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Google Announces Spam Update Part 2

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Google Announces Spam Update Part 2

Google SearchLiaison announced on Twitter that the second part of Google’s spam update is under way. Similarly to the first spam update this update will conclude on the same day that is announced.

According to the announcement:

“The second part of our spam update has has begun today, and it will also conclude later today, unless we share otherwise.”

Google’s Danny Sullivan tweeted that it is directly related to previous update and similar in nature.

“It’s all part of the same thing, just a second part.”

Spam Fighting and AI

Google SearchLiaison linked to their announcement from April 2021 (How we fought Search Spam on Google in 2020) where it was revealed that Google used AI to fight spam and has been doing so since 2020.

According to the announcement of the Spam AI:

“By combining our deep knowledge of spam with AI, last year we were able to build our very own spam-fighting AI that is incredibly effective at catching both known and new spam trends.

For example, we have reduced sites with auto-generated and scraped content by more than 80% compared to a couple of years ago.”

Among the spam types addressed in that announcement is spam generated by hacked websites.

Google said it’s not a problem they can solve by themselves and appealed to publishers to take measures to keep their site software up to date to prevent hacking events from happening.

Google linked to their webmaster guidelines which lists the following types of spam that publishers should avoid.

Spam to Avoid Becoming Involved With

This is a partial list of the kind of spam that concerns Google:

  • Autogenerated content
  • Link schemes
  • Unoriginal content
  • Cloaking
  • Hidden text or links
  • Doorway pages
  • Scraped content
  • Abusing structured data

Link Schemes a Lucrative and Popular

Link schemes are a highly popular form of manipulating Google’s search results. There’s a huge business in developing ways to trick websites into linking to websites.

It’s debatable if Google’s AI can identify these kinds of link schemes, some of which were developed by so-called white hats…

Fake Alumni Trick

For example, I know that some link builders send outreach emails to universities and pretend to be alumni asking for a link to their latest venture.

Informational Site Trick

This is another “white hat” link building scheme designed to trick universities and non-profit sites by creating an informational site on a .org domain in order to represent it as being a non-commercial website providing information related to a topic of interest.

Once all the links are attained the link builder places a cross-domain rel canonical on the pages that collected links to tell Google to send all the link equity to the commercial site.

All the links that were given to the fake non-commercial site are now going to a commercial website.

Broken PDF Link Scheme

I know about this link scheme because a popular white hat link builder sent me an outreach email attempting to get me to link to their page.

The way it works is that first the link builders identify popular United States government or non-profit PDF files or web pages that have been moved to a different URL.

Next the link builder will create a fake non-commercial website on a dot org domain and represent it as the new home of whatever information was formerly hosted on the government or non-profit web page.

They then contact all the websites that are linking to the old URL (that is now a broken link) and ask them to update the link to the “new home” of those documents and information.

Once the sites are linking to the new URLs on their fake dot org site they then redirect all the links to the client site.

Niche Edit

Some link builders do something called a niche edit where they will add a link to an existing web page.

But niche edits earned a bad reputation in 2019 because some of the links were associated with hacked sites.

Several years ago in 2019 Buzzfeed reported on a link scheme involving “niche edit” links where Russian hackers were selling links from sites they had compromised.

It turned out that the web pages being edited to add a link were actually hacked sites that were being used to sell links from.

Content spammers are using AI tools to rewrite popular content.

There are many link and content schemes. It’s not surprising that Google would turn to sophisticated AI to try to get on top of it.

Why Two Google Spam Updates?

Google did not say why there are two spam updates and provided no more information other than to say that these two updates, released one week apart and lasting a single day, were related.

They didn’t indicate if the updates were AI related or involved a new technology.

Citations

Guidelines that provides information about kinds of spam Google finds objectionable
Google Webmaster Guidelines

Google article that revealed existence of spam fighting AI
How we fought Search spam on Google in 2020

Searchenginejournal.com

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Exploring the Evolution of Language Translation: A Comparative Analysis of AI Chatbots and Google Translate

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A Comparative Analysis of AI Chatbots and Google Translate

According to an article on PCMag, while Google Translate makes translating sentences into over 100 languages easy, regular users acknowledge that there’s still room for improvement.

In theory, large language models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT are expected to bring about a new era in language translation. These models consume vast amounts of text-based training data and real-time feedback from users worldwide, enabling them to quickly learn to generate coherent, human-like sentences in a wide range of languages.

However, despite the anticipation that ChatGPT would revolutionize translation, previous experiences have shown that such expectations are often inaccurate, posing challenges for translation accuracy. To put these claims to the test, PCMag conducted a blind test, asking fluent speakers of eight non-English languages to evaluate the translation results from various AI services.

The test compared ChatGPT (both the free and paid versions) to Google Translate, as well as to other competing chatbots such as Microsoft Copilot and Google Gemini. The evaluation involved comparing the translation quality for two test paragraphs across different languages, including Polish, French, Korean, Spanish, Arabic, Tagalog, and Amharic.

In the first test conducted in June 2023, participants consistently favored AI chatbots over Google Translate. ChatGPT, Google Bard (now Gemini), and Microsoft Bing outperformed Google Translate, with ChatGPT receiving the highest praise. ChatGPT demonstrated superior performance in converting colloquialisms, while Google Translate often provided literal translations that lacked cultural nuance.

For instance, ChatGPT accurately translated colloquial expressions like “blow off steam,” whereas Google Translate produced more literal translations that failed to resonate across cultures. Participants appreciated ChatGPT’s ability to maintain consistent levels of formality and its consideration of gender options in translations.

The success of AI chatbots like ChatGPT can be attributed to reinforcement learning with human feedback (RLHF), which allows these models to learn from human preferences and produce culturally appropriate translations, particularly for non-native speakers. However, it’s essential to note that while AI chatbots outperformed Google Translate, they still had limitations and occasional inaccuracies.

In a subsequent test, PCMag evaluated different versions of ChatGPT, including the free and paid versions, as well as language-specific AI agents from OpenAI’s GPTStore. The paid version of ChatGPT, known as ChatGPT Plus, consistently delivered the best translations across various languages. However, Google Translate also showed improvement, performing surprisingly well compared to previous tests.

Overall, while ChatGPT Plus emerged as the preferred choice for translation, Google Translate demonstrated notable improvement, challenging the notion that AI chatbots are always superior to traditional translation tools.


Source: https://www.pcmag.com/articles/google-translate-vs-chatgpt-which-is-the-best-language-translator

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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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