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Google on Improving Core Web Vitals Score by Blocking Countries

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Google on Improving Core Web Vitals Score by Blocking Countries

Martin Splitt, in a JavaScript SEO Office Hours video answered a question on improving Core Web Vitals score by blocking countries with slow Internet. The idea is that blocking those site visitors will prevent Google from incorporating those slow Core Web vitals metrics from being used to calculate the final score.

Core Web Vitals Scores

Core Web Vitals are a set of page experience metrics that will become ranking factors in 2021. There are two kinds of Core Web Vitals scores, Field Metrics and Lab Measurements.

Field metrics are actual scores derived from visitors to a site. Lab data are scores generated from a simulated visit through various tools offered by Google.

The purpose of Lab measurements is to give publishers and SEOs a way to test and diagnose site performance in order to identify areas of improvement.

The purpose of field metrics is to provide actual real-world feedback. There are many analytics tools that offer Core Web Vitals as features.

But most importantly, Google uses field metrics in order to generate a score that will be used for ranking purposes.

Google's Martin SplittGoogle’s Martin Splitt discussing core web vitals and rankings

Manipulating Core Web Vitals Scores

Preventing the Core Web Vitals score from dropping is the concern of the person who asked Martin the question.

The idea is that if Google is using real-world field data, then it’s possible that site visitors who are on a slow Internet connection will negatively skew the Core Web Vitals score, thereby impacting site rankings.

Some countries have slow Internet connections, so the person asking the question wanted to block those users in order to sculpt the Web Vitals scores so that only visitors with fast Internet connections contribute to the final scores.

This is the question asked:

“Does it make sense for an informational site to block all countries out there except the few bigger ones in order to get the best average field score for that speed?

I know I can do that. The question is if I have, for example, low return on investment from countries with slow internet connections with a large population, does it make any sense to cut them from accessing my website since they have a slow connection that hurts my field scores?”

Martin’s answer was split between the pragmatic reality of the futility of trying to sculpt the Web Vitals scores and a recommendation to look at the big picture.

Martin answered:

“No. That’s thinking that is laser focused on the Core Web Vitals and that’s really, really risky.”

A, Because people from these countries, if they want to access your website, they will through a proxy or what’s called a “VPN” which really is mostly a proxy for most cases.

And then the speed is even slower, so not helping.”

Martin suggested that blocking users will just cause them to use a Virtual Private Network, a service that hides the country and IP address of the user. VPNs typically cause the Internet connection to be slower than a bare Internet connection without a VPN.

Martin continued, this time implying that focusing on just one ranking factor element may negatively impact other more important factors.

He continued:

“The other thing is, Core Web Vitals and Page Experience is one ranking factor out of hundreds of ranking factors.

So you should not overestimate the power of this ranking factor.

It is important. It is not the most important.

And I think if you have useful information and you can get this information to people and get some ROI, you should probably do that.

Because again, there’s hundreds of ranking factors. Speed is not the only thing.

Because if speed would be the only thing, then a blank website would rank really well because it’s really, really, fast. Right? That’s not the point.

Fast is an important quality signal but there are other quality signals that really, really matter, too. So, I would not do that.

Also, that implies a more complex setup, which usually invites more problems.

I would not do that. I don’t think that’s a reasonable thing to do here.”

The last part about a “more complex setup” is a reference to the idea that keeping a site as simple as possible helps eliminate unintended problems. The more complex something becomes the more opportunity there is for something to go wrong.

When a publisher adds layer upon layer of complexity there may come a point where one layer interferes with another one and the site stops working as intended.

Takeaways

Core Web Vitals are important regardless of whether there’s a ranking factor benefit or not. It’s important to get that part right.

But don’t take extra steps to try to manipulate the scores as that might backfire, both by changing the user behavior to create even worse scores for your site or introducing a needless layer of complexity that might impact ranking in a completely different manner.

Finally, there are many ranking scores that are more important than the Core Web Vitals. These more important ranking factors are, presumably, related to the popularity of the site and to the relevance of the content to search queries.

That’s not to say to focus on those factors over Web Vitals, because Web Vitals can indirectly contribute to better popularity signals and also to more conversions and ad clicks.

It’s just an encouragement to take a wide view, to see the forest and not be overly preoccupied with a “laser focus” on one tree.

Citation

Watch Video of Martin Splitt Answering Core Web Vitals Question

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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