SEO and digital marketing news – Spring 2023

May 26, 2023 by
SEO and digital marketing news – Spring 2023

Unless you’ve been living under a particularly large digital rock over the past few months, you’ll be aware of ChatGPT and how many of us in digital marketing are equal parts fascinated and terrified by it. Indeed, South Park even dedicated a recent episode to it and if that isn’t a mark of cultural zeitgeist penetration we honestly don’t know what is.

But the increasingly quick march of AI is far from the only story to make an impact this season, as we’ll discover below.

Twitter annoys everyone… again

Did a Twitter account get a blue checkmark by paying for Twitter Blue or is it a legacy verified account? Right now, it’s almost impossible to tell. Twitter’s designation for “notable” accounts was supposed to disappear on April 1. Some have but many others have not yet lost the designation. And with April 15 approaching, Twitter CEO Elon Musk has said that “only verified accounts will be eligible to be in recommendations” starting April 15.

On all blue checkmarks, Twitter now says: “This account is verified because it’s subscribed to Twitter Blue or is a legacy verified account.” Before April 2, Twitter showed a different message: “This account is verified because it’s subscribed to Twitter Blue.” The addition of “or is a legacy verified account” has made it impossible to tell who paid for their checkmark and who didn’t.

Many search marketers have said they won’t pay for Twitter Blue, so they are voluntarily giving up the blue checkmark. Such as Google’s Ads Liaison, Ginny Marvin. Will you follow suit? Are we seeing the beginning of the end for Twitter? Who knows at this point?

Bing Chat set to feature ads

Microsoft has announced plans to introduce ads within the AI-powered Bing chat experience. This is a significant move, as Bing Chat has been an ad-free platform up until now. Since launching the new Bing search experience and Edge browser, Microsoft has aimed to provide an all-in-one experience encompassing search, chat, answers, and content creation.

The success of Bing’s all-in-one strategy, which combines search, chat, answers, and content creation, is evident in its growing user base. This growth provides a unique opportunity for publishers to reach new audiences and increase traffic.

As Microsoft continues to explore new opportunities for publishers, such as ads in chat, the potential for increased user engagement and ad revenue sharing becomes more evident. Although in the early stages, the positive feedback from publishers indicates that these changes could mark a turning point in the future of search and digital advertising.

Google boosts the Bard

Google has announced an upgrade to its conversational chatbot, Bard. By incorporating advancements from the company’s Pathways Language Model (PaLM), Bard’s mathematical and logical capabilities have been significantly improved.

Jack Krawczyk from the Google AI team stated: “I wanted to share that we’ve improved Bard’s capabilities in maths and logic by incorporating some of the advances we’ve developed in PaLM. Now Bard will better understand and respond to your prompts for multi-step word and maths problems, with coding coming soon. This improvement makes Bard even more useful to people using it.”

Yoast SEO founders invest in WordPress accessibility plugin

The founders of Yoast SEO plugin announced an investment in a WordPress accessibility plugin that scans and reports on accessibility issues and makes it easy to troubleshoot entire websites. The Digital Accessibility Checker scans posts and pages for non-compliance and creates a report of the different areas in need of improvement.

The plugin can scan an entire site for accessibility issues. Error and warning messages are displayed on the edit screens of pages and posts plus a centralised list of errors in need of fixing. Issues needing a fix can be organised by severity to make it easier to prioritise fixes.

The plugin offers unlimited page scanning with no limits on URLs, even for the free version. There is no having to wait for a third party to process the URLs and all data stays on the user’s server. Another important feature of the plugin is that there are no front-end scripts to slow down the website experience for site visitors. Sounds like a win-win to us.

Google updates search console with merchant reports

Google announced an update to the search console that provides merchants with the power to accurately gauge the search performance of their product listings and product snippets. Search console now has two new ways to see the SEO impact in the SERPs, providing impression and click data from the two different search appearances.

Google said: Today, we are adding the ability to measure the impact of Merchant listing by splitting the Product results search appearance into two: Merchant listings and Product snippets.

These appearances let you see how many impressions and clicks you get from those experiences. The new Merchant listings and Product snippets search appearances can be viewed in two places in Search Console:

  •   Merchant listings and product snippet reports as overlays on top of the report charts.
  •   Performance report in the search appearance tab or through a filter.