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What’s In A SERP? Google Search Results & Features You Need To Know

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What's In A SERP? Google Search Results & Features You Need To Know

Google Search is constantly evolving to serve more useful results to searchers.

One of the more recent figures we have states that Google conducted 4,887 launches, 17,523 live traffic experiments, 383,605 search quality tests, and 62,937 side-by-side experiments to improve the results search engine users received in a single year.

The results of rigorous testing allow Google to determine the best search features to deliver search results in a format that is most useful to your query.

This leads to changes in the way that search results are delivered.

In this article, you’ll learn what a SERP is and the various search features that could affect the way your business appears to your target audience.

What Is A SERP?

SERP stands for search engine results page. This is the page that gives search engine users the best results for their queries.

Search engine results pages can vary from one search engine user to another based on a variety of factors including whether you are logged into your Google account, your location settings, your language preferences, and your search history.

The following is the SERP for SEO.

Screenshot from Google, March 2022

At the start of the search results, Google displays the approximate number of search results for the query and the time it takes to deliver the SERP.

In this case, there are approximately 828,000,000 webpages indexed for the keyword SEO, and results were delivered in 0.59 seconds.

The first four results starting with an Ad label are pay-per-click Google Ads that target the keyword SEO.

Following the four Google Ads, you see the first organic listing that appears in this SERP for Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.

After this organic listing, Google includes a People Also Ask section.

When search users click on a question, additional related questions appear. The answers typically link to a webpage for further information.

To the right of the Google Ads, organic listing, and People Also Ask section is Google’s knowledge panel for search engine optimization. Knowledge panels can vary based on the entity they describe.

In this case, the knowledge panel pulls the definition for SEO from Wikipedia, followed by related terms, SEO podcasts, and related terms people also search for.

The next portion of the SERP for SEO contains two more organic listings, followed by the local pack featuring SEO companies.

The following is the SERP for SEO.Screenshot from Google, March 2022

To the right, you can also see a continuation of the knowledge panel, which searches for the dictionary definition of SEO.

Following the local pack, Google displays the top news stories about SEO from the past 24 hours.

The following is the SERP for SEO.Screenshot from Google, March 2022

After another organic listing, Google places three videos from YouTube about SEO into the SERP, followed by another four organic listings.

Finally, Google has more organic results and related searches.

The following is the SERP for SEO.Screenshot from Google, March 2022

If you are on a mobile device, Google doesn’t make you click through to the second page of results.

Instead, after a listing of related searches, the next page of search results will automatically appear as you scroll down.

The following is the SERP for SEO.Screenshot from Google, March 2022

In this case, the second SERP begins with a Google Ad.

SERP Features

In the first example of a SERP from Google.com for SEO, there are multiple search features beyond organic search results including Google Ads, People Also Ask, knowledge panels, top stories, and videos.

According to Semrush Sensor, most SERPs have at least one feature.

In the U.S., only 2.34% of desktop SERPs do not have a feature. In other words, 2.34% of SERPs only list the top 10 organic search results on the page without ads, knowledge panels, local packs, etc.

Let’s take a look at the SERP features most often seen on Google.

Sitelinks

One of the top search features – found in over 66% of SERPs in the U.S. – is sitelinks.

Sitelinks are simply links that will allow search users to find specific content beyond the homepage.

In the following SERP for REI, you can see that REI has the first position in organic search.

Beneath their listing, Google displays a sitelink search box followed by four sitelinks to popular pages on their website.

Example of sitelinks SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

Learn more about how to optimize your website for sitelinks.

People Also Ask

Another top search feature is the People Also Ask section. This feature can appear anywhere on a SERP.

It typically begins by displaying five of the top questions asked about a search query.

In the following SERP for [search engine], Google adds a People Also Ask section after the first organic search result.

Example of People Also Ask SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

When someone clicks on a question under the people also ask section, it will display the answer to the question, along with a link to the source for the answer. It will also automatically generate additional questions related to the one the user just clicked.

Reviews

In addition to the stars you see in the local pack for local business reviews and the stars you see in shopping ads, Google may also display star ratings and review counts within organic search results.

In the following SERP for a current bestselling book, you can see the reviews feature in action on two of the top three organic listings.

Example of Reviews SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

Learn more about how you can optimize relevant pages on your website for reviews with the review snippet.

Images

When Google anticipates that a search query would best be answered visually, they use the images feature. This feature can appear anywhere throughout the SERP.

In the following search for a [pumpkin plant], Google serves up a dozen photos of pumpkin plants.

Example of Images SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

When clicked upon, the link goes to Google image search results for the query, plus additional details about the image clicked.

To optimize your images for Google image search and the potential to appear in the images section of related SERPs, check out these 12 essential image optimization tips.

Videos

Similar to the image feature, the video feature of SERPs can appear anywhere throughout the page.

In the following search for [1st party data activation], Google displays a section of videos from YouTube after four ads, a featured snippet, People Also Ask, and five organic search results.

Example of Videos SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

To appear in the videos section of SERPs, learn how to optimize your YouTube videos.

Knowledge Panels

Knowledge panels are automatically generated boxes of useful information, compiled from various sources around the internet by the Knowledge Graph. They generally appear on the right side of search results.

In the following SERP for [tennis], Google displays a knowledge panel with a summary of what tennis is and the most popular searches related to it.

Example of Knowledge Panel SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

Google offers specific directions on how to update the information contained in the Knowledge Graph.

Local Packs

When there are local results that match your search query, you may see them appear in a local pack.

Listings in a local pack typically appear with reviews, an address, and hours of operation.

Example of Local Packs SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

According to the Local Pack-O-Meter, 35.7% of approximately 60 million search queries in the U.S. contained a local pack in March of 2022.

Over the past year, it has fluctuated from 33% to 33.9%.

If you have a local business, learn more about local SEO and why it matters for your SMB.

Featured Snippets

Featured snippets generally appear at the top of SERPs, offering a portion of content from one of the top organic search results for a particular query.

For example, a search for [how to change app icons] may generate a featured snippet with a video from YouTube that answers the query.

Example of Featured Snippets SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

Featured snippets are typically labeled as such in the lower right corner beneath the snippet content.

Other formats of featured snippets include numbered or bulleted lists, like the results of [how to submit a book to a publisher].

Example of Featured Snippets SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

In the above example, you can see that featured snippets sometimes fall below Google Ads for certain search queries.

In a search for [nft], the top result is a featured snippet in paragraph form.

sample of featured snippets Screenshot from Google, March 2022

In this search for the best list of restaurants from a specific source, the result is a featured snippet in a table format.

Example of Featured Snippets SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

If you want your website to be the source of a featured snippet, follow this 12-step guide to optimizing your content for featured snippets.

Google Ads

Sponsored results from advertisers using Google Ads may appear at the top and bottom of SERPs.

In this search for auto insurance, the SERP begins with three ads.

Example of Google Ads SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

After organic listings, a People Also Ask section, and top stories, Google displays an additional three ads, followed by related searches.

Shopping Ads

In addition to standard text ads, Google also offers retailers the ability to create shopping ads for their products.

Shopping ads typically display the name of the product, price, retailer, and product rating.

Example of Shopping Ads SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

If you want to feature your products in shopping ads, be sure to read this beginner’s guide to shopping ads.

Carousels

Carousels generally appear at the top of SERPs, offering fast answers to the search query.

For example, a search for [dog breeds] results in a carousel of images with the most popular dog breeds that other Google users search for.

Example of Carousels SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

Instant Answers

Want to get a quick answer to a question without having to click through to a website?

Instant Answers is a search feature Google uses to display answers to a search user’s query at the top of the SERP.

For example, if you search for today’s temperature, you may get the following for your location.

Example of Instant Answers SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

If you are searching for showtimes for a specific movie, Google may display showtimes from the theaters closest to you.

Example of Instant Answers SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

If you need to convert currency at the current exchange rate, Google may be able to provide the answer in the SERP.

Example of Instant Answers SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

Scheduling a meeting across time zones? Google may calculate the difference between two locations as well as show the current times in both.

Example of Instant Answers SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

Not sure what a word means? Google may give you the definition, along with the origin and overall use over time.

Example of Instant Answers SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

Need help solving a math problem? Google may display the answer along with a fully functional calculator.

Example of Instant Answers SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

Google may also provide instant answers at the top of SERPs for the following types of queries.

  • Translating a word or phrase.
  • Calculating the number of days until a specific date or upcoming holiday.
  • Finding out the score of a recent sports game.
  • Determining the age of someone based on their birthdate.
  • Getting the dates to popular events, like conventions and festivals.
  • Seeing the current share price and market summary for popular stocks.

Top Stories

If a search query has related news stories, Google may display a section of top stories from media outlets.

In this SERP for MacBook, Google displays the top stories after shopping ads, organic results, People Also Ask, and more shopping results.

sample of serp for top storiesScreenshot from Google, March 2022

Learn how to optimize your content for Google News so that your articles can appear in the top stories for related search queries.

Tweets

A small percentage of SERPs will feature tweets relevant to the search query.

In the following search for Search Engine Journal, after the first organic search result and a people also ask section, the latest tweets from our official Twitter account appear.

Example of Tweets SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

Find out how you can use Twitter to increase your visibility in search results.

Apps

Google search users on mobile devices may see features that are only available on mobile.

In the following search for photo editing apps, Google displays apps from the Apple store after three ads and a list of apps from sources across the web.

Example of Apps SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

Product Comparisons

Google has the ability to take product information and display it in search results for users looking to compare products.

In the following search for [iphone 12 vs iphone 12 pro], you can see a side-by-side list of the product images, reviews, price, and additional details.

Example of Product Comparison SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

When search users click on the detailed comparison link, Google displays additional details about the products compared, along with the option to add additional products for comparison when relevant.

Top Products

Unlike shopping ads, the top products feature showcases unadvertised products related to a search query.

In the following search for mirrorless cameras, Google displays the top mirrorless cameras after organic search results and a People Also Ask section.

Example of Top Product SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

When you click on a product, additional details about the product appear.

Google displays reviews from third-party sites, prices from multiple retailers, top insights from media outlets, and reviews from multiple retailers.

Jobs

Google helps job seekers by aggregating jobs from various sources across the web and displaying them within SERPs for queries like [jobs near me].

Example of Jobs SERP featureScreenshot from Google, March 2022

Learn how to optimize your job postings to ensure they get noticed by Google.

Conclusion

Google continues to update its algorithm and search features to create a better experience for search users.

Always be on the lookout for new features appearing in SERPs for your targeted search queries.

Then, discover ways to optimize your webpages to appear in search features that will draw more attention to your brand in SERPs.

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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.

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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.


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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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