going to be as useful as when you have a higher conversion rate (assuming UX/speed affects your conversion rate, which it usually does).

CWV is a great way of recognizing and quantifying common user annoyances.”

Core Web Vitals is Important

Mueller expressed that Core Web Vitals is stronger and more important than a tie-breaker. He also pointed out how speed and page experience are important for monetizing a website to the fullest of its potential.

Mueller mentioned conversion rates but page speed can also improve ad impressions because there will be less people backing out of the site when it has a quality page experience.

Citation

Read the Reddit Discussion
Anyone Else Not Buying Core Web Vitals?

Searchenginejournal.com

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Google Implements Stricter Guidelines for Mass Email Senders to Gmail Users

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Beginning in April, Gmail senders bombarding users with unwanted mass emails will encounter a surge in message rejections unless they comply with the freshly minted Gmail email sender protocols, Google cautions.

Fresh Guidelines for Dispatching Mass Emails to Gmail Inboxes In an elucidative piece featured on Forbes, it was highlighted that novel regulations are being ushered in to shield Gmail users from the deluge of unsolicited mass emails. Initially, there were reports surfacing about certain marketers receiving error notifications pertaining to messages dispatched to Gmail accounts. Nonetheless, a Google representative clarified that these specific errors, denoted as 550-5.7.56, weren’t novel but rather stemmed from existing authentication prerequisites.

Moreover, Google has verified that commencing from April, they will initiate “the rejection of a portion of non-compliant email traffic, progressively escalating the rejection rate over time.” Google elaborates that, for instance, if 75% of the traffic adheres to the new email sender authentication criteria, then a portion of the remaining non-conforming 25% will face rejection. The exact proportion remains undisclosed. Google does assert that the implementation of the new regulations will be executed in a “step-by-step fashion.”

This cautious and methodical strategy seems to have already kicked off, with transient errors affecting a “fraction of their non-compliant email traffic” coming into play this month. Additionally, Google stipulates that bulk senders will be granted until June 1 to integrate “one-click unsubscribe” in all commercial or promotional correspondence.

Exclusively Personal Gmail Accounts Subject to Rejection These alterations exclusively affect bulk emails dispatched to personal Gmail accounts. Entities sending out mass emails, specifically those transmitting a minimum of 5,000 messages daily to Gmail accounts, will be mandated to authenticate outgoing emails and “refrain from dispatching unsolicited emails.” The 5,000 message threshold is tabulated based on emails transmitted from the same principal domain, irrespective of the employment of subdomains. Once the threshold is met, the domain is categorized as a permanent bulk sender.

These guidelines do not extend to communications directed at Google Workspace accounts, although all senders, including those utilizing Google Workspace, are required to adhere to the updated criteria.

Augmented Security and Enhanced Oversight for Gmail Users A Google spokesperson emphasized that these requisites are being rolled out to “fortify sender-side security and augment user control over inbox contents even further.” For the recipient, this translates to heightened trust in the authenticity of the email sender, thus mitigating the risk of falling prey to phishing attempts, a tactic frequently exploited by malevolent entities capitalizing on authentication vulnerabilities. “If anything,” the spokesperson concludes, “meeting these stipulations should facilitate senders in reaching their intended recipients more efficiently, with reduced risks of spoofing and hijacking by malicious actors.”

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Google’s Next-Gen AI Chatbot, Gemini, Faces Delays: What to Expect When It Finally Launches

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Google AI Chatbot Gemini

In an unexpected turn of events, Google has chosen to postpone the much-anticipated debut of its revolutionary generative AI model, Gemini. Initially poised to make waves this week, the unveiling has now been rescheduled for early next year, specifically in January.

Gemini is set to redefine the landscape of conversational AI, representing Google’s most potent endeavor in this domain to date. Positioned as a multimodal AI chatbot, Gemini boasts the capability to process diverse data types. This includes a unique proficiency in comprehending and generating text, images, and various content formats, even going so far as to create an entire website based on a combination of sketches and written descriptions.

Originally, Google had planned an elaborate series of launch events spanning California, New York, and Washington. Regrettably, these events have been canceled due to concerns about Gemini’s responsiveness to non-English prompts. According to anonymous sources cited by The Information, Google’s Chief Executive, Sundar Pichai, personally decided to postpone the launch, acknowledging the importance of global support as a key feature of Gemini’s capabilities.

Gemini is expected to surpass the renowned ChatGPT, powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4 model, and preliminary private tests have shown promising results. Fueled by significantly enhanced computing power, Gemini has outperformed GPT-4, particularly in FLOPS (Floating Point Operations Per Second), owing to its access to a multitude of high-end AI accelerators through the Google Cloud platform.

SemiAnalysis, a research firm affiliated with Substack Inc., expressed in an August blog post that Gemini appears poised to “blow OpenAI’s model out of the water.” The extensive compute power at Google’s disposal has evidently contributed to Gemini’s superior performance.

Google’s Vice President and Manager of Bard and Google Assistant, Sissie Hsiao, offered insights into Gemini’s capabilities, citing examples like generating novel images in response to specific requests, such as illustrating the steps to ice a three-layer cake.

While Google’s current generative AI offering, Bard, has showcased noteworthy accomplishments, it has struggled to achieve the same level of consumer awareness as ChatGPT. Gemini, with its unparalleled capabilities, is expected to be a game-changer, demonstrating impressive multimodal functionalities never seen before.

During the initial announcement at Google’s I/O developer conference in May, the company emphasized Gemini’s multimodal prowess and its developer-friendly nature. An application programming interface (API) is under development, allowing developers to seamlessly integrate Gemini into third-party applications.

As the world awaits the delayed unveiling of Gemini, the stakes are high, with Google aiming to revolutionize the AI landscape and solidify its position as a leader in generative artificial intelligence. The postponed launch only adds to the anticipation surrounding Gemini’s eventual debut in the coming year.

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Google Brings Bard Students Math and Coding Education in the Summer

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Google Brings Bard Students Math and Coding Education in the Summer

Google is stepping up its AI efforts this summer by sending Bard, its high-profile chatbot, to summer school. The aim? To boost the bot’s math and coding smarts. These developments are excellent news— when Bard first debuted, it was admittedly not a finished product. But Google is steadily plugging away at it, and have now implemented implicit code execution for logical prompts, and handy Google Sheets’ integration to take it to the next level.

Thanks to implicit code execution, Bard can respond to inquiries requiring calculation or computation with Python code snippets running in the background. What’s even more amazing is that coders can take this generated code and modify it for their projects. Though Google is still apprehensive about guaranteeing the accuracy of Bard’s answers, this feature is said to improve the accuracy of math and word problems by an impressive 30%.

In addition to this, Bard can now export directly to Sheets when asked about tables. So, you don’t need to worry about copying and pasting, which comes with the risk of losing formatting or data.

From the company’s I/O keynote address, it is clear that they are focused on making the most of what Bard can offer. As they continue to speak highly of the chatbot, we’re sure to expect more features and capabilities when the summer comes around.

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