The Featured Snippet is the official SEO newsletter of Performics, dedicated to keeping you up to date with the latest SEO industry news, trends, and events. See below for the latest version of The Featured Snippet:
In the February 2023 issue of The Featured Snippet:
On February 6, 2023, Google announced the release of Bard, their new AI chatbot. Bard is an experimental conversational AI service powered by LaMDA, and for now it remains separate from Google search. Google will combine external feedback with internal testing to improve its quality.
Microsoft announced that it will be incorporating ChatGPT AI into its Bing search engine and Edge browser to improve search and deliver more complete answers. Microsoft is calling the new collection of technologies the Prometheus model, and users can expect the new Bing along with the incorporated Prometheus model to start previewing on desktop. The new search engine will be available to a wider base of users in the upcoming weeks.
On February 8, 2023, Google clarified its rules surrounding AI-generated content. In short, Google tolerates AI-created content so long as it provides helpful information for the users and does not intend to manipulate search results. Google’s guidance on AI-generated content falls in line with E-E-A-T: expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
As of February 3, 2023, Microsoft’s new Bingbot user agent is live. The new Bingbot replaces the former Bingbot and will be used in all site crawls moving forward. According to Microsoft’s Fabrice Canel, Bingbot is active “100% today. We fallback to previous user agents where appropriate.”
Microsoft announced that it will upgrade Bing Webmaster Tools to include reporting and tools for the new Bing Chat feature. The update will allow publishers and site owners to track how much traffic the chat feature drives to their site. This new information will be part of the Bing performance report.
Windows 11 launched over a year ago, but as of February 28, 2023, Microsoft announced that they will be launching the new AI-powered Bing into preview in 169 countries. Additionally, Microsoft will be adding a typable Windows search box directly into the taskbar. This Windows search box will incorporate the new AI-enhanced Bing.
On February 21, 2023, Google released the February 2023 product review update. This is the sixth product review update and the first of 2023, and it delivers new languages product reviews including English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Polish.
New Video Indexing Report
Recent updates to the video indexing report in Search Console include an added video impression overlay and a sitemap filter. The video impression overlay shows the number of daily impressions a video has gotten in search results. The sitemap filter allows publishers to see which videos that Google indexed are also in a sitemap file.
New Search Console users and permissions management
On February 22, Google announced that it is updating Search Console’s users and permissions to make their management more functional. Some of the new features include distinguishing between verified and delegated owners; easier, immediate removal of verified owners (no need to remove their ownership token); ability to change delegated owners’ permissions levels (owner, full, restricted); and more.
Google Search Console adds daily bulk data exports to BigQuery
As of February 28th, Search Console users will be able to automate a daily export of your data from Search Console to BigQuery instead of having to manually export the data. BigQuery is a cloud-based and Google-managed data warehouse. The article linked below also provides step by step instructions on how to export the data as well as possible reasons for an export error and more.
Starting in March, anyone who does not set up a GA4 property with basic settings, Google will automatically configure GA properties for you. Users should take some time and make the switch themselves to avoid any errors or discrepancies in data tracking due to the settings that were automatically created. This link gives you instructions on how to opt out of that feature.
Google has now said that the Google helpful content system can impact your site’s visibility not only in Google Search but also in Google Discover. This came after Google updated its Discover documentation to say, “As part of Google Search, Discover uses many of the same signals and systems used by Search to determine helpful, people-first content. Given this, those looking for success with Discover should review our advice on creating helpful, reliable, people-first content.”