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The Featured Snippet: March 2023

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 March 2023 issue of The Featured Snippet: 

  • Google releases March 2023 broad core update
  • Google launches “Perspectives”, “About this author”, and more ways to verify information
  • The new Bing making (small) gains on Google Search
  • Microsoft fixes data loss within Bing Webmaster Tools API
  • Google adds ranking update history to Search Status Dashboard
  • Google rolls out blue highlights in featured snippets
  • Google updates desktop search results with site names
  • Google opens up Bard, its AI chat solution
  • Google launches new Google Trends
  • Google Search Console updates:
    • Google Search Console breaks out Merchant listings and Product snippets appearances
    • Core Web Vitals report within Google Search Console updated

Google releases March 2023 broad core update

The March 2023 Google broad update started on March 15, 2023 and finished rolling out on March 28. This is the first core update of 2023, and it focuses on improving the relevance and quality of search results by attempting to understand user intent. For users that were affected, Google offered a list of questions to consider to ensure that your site is meeting quality guidelines.

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Google launches “Perspectives”, “About this author”, and “About this result”

On March 28, Google announced that it was rolling out 3 new features: “About this result”, “Perspectives”, and “About this author”, in addition to providing easier access for “About this page”. “Perspectives” now appears as a carousel below “Top Stories”, and it showcases journalistic insights. “About this result” gives users information on where the information comes from. “About this author” offers information about the background and experience of the author of a particular search.

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The new Bing: How it compares to Google

On February 7, 2023, Microsoft launched the new version of Bing, with aspects of the AI chatbot ChatGPT incorporated into the search engine. Since then, Bing traffic has increased by 15.4% while Google traffic has dropped by 2.4%. Google continues to be the dominant search engine.

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Microsoft fixes data loss for Bing Webmaster Tools

Between March 3 and March 27, 2023, Bing Webmaster Tools reported losing a week’s worth of data in its reporting tool. The error has since been fixed, and users can now download the missing data for the Bing Webmaster Tools API. Users who rely on Bing Webmaster Tools may want to check on whether their data was affected.

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Google updates Search Status Dashboard with ranking update history 

On March 21, 2023, Google added a new ranking section to the search status dashboard to include information on ranking updates, both historical and current. According to Google, the new section “will show the active March 2023 core update, plus history up to 2020”.

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Google launches blue highlights in some featured snippets

As of March 6, 2023, Google launched blue highlights in its featured snippets. The highlights are meant to help users easily identify the source of the featured snippet content. Not every featured snippet is currently getting blue highlights, but the feature is prevalent.

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Google updates desktop search results with site names

On March 8, 2023, Google rolled out 3 new search result features: site name, favicon, and sponsored labels. The feature was originally tested in October 2022, but it is now available widely. Google has provided instructions on how to control these three features for your site’s SERP result, including site name structured data and favicon guidelines.

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Google opens up Bard, its AI chat solution

Bard is Google’s version of a chat solution like ChatGPT that users can now sign up to join the waitlist at http://bard.google.com/ if you are based in the US or UK. It’s not yet clear on when it’ll be released to the public. 

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Google launches new Google Trends

Google has launched a new portal for Google Trends. Some new features for the update to the Google Trends portal include real time trends that show on the homepage, as well as links to published news articles to help you learn more about that specific trending topic. 

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Google Search Console Updates:

Google Search Console breaks out Merchant listings and Product snippets appearances

Google announced that in Google Search Console, Merchant listings and Product snippets have been split into individual sections where you can view clicks/impressions for each. Previously both were merged and listed only as ‘Product listings’, and you weren’t able to dive deeper for more detailed information. Making these separate allows users to get more information and analyze what they can do better. 

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Core Web Vitals report within Google Search Console updated

Google announced that more URLs will be reported on in the Core Web Vitals report in Google Search Console. Due to a change in the URL grouping,URLs that were previously not reported on will now be shown in this report. Users may see a change in the number of URLs due to this addition, however it will provide more opportunities to help you analyze and provide a better user experience. 

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