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How to Play by the Rules



How to Play by the Rules

Do you want to rank for competitive terms without worrying about potential Google penalties? Then go white hat.

In this post, you’ll learn what white hat SEO is, how it compares to black hat SEO, and how to implement a few white hat SEO tactics.

White hat SEO refers to the use of SEO strategies, techniques, and tactics that are within Google’s guidelines.

The focus is the user. White hat SEOs prioritize users by providing relevant, high-quality content rather than content designed to “trick” search engines.

White hat vs. black hat SEO

The flip side of white hat SEO is black hat SEO. 

Black hat SEO refers to the use of strategies, techniques, and tactics that do not necessarily follow Google’s guidelines. Its focus is on finding and exploiting algorithmic loopholes.

Sometimes, these black hat tactics can be plain unethical—we’re talking about SEOs spamming competitors with malicious links, injecting other websites with malicious code, and more.


The terms “white hat” and “black hat” came about because old films in the Western genre used those hats to symbolize the contrast between good vs. evil. (White hats were worn by heroes and black hats by villains.) This then gave rise to the terms in computer hacking, which followed into SEO. They’re not necessary the best terms. But we’re using it here for now because there is no alternative in popular use.

Why is white hat SEO important?

Here are three reasons:

1. Black hat SEO is risky

Following the law confers no reward. But there are downsides in not following them, such as fines and imprisonment.

The same goes for white hat SEO. Just because you’re following Google’s guidelines doesn’t mean you’re automatically guaranteed higher rankings. And unfortunately, in some niches (for example, payday loans), black hat SEO is the name of the game. 

But just like in the real world, not following the “rules” always runs the risk of getting caught. In this case, it’s not law enforcement, but Google. 

If Google discovers you’re using black hat tactics, it could penalize you. When that happens, you’ll see traffic like this:

Drastic traffic drop after a likely Google penalty, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

So if your goal is to build a brand for the long term and generate consistent traffic, you’ll have to use white hat SEO tactics.

2. Black hat SEO is difficult to implement

With frequent Google algorithm updates, low-cost spammy tactics, like keyword stuffing, no longer work. 

So if you want to go ahead with black hat SEO, you might opt for tactics like building a private blog network (PBN). But building a PBN correctly is expensive (i.e., buying expired domains, dedicated hosting, private Whois, etc.), is technical, has no guarantees of working, and can even cause you to be penalized.

In that case, you may as well invest that money, time, and effort into white hat SEO, which can actually bring long-term traffic and brand value, like our company:

Traffic coming to Ahrefs, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

3. Black hat SEO makes everyone’s life worse

Though you’re an SEO, you’re first and foremost a search engine user. You’re probably Googling for things on a daily basis.

So you may win as a black hat SEO if you successfully spammed Google SERPs, but you’ll lose as a user if everything you search for only contains poor and irrelevant results. 

Six white hat SEO techniques

So how do you get started with white hat SEO? Here are a few tactics you can use. 

1. Do keyword research

One of the key best practices in Google’s Search Essentials is to “use words that people would use to look for your content.”

You can find out what these words are by doing keyword research.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter one or a few relevant words or phrases
  3. Go to the Matching terms report
Matching terms report, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Here, you can see over 4 million potential keywords you could target. If they’re relevant, you want to rank for all of them. But you also likely have limited resources, so you should prioritize.

We can narrow the list down by focusing on two metrics:

  1. Traffic Potential (TP) – Pages no longer just rank for one keyword. It can rank for many and get traffic from all of them. TP is the sum of organic traffic that the #1 ranking page for your target keyword receives from all the keywords that it ranks for. You’d want this to be high. 
  2. Keyword Difficulty (KD) – There are only so many spaces you can rank for on the first page of Google. As a result, SERPs can be competitive. KD gives an estimation of how hard it is to rank in the top 10 organic search results for a keyword on a 100-point scale. You’d want this to be low.

How high TP and how low KD should be depends on your website. But for this example, let’s set them like so:

You’ll also want to set the Target filter to check if your website is already ranking for any of these keywords.

Matching terms report, with filters, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Look through the list and pick out relevant keywords. 

2. Create helpful, reliable, people-first content

Google’s Search Essentials states that we should create helpful, reliable, and people-first content.

But what does that mean in reality? Here are the steps you should take:

Align your content with search intent

Google wants to serve relevant content to its users. And a key aspect of relevance is whether searchers find the search results useful.

In order for search results to be useful, Google needs to figure out why searchers are looking for that query, so it can serve the right results. 

This is known as search intent. 

If you want to rank high on Google, you need to figure out search intent. We can do this by analyzing the SERPs for the three Cs:

  • Content type – Are they blog posts, product pages, landing pages, or something else?
  • Content format – Are they tutorials, listicles, how-to guides, recipes, free tools, or something else?
  • Content angle – Is there a dominant selling point, like low prices or how easy it is?

For example, let’s say we’re targeting the keyword “how to save money.”

SERP overview for "how to save money," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

If we analyze the SERPs for the three Cs, here’s what we see:

  • Content type – They’re all blog posts.
  • Content format – Despite the “how to” modifier, people are actually looking for a list of ways to save money.
  • Content angle – There are a few angles here: “proven,” “simple,” “easy,” and more.

If we want to rank for this keyword, we likely have to create a listicle of money-saving tips.

Cover the topic in full

The best result for a query covers everything searchers want to know. So if there are subtopics that the top-ranking pages cover, you’ll want to include them in your content too.

Here’s how to find these subtopics:

  1. Enter your keyword into Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
  2. Scroll down to the SERP overview
  3. Select three to five top-ranking articles (make sure they’re similar)
  4. Click Open in and choose Content gap
Using the feature "Open in Content gap" to find relevant subtopics, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

In the Content gap report, click the Intersection dropdown and choose “4, 5” to see only the most relevant subtopics:

Content gap report results

If we’re targeting the keyword “inbound marketing,” these subtopics can make great H2s:

  • What is inbound marketing
  • Inbound marketing strategies
  • Inbound marketing examples

Create something unique and original

Google’s guide on creating helpful content suggests asking these questions:

"Content and quality" questions from Google's Search Essentials

Simply put: Google wants you to create content that’s unique and original.

How do you do that? Here are a few ways you can stand out from the rest:

  1. Provide original research Consider running studies, surveys, polls, experiments, or crowdsource/interview experts.
  2. Give a unique perspective or opinion – This can be from you, industry experts, or someone in your organization.
  3. Build on what’s already out there – Imagine you’re a scientist contributing to a corpus of knowledge. Help investigate claims, expand on key ideas, or challenge existing consensus.

Ensure content is created or reviewed by someone with expertise and experience

Google also aims to reward content that demonstrates E-E-A-T:

  • Experience – Firsthand or life experience in the topic.
  • Expertise – High level of knowledge or skill in a particular field.
  • Authoritativeness – Reputation, particularly among other experts and influencers in the industry.
  • Trustworthiness – Legitimacy, transparency, and accuracy of the website and its content.

It sounds complex, but it’s what you expect good content to be. If you’re reading something, you’ll likely want it to come from someone with firsthand experience or expert knowledge. You don’t want it to be from a writer who has regurgitated what’s ranking.

Demonstrating this can be as simple as actually using a product you’re reviewing. Or having been to Milan if you’re recommending the best places to visit. 

For example, most of our content is created by our marketing team, which consists of people with years of experience in the SEO industry. Like my colleague, Chris Haines, who has worked in SEO agencies for 10 years. 

If you do not have the required experience or expertise, hire someone who has to create or review your content. 

Make sure content is easy to read

Nobody wants to read a chunk of text. Your content should be readable for your users.

I recommend following the ASMR formula:

  • Annotations – Use elements like sidenotes and blockquotes to break up the post.
  • Short sentences and paragraphs – Split long sentences into shorter ones.
  • Multimedia – Include videos, images, and GIFs to eliminate extra words.
  • Read your copy out loud – Highlight areas where the content doesn’t flow smoothly.

3. Pay attention to on-page SEO

In Google’s own words:

Use words that people would use to look for your content, and place those words in prominent locations on the page, such as the title and main heading of a page, and other descriptive locations such as alt text and link text.

You’ve done the first part via keyword research. Now, it’s time to make doubly sure that Google can understand your content. To do this, you should:

  • Include your target keyword in the title and H1 tag.
  • Add concise and accurate alt text to your images.

4. Provide a good user experience

Google wants to reward pages with a good user experience. It explicitly states this in its guide on creating helpful content:

Google says to provide a great page experience for your visitors

To provide a good user experience, you’ll want to:

  • Use HTTPS – Encrypt your site with SSL/TLS and protect your readers’ data.
  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly – Most people search on mobile these days. Your website should work on all devices.
  • Ensure your pages load fast – Slow pages are a pain. Use a tool like PageSpeed Insights to check your pages’ performance.
  • Avoid intrusive interstitials – Interstitials are full-screen ads that appear before a webpage’s content is loaded. Nobody, including Google, likes them.
  • Improve your Core Web Vitals (CWV) – These are speed metrics that are part of Google’s Page Experience signals used to measure user experience. They’re not make-or-break for SEO, but improving them can help with better user experience.

5. Utilize structured data

A major part of SEO is really about helping Google understand the content of your pages. You can provide explicit clues about the meaning of a page for Google by using structured data.

Structured data is a standardized way to provide information about a webpage. It conforms to a particular format, and the universally recognized format is schema markup

For example, if I wanted to tell search engines my given name is “Si Quan,” I would have to use the givenName property and use it in its exact form in our code. 

Givenname property

Learn more about how to implement schema markup in our guides below.

6. Build high-quality links

Links are an important Google ranking factor. But buying backlinks is against Google’s guidelines:

Google's guidelines for buying or selling links

What should you do instead? Here are some ideas on how you can acquire backlinks the white hat way:

Guest blogging

Guest blogging is when you create content for other websites. In the process, you’ll usually be allowed to link back to your website.

Here’s how you can find potential guest blogging opportunities:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Content Explorer
  2. Set the dropdown to “In title”
  3. Enter a relevant keyword
  4. Set these filters: 
    1. Language filter to English (or your target language)
    2. Live/broken filter to Only live
    3. Filter explicit results to On
    4. Domain Rating filter to 30–90
    5. Website traffic filter to >500
    6. Check One page per domain
    7. Check Exclude homepages
    8. Check Exclude subdomains
Using Ahrefs' Content Explorer to find guest blogging opportunities

Look through the results and pick out relevant sites you could guest write for. Find the right person’s email and pitch them. 

Create link bait

There are many pages you’d like links to. These are likely your “money pages,” e.g., product pages and landing pages. But nobody wants to link to them because they barely provide any value (unless they’re recommending your product).

So one way to build links to such pages is to use the Middleman Method:

  1. Build links to a page that attracts backlinks, i.e., link bait
  2. Add internal links from the link bait to your important pages
Illustration of the Middleman Method

How do you find good link bait ideas? The best way is to piggyback off what’s working for your competitors:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Site Explorer
  2. Enter your competitor’s domain
  3. Go to the Best by links report
Using Best by links report to find link bait opportunities, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Look through the list to see what kinds of formats and topics resonate with people in your niche. For example, we can clearly see that studies and statistics are popular in the SEO space:

Data studies are popular in the SEO space


Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a free service connecting journalists to sources and sources to journalists. Once you sign up, you’ll receive daily emails with queries from journalists of different publications.

Example of a HARO email

If your response is selected, the publication might link to you. 

Learn how to build links using HARO in the guide below.

Final thoughts

White hat SEO is about the right mindset: putting users first, creating useful content, and not spamming people.

Some black hat SEOs may be able to get results in the short term, but white hat SEO is essential for long-term success.

Remember, white hat SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.

Any questions or comments? Let me know on Twitter.

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Firefox URL Tracking Removal – Is This A Trend To Watch?




Firefox URL Tracking Removal - Is This A Trend To Watch?

Firefox recently announced that they are offering users a choice on whether or not to include tracking information from copied URLs, which comes on the on the heels of iOS 17 blocking user tracking via URLs. The momentum of removing tracking information from URLs appears to be gaining speed. Where is this all going and should marketers be concerned?

Is it possible that blocking URL tracking parameters in the name of privacy will become a trend industrywide?

Firefox Announcement

Firefox recently announced that beginning in the Firefox Browser version 120.0, users will be able to select whether or not they want URLs that they copied to contain tracking parameters.

When users select a link to copy and click to raise the contextual menu for it, Firefox is now giving users a choice as to whether to copy the URL with or without the URL tracking parameters that might be attached to the URL.

Screenshot Of Firefox 120 Contextual Menu

Screenshot of Firefox functionality

According to the Firefox 120 announcement:

“Firefox supports a new “Copy Link Without Site Tracking” feature in the context menu which ensures that copied links no longer contain tracking information.”

Browser Trends For Privacy

All browsers, including Google’s Chrome and Chrome variants, are adding new features that make it harder for websites to track users online through referrer information embedded in a URL when a user clicks from one site and leaves through that click to visit another site.

This trend for privacy has been ongoing for many years but it became more noticeable in 2020 when Chrome made changes to how referrer information was sent when users click links to visit other sites. Firefox and Safari followed with similar referrer behavior.

Whether the current Firefox implementation would be disruptive or if the impact is overblown is kind of besides the point.

What is the point is whether or not what Firefox and Apple did to protect privacy is a trend and if that trend will extend to more blocking of URL parameters that are stronger than what Firefox recently implemented.

I asked Kenny Hyder, CEO of online marketing agency Pixel Main, what his thoughts are about the potential disruptive aspect of what Firefox is doing and whether it’s a trend.

Kenny answered:

“It’s not disruptive from Firefox alone, which only has a 3% market share. If other popular browsers follow suit it could begin to be disruptive to a limited degree, but easily solved from a marketers prospective.

If it became more intrusive and they blocked UTM tags, it would take awhile for them all to catch on if you were to circumvent UTM tags by simply tagging things in a series of sub-directories.. ie.<tag1>/<tag2> etc.

Also, most savvy marketers are already integrating future proof workarounds for these exact scenarios.

A lot can be done with pixel based integrations rather than cookie based or UTM tracking. When set up properly they can actually provide better and more accurate tracking and attribution. Hence the name of my agency, Pixel Main.”

I think most marketers are aware that privacy is the trend. The good ones have already taken steps to keep it from becoming a problem while still respecting user privacy.”

Some URL Parameters Are Already Affected

For those who are on the periphery of what’s going on with browsers and privacy, it may come as a surprise that some tracking parameters are already affected by actions meant to protect user privacy.

Jonathan Cairo, Lead Solutions Engineer at Elevar shared that there is already a limited amount of tracking related information stripped from URLs.

But he also explained that there are limits to how much information can be stripped from URLs because the resulting negative effects would cause important web browsing functionality to fail.

Jonathan explained:

“So far, we’re seeing a selective trend where some URL parameters, like ‘fbclid’ in Safari’s private browsing, are disappearing, while others, such as TikTok’s ‘ttclid’, remain.

UTM parameters are expected to stay since they focus on user segmentation rather than individual tracking, provided they are used as intended.

The idea of completely removing all URL parameters seems improbable, as it would disrupt key functionalities on numerous websites, including banking services and search capabilities.

Such a drastic move could lead users to switch to alternative browsers.

On the other hand, if only some parameters are eliminated, there’s the possibility of marketers exploiting the remaining ones for tracking purposes.

This raises the question of whether companies like Apple will take it upon themselves to prevent such use.

Regardless, even in a scenario where all parameters are lost, there are still alternative ways to convey click IDs and UTM information to websites.”

Brad Redding of Elevar agreed about the disruptive effect from going too far with removing URL tracking information:

“There is still too much basic internet functionality that relies on query parameters, such as logging in, password resets, etc, which are effectively the same as URL parameters in a full URL path.

So we believe the privacy crackdown is going to continue on known trackers by blocking their tracking scripts, cookies generated from them, and their ability to monitor user’s activity through the browser.

As this grows, the reliance on brands to own their first party data collection and bring consent preferences down to a user-level (vs session based) will be critical so they can backfill gaps in conversion data to their advertising partners outside of the browser or device.”

The Future Of Tracking, Privacy And What Marketers Should Expect

Elevar raises good points about how far browsers can go in terms of how much blocking they can do. Their response that it’s down to brands to own their first party data collection and other strategies to accomplish analytics without compromising user privacy.

Given all the laws governing privacy and Internet tracking that have been enacted around the world it looks like privacy will continue to be a trend.

However, at this point it time, the advice is to keep monitoring how far browsers are going but there is no expectation that things will get out of hand.

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How To Become an SEO Expert in 4 Steps



General SEO

With 74.1% of SEOs charging clients upwards of $500 per month for their services, there’s a clear financial incentive to get good at SEO. But with no colleges offering degrees in the topic, it’s down to you to carve your own path in the industry.

There are many ways to do this; some take longer than others.

In this post, I’ll share how I’d go from zero to SEO pro if I had to do it all over again. 

1. Take a beginner SEO course

Understanding what search engine optimization really is and how it works is the first state of affairs. While you can do this by reading endless blog posts or watching YouTube videos, I wouldn’t recommend that approach for a few reasons:

  • It’s hard to know where to start
  • It’s hard to join the dots
  • It’s hard to know who to trust

You can solve all of these problems by taking a structured course like our SEO course for beginners. It’s completely free (no signup required), consists of 14 short video lessons (2 hours total length), and covers:

  • What SEO is and why it’s important
  • How to do keyword research
  • How to optimize pages for keywords
  • How to build links (and why you need them)
  • Technical SEO best practices

Here’s the first lesson to get you started:

Lesson 1: SEO Basics: What is SEO and Why is it Important? Watch now

2. Make a website and try to rank it

It doesn’t matter how many books you read about golf, you’re never going to win a tournament without picking up a set of clubs and practicing. It’s the same with SEO. The theory is important, but there’s no substitute for getting your hands dirty and trying to rank a site.

If you don’t have a site already, you can get up and running fairly quickly with any major website platform. Some will set you back a few bucks, but they handle SEO basics out of the box. This saves you time sweating the small stuff.

As for what kind of site you should create, I recommend a simple hobby blog. 

Here’s a simple food blog I set up in <10 minutes: 

A blog that I set up in just a few minutes. It's nothing special, but it does the jobA blog that I set up in just a few minutes. It's nothing special, but it does the job

Once you’re set-up, you’re ready to start practicing and honing your SEO skills. Specifically, doing keyword research to find topics, writing and optimizing content about them, and (possibly) building a few backlinks.

For example, according to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer, the keyword “neopolitan pizza dough recipe” has a monthly traffic potential of 4.4K as well as a relatively low Keyword Difficulty (KD) score:

Keyword metrics for "neopolitan pizza dough" via Ahrefs' Keywords ExplorerKeyword metrics for "neopolitan pizza dough" via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Even better, there’s a weak website (DR 16) in the top three positions—so this should definitely be quite an easy topic to rank for.

Page from a low-DR website ranking in the top 3. This indicates an easy-to-rank-for keywordPage from a low-DR website ranking in the top 3. This indicates an easy-to-rank-for keyword

Given that most of the top-ranking posts have at least a few backlinks, a page about this topic would also likely need at least a few backlinks to compete. Check out the resources below to learn how to build these.

3. Get an entry-level job

It’s unlikely that your hobby blog is going to pay the bills, so it’s time to use the work you’ve done so far to get a job in SEO. Here are a few benefits of doing this: 

  • Get paid to learn. This isn’t the case when you’re home alone reading blog posts and watching videos or working on your own site.
  • Get deeper hands-on experience. Agencies work with all kinds of businesses, which means you’ll get to build experience with all kinds of sites, from blogs to ecommerce. 
  • Build your reputation. Future clients or employers are more likely to take you seriously if you’ve worked for a reputable SEO agency. 

To find job opportunities, start by signing up for SEO newsletters like SEO Jobs and SEOFOMO. Both of these send weekly emails and feature remote job opportunities: 

SEO jobs in SEOFOMO newsletterSEO jobs in SEOFOMO newsletter

You can also go the traditional route and search job sites for entry-level positions. The kinds of jobs you’re looking for will usually have “Junior” in their titles or at least mention that it’s a junior position in their description.

Junior SEO job listing exampleJunior SEO job listing example

Beyond that, you can search for SEO agencies in your local area and check their careers pages. 

Even if there are no entry-level positions listed here, it’s still worth emailing and asking if there are any upcoming openings. Make sure to mention any SEO success you’ve had with your website and where you’re at in your journey so far.

This might seem pushy, but many agencies actually encourage this—such as Rise at Seven:

Call for alternative roles from Rise at SevenCall for alternative roles from Rise at Seven

Here’s a quick email template to get you started:

Subject: Junior SEO position?

Hey folks,

Do you have any upcoming openings for junior SEOs?

I’ve been learning SEO for [number] months, but I’m looking to take my knowledge to the next level. So far, I’ve taken Ahrefs’ Beginner SEO course and started my own blog about [topic]—which I’ve had some success with. It’s only [number] months old but already ranks for [number] keywords and gets an estimated [number] monthly search visits according to Ahrefs.

[Ahrefs screenshot]

I checked your careers page and didn’t see any junior positions there, but I was hoping you might consider me for any upcoming positions? I’m super enthusiastic, hard-working, and eager to learn.

Let me know.


You can pull all the numbers and screenshots you need by creating a free Ahrefs Webmaster Tools account and verifying your website.

4. Specialize and hone your skills

SEO is a broad industry. It’s impossible to be an expert at every aspect of it, so you should niche down and hone your skills in the area that interests you the most. You should have a reasonable idea of what this is from working on your own site and in an agency.

For example, link building was the area that interested me the most, so that’s where I focused on deepening my knowledge. As a result, I became what’s known as a “t-shaped SEO”—someone with broad skills across all things SEO but deep knowledge in one area.

T-shaped SEOT-shaped SEO
What a t-shaped SEO looks like

Marie Haynes is another great example of a t-shaped SEO. She specializes in Google penalty recovery. She doesn’t build links or do on-page SEO. She audits websites with traffic drops and helps their owners recover.

In terms of how to build your knowledge in your chosen area, here are a few ideas:

Here are a few SEOs I’d recommend following and their (rough) specialties:

Final thoughts

K Anders Ericsson famously theorized that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master a new skill. Can it take less? Possibly. But the point is this: becoming an SEO expert is not an overnight process.

I’d even argue that it’s a somewhat unattainable goal because no matter how much you know, there’s always more to learn. That’s part of the fun, though. SEO is a fast-moving industry that keeps you on your toes, but it’s a very rewarding one, too. 

Here are a few stats to prove it:

  • 74.1% of SEOs charge clients upwards of $500 per month for their services (source)
  • $49,211 median annual salary (source)
  • ~$74k average salary for self-employed SEOs (source)

Got questions? Ping me on Twitter X

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A Year Of AI Developments From OpenAI




A Year Of AI Developments From OpenAI

Today, ChatGPT celebrates one year since its launch in research preview.

From its humble beginnings, ChatGPT has continually pushed the boundaries of what we perceive as possible with generative AI for almost any task.

In this article, we take a journey through the past year, highlighting the significant milestones and updates that have shaped ChatGPT into the versatile and powerful tool it is today.

ChatGPT: From Research Preview To Customizable GPTs

This story unfolds over the course of nearly a year, beginning on November 30, when OpenAI announced the launch of its research preview of ChatGPT.

As users began to offer feedback, improvements began to arrive.

Before the holiday, on December 15, 2022, ChatGPT received general performance enhancements and new features for managing conversation history.

Screenshot from ChatGPT, December 2022ChatGPT At One: A Year Of AI Developments From OpenAI

As the calendar turned to January 9, 2023, ChatGPT saw improvements in factuality, and a notable feature was added to halt response generation mid-conversation, addressing user feedback and enhancing control.

Just a few weeks later, on January 30, the model was further upgraded for enhanced factuality and mathematical capabilities, broadening its scope of expertise.

February 2023 was a landmark month. On February 9, ChatGPT Plus was introduced, bringing new features and a faster ‘Turbo’ version to Plus users.

This was followed closely on February 13 with updates to the free plan’s performance and the international availability of ChatGPT Plus, featuring a faster version for Plus users.

March 14, 2023, marked a pivotal moment with the introduction of GPT-4 to ChatGPT Plus subscribers.

ChatGPT At One: A Year Of AI Developments From OpenAIScreenshot from ChatGPT, March 2023ChatGPT At One: A Year Of AI Developments From OpenAI

This new model featured advanced reasoning, complex instruction handling, and increased creativity.

Less than ten days later, on March 23, experimental AI plugins, including browsing and Code Interpreter capabilities, were made available to selected users.

On May 3, users gained the ability to turn off chat history and export data.

Plus users received early access to experimental web browsing and third-party plugins on May 12.

On May 24, the iOS app expanded to more countries with new features like shared links, Bing web browsing, and the option to turn off chat history on iOS.

June and July 2023 were filled with updates enhancing mobile app experiences and introducing new features.

The mobile app was updated with browsing features on June 22, and the browsing feature itself underwent temporary removal for improvements on July 3.

The Code Interpreter feature rolled out in beta to Plus users on July 6.

Plus customers enjoyed increased message limits for GPT-4 from July 19, and custom instructions became available in beta to Plus users the next day.

July 25 saw the Android version of the ChatGPT app launch in selected countries.

As summer progressed, August 3 brought several small updates enhancing the user experience.

Custom instructions were extended to free users in most regions by August 21.

The month concluded with the launch of ChatGPT Enterprise on August 28, offering advanced features and security for enterprise users.

Entering autumn, September 11 witnessed limited language support in the web interface.

Voice and image input capabilities in beta were introduced on September 25, further expanding ChatGPT’s interactive abilities.

An updated version of web browsing rolled out to Plus users on September 27.

The fourth quarter of 2023 began with integrating DALL·E 3 in beta on October 16, allowing for image generation from text prompts.

The browsing feature moved out of beta for Plus and Enterprise users on October 17.

Customizable versions of ChatGPT, called GPTs, were introduced for specific tasks on November 6 at OpenAI’s DevDay.

ChatGPT At One: A Year Of AI Developments From OpenAIScreenshot from ChatGPT, November 2023ChatGPT At One: A Year Of AI Developments From OpenAI

On November 21, the voice feature in ChatGPT was made available to all users, rounding off a year of significant advancements and broadening the horizons of AI interaction.

And here, we have ChatGPT today, with a sidebar full of GPTs.

ChatGPT At One: A Year Of AI Developments From OpenAIScreenshot from ChatGPT, November 2023ChatGPT At One: A Year Of AI Developments From OpenAI

Looking Ahead: What’s Next For ChatGPT

The past year has been a testament to continuous innovation, but it is merely the prologue to a future rich with potential.

The upcoming year promises incremental improvements and leaps in AI capabilities, user experience, and integrative technologies that could redefine our interaction with digital assistants.

With a community of users and developers growing stronger and more diverse, the evolution of ChatGPT is poised to surpass expectations and challenge the boundaries of today’s AI landscape.

As we step into this next chapter, the possibilities are as limitless as generative AI continues to advance.

Featured image: photosince/Shutterstock

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