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Google Is Not Yet Done Rolling Out The Helpful Content Update

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Google Helpful Content Update To Target Content Written For Search Rankings

We keep watching to see if this Google helpful content update is making some sort of dent in the rankings but so far, we are not seeing massive, Panda-like, ranking changes due to this update. No fear, Danny Sullivan said yesterday it is not yet done yet and Google will update this page when it is done.

Danny wrote on Twitter “Update isn’t done.” “It’s also part of a continuing effort, as we’ve explained. We’ll keep refining how it works. Directionally, the guidance we’ve given is what SEOs and creators should be considering,” he added.

He added “updates don’t necessarily mean a big giant shift. If you have good content, you’re generally fine.” “Those who have content with issues, there can be reasons why they might not want to be particularly vocal about a change,” Danny explained.

So it kind of does sound like the impact will be felt at some point in the future, maybe with this rollout or maybe in a future rollout? Maybe? Or maybe SEOs really all write amazing content and this update won’t affect them or their clients?

Here is more from Danny Sullivan:

So it might be done when this story goes out or maybe in a week or so after. We will update you when the update is done rolling out.

But like I said before, this update, so far, is very much a dud of an update.

As a reminder, the helpful content update on August 18th and it officially started to roll out on August 25th.

We will keep an eye on this and keep you posted but I do write these stories less than 24 hours in advance this week because I am on vacation. So there is a chance that this story gets published and Google has just confirmed the update is done. So check this page to see when it is done.

Forum discussion at Twitter.



Source: www.seroundtable.com

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Google Business Profiles Removing Emojis & Special Characters From Business Names

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Google Store Front Mall

For the past few weeks, there have been reports via the Local Search Forum that Google has been removing emojis and special characters from business names within Google Business Profiles. This means if you try to add an emoji for your name to stand out in the Google local listings, Google may remove that emoji.

Marcin Karwowski posted about this in the forums, he said, “I just noticed that a while ago a huge number of business owners received an email with the same content, that their name was updated and the emoticon was removed from the name. Apparently, Google finally decided to clean it up and removed emojis from names en masse. It’s a beautiful day if emoticons in company names finally disappear.”

Here is a screenshot of a notice he received from Google about Google Business Profiles removing an emoji from the business name:

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Darren Shaw said shortly after that he noticed this also with special characters. Shaw wrote, “I got a notification today about an “®” being removed from a name. This client needs that in their name, though.”

Google has a history of adding and removing emojis from the search results, but the local space has been somewhat left alone from those decisions – that is until now.

Forum discussion at Local Search Forum.

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Microsoft Bing Updates Webmaster Guidelines For Conversation Mode and Bing Image Creator

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Bing Webmaster Guidelines Police Tape

Microsoft has updated the Bing webmaster guidelines to support the updates with the new co-pilot, AI, ChatGPT-powered version of Bing. Bing updated the answers section and added a new section for “conversation mode and Bing image creator.”

The current Bing webmaster guidelines is here and the section Bing updated was around here – it should jump you there.

Here is the new section titled “Conversation Mode and Bing Image Creator”:

The new Bing conversation mode builds on the existing Bing experience to provide users with a new type of search interface. Bing conversation mode generates responses using an AI model that has learned by processing a vast amount of text from the Internet. Based on the user query or prompt, the model produces an output that is coherent, relevant, and creative, according to the input and the context. The output can be a response, a web result, a poem, a story, a code, an essay, a song, or anything else that can be expressed in natural language. Bing Image Creator similarly uses an AI model that has learned by processing a vast number of images from the Internet. Based on the user prompt, the model generates an output image. The conversational model is also informed by and refines its output using available context, such as web results, feedback, and interactions, to improve its performance and accuracy. Ranking within conversation mode generally relies on the same parameters as the main web search results page.

User activity in these features is governed by the Terms of Use and Code of Conduct.

That section was not in the previous version.

Also, Bing updated the answers section to say:

Bing may enhance the results page with additional features to provide a richer search experience for some search queries. For example, if a user types “How tall is the Eiffel Tower?” Bing will respond with the answer of “300 m”. For some queries, Bing looks at search results across the web, returns a summarized answer, and links to its sources.

If the query is related to a business, Bing may return relevant information about the business, such as store hours and location. Business owners can claim and verify existing listings on Bing using Bing Places for Business (available in limited markets) to create, edit or update their listing information. In some cases, Bing may partner with third-party content providers, such as local restaurant review sites, to further enhance the user experience.

Previously it said:

Bing may enhance the results page with additional features to provide a richer search experience for some search queries. For example, if a user types “How tall is the Eiffel Tower?” Bing will respond with the answer of “300 m”. If the query is related to a business, Bing may return relevant information about the business, such as store hours and location. Business owners can claim and verify existing listings on Bing using Bing Places for Business (available in limited markets) to create, edit or update their listing information. In some cases, Bing may partner with third-party content providers, such as local restaurant review sites, to further enhance the user experience.

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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The New AI Powered Microsoft Bing Is Really Impressive & Thought Out

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Bing New Home

Yesterday I was at the Microsoft office with dozens of other media folks (lots of famous YouTubers also) for Microsoft to showcase its next evolution of Bing, the co-pilot for the web powered by the upgraded ChatGPT.

I should start by saying the leaks were accurate representation of this but the demos were far more impressive. Microsoft posted its own blog post over here and my Search Engine Land coverage is here.

I will say, this is far more impressive and thought out than what Google rushed out with Bard on Monday. But Satya Nadella did say Microsoft has been working on this for a while, not just the AI and language models but also how to build it into search as an assistant, as an “intelligent agent” as he put it.

Microsoft showed how you can not only get wicked smart answers, that you’d expect from ChatGPT but also how the user experience in search works smoothly with it. The right side panel that shows you not just the answers, but also the attribution and other ways to expand on those answers. You can also toggle from search to your chat assistant, and the chat feature will just pick up from search and visa versa. It just works together, at least in the demo.

I will have full access to it soon but you can also request access at bing.com/new.

Here is the home page as I see it:

click for full size

Here is a screenshot Bing provided of the chat:

click for full size

I live tweeted the event, where I tried to capture as much of the demo as possible, here are those tweets:

I am in the back of the bus – was sitting across from iJustine:

They funneled us into a breakfast area:

Then we went to the keynote room and Sam from OpenAI was sitting right in front of me:

Then Satya took the stage:

Then Yusuf Mehdi took the stage:

More from Nicole on that over here.

There is a lot there but check out Techmeme – there is so much coverage of this and it is deserved. Also, Nicole did a test drive of the new Bing – her write up is here.

Finally, created this short vlog style video of my experience with this in person media event:

Forum discussion at Twitter & WebmasterWorld.



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