First-hand Knowledge Prioritised By Google, Why Focus On Technical SEO, and Free Voice Capabilities For ChatGPT

November 24, 2023 Posted by Sean Walsh News 0 thoughts on “First-hand Knowledge Prioritised By Google, Why Focus On Technical SEO, and Free Voice Capabilities For ChatGPT”
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Sean Walsh
Director at Intelligency

Sean is a Director at Intelligency heading up our digital marketing and client services operations. Sean has 15+ years experiencing working both in-house and agency with brands including Lloyds, Alstom, Hitachi, Lufthansa, Viaplay, DFDS Seaways and Mercedes-Benz.

Good Afternoon, and welcome to the Friday Digital Roundup.

In this week’s Digital Marketing news, Google altered its search rankings. Also, we have some guidance on what to focus on after a Core Update and Open AI announced some free features for ChatGPT Mobile.

Let’s get into the stories.

Google Prioritises First-Hand Knowledge for Search Rankings

Google recently unveiled several exciting updates to its Search functionality, specifically tailored to provide more personalised results for users in the UK. Moreover, the company has introduced changes in its ranking algorithm.

These alterations aim to simplify the process of finding content that offers personal insights and firsthand knowledge.

Google confidently asserts that these updates will enhance the user experience, making it more customised to align with individual interests and requirements.

In the announcement, Cathy Edwards, Google’s Vice President of Search, eloquently stated:

“Search has always been about connecting human curiosity with the incredible expanse of human wisdom on the web. These improvements will help users find the most helpful information just for them, no matter how specific their question may be.”

Focusing on First-Hand Knowledge

In a strategic move, Google has implemented changes in its ranking system to prioritize first-person perspectives in the search results. This initiative is designed to facilitate easier access to personal experiences, advice, opinions, and other direct sources of knowledge.

As a result, users can expect to encounter fewer repetitive, second-hand sources and more unique, personal insights that directly address their queries.

Edwards further elaborated:

“As part of this work, we’ve also rolled out a series of ranking improvements to show more first-person perspectives in results, so it’s easier to find this content across Search.”

Expanding Personalised Recommendations

Google is not stopping there. In an effort to further customise search results, they are introducing a feature that allows users to follow specific topics directly from their search results. This could range from a beloved sports team to a particular cooking style, enabling Google to present relevant articles, videos, and notifications automatically.

Imagine someone training for a marathon following “marathon training” in their search. They would then receive tailored articles about exercises and tips in their Google Discover feed.

This feature is a continuation of Google’s endeavour to personalise the search experience, incorporating elements like recent searches and activity from Google accounts.

It’s set to launch on mobile browsers and apps in the U.S. in English in the coming weeks, with plans for broader availability by year’s end.

Implications for SEO

These updates naturally raise questions within the SEO community about potential impacts on optimization strategies. The introduction of the following feature, aimed at enhancing personal experiences, suggests that websites producing quality content on popular topics might experience a surge in traffic.

Furthermore, Google’s intention to simplify access to frequently visited sites and present information about content creators poses intriguing possibilities. Metrics like user engagement, time on site, and repeat visits could become crucial in promoting sites.

Additionally, showcasing content creators’ profiles and social handles can provide new optimization opportunities, as it allows Google to better index this information.

While these personalisation features will primarily affect logged-in users, they could also influence general search results. SEO professionals are advised to continue focusing on user experience and producing quality content that appeals to diverse audiences.

However, the ability to reach niche audiences interested in specific topics presents new opportunities for optimization.

In conclusion, Google’s latest updates mark a significant step in evolving search to meet the dynamic needs of users. These algorithmic changes are poised to produce search results that more accurately reflect the complex, human aspects of users’ interests and queries.

The full extent of these changes in search rankings, however, remains to be seen.

What To Focus On After A Core Update

In the world of search engine optimization (SEO), Google’s Search Off The Record podcast team recently shed light on the importance of mastering the basics. Martin Splitt, Gary Illyes, and John Mueller from Google’s Search Relations team highlighted that many sites still struggle with fundamental technical SEO issues like crawlability, indexing, and page rendering.

These are crucial factors that impact a site’s performance in search results and should be addressed first.

Emphasising Technical SEO

Technical SEO is all about optimizing a website’s architecture and infrastructure to enhance search engine crawling and indexing.

This aspect of SEO is solely focused on the site’s behind-the-scenes elements. Illyes, highlighting his focus on technical SEO on social media, noted, “I like to post about technical things… because often big site owners or SEOs miss critical basic things.”

He observed that many get distracted by the ‘next big thing’ at conferences while ignoring the essentials.

Illyes stressed, “Just make sure your content is good first… looking at these websites, they are not helpful or useful to me as a user.” He further pointed out the importance of technical SEO: “If Googlebot can’t reach your site, or rendering fails, or there are no words on the site or a page, then there’s not much Google can do for you.”

Splitt agreed, emphasizing that technical SEO is fundamental. He recommended starting troubleshooting with the homepage, as it’s often seen as the most crucial page by search engines.

Neglecting technical SEO can lead to significant issues like rendering failures or site inaccessibility, drastically affecting search engine rankings.

Quality Over Quantity in Traffic Metrics

The discussion also touched on evaluating content and the misconception that high traffic equals high-quality pages. Mueller warned against relying only on analytics and overlooking user experience. He recalled a site that ranked well for generic keywords but offered little value, noting the irrelevance of lost traffic from low-quality keywords.

Broader Metrics for Success

The hosts urged consideration of metrics beyond traffic, like user engagement and satisfaction, as better indicators of a page’s quality. Mueller advised, “Look at the bigger picture of all the traffic that’s gone, but also remember… a lot of this was useless.” He suggested focusing on relevant queries and tracking lower-level pages for a better understanding of a site’s performance.

Creating High-Quality Content

Simply producing a high volume of content isn’t enough; it needs to be purposeful and valuable. Illyes proposed that quality content creation might be simpler than most think. The key is to focus on content that helps people achieve their goals when visiting the page. “What if quality is about writing the thing that will help people achieve what they need when they come to the page?” he asked.

Key Takeaways

This conversation with Google’s Search Relations team underscores two crucial points. First, mastering technical SEO basics is vital before exploring advanced tactics. Second, content quality and user engagement are more important than just traffic numbers in assessing a site’s success. By focusing on these areas, websites can significantly enhance their SEO performance.

Free Voice Capabilities For ChatGPT Mobile

OpenAI has just announced an exciting development: the ChatGPT app’s voice functionality is now accessible to all free users, while Plus subscriptions and upgrades remain on pause.

This significant update is a game-changer for content and search marketers, offering new possibilities for creating interactive content and honing voice search optimization.

Before this change, interacting with ChatGPT using voice commands was an exclusive feature for premium subscribers.

The latest update, however, has levelled the playing field, allowing every user to engage with the AI through voice commands. All it takes is downloading the app and tapping a headphones icon.

The introduction of the voice feature is poised to boost user interaction, providing a more natural and intuitive way to interact with AI. It opens up AI technology to a broader audience, including those who prefer voice commands to typing, making AI access more effortless than ever.

This update is particularly advantageous for those in content marketing, presenting an opportunity to create more interactive and personalized campaigns that could significantly enhance customer experience and engagement.

For search marketers, it unlocks new opportunities to delve into voice search optimization. Brands can now explore and refine their search engine strategies using voice commands.

As we await further developments in ChatGPT features and GPT advancements, it’s an intriguing time to observe how these innovations will shape the future of AI interaction and marketing strategies.

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