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Google Search Console Impressions Report and Continuous Scroll SERPs

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In a Google Office-hours hangout John Mueller was asked a great question about how Google Search Console (GSC) reports impressions now that the first page of the search results are shown with a continuous scroll format.

Continuous (Infinite) Scroll and Google Search Results

Continuous scroll, also known as Infinite Scroll is a way to show content without forcing the site visitor to click on a link to another page.

It’s a frictionless way to present the user what they want to see, without making them go through the largely superfluous action of a clicking a link to see a new page.
It’s particularly a good user experience in situations where a site visitor is browsing for content.

The application of infinite scrolling is wildly successful in the context of social media.

A case can be made that it’s appropriate for search results as well.

How is an Impression Measured in a Continuous Scroll?

The person asking the question noted that employees at her agency disagreed in opinions of what constituted an impression in search results that displayed in a continuous scroll format.

This is the question:

“My question is …wildly debated at my agency. It’s about impressions.

So can you tell us what classifies an impressions in Google Search Console (GSC) and how that might be changing with the infinite scroll.”

Google’s John Mueller answered:

“Okay… there’s a lot about that.

We have a Help Center page about what is impressions, clicks and positions (I think it’s roughly called) that has a ton of details on those impressions.

That’s something that I would look at first. It’s something I usually look at when I get this question. So that would be my recommendation first of all.

With regards to infinite scroll or kind of this continuous scroll setup that we’re trying out …I think it’s a little bit tricky because it’s hard to determine what exactly is happening from an SEO point of view.”

Search Results Load in Groups of Ten

John Mueller said that although from the user point of view it’s a continuous scroll, from Google’s point of view it’s still just groups of ten search results.

Mueller explained:

“But essentially from our side we’re still loading the search results in Groups of ten…

And as a user scrolls down on the page we kind of dynamically load the next set of ten results there.

And when that set of ten results is loaded, that counts as an impression.

So that basically means that kind of the scrolling down and you start seeing page two of the search results, that we would see is like, well this is page two now and it now has impressions similar to if someone were to just click on page two directly in the links.

So from that point of view, not much really changes there.”

Impressions May Go Up But Clicks May Remain Static

Mueller next offered what appears to be his opinion that little will change and that the number of clicks will mostly stay the same.

It’s not unreasonable to think that if Google makes it easier to reach page two of the search engine results pages (SERPs) that there might be a small increase in people finding what they want.

But Mueller, whose opinion is well informed, shared the opinion that that is not the case.

Here’s Mueller’s opinion:

“What I think will change a little bit is that users will probably scroll a little bit easier to page two, page three or four.

And based on that the number of impressions that a website can get in the search results will probably go up a little bit.

I don’t think it’ll be like an extreme change but probably it’ll be the case, more the case, that if you were ranking on page two then suddenly your website gets a lot more impressions just because it’s easier to reach page two in the search results.

And the number of clicks I suspect will remain similar because like people will kind of like scroll up and down and look at the results on a page and they’ll click on one of them.

So probably what will happen is impressions go up a little bit.

Clicks stay the same, that means the click through rate tends to go down a little bit.

And …if you’re focusing purely on click through rate, for SEO then I suspect that will be a little bit of a kind of …weird situation because it’s hard to determine did the click through rate drop because this page was shown in this continuous scroll environment?

Or did it drop because users saw it but they didn’t like to click on it as much anymore.”

Click Through Rate (CTR) Percentage Metric

In the end John Mueller raised the interesting issue of CTR falling and possible opaqueness in trying to diagnose the reasons for that.

Citation

How Does Infinite Scroll Impact Search Console Impressions?

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 45:50 Minute Mark

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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