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SEOs Split On If Google Is Getting Worse Or The Web Is Getting Worse

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SEOs Split On If Google Is Getting Worse Or The Web Is Getting Worse

There have been a lot of complaints about the quality of Google search results – the truth is, there are always complaints. Assuming you believe the results are indeed getting worse (which not everyone would agree with), is Google to blame, or is it the fault of the web in general to blame?

A lot of this stems from the Freakonomics podcast show named Is Google Getting Worse? where they asked Marissa Mayer, the 20th Google employee, and the former CEO of Yahoo, if it is the web or Google. She said it is the web and Google is just presenting what is on the web.

We covered this at Search Engine Land some time ago, Marissa said:

When you see the quality of your search results go down, it’s natural to blame Google and be like, Why are they worse? To me, the more interesting and sophisticated thought is if you say, Wait, but Google’s just a window onto the web. The real question is, why is the web getting worse?

So Greg Sterling asked his followers, I retweeted it, “Is Google getting worse or is the web itself declining in quality?” It showed that SEOs are really mixed in blaming Google or the web.

Here is that poll:

If you ask Google, Google will say they are way better than they were and that the question is probably flawed. Google would not say it cannot improve, Google is the first to say there are always ways to improve. But comparing Google today to ten years ago, I think Google would say it is better, not worse.

That being said, have a listen to the podcast.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Source: www.seroundtable.com

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Google Search People Cards Visible In US

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Google Man Cards

Back in 2020, Google Search introduced a feature named people cards. It was only available in India but now it seems like it might be expanding, as I can now see it in the United States.

Brian Freiesleben’s card, which he created when it was first announced by spoofing his location to be in India, is now showing up as a people card for searchers in the United States. Personally, I was able to bring it up on my mobile device in New York.

Here is a screenshot he shared of this on Twitter:

click for full size

He said, “I found my name now triggers a ‘people card’. This was introduced in Google India back in 2020. I spoofed my location back then to create the card and now (finally) it’s appearing.”

Glenn Gabe was able to replicate it as well:

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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Google Search Bard, It’s ChatGPT Feature, To Trusted Testers

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Google Bard Butler Graphic

Well, we knew it was coming and here it is, Bard – Google’s answer to ChatGPT. Google is now having its trusted testers test out Bard and will soon roll it out more widely to users in Google Search and others products in the coming weeks, Google announced. It is not called Apprectice Bard but rather Bard.

I covered this when the news broke at Search Engine Land and as I pointed out, right now, Google does not have an answer for how to attribute or link to answers Bard generates – yet. But I do suspect Google will have some answer for it. I also mentioned that Google has been writing knowledge panels using AI and other methods since 2018 and said then it is not stealing. So it will be interesting to see what Google ends up doing here.

Bard is Google’s experimental conversational AI service, powered by LaMDA, where Google can answer questions that might not have one right answer. Google said they will roll this out more widely in the coming weeks but for now, only trusted testers (who is outsourced to a third-party company) will be able to play with it.

Google said, “Soon, you’ll see AI-powered features in Search that distill complex information and multiple perspectives into easy-to-digest formats, so you can quickly understand the big picture and learn more from the web: whether that’s seeking out additional perspectives, like blogs from people who play both piano and guitar, or going deeper on a related topic, like steps to get started as a beginner. These new AI features will begin rolling out on Google Search soon.”

Here is a screenshot they shared of how it might look in Google Search:

Google Bard in Google Search

This is how it might look like in Google Search (without the attribution part…).

This is the Bard direct interface, not in search:

Google Bard GIF

I am super excited to see how this evolves at Google, Bing and others.

It is not too far off from the leaks of the Bing ChatGPT interface.

Here is Sundar Pichai’s tweets:

Here is some of the SEO community reaction:

Also, make sure to check out the roundup at Techmeme.

Forum discussion at Twitter, WebmasterWorld.



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Most SEOs Think Yahoo Won’t Be Able To Compete In Search

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Yahoo 404 Baseball Sign

As you know, Yahoo is planning a come back to search with a new way of thinking about Yahoo Search. What that means, we don’t know yet, but we do know Yahoo is thinking hard about how they can compete. Greg Sterling ran a Twitter poll asking if Yahoo has a shot at it, and most say, nope – Yahoo Search is dead on arrival.

The poll on Twitter asked, “Yahoo is planning to “relaunch” search. Is there a chance to revive it?” It received a nice number of responses, 631 responses. The results were not too optimistic.

  • 43.7% said nope, dead on arrival
  • 26.6% said depends on the UI/UX
  • 29.6% said yes, now is the time

Here is that poll:

Personally, I think Yahoo has a good shot at it, better than most other companies. But time will tell and I am very much looking forward to seeing what Yahoo Search comes out with.

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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