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Publishers Concerned With AI Powered Search From Google & Bing

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Google Bing Publishers Chat Ai

It is somewhat satisfying to see non-SEOs dig deeper into how search is changing at Google and Bing and to hear the concerns they have about these changes. We covered your concerns as SEOs and publishers a week ago but now the big publishers are voicing their concerns around AI-search and what it means for publishers.

To catch you all up, Google announced Bard which showed screenshots of a ChatGPT like interface in search which had zero links or citations to publishers. The Microsoft Bing AI announcement was much more thought-out and had links to publishers, ads and so on.

But what the big publishers are concerned about is that there will be less of a need for searchers to click on those links than they had in the past. It is a similar concern we had with featured snippets and then the head of search at Google, Amit Signhal, said publishers are the corkscrew and Google is the swiss army knife after Danny Sullivan called Google the biggest scraper and shared the concern publishers have about searchers not needing the 10 blue links anymore. But AI chat takes this to a whole new level, a whole new level.

Wired wrote, “web users spend more time with bots and less time clicking links, publishers could be cut off from sales of subscriptions, ads, and referrals.” “When asked at Microsoft’s media event this week about the new Bing search potentially plagiarizing the work of human writers, the company’s consumer chief marketing officer Yusuf Mehdi said the company “cares a bunch about being able to drive traffic back to content creators.” The links the Bing chatbot includes at the end of each response, he said, are meant to “make it easy for people to go in and click through to those sites.” Roulston of Microsoft declined to share information about how many early testers were clicking through those citation links to visit the information’s source,” Wired added.

The Verge wrote up the concern after the video interview Nilay Patel had with Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella. You should read or watch the interview, I’ll embed it below, but Glenn Gabe highlighted some of this in his tweets:

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And Marques Brownlee discussed it on his podcast as well, they even go through the concept of if publishers stop getting traffic from search and they cannot earn money on the content they produce – they will stop producing the content and the AI models will have nothing new to work with to train their models to give answers.

This just reminds me of all the featured snippet debate from almost a decade ago.

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Looking back, SEOs would most rather prefer to have a featured snippet than not. Google even said they result in more traffic and not less but refuse to release data to publishers proving that. It is the whole zero click debate that Google disputes without any evidence.

None of this is new for most of the readers here, but to hear big publishers, big content creators be really concerned about this, is interesting and exciting.

Don’t get me wrong, I know both Microsoft and Google are thinking up ways to try to keep the overall ecosystem going with these new AI chat features baked into search. And I totally suspect there will be a lot of trial and error, a lot of change over the years. But I also believe that Google and Bing understand that they need content to be produced and won’t go too far to cause publishers to stop publishing.

But time will tell…

I also tweeted this morning about the irony of SEOs diving into generating content using AI (which Google is okay with) and them also complaining about the search engines using AI. Click through to see the responses to that tweet:

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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SEARCHENGINES

Daily Search Forum Recap: March 1, 2024

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.


Google has new structured data carousel beta details for rich results. Google now lets you opt out of place entities in page insights. Google Business Profiles customer interactions updates every few days. Google wrote in a court document that its search quality has improved. Google AdSense has offerwall messages. I posted the weekly SEO video recap as well.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

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SEO

PPC

Search Features

Other Search

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.

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Google Ranking Volatility, Tons Of Google Bugs, Most Read Articles, Bing Deep Search & Quality & SEOs Not Loving Google

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Google Ranking Volatility, Tons Of Google Bugs, Most Read Articles, Bing Deep Search & Quality & SEOs Not Loving Google

We had two periods of Google Search ranking volatility this week, one last weekend and one on Thursday or so. Google court documents say search quality has improved and not degraded. Google dropped the see more results in the local panel this week for a period of time until it fixed that bug. Google also removed the news tab but that seemed like a bug also and was fixed. Google has a bug with the European hotel/travel results being hijacked. Google also broke the filetype search operator for a while. Google Analytics is seeing a lot of referral spam from Poland. There is new structured data carousel beta details. Google is testing a most-read articles carousel in the search results. Google is also testing popular opinions carousels. Google local panels is testing expandable menus. Google has this reviews disclaimer for “people like.” Google Analytics added new default Google Ads reports. Google Ads Performance Max placement reports to show the search partner network. Google Ads is testing limited by budget status color coding. Google Ads support reps may use Google Translate to chat with advertisers. Microsoft said it will bring back testing of Bing Deep Search. Google said that Microsoft tried selling Bing to Apple but Apple didn’t want it due to quality issues. A survey shows SEOs dislike Google more now than ever. And if you want to help sponsor those vlogs, go to patreon.com/barryschwartz. That was the search news this week at the Search Engine Roundtable.

Sponsored by BruceClay, who has been doing search marketing optimization since 1996 and also has an amazing SEO training platform.

Make sure to subscribe to our video feed or subscribe directly on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or your favorite podcast player to be notified of these updates and download the video in the background. Here is the YouTube version of the feed. For the original iTunes version, click here

Search Topics of Discussion:

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Early Signs Of Another Google Search Ranking Update On February 28/29

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Google Logo Ranking Rocks Falling

I am seeing early signs of a possible Google Search ranking algorithm update starting yesterday, February 28th, and into today, February 29th. The chatter started to spike yesterday amongst the SEO community and some of the third-party rank tracking tools are showing a spike in volatility.

Again, Google has not confirmed an update in over 16-weeks now but we have had plenty of unconfirmed Google search ranking algorithm updates since then, including a weird one this past weekend.

Keep in mind, we are all waiting patiently for the next big Google update that Google has been promising since November.

So what are we seeing related to this possible unconfirmed Google Search update?

Google Tracking Tools:

Let’s start with what the tools are showing:

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SERPmetrics:

Serpmetrics

Semrush:

Semrush

Accuranker:

Accuranker

Mangools:

Mangools

SimilarWeb:

Similarweb

Mozcast:

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Mozcast

Advanced Web Rankings:

Advancedwebranking

Wincher:

Wincher

SERPstat:

Serpstat

Cognitive SEO:

Cognitiveseo

Algoroo:

Algoroo

Some of the tools have not yet updated for the day, so I may come back here to update them later.

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SEO Chatter

The SEO chatter is just starting up and most of the chatter I am seeing is coming from the comments area here (I’ll weed out the noise for you by embedding the relevant comments here) and some from WebmasterWorld:

Had a week (again) of amazing conversions – today, just dropped like a rock…here we go.

Anyone else experiencing low Traffic today??

Awful today. After 2 reasonable days

Yes. This week has been horrendous since Monday. I’ve hit the lowest low since September.

Google traffic was better than usual on Sunday and Monday, normally traffic is almost dead from Saturday to Monday. Today, however, things are looking bad. Google traffic so far is significantly lower than usual on a Tuesday. This back and forth is really getting on my nerves.

On Sunday I also noticed uphill traffic, then today when I woke up it was -20% and now -7%. They just move a paa higher or lower and the traffic suffers

Same here…Sunday and Monday very strong traffic. Tuesday off a cliff again. USA traffic is -22% at 4:30pm. The question is, when traffic is high is it converting?

Yesterday was a miserable day for me, as I expected. -43% compared to Sunday and Monday. Sistrix shows a drop of 5.1% for my website in its visibility index today. A look on my direct competitors shows that they have been hit even harder. Other websites that I monitor have also fallen sharply.

Maybe whatever rolled out over the past weekend reverted in some way?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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