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Getting Started With Multilingual Website Tags

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Often, the best practices of SEO don’t give us a direct ranking signal boost from Google, although they help drive significant traffic to our website.

Herflang tags are a perfect example of this.

While Gary Illyes has stated that hreflang tags don’t serve as a ranking signal in the algorithmic sense, in a cluster, a group of similar content pages in different languages share the same ranking authority.

In our pursuit of optimizing user intent and experience, writing content for different geographic locations and languages provides tremendous value to our website.

That’s where the magic of the hreflang tag comes in.

Rather than having the same webpage competing for users in Australia and France, you could have alternate pages that pop up at the top of SERPs optimized for that country’s language, currency, and privacy laws.

However, hreflang tags are one of the most complicated parts of technical SEO.

Unfortunately, you could do a lot more harm than good by improperly implementing this tag attribute across your website.

That’s why I want to provide this refresher course on everything you need to know about hreflang tags and the best practices to get started with international SEO using these incredibly granular tags.

What Is An Hreflang Tag?

Hreflang tags are a link tag attribute in HTML that enables websites to serve content specifically for users in different countries and languages.

If you view the page source of any given web document, the first tag you’ll often see is this:

<html lang=”en”>

The language attribute specifies this webpage employs English text for an English-speaking audience over search.

However, if a website wanted to target French-speaking users in France, they could use an hreflang attribute in the head of their HTML, which would look something like this:

<link rel=”alternate” href=”https://fr.example.com” hreflang=”fr-fr” />

Let’s break this down for easier understanding.

Basically, an hreflang string consists of three critical components:

  • rel=alternate attribute: This tag specifies this webpage is an alternate version of the original web page, not the canonical.
  • href= attribute: This tells Google the original URL of the alternate web page.
  • hreflang= attribute: This tag specifies the language and country this web page is targeting.

In the above example, the alternate tag specified that URL https://fr.example.com was the primary English web page’s alternate.

In addition, the end of the tag also specified that the webpage was for French speakers in France.

In addition, webmasters could also create an alternate page for English speakers in France by adjusting the hreflang attribute to hreflang=”en-fr” which means this page is for English speakers in France.

Thorough hreflang implementation allows you to become more granular with geotargeting and serve up local content to people all across the globe.

What’s not to love from an SEO or content marketing perspective?

Why You Need Hreflang Tags

We can do more with hreflang tags than optimize for different languages.

In fact, hreflang tags enable us to do three critical things with our website:

  • Optimize webpages for the same language in the same country (Ex. “fr-fr”).
  • Optimize webpages for different languages in that same country (Ex. “de-fr”).
  • Optimize webpages for different languages in different countries (Ex. “de-us”).

But why not just create broad English web pages for people in the UK and across the world?

Well, creating alternate web pages for English users in the UK and elsewhere enables customers overseas to purchase products on your website in pounds and localizes content specifically for their interests.

Furthermore, creating clusters of content also accumulates more SEO value for our website and web pages as a whole.

Another benefit of hreflang tags is that website owners can create specific web pages that conform to international laws and tax codes to avoid legal trouble.

Ultimately, proper hreflang tags benefit your website in many key ways, including:

  • Localizing content for users across the globe.
  • Gaining access to global markets.
  • Allowing users to pay in native currencies.
  • Preventing alternate web pages from competing with each other.
  • Keeping websites organized.

At this point, I bet that hreflang tags sound like all peaches and cream for your web strategy.

Now, here comes the hard part: Setting up your tags.

I’ll walk you through several different strategies, so you have a solid understanding of how tags work in practice and how to implement them on your website.

First, let’s discuss some of the challenges you’ll encounter along the way if you are new to using hreflang tags.

Common Challenges Setting Up Hreflang Tags

Avoiding Duplicate Content

Improper hreflang tag implementation will result in duplicate content errors.

While Google doesn’t directly punish duplicate content, you don’t want an English page designed for Americans outranking a page meant for English speakers in France.

Segmenting Content Between Different Language And Country Codes

Hreflang tags require time, money, and commitment to properly organize each web page for a specific language and country.

You’ll also need to look up every country and language’s specific HTML codes.

Keeping Hreflang Tags Organized As You Add New Content

This challenge only compounds as you continue to add more content to your site.

Again, think of large-scale ecommerce sites and what they go through daily trying to add new products for customers across the globe.

Hreflang Tags Are Not A Directive

Unfortunately, hreflang tags are not an absolute directive. Mostly, hreflang tags serve as a hint for Google or Yandex to prioritize certain content, but nothing is guaranteed.

Hreflang Tags Work Differently Between Google And Bing

Search engines like Bing barely even look at these tags.

Instead, Bing uses meta tags like the <html lang=”en”> tag, which I showed in the beginning to organize and display content.

Hreflang Principles

We need to understand the relationship between different web pages and HTML to get started.

When implementing hreflang attributes, we want to remember two principles:

Hreflang Tags Need To Be Self-referential

In the past, Google has recommended that every webpage have a self-referential hreflang tag that points back to the original.

For example say your original URL is https://example.com/us. Then your hreflang attributes will be ordered like so:

<link rel=”alternate” href=”https://example.com/fr” hreflang=”fr” />

<link rel=”alternate” href=”https://example.com/us” hreflang=”en” />

So for every alternate webpage you create, you must never forget to include a link attribute for that webpage.

For example, a French webpage should have an href attribute for the French URL.

It may feel a tad redundant, but it cuts down on confusion from Google’s end and helps avoid duplicate content errors.

Hreflang Tags Need To Be Bi-directional

This second principle is absolutely required and will eliminate any lost SEO value from clustering your web pages and transferring those awesome metrics between the two.

So let’s take the above example and say that the homepage has an alternate version translated into French for French visitors from France.

We need to implement a tag on the French page that points back to the main U.S. page and self-references itself.

It’s not as confusing as it sounds! Simply just swap them around like this:

<link rel=”alternate” href=”https://example.com/us” hreflang=”en” />

<link rel=”alternate” href=”https://example.com/fr” hreflang=”fr” />

If you have dozens of different languages and countries, don’t sweat.

All you need to do is have the original URL listed as self-referencing at the bottom and ensure that every page has tags set up for every language and region, not just your original English page.

Bonus

I also recommend using an X-default page for situations when Google can’t extract their language or region from a user’s browser or IP address.

An x-default page asks visitors what language they prefer and sends them to the appropriate alternate page. The tag will look something like this:

<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x-default” href=”https://example.com/” />

Now that we know how the HTML code works and how to set them up, we just need to learn how to set hreflang tags up.

Setting Up Hreflang Tags

You generally have three great options available to set up hreflang tags and implement them at scale.

HTML/HTTP Headers

Setting up HTML tags is the simplest but most time-consuming method. I recommend this for websites without a sitemap, although you should definitely invest in a sitemap, especially if you have a ton of content or products!

Going through what we’ve discussed so far, set a <link> tag to the alternate version of your page in the header of the HTML to look something like this:

<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”en-us” href=”https://example.com/home” />

From there, make sure each tag is self-referential and bi-directional.

In addition, if you want to create alternate pages for .pdf files without HTML, you’ll need to implement the same tags in the HTTP header of each page.

Fortunately, the link will look the same and you can apply the same rules for easy implementation.

Of course, you can see how hard this can be to scale, especially if you serve customers in dozens of countries in dozens of languages.

Generally, changing the HTML or HTTP is fine when you need to adjust a few pages over time, but this method won’t serve you well in the long run if you’re dealing with thousands of URLs.

XML Sitemap

I recommend using your XML sitemap to implement all of your tags in a single file and optimize your website at scale.

This method is pretty straightforward.

All you need to do is add <xhtml:link to the front of your URL and add all alternative versions of the page underneath.

<url>

<loc>https://example.com/link</loc>

<xhtml:link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”en-us” href=”x-default”

<xhtml:link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”en” href=”https://example.com/link/” />

<xhtml:link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”fr” href=”https://example.com/lien/” />

Using this method, you can add all of your relevant tags in one file instead of manually adding link attributes to the HTML of every webpage.

Once completed, submit an updated sitemap to Google Search Console.

Of course, there are several ways to automate this process by using a spreadsheet to copy and paste all of your URLs from a sitemap under separate languages and regions.

There are also several hreflang generation tools available online, although I’d recommend doing your research before you end up causing more harm than good to your website.

Common Mistakes Setting Up Hreflang Tags

Based on how meticulous hreflang tags can be, you’ll likely run into several issues during setup. As a result, many of these mistakes will spell duplicate content in the eyes of Google and sour your rankings. Don’t worry because the solutions are pretty straightforward.

Not Making Hreflang Tags Self-Referential

A missing hreflang self-referencing attribute can be holding back one of your pages from ranking.

Fortunately, multiple site audit tools, including Screaming Frog, SEMrush, and Ahrefs, check for proper hreflang implementation, including self-referencing attributes.

Scan for pages missing this attribute and fix issues in real-time.

No Return Tag

Additionally, it’s easy to violate our second principle of hreflang tags by failing to employ bi-directional tags.

You can spot this error in the International Targeting and Language tab in Google Search Console.

Simply go into your sitemap or adjust the header tag of your webpage to link back to the original or canonical webpage.

Incomplete Or Improper Tags

This issue could arise for several reasons, including human error or your hreflang generator tool.

Some of the most common issues related to improper tags include using the wrong language or country codes or simply inputting improper values in your HTML code.

Fortunately, your crawler will spot any incomplete hreflang tags and alert you so you can have it fixed in no time.

Blocked Or No Index Pages

One of any website’s most common and overlooked issues is no-indexing errors.

For example, Javascript, iFrames, and several additional services are notorious for blocking or no-indexing valuable web pages without our knowledge.

To begin addressing this issue, check your robots.txt file to see if you have any pages blocked that should not be in your file.

Next, check your Javascript and CMS to ensure you don’t have the no-index tag checked off.

I’d also run a crawl and look through your spreadsheet to see what URLs are no-indexed.

Finally, go into your HTML and insert your hreflang tag in the header, above the noindex tag, to prevent Javascript or iFrames from blocking these pages.

Linking To Redirected Pages

As your site grows and matures, you’ll often employ redirects to new content to give your website fresh SEO value.

However, hreflang tags must reference a canonical webpage.

Therefore, if your tag references a redirected web page or comes back with an HTTP response code, Google will simply ignore the entire hreflang tag and decide what content it wants to display.

To fix this, you’ll need to adjust the URL in the hreflang tag to reflect the new canonical webpage.

Double-Check Your Tags

Finally, I feel it’s best to reinforce the need for periodic site audits to ensure you’ve correctly implemented your hreflang tags and that aging international content is still ranking.

A crawler is a good source to determine whether or not your new hreflang tags have any issues or that any aging content on your website needs adjusting.

For example, Screaming Frog allows you to crawl an XML sitemap and then check for the following issues with your hreflang tags in its dropdown menu:

  • Non-200 hreflang URLs.
  • Missing X-Default.
  • Missing Self Reference.
  • Inconsistent Region and Language Confirmation Links.

You will also be warned of any improper hreflang implementation in Search Console through its International Targeting tab based on declining traffic analytics.

Many enterprise companies often ask me whether or not hreflang tags are truly worth the hassle.

As Google’s search algorithm becomes more developed, it has become better at spotting and serving the correct web pages for different languages and regions.

Additionally, the investment to manage hreflang tags across thousands of webpage is expensive and tedious.

However, if we want to get the most SEO value out of clustering and localizing content by region/language, then implementing hreflang tags is necessary.

Furthermore, multilingual ecommerce sites can gain a massive return out of proper hreflang implementation.

The central issue truly comes down to practice, as human and machine errors can cause more headaches than they solve.

With the right knowledge, tools, and help, managing hreflang tags can be easy.

Hopefully, in this guide, you’ve acquired the knowledge required to get started with implementing and maintaining hreflang tags across your multi-language website.

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Email Marketing: An In-Depth Guide

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Email Marketing: An In-Depth Guide

Email has revolutionized the way people communicate. From facilitating remote work to monitoring bank balances, it has become an integral part of everyday life.

It has also become a powerful tool for marketers. It has changed the way brands and customers interact with each other, providing incredible opportunities to target audiences at each stage of the buyer’s journey.

In other words, when it comes to getting the most bang for your marketing buck, nothing matches the power of email.

Providing an average return on investment of $36 for every $1 spent, email marketing is one of the most profitable and effective ways of reaching your targets.

Globally used by more than 4 billion people, it has unparalleled reach and is perfect for every step of the buyer’s journey, from generating awareness to encouraging brand loyalty.

If you’re not currently using email marketing to promote your business, you should be.

But to reap the biggest benefits, you need to do more than just dash off a message and sending it out to your contacts. You need a strategy that will help you nurture relationships and initiate conversations.

In this piece, we’ll take an in-depth look at the world of marketing via email and give you a step-by-step guide you can use to launch your own campaigns.

What Is Email Marketing?

If you have an email address of your own – and it’s probably safe to assume that you do – you’re likely already at least somewhat familiar with the concept of email marketing.

But just to avoid any potential confusion, let’s start with a definition: Email marketing is a type of direct marketing that uses customized emails to inform customers and potential customers about your product or services.

Why Should You Use Email Marketing?

If the eye-popping $36:1 ROI stat wasn’t enough to convince you to take the plunge, here are some other key reasons you should use email marketing to promote your business:

  • Email marketing drives traffic to your website, blog, social media account, or anywhere else you direct it.
  • It allows you to build a stronger relationship with your targets via personalization and auto-triggered campaigns.
  • You can segment your audience to target highly specific demographics, so you’re sending messages to the people they will resonate with most.
  • Email marketing is one of the easiest platforms to version test on, so you can determine exactly what subject lines and calls-to-action (CTAs) work best.

Even better, you own your email campaigns entirely.

With email, you own your marketing list and you can target your leads however you like (so long as you stay compliant with CAN-SPAM laws).

There is no question that you should be using email marketing as part of your overall marketing outreach strategy.

Now let’s look at some of the different ways you can do that.

What Are The Types Of Email Marketing?

For every stage of the sales funnel, there’s a corresponding type of email marketing. Here are some of the different types you can use to engage your audience and generate results.

Promotional Emails

When you think about email marketing, these types of messages are probably what you think of.

Used to promote sales, special offers, product releases, events, and more, these are usually one of the least personalized types of emails and tend to go out to a large list.

Usually, promotional campaigns consist of anywhere from 3 to 10 emails sent over a specified time frame. They have a clear CTA that encourages the recipient to take the next step of visiting your site, booking an appointment, or making a purchase.

Informational Emails

This type of email includes company announcements as well as weekly/monthly/quarterly newsletters.

They may include information about new products, company achievements, customer reviews, or blog posts.

The CTA is usually to visit your website or blog to learn more about what’s happening.

Welcome Emails

Sent to new customers or people who have filled out a form on your website, welcome emails encourage recipients to learn more about your company or offering.

These commonly include trial offers, requests to book a demo, or other offerings a new customer will find valuable.

Nurturing Emails

Any salesperson will tell you the importance of creating multiple touchpoints with potential customers.

Lead nurturing emails focus on building interest in people who are drawn to a particular offering.

The goal of these messages is to push them to the consideration stage of the buying journey.

Re-engagement Emails

Nurturing emails’ slightly more aggressive brother, re-engagement emails are used to warm up customers who haven’t been active lately.

These tend to be more personalized, as you’ll want to show the subscriber that you know and understand the challenges they’re facing.

Survey/Review Emails

User generated content (UGC) lends your brand an authenticity you simply can’t achieve on your own.

One of the best ways to generate this is via emails soliciting feedback from your customers.

This type of email also gives you insights into your brand’s relative strengths and weaknesses, so you can improve your offerings.

There are a number of other types of emails you can use as part of your marketing efforts, including seasonal emails designed to capitalize on holidays or events, confirmation emails to reassure recipients their purchase was completed or their information received, and co-marketing emails that are sent with a partner company.

In fact, it’s email marketing’s sheer versatility that makes it the cornerstone of any successful marketing strategy. You merely need to decide what you hope to accomplish, then create your campaign around it.

Now, let’s take a closer look at creating and managing your own email marketing.

How Do You Perform Email Marketing?

Step 1: Establish Your Goals

The section above should have made it clear that the type of email campaign you’ll run will depend on what you’re hoping to accomplish. Trying to do everything with one email will lead to confused recipients and a watered-down CTA.

Set one goal for your campaign, and make sure every email in the series works toward it.

Step 2: Build Your List

Now it’s time to determine who will be on the receiving end of your campaign. You do this by building your email marketing list – a process you can approach from several directions.

The most basic way to build an email list is by simply importing a list of your contacts into your chosen email marketing platform (more on that later).

One caveat: Before you add anyone to your list, make sure they have opted into receiving emails from you – otherwise you’ll run afoul of the CAN-SPAM Act guidelines mentioned above.

Other options for building a list from scratch via a lead generation campaign: provide potential customers with discounts, compelling content, or something else of value and make it easy for them to subscribe and you’ll generate high-quality leads.

Some marketers buy or rent email lists, but in general, this isn’t an effective way to perform email marketing.

The primary reason you don’t want to do this is because of lead quality. You’re not going after people who are interested in your brand but instead are blindly targeting leads of questionable quality with emails they haven’t opted in to.

In addition to violating consent laws, which could potentially hurt your IP reputation and email deliverability, you risk annoying your targets instead of encouraging them to try your offering.

Step 3: Create Your Email Campaign

Now that you know who you’re targeting and what you’re hoping to achieve, it’s time to build your campaign.

Email marketing tools like HubSpot, Constant Contact, and Mailchimp include drag-and-drop templates you can employ to create well-designed and effective email campaigns.

We’ll dive deeper into these platforms a bit later, but now, let’s talk about some fundamentals and best practices to help you get the best results:

  • Make your emails easy to read – No one wants to read a long wall of text. Structure your emails using strategically placed headers and bulleted lists for easy scanning.
  • Use images – Ideally, you want your emails to capture the reader’s eye and attention. Visuals are a great way to do this.
  • Write a compelling subject line – The best-written email in the world is useless if no one opens it. That makes a compelling, intriguing subject line paramount. Don’t be afraid to try different iterations, just be sure to keep it short.
  • Add personalization – Emails that are targeted to a specific person, including addressing them by name, are more likely to generate responses. Your email marketing platform should allow you to do this with relative ease.
  • Make conversion easy – If you want click-throughs, you need to make it easy for readers. Make sure your CTA is prominent and clear.
  • Consider your timing – As with most types of marketing, email campaigns tend to perform better when they’re properly timed. This could mean a specific time of day that generates more opens, a time of the week when purchases are more likely, or even a time of year when your content is most relevant. This will probably require some experimentation.

Step 4: Measure Your Results

You’re not going to get your email campaigns right the first time. Or the second. Or the fifth. In fact, there’s really no endpoint; even the best campaigns can be optimized to generate better results.

To track how yours are performing, you’ll want to use the reports section of your email marketing platform. This will help you understand how people are interacting with your campaigns.

Use A/B testing to drill down into what’s working best.

Generally, you’ll want to look at key metrics like:

  • Open rate and unique opens.
  • Click-through rate.
  • Shares.
  • Unsubscribe rate.
  • Spam complaints.
  • Bounces (the number of addresses your email couldn’t be delivered to).

Choosing An Email Marketing Platform

Manually sending out emails is fine if you’re only targeting three or four people. But if you’re trying to communicate with dozens, hundreds or even thousands of targets, you’re going to need some help.

But there are currently hundreds of email marketing platform on the market. How do you choose the right one for your unique needs?

Should you just go with one of the big names like HubSpot,  Klaviyo, or Mailjet? How do you know which one is right for you?

While it may initially feel overwhelming, by answering a few questions you can narrow down your options considerably.

The very first thing you need to determine is your budget. If you’re running a small business, the amount you’re willing to spend on an email service platform is probably considerably less than an enterprise-level company.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll probably find that a lower-priced version of a platform like Sendinblue or Constant Contact provides you with all the functionality you need.

Larger companies with bigger marketing budgets may wish to go with an email marketing platform that provides higher levels of automation, more in-depth data analysis and is easier to use. In this case, you may prefer to go with a platform like Mailchimp or Salesforce’s Pardot.

The good thing is that most of these email service providers offered tiered pricing, so smaller businesses can opt for more inexpensive (or even free) versions that offer less functionality at a lower price.

The next thing to consider is the type of email you want to send.

If your primary send will be newsletters, a platform like SubStack is a great choice. If you’re planning on sending transactional emails, you may want to check out Netcore Email API or GetResponse.

For those of you planning on sending a variety of marketing emails, your best choice may be an option that covers multiple email types like ConvertKit or an omnichannel marketing tool like Iterable.

You can narrow down your options by determining your must-have features and internal capabilities.

Some things you’ll want to consider include:

  • The size of your lists.
  • Your technical skill level.
  • Your HTML editing requirements.
  • Template variety.
  • Your need for responses/workflows.
  • A/B testing needs.
  • Industry-specific features.

While there is significant overlap in functionality between email marketing platforms, each has some variation in capabilities.

Ideally, you want something that will integrate with your other marketing tools to help take the guesswork out of the equation.

You should request demos and trials of your finalists to find which is best for your needs. If you’re working with a team, be sure to loop them in and get their feedback.

Tips For Maximizing Your Results

Email marketing is a powerful tool for any business. But there’s both science and art to it.

Here are some additional tips to help you get the most from your campaigns:

  • Avoid being marked as spam – According to HubSpot, there are 394 words and phrases that can identify your email as junk mail. These include “free,” “lowest price,” “no catch” and “all new.” You should avoid these whenever possible. To be doubly safe, have your recipients add you to their safe senders list.
  • Run integrated campaigns – Email marketing serves to amplify the power of other marketing channels. If you’re running sales or promotions, you should include an email aspect.
  • Clean up your list regularly – Keep your email database up to date to ensure deliverability and higher engagement. If a subscriber hasn’t responded to your re-engagement efforts after six months, it’s probably safe to scrub them from your list.
  • Harness the power of automation – Autoresponders are a great way to follow up with customers and subscribers, or strategically target someone after a certain event or action. Learn how to set this up on your email marketing platform and it will save you lots of time while boosting returns.

Email Marketing Is A Powerful Tool

There’s a reason why email marketing is prevalent in the modern world – it works.

And that means you should be using it to promote your brand and drive sales.

Hopefully, by this point, you have a good idea of not only what email marketing can do for you, but how it works, and how to create and optimize your own campaigns.

There’s really no better way to connect with our audience and convey the value of your brand.

Now get to work – you have customers to attract.

More resources:


Featured Image: Africa Studio/Shutterstock



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Twitter Will Share Ad Revenue With Twitter Blue Verified Creators

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Twitter Will Share Ad Revenue With Twitter Blue Verified Creators

Elon Musk, owner and CEO of Twitter, announced that starting today, Twitter will share ad revenue with creators. The new policy applies only to ads that appear in a creator’s reply threads.

The move comes on the heels of YouTube launching ad revenue sharing for creators through the YouTube Partner Program in a bid to become the most rewarding social platform for creators.

Social networks like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat have similar monetization options for creators who publish reels and video content. For example, Instagram’s Reels Play Bonus Program offers eligible creators up to $1,200 for Reel views.

The catch? Unlike other social platforms, creators on Twitter must have an active subscription to Twitter Blue and meet the eligibility requirements for the Blue Verified checkmark.

The following is an example of a Twitter ad in a reply thread (Promoted by @ASUBootcamps). It should generate revenue for the Twitter Blue Verified creator (@rowancheung), who created the thread.

Screenshot from Twitter, January 2023

To receive the ad revenue share, creators would have to pay $8 per month (or more) to maintain an active Twitter Blue subscription. Twitter Blue pricing varies based on location and is available in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

Eligibility for the Twitter Blue Verified checkmark includes having an active Twitter Blue subscription and meeting the following criteria.

  • Your account must have a display name, profile photo, and confirmed phone number.
  • Your account has to be older than 90 days and active within the last 30 days.
  • Recent changes to your account’s username, display name, or profile photo can affect eligibility. Modifications to those after verification can also result in a temporary loss of the blue checkmark until Twitter reviews your updated information.
  • Your account cannot appear to mislead or deceive.
  • Your account cannot spam or otherwise try to manipulate the platform for engagement or follows.

Did you receive a Blue Verified checkmark before the Twitter Blue subscription? That will not help creators who want a share of the ad revenue. The legacy Blue Verified checkmark does not make a creator account eligible for ad revenue sharing.

When asked about accounts with a legacy and Twitter Blue Verified checkmark, Musk tweeted that the legacy Blue Verified is “deeply corrupted” and will sunset in just a few months.

Regardless of how you gained your checkmark, it’s important to note that Twitter can remove a checkmark without notice.

In addition to ad revenue sharing for Twitter Blue Verified creators, Twitter Dev announced that the Twitter API would no longer be free in an ongoing effort to reduce the number of bots on the platform.

While speculation looms about a loss in Twitter ad revenue, the Wall Street Journal reported a “fire-sale” Super Bowl offer from Musk to win back advertisers.

The latest data from DataReportal shows a positive trend for Twitter advertisers. Ad reach has increased from 436.4 million users in January 2022 to 556 million in January 2023.

Twitter is also the third most popular social network based on monthly unique visitors and page views globally, according to SimilarWeb data through December 2022.


Featured Image: Ascannio/Shutterstock



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AI Content Detection Software: Can They Detect ChatGPT?

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AI Content Detection Software: Can They Detect ChatGPT?

We live in an age when AI technologies are booming, and the world has been taken by storm with the introduction of ChatGPT.

ChatGPT is capable of accomplishing a wide range of tasks, but one that it does particularly well is writing articles. And while there are many obvious benefits to this, it also presents a number of challenges.

In my opinion, the biggest hurdle that AI-generated written content poses for the publishing industry is the spread of misinformation.

ChatGPT, or any other AI tool, may generate articles that may contain factual errors or are just flat-out incorrect.

Imagine someone who has no expertise in medicine starting a medical blog and using ChatGPT to write content for their articles.

Their content may contain errors that can only be identified by professional doctors. And if that blog content starts spreading over social media, or maybe even ranks in Search, it could cause harm to people who read it and take erroneous medical advice.

Another potential challenge ChatGPT poses is how students might leverage it within their written work.

If one can write an essay just by running a prompt (and without having to do any actual work), that greatly diminishes the quality of education – as learning about a subject and expressing your own ideas is key to essay writing.

Even before the introduction of ChatGPT, many publishers were already generating content using AI. And while some honestly disclose it, others may not.

Also, Google recently changed its wording regarding AI-generated content, so that it is not necessarily against the company’s guidelines.

Image from Twitter, November 2022

This is why I decided to try out existing tools to understand where the tech industry is when it comes to detecting content generated by ChatGPT, or AI generally.

I ran the following prompts in ChatGPT to generate written content and then ran those answers through different detection tools.

  • “What is local SEO? Why it is important? Best practices of Local SEO.”
  • “Write an essay about Napoleon Bonaparte invasion of Egypt.”
  • “What are the main differences between iPhone and Samsung galaxy?”

Here is how each tool performed.

1. Writer.com

For the first prompt’s answer, Writer.com fails, identifying ChatGPT’s content as 94% human-generated.

Writer.com resultsScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

For the second prompt, it worked and detected it as AI-written content.

Writer.com test resultScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

For the third prompt, it failed again.

Sample ResultScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

However, when I tested real human-written text, Writer.com did identify it as 100% human-generated very accurately.

2. Copyleaks

Copyleaks did a great job in detecting all three prompts as AI-written.

Sample ResultScreenshot from Copyleaks, January 2023

3. Contentatscale.ai

Contentatscale.ai did a great job in detecting all three prompts as AI-written, even though the first prompt, it gave a 21% human score.

Contentscale.aiScreenshot from Contentscale.ai, January 2023

4. Originality.ai

Originality.ai did a great job on all three prompts, accurately detecting them as AI-written.

Also, when I checked with real human-written text, it did identify it as 100% human-generated, which is essential.

Originality.aiScreenshot from Originality.ai, January 2023

You will notice that Originality.ai doesn’t detect any plagiarism issues. This may change in the future.

Over time, people will use the same prompts to generate AI-written content, likely resulting in a number of very similar answers. When these articles are published, they will then be detected by plagiarism tools.

5. GPTZero

This non-commercial tool was built by Edward Tian, and specifically designed to detect ChatGPT-generated articles. And it did just that for all three prompts, recognizing them as AI-generated.

GPTZeroScreenshot from GPTZero, January 2023

Unlike other tools, it gives a more detailed analysis of detected issues, such as sentence-by-sentence analyses.

sentence by sentence text perplexityScreenshot from GPTZero, January 2023

OpenAI’s AI Text Classifier

And finally, let’s see how OpenAi detects its own generated answers.

For the 1st and 3rd prompts, it detected that there is an AI involved by classifying it as “possibly-AI generated”.

AI Text Classifier. Likely AI-generatedAI Text Classifier. Likely AI-generated

But surprisingly, it failed for the 2nd prompt and classified that as “unlikely AI-generated.” I did play with different prompts and found that, as of the moment, when checking it, few of the above tools detect AI content with higher accuracy than OpenAi’s own tool.

AI Text Classifier. Unlikely AI-generatedAI Text Classifier. Unlikely AI-generated

As of the time of this check, they had released it a day before. I think in the future, they will fine tune it, and it will work much better.

Conclusion

Current AI content generation tools are in good shape and are able to detect ChatGPT-generated content (with varying degrees of success).

It is still possible for someone to generate copy via ChatGPT and then paraphrase that to make it undetectable, but that might require almost as much work as writing from scratch – so the benefits aren’t as immediate.

If you think about ranking an article in Google written by ChatGPT, consider for a moment: If the tools we looked at above were able to recognize them as AI-generated, then for Google, detecting them should be a piece of cake.

On top of that, Google has quality raters who will train their system to recognize AI-written articles even better by manually marking them as they find them.

So, my advice would be not to build your content strategy on ChatGPT-generated content, but use it merely as an assistant tool.

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Featured Image: /Shutterstock



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