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Daily Mail Lawsuit Links Google Algorithm Updates to Advertising Business via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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The UK news publisher that owns the Daily Mail news organization filed a lawsuit against Google accusing it of abusing monopoly control of search to punish websites as part of a scheme to maintain control over Internet advertising markets.

The majority of the lawsuit documentation is concerned with Google’s domination of Internet advertising.

It portrays the Daily Mail as a victim that is powerless to control its advertising business and is forced to submit to diminishing revenue because of what the Daily Mail alleges is monopoly dominance by Google.

The court filing states:

“News publishers do not see the growing ad spending because Google and its parent Alphabet unlawfully have acquired and maintain monopolies for the tools that publishers and advertisers use to buy and sell online ad space.

Those tools include the software publishers use to sell their ad inventory, and the dominant exchange where millions of ad impressions are sold in auctions every day.

Google controls the “shelf space” on publishers’ pages where ads appear, and it exploits that control to defeat competition for that ad space.

Among other tactics, Google makes it difficult for publishers to compare prices among exchanges; reduces the number of exchanges that can submit bids; and uses bids offered by rival exchanges to set its own bids — a de facto bid rigging scheme.”

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AMP is a Scheme to Control Online Advertising?

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open source web standard for delivering web pages that are highly optimized for mobile devices.

Competitors to Google, like Microsoft’s search engine Bing, have been a part of the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) open source movement. For example, Bing announced in 2016 that they would deliver AMP formatted web pages in their Bing APP.

In 2018 Bing announced the rollout of their AMP News Carousel, also stating their intention to provide AMP pages in their search results as well.

The stated goals for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is to provide a better user experience for users on mobile devices.

The stated mission for AMP is:

“Provide a user-first format for web content, supporting the long-term success of every web publisher, merchant, and advertiser.”

The purpose of the open source AMP project is well documented and embraced by a wide range of competing companies.

The Daily Mail lawsuit however makes the startling claim that AMP is part of a scheme by Google to dominate and control online advertising.

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Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that AMP created a situation that locked out competing ad services. But that  claim about AMP is undermined by it’s own admission that this was the case only “initially.

The lawsuit begins by first misrepresenting Accelerated Mobile Pages as degrading the user experience of visitors using mobile devices.

The lawsuit states:

“There is no significant technological benefit to AMP — it is simply an HTML webpage that has been stripped of any third-party script (including JavaScript).

Instead, AMP limits a publisher’s expressive creativity and degrades the user experience. AMP pages are not compatible with infographics and other interactive features, resulting in less user engagement.”

After misrepresenting AMP as providing a degraded user experience to users, the Daily Mail next implies that the benefit of AMP was to Google at the expense of publishers. 

“The most immediate competitive significance of Google’s banning third-party script is that AMP pages are incompatible with client-side header bidding.

The result was, initially, that only AdX could bid in real time for Daily Mail’s inventory.

Daily Mail had no recourse, though, because it had to adopt AMP lest it lose critical search traffic. That left Daily Mail with two bad options: (1) forgo AMP and lose search traffic, or (2) adopt AMP, reject client-side header bidding, and sell effectively all AMP ad space through AdX at reduced prices.”

Claims Google Punishes Websites with Organic Search

Perhaps the most startling claim, with no proof, is that Google uses their search results algorithm as a weapon with which to punish publishers who try to get out from under Google’s alleged monopoly dominance.

The Daily Mail states how “monopoly” in search makes the search results a weapon for dishing out punishment:.

“Google’s mobile search monopoly gives Google power — Google can punish publishers with its search results because losing traffic from Google users significantly harms their business.”

The Daily Mail next correlates unrelated events in its struggle to monetize its website with the rollout of an updated Google search algorithm, called a Core Algorithm Update.

Claims Google Core Updates Linked to Advertising Competition

The Daily Mail wrote:

“Google repeatedly told Daily Mail there were no issues with the search algorithm. Google also assured Daily Mail that it was not being targeted among its peers. But that was simply untrue. Google was indeed targeting certain publishers: those that made AdX compete more vigorously for impressions.”

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Google’s core algorithm updates affect a wide range of publishers, including many who don’t use AMP nor have a squabble with Google about ad inventory.

The Daily Mail double-downed on that correlation:

“Google repeatedly complained to Daily Mail about its flooring strategy, but Daily Mail explained (in great detail) that flooring Google led to higher revenue.

…Unable to convince Daily Mail, Google punished it instead. With the June 2019 Core Algorithm Update, Google shut off Daily Mail’s search traffic one week before it began enforcing UPR across publishers’ inventory, and it restored search traffic precisely one day after UPR was fully effective.

The result of UPR, as discussed, was that AdX could intermediate a greater share of Daily Mail’s inventory at much lower prices. Thus, Google punished Daily Mail on its search results because Daily Mail’s pages were less profitable to Google than other websites.

Google then restored search traffic once UPR eliminated differential price floors and forced Daily Mail to sell more inventory to Google on the cheap.”

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The Daily Mail did not produce any internal documents from Google or statements from Googlers that link Core Algorithm Updates to punishing squabbling publishers.

Search Industry Reaction

The general tone of reactions ranged from disbelief at the audacity to link search results to advertising to outright mockery of the claims.

Search marketers tweeted:

Marty Weintraub of Aimclear was quoted in MediaPost attributing The Daily Mail ranking woes to poor SEO.

“Well, we’d all like our (free) high organic rankings to compete with (paid) Google ads,” wrote Aimclear Founder Marty Weintraub in an email to Search & Performance Marketing Daily. “I’d like a pony too. Waaa Waaa Waaa the royals are bumming. There are a ton of good SEO firms in the UK. Either invest in SEO, buy ads, or quit whining.”

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What’s Next for the Daily Mail Lawsuit?

There are many parts of the lawsuit that are similar to lawsuits filed by states like Texas against Google. However, to those in the search marketing industry, the unsubstantiated claims based on correlations between unrelated events that are used to link Google’s search algorithms to punishments against publishers may strike some as difficult to believe.

Citation

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF (PDF)

Searchenginejournal.com

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OpenAI Introduces ChatGPT Plus with Monthly Subscription of $20

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Open AI - Chat GPT

OpenAI, the leading artificial intelligence research laboratory, has launched a new product – ChatGPT Plus. The new product is an advanced version of its previous language model, ChatGPT, and is available for a monthly subscription of $20. The company aims to provide a more sophisticated and efficient conversational AI tool to its users through this new product.

ChatGPT Plus is a state-of-the-art language model that uses advanced deep learning algorithms to generate human-like responses to text inputs. The model has been trained on a massive corpus of text data, allowing it to generate coherent and contextually relevant responses. The model is designed to handle a wide range of conversational topics and can be integrated into various applications, such as chatbots, customer support systems, and virtual assistants.

One of the main advantages of ChatGPT Plus over its predecessor, ChatGPT, is its ability to generate responses in a more human-like manner. The model has been fine-tuned to incorporate more advanced language processing techniques, which enable it to better understand the context and tone of a conversation. This makes it possible for the model to generate more nuanced and appropriate responses, which can greatly improve the user experience.

In addition to its advanced language processing capabilities, ChatGPT Plus also offers improved performance in terms of response generation speed and efficiency. The model has been optimized to run on faster hardware and has been fine-tuned to generate responses more quickly. This makes it possible for the model to handle a larger volume of requests, making it an ideal solution for businesses with high traffic websites or customer support centers.

The monthly subscription fee of $20 for ChatGPT Plus makes it an affordable solution for businesses of all sizes. The company has designed the pricing model in such a way that it is accessible to businesses of all sizes, regardless of their budget. This makes it possible for small businesses to take advantage of advanced conversational AI technology, which can greatly improve their customer engagement and support.

OpenAI has also made it easy to integrate ChatGPT Plus into various applications. The company has provided a comprehensive API that allows developers to easily integrate the model into their applications. The API supports a wide range of programming languages, making it possible for developers to use the technology regardless of their preferred programming language. This makes it possible for businesses to quickly and easily incorporate conversational AI into their operations.

In conclusion, OpenAI’s launch of ChatGPT Plus is a significant development in the field of conversational AI. The new product offers advanced language processing capabilities and improved performance, making it an ideal solution for businesses of all sizes. The affordable pricing model and easy integration make it accessible to businesses of all sizes, and the advanced language processing capabilities make it possible for businesses to improve their customer engagement and support. OpenAI’s ChatGPT Plus is set to revolutionize the conversational AI industry and bring advanced technology within the reach of businesses of all sizes.

Visit OpenAI.com to read more and to get the latest news about ChatGPT.

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What can ChatGPT do?

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ChatGPT Explained

ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI that is trained on a massive amount of text data. It is capable of generating human-like text and has been used in a variety of applications, such as chatbots, language translation, and text summarization.

One of the key features of ChatGPT is its ability to generate text that is similar to human writing. This is achieved through the use of a transformer architecture, which allows the model to understand the context and relationships between words in a sentence. The transformer architecture is a type of neural network that is designed to process sequential data, such as natural language.

Another important aspect of ChatGPT is its ability to generate text that is contextually relevant. This means that the model is able to understand the context of a conversation and generate responses that are appropriate to the conversation. This is accomplished by the use of a technique called “masked language modeling,” which allows the model to predict the next word in a sentence based on the context of the previous words.

One of the most popular applications of ChatGPT is in the creation of chatbots. Chatbots are computer programs that simulate human conversation and can be used in customer service, sales, and other applications. ChatGPT is particularly well-suited for this task because of its ability to generate human-like text and understand context.

Another application of ChatGPT is language translation. By training the model on a large amount of text data in multiple languages, it can be used to translate text from one language to another. The model is able to understand the meaning of the text and generate a translation that is grammatically correct and semantically equivalent.

In addition to chatbots and language translation, ChatGPT can also be used for text summarization. This is the process of taking a large amount of text and condensing it into a shorter, more concise version. ChatGPT is able to understand the main ideas of the text and generate a summary that captures the most important information.

Despite its many capabilities and applications, ChatGPT is not without its limitations. One of the main challenges with using language models like ChatGPT is the risk of generating text that is biased or offensive. This can occur when the model is trained on text data that contains biases or stereotypes. To address this, OpenAI has implemented a number of techniques to reduce bias in the training data and in the model itself.

In conclusion, ChatGPT is a powerful language model that is capable of generating human-like text and understanding context. It has a wide range of applications, including chatbots, language translation, and text summarization. While there are limitations to its use, ongoing research and development is aimed at improving the model’s performance and reducing the risk of bias.

** The above article has been written 100% by ChatGPT. This is an example of what can be done with AI. This was done to show the advanced text that can be written by an automated AI.

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Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

[embedded content]Searchenginejournal.com

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