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Google Shows How to Optimize for Beta Discover Follow

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Google added new documentation for a beta feature that allows users to follow a website on their Google Discover feed. The feature allows users to follow a website and see them in their Discover feed when a new article is published.

The new feature will show up for users in the United States who are using Chrome Android Beta (also known as Chrome Canary).

Google has been testing this feature since May 2021 and today they have added documentation for it in Google Search Central.

The Discover Follow feature is being shown to a limited set of users but it still may be useful to get in first and begin obtaining loyal readers through Discover.

Screenshot of Follow Feature in Chrome Android Beta

Screenshot of Discover Follow feature in Chrome

How to Optimize for Follow Feature

Publishers don’t necessarily have to do anything to be successfully followed.

However Google does recommend that publishers have an up to date RSS or Atom feed that Google can use to identify new articles.

Not only that, but Google has a way for publishers to communicate which feed can be used for following in Discover.

“By default, the Follow feature uses RSS or Atom feeds on your website.

If you don’t have an RSS or Atom feed on your website, Google automatically generates a feed for your entire domain based on our view of your site.

If you have one or more feeds on your website, you can optimize your Follow experience by explicitly telling Google which feed you want people to follow for a given page on your site.”

The feeds must be linked from the head section of the web page.

Related: Google Discover: 10 Characteristics of Top-Performing Content

Hub and Leaf Feeds

Google requires adding the feed to what it calls hub and leaf pages.

Hubs are the main landing pages like the category and archive pages. Leaf pages are the pages the individual articles that the hub links out to.

If the site only has the one feed then the same feed can go into the head section of every page.

Add Feeds for Each Category

With this hub and leaf feed structure a publisher can also specify a specific feed for each of the different categories like Business, Technology, etc.

Google gives the example of a single technology article that’s a part of the technology section.

That article (and every other article in the technology section) can have a feed for the technology section like this:

<head>
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" href="https://example.com/technology/feed/" />
</head>

Can Add Multiple Feeds to the Home Page

Publishers also have the option to specify multiple feeds that correspond to different sections of the site to the home page. The order of those feeds specify the order of importance.

Google’s new documentation explains:

“Add multiple feeds in order of your preference. For example, you might prefer that people follow the feed for the front page, then the business section, then technology, in that order. Google uses this information to understand more about how multiple feeds are used across your site.”

Discover Follow in Beta – Should You Participate?

It’s not open yet to all Chrome users. But it seems like a good opportunity to get in on it, even if it only leads to a few new readers, anything that builds word of mouth is a good thing.

Citations

Read Google’s new documentation on how to optimize for Google Discover:

The Follow Feature and Your Website (Beta)

Read original announcement of the new feature

An Experiment in Helping Users and Web Publishers Create Deeper Connections on Chrome

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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