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Google Search Research Paper Paints Negative Connotation Of SEO

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Google Search Research Paper Paints Negative Connotation Of SEO

A Google research paper named Generative Models are Unsupervised Predictors of Page Quality paints a negative connotation of SEO practices. It has a section named “attempts at search engine optimization (SEO)” which says, “documents that attempt to perform SEO tend to be flagged as very low quality.”

This paper was first highlighted by Roger Montti who asked if this research paper is what the helpful content update is all about. I do think Roger is right here, it does seem like, at least in part, this paper does describe a lot of what the helpful content update is about.

The section goes on to read, “This is intuitive since these texts tend to simply string a series of keywords together and are therefore incoherent. Furthermore, we found a moderate number of product pages and professional profiles that also attempt to perform some form of SEO. We observed that media-centric domains, such as image hosting domains, often contain incomprehensible embedded text, possibly for SEO.”

Pedro Dias, former Google spam fighter, now SEO, noted this on Mastodon and said, “This is an unfortunate wording from Google on their research “Generative Models are Unsupervised Predictors of Page Quality” whitepaper. It clearly casts SEO widely as spam and a contributor to “low quality”.”

Pedro isn’t wrong, but John Mueller of Google tried to downplay it by saying, “I think one of the challenges is that “good SEO” is essentially invisible: it’s a well-structured site, it has good content, people like it — those are not attributes associated with SEO by the bigger web.” “I feel it’s a losing battle to frame it as “not all SEO is bad”,” he later added. Keep in mind, Googler’s like John Mueller and others have said SEO is important and something Google values but then you have this research paper…

It is sad to see this wording in a Google research paper but we do know how much of a black eye the SEO industry has in the outside world. If you don’t know, just ask a layperson about SEO and see what they say. You would hope someone who works at Google on search would not shared those views but Google is a big company.

In any event, it might make sense to read through the research paper knowing that just because there is a patent document or research paper it doesn’t mean Google uses it. But this one, very well might be aligned to the helpful content update.

Forum discussion at Mastodon.

Source: www.seroundtable.com

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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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Google Search Testing New Video Layout In Search

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Google Video Timeline

Google may be testing a new layout for videos it displays in the Google Search results. Google is testing a new format for how the videos show in the Google Search results.

This new format shows a larger video in the listings, as opposed to a smaller thumbnail image with more details. This was spotted by Khushal Bherwani on Twitter who shared the new and old screenshots.

New video format:

New Google Video Layout Search

Old video format:

Old Google Video Layout Search

Google has been testing and displaying larger video thumbnails for some time, as an FYI.

I am not sure which one I like more, I would have to pick I guess the smaller thumbnail?

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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Microsoft Bing Event Today – Expecting ChatGPT Search Integration

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Bing Phone Typing

I am currently in Seattle and headed to the Microsoft Campus in Redmond for an in-person press event. I decided to go, assuming it would be related to ChatGPT and Bing but Microsoft would not tell me what it was about, nor would Microsoft let us say we are going to the event. Then yesterday at 2pm, when the news broke about Google Bard (story will be here), Microsoft said we can talk about the event.

So the news is out there that there is a event, see Techmeme. The email Microsoft sent says, “Microsoft has some exciting news coming in February and we’d like to invite you to an in-person experience at the Microsoft Campus in Redmond.”

“We can’t share a lot more at this stage, but you won’t want to miss it. This invitation is for you only, but if you’re unable to attend please let us know and we’ll see if we can consider another of your teammates,” Microsoft added.

Then after the Google news came out, Microsoft sent an email saying, “In light of recent announcements, you may now acknowledge your participation in tomorrow’s briefing in Redmond, leveraging the language in the briefing invitation.”

So yea, this press event seems to be about the Bing ChatGPT solution. I am very much looking forward to seeing what Microsoft Bing has to show here and I’ll be sharing the news here, on Search Engine Land and likely will be tweeting a ton @rustybrick. So make sure to follow me on Twitter to see the latest from Bing on this news.

And we have this photo of Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft with Sam Altman of OpenAI together last night:

I am expecting this to look a lot like the Bing ChatGPT interface leaks we covered earlier. Here are those screenshots:

Here is the home page screenshot that widens and enlarges the search box and says “Ask me anything”:

click for full size

Here is his screenshot of the results, the answers being returned:

click for full size

And here is the GIF he made of this:

Bing Search Chat Interface

More to come soon.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.



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