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Google Ads Salesperson Alleged to Link Organic Ranking to Ad Spend

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A member of the search community alleged in a tweet that her client was explicitly told by Google that spending more on pay per click (PPC) advertising would improve their organic search rankings.

The accusation was shocking to many in the Twitter thread because Google has long insisted there is no direct impact on organic rankings from using their advertising.

Google’s Policy on Advertising and Search

Google has long maintained that there is a firewall between the paid side and the organic side and that both sides do not communicate.

Startling Solicitation From Google Alleged

Because Google has maintained this separation between the paid and organic sides of Google one search marketer expressed shock on Twitter after a client was solicited from Google’s PPC sales to increase their spending in order to increase their rankings.

“Shakedown” of  a Google Ads Customer?

The word “shakedown” has several meanings, including extortion. Extortion means making someone pay for something by force of a threat. It’s a word that connotes corruption.

Fittingly, the word shakedown conjures the imagery of holding someone upside down by the heels and shaking their money out of their pockets.

She tweeted:

“I’m not sure yet how to process the fact that Google just did a shakedown of one of our clients. In essence, they were told to spend more on paid ads in order to improve organic search *for their brand name.*”

She then followed up with:

“for a long time, those of us active in SEO knew that Google would do this, but Google always denied it.

It really hit differently to see them say it out loud.”

Person Insists this is Not a Misunderstanding

Naturally (and reasonably), some asked if it were possible that this was a miscommunication.

The answer from the person reporting the alleged incident was no, they reported that this was not a miscommunication.

They said that the alleged solicitation from the Google salesperson was unambiguous. They said that the Google Ads salesperson had explicitly linked improvement of organic rankings to an increase in ad spending.

This wasn’t just something that was alleged to have been communicated orally either. The person recounting the alleged incident said that the Google salesperson had put it in writing in an email.

She tweeted:

“Fortunately, our client forwarded the email with a “holy cow I can’t believe they put it in writing. What do you think?”

We have sophisticated and smart clients.”

Then followed up in the Twitter thread:

“I need to ask you to trust me when I say it was blatant quid pro quo. I prefer not to be more specific in public right now while I wait to see if this is news or not.”

Google’s Danny Sullivan Intervenes

Perhaps nobody was more concerned than Danny Sullivan.

He stopped into the discussion to tweet a response:

“Ad spend will not increase your SEO. At all. And if you want to DM me the info, I’ll follow up with the @GoogleAds team to track down why this got said. Because it should never be said, because it absolutely doesn’t work that way.”

Someone responded that PPC shouldn’t leverage organic to sell more ads.

Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed that he had already taken action.

He tweeted:

“It will be addressed. I’ve already send some emails about it now. I’m guessing that maybe the rep was referencing some studies I recall that sometimes, users might click more on either ads or unpaid search results when both are present. Which is NOT a way to boost SEO ranking…”

In answer to someone else, Danny replied:

The discussion ended quietly with the original poster confirming that Danny had contacted her.

Google PPC and Organic Search Separation

Google was originally an ad free service. This helped Google gain popularity because the other search engines were larded over with banner ads, making search a poor user experience.

So when Google finally introduced advertising they pledged that the advertising side would never influence the organic search rankings.

While over the years Google’s been accused of coordinating with the paid search side to show poor search results in order to encourage more ad clicks, those were generally ideas from the fringe corners of search marketing, baseless conspiracy theories.

The majority of people in that Twitter discussion appeared to believe that the alleged incident was not a normal event. Read the Twitter discussion here.

Searchenginejournal.com

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AI

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

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

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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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