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The Featured Snippet: August 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 August 2023 issue of The Featured Snippet: 

  • Google releases August 2023 broad core update
  • Google’ Search Generative Experience (SGE) updates
  • Google reduces visibility of HowTo and FAQ rich results in search
  • GPTBot: OpenAI releases a new web crawler, Sites begin blocking GPTBot
  • Bing Chat now works on Google Chrome
  • Bing Chat data may never come to Bing Webmaster Tools 
  • Moz debuts a new metric: Brand Authority, to measure brand strength 
  • Google Search can now index CSV files 
  • Google Search app could soon introduce a new Notes feature

Google releases August 2023 broad core update

Google has rolled out its August 2023 core update, the second broad core algorithm update of the year. Google advises website owners impacted by core updates to consider questions that focus on improving a site’s E-E-A-T, as there are no specific recovery actions. Google also emphasizes monitoring analytics and rankings during this period of potential change in search results.


Google’ Search Generative Experience (SGE) Updates

SGE While Browsing

Google is introducing a feature called “SGE while browsing” that allows users to request key points and summaries from web pages while browsing on Chrome desktop or the Google app on iOS or Android. This feature is not automated and requires users to request SGE to summarize the page. It works on select web pages but not on paywalled content.


Links to web pages within answers

Google introduced links to web pages within its Search Generative Experience (SGE) AI-powered answers, allowing users to access relevant web pages for more information by clicking on down-arrow icons within the answers. This feature is initially rolling out in the U.S. and will expand to Japan and India in the coming weeks. Google is also testing various formats for presenting results in SGE while prioritizing approaches that drive traffic to relevant websites, and early data suggests positive user experiences.


SGE Definitions

Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) now includes definitions for select words within AI-generated answers, similar to featured snippets’ contextual links. Users can hover over specific words to preview definitions and view related diagrams or images on various topics related to STEM, economics, history, and more. Additionally, clicking on the “Tell me more about [topic]” bubble takes users to SGE’s conversation mode for more information on the referenced topic.


SGE Coding Updates

Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) is enhancing how it displays coding information in answers by adding color syntax highlighting to code examples, making it quicker and easier for users to identify elements like comments and strings.


SGE Images & Videos

Google is enhancing its AI-powered overviews by including more images and introducing videos where it’s beneficial to see something in motion, like a demonstration of a yoga pose or stain removal from marble.


Reduced Load Times With SGE

Google has reduced the time it takes to generate AI-powered overviews in half, in an effort to provide users with quicker access to information. Google will continue to work on improvements for even faster responses.


Publish Date for Links

Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) has added publish dates alongside each AI overview for better understanding of the information’s recency.


Google reduces visibility of HowTo and FAQ rich results in search

Google is reducing the visibility of HowTo and FAQ rich results in its search results, limiting How-To rich results to desktop devices and showing FAQ rich results only for authoritative government and health websites. This change may lead to decreased click-through rates for impacted sites, but Google does not recommend removing How-To or FAQPage structured data from your pages. 


Bing Chat now works on Google Chrome

Bing Chat now fully works in Google Chrome. Initially, Bing Chat was launched to only work with Microsoft Edge but has now been expanded to more browsers, which will allow more users to access and potentially adopt Bing Chat. 


Bing Chat data may never come to Bing Webmaster Tools

Microsoft previously said that Bing Chat data will be available in Bing Webmaster Tools by May 2023. However, Bing Chat data is still missing from Bing Webmaster Tools, and there is no official date for its release. Microsoft responded by saying they are “committed to launching Bing Chat data in Webmaster Tools” and that the functionality was built out in Bing Webmaster Tools but was never released. 


Moz Debuts a new metric: Brand Authority, to measure brand strength

Moz announced that a new metric, Brand Authority, is available in Moz Pro SEO toolset and the Moz API. The new metric uses a combination of search intent and search volume to calculate a score that reflects Brand Authority. This metric only includes U.S. data for now, and Moz says that they are planning on including data from other regions in 2024.


Google Search can now index CSV files

Google Search can now index Comma-Separated Values (.csv) files, which means that Google can now show CSV files in its search results when it is relevant to the particular search query. If CSV files are important for your website or business, visibility can now be improved by being able to be shown in Google search results. 


Google Search app could soon introduce a new Notes feature

Google is working on introducing an experimental Notes feature that would allow users to leave comments on web pages that appear within search results. When leaving a comment on a webpage, users’ profile picture and name will be visible to other users, and you will also be able to like notes from other users. Notes could arrive as a new Google Labs as soon as September across Android and iOS.