Get up to speed on AI and SEO with this concise roundup. Discover 5 key highlights from May, including new AI systems revolutionizing search.
First, delve into SGE, Google’s cutting-edge AI search enhancement, and learn how it operates. Explore recommended KPIs for assessing content quality and uncover strategies for capitalizing on budget-friendly SEO opportunities.
Next, dive into data studies. Witness a team’s remarkable journey from 0 to 12,000,000 users in just 2 years. Explore which brands AI engines endorse and why, along with an extensive report on the current state of search. Also, explore projections indicating a 5x growth in AI adoption this year.
Wrap up with the latest news headlines, offering insights into understanding news topic authority and Google’s integration of AI into search results.
Kristi Hines offers a comprehensive examination of SGE, a novel generative AI search tool that will enhance regular Google searches. Through numerous illustrative instances, she showcases how it manages queries and delivers results, enabling you to adapt your SEO strategies accordingly.
Initially, she informs you about the opportunity to participate in the partial rollout of SGE as a volunteer, allowing you to personally test its features. However, if you prefer to wait for the full release, the provided examples will give you a solid preview of what to anticipate.
Here are the key takeaways from the examples:
- SGE’s response to searches involving “People Also Ask” and similar features: When the query “What is bard” was entered, SGE generated a total of six results, five of which were from publishers. Below the SGE panel, the page continued with what appeared to be regular SERP results.
- SGE’s treatment of the local pack: The SGE results for the search term “top Italian restaurants” resembled a typical map pack. However, Kristi observed that it presented different top-three results compared to a standard search.
- SGE’s handling of shopping and review results: In response to the query “4k camcorders,” SGE provided an abundance of advice and tips that surpassed what was typically offered in desktop searches.
These limited examples indicate that SGE operates on slightly different principles than desktop and mobile search, at least to the extent of influencing the top-ranking results. Be sure to explore the rest of the guide for additional examples and the insights they provide.
Remember, achieving a high ranking in any type of search necessitates the presence of quality content. In the subsequent guide, you will receive guidance on creating superior content using more up-to-date KPIs.
Amanda Natividad proposes adopting a fresh approach to content creation, one that prioritizes generating tangible business outcomes rather than just raw traffic. In this guide, she introduces the key performance indicators (KPIs) she employs in her process, elucidates their significance, and provides guidance on effectively measuring and tracking them.
Among various recommendations, she proposes the following key performance indicators (KPIs) to gauge content quality:
- Off-platform shares: This involves tracking the movement of your content beyond your platform. The sharing of your content in other locations can indicate engaging topics and provide insights into where future content should be released.
- Discussion quality: This refers to the level of discussion that your content generates within the intended community. A robust discussion can indirectly enhance your authority and reputation as a publisher, signifying the effectiveness of your content.
- Adoption in your industry: While it may be frustrating when competitors replicate your content, Amanda argues that you can view it as a KPI. Swift adoption of your content indicates its significant influence and its position on the cutting edge.
- Inspiration for new programs: Exceptional content has the potential to spark the creation of entirely new initiatives, such as a successful blog leading to a branded series or the inception of a podcast.
For a comprehensive list of KPIs that validate the effectiveness of your content, refer to the guide. Following KPIs like these enables you to receive recognition for long-term or abstract strategies.
Speaking of communicating your value to clients, the final guide of the month concentrates on reorganizing large-scale SEO projects to expedite results for clients.
Aleyda Solis presents a guide on identifying SEO’s “low-hanging fruit,” which refers to activities that offer high impact with minimal effort. She emphasizes the importance of tracking these opportunities from the beginning to address client and stakeholder impatience.
Aleyda suggests incorporating a low-hanging fruit analysis into your standard SEO audit and utilizing it to create an SEO schedule. By spacing out low-hanging fruit solutions throughout the project, clients can witness continuous results.
She provides examples of solutions that are applicable to various projects, such as enhancing the click-through rate of top-ranked pages, optimizing snippets (titles and meta descriptions), and implementing short-term link building.
The complete guide includes additional low-hanging targets and a flow chart for organizing and prioritizing them. Aleyda also offers advice on expediting execution for clients. Following the guides, the next section features case studies, beginning with a team that achieved 10 million visitors in two years.
Nemanja Mirkovic presents an analysis of the remarkable growth of SleepAdvisor.org, a project he has been working on with a friend for five years. The study focuses on a two-year period during which the website transitioned from having no visitors to attracting millions.
Nemanja provides a comprehensive account, starting from the initial idea stage. He documents the process of selecting a niche, conducting competitor research, and even choosing the ideal domain for SleepAdvisor.
Nemanja Mirkovic shares insights on his journey with SleepAdvisor.org, focusing on their strategy of delivering superior content compared to their niche competitors. He details the process of building and scaling high-quality content through an internal team, including information about team structure and content development processes.
The analysis further covers their efforts in acquiring backlinks, implementing content marketing strategies for growth, and conducting social media testing. As traffic increased, the team shifted their focus to Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Nemanja provides examples of how CRO influenced their decision-making process and how years of testing impacted the site’s presentation.
The analysis concludes by discussing the various monetization approaches that the company successfully and unsuccessfully implemented to capitalize on the generated traffic. This includes a comparison between Amazon and Direct to Advertiser monetization, their product review process, relationship-building efforts, company culture, product creation, and the development of informational products.
In the next data study, the focus shifts to AI systems that recommend brands when prompted, exploring the potential SEO opportunities that arise from this trend.
Johannes Beus brings you this exploration of what major generative artificial intelligence engines are recommending brands and how often.
In a test conducted on OpenAI, the team provided the engine with 10,000 product categories and requested recommendations. The findings from this test revealed interesting insights for the future of commercial search. Johannes, the researcher, observed the following:
- OpenAI consistently recommended 10 brands, rarely fewer.
- There were over 500 topics for which OpenAI refused to make any recommendations.
- In total, OpenAI provided recommendations for more than 20,000 brands.
- Approximately 2.4% of the brands mentioned appeared 20 times or more.
Johannes also identified the most frequently recommended brands, listed in order as follows:
These findings carry significant implications for brands that do not appear on this list. The generative results are derived from search engine results, suggesting that the brands that dominate those search engine listings may have a strong foundation in upcoming AI technologies.
Marcus Tober presents a comprehensive resource that provides an overview of the changes in search. His team conducted an analysis of total traffic trends using 50,000 US domains. They analyzed an extensive dataset of nearly 150 billion searches to identify the fluctuations in various factors, topics, and terms, examining both their rise and fall.
Marcus Tober’s analysis highlights the significant impact of Google Search Updates, with his team closely tracking the frequency and volatility of these updates compared to previous years. Notably, they observed a notable increase in the frequency of updates, indicating the dynamic nature of search algorithms.
Moving on, Marcus delves into major website trends observed over the past year. One noteworthy trend is a three-year decline in the number of ranking domains, which could be attributed to Google’s efforts to combat spam and improve search quality. This decline implies that larger websites now tend to rank for a greater number of keywords than before. Consequently, this trend suggests a potential advantage for sites with larger budgets and broader online presence.
The remainder of the study is a detailed, extended graphic that illustrates most of the covered trends.
You’ll learn more about:
- Traffic trends
- Industry trends
- Volatility trends
- Searcher behavior
- Number of ranking domains by country
- New SERP features
Check out the complete study to catch up on everything that happened over the last year. For now, let’s look to the future. One study predicts that the use of AI will rapidly increase over 2023.
Danny Goodwin presents polling results from BrightEdge, shedding light on the sentiments of SEOs and their agencies. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis, marketing budgets have generally remained stable. Furthermore, there is an expectation of budget growth, with a significant focus on investments in artificial intelligence (AI).
Key findings from the study include:
- 58% of respondents plan to utilize AI for content and SEO in 2023.
- Currently, only 10% of respondents are actively using AI.
- Approximately one-third of SEOs express their greatest concern about upcoming Search Engine Updates.
For a more detailed analysis and access to the full AI use study, refer to Danny’s write-up. With this information in hand, you are now prepared to explore the latest news. The first update includes an official announcement from Google, delivering crucial news for SEOs working in the “news” niche.
Google has released guidance specifically addressing news sites and platforms that deal with news content. The guidance explains how topic authority functions for these sites and how Google balances the need for accuracy with other considerations.
Within the guidance, Google clarifies how topical authority operates within the “news” niche, where various signals determine the ranking positions. These signals include:
- Relevance of a source to a particular topic or location: Google aims to provide local coverage for local topics, considering proximity to the topic as a factor in determining authority. For instance, if a site based in another country reports on local government, it may struggle to establish authority.
- Influence and original reporting: Google aims to give more visibility to influential or early reports, which led to the introduction of the Highly Cited label appearing alongside some results. Results earn this label if they are referenced by many other news pages.
- Source reputation: Google assesses the credibility of a source by considering factors such as its history, recommendations, and awards.
This concise report provides valuable insights for SEOs working within the news genre, helping them understand the key elements required for success. With this information, you are now prepared to explore Google’s next report on new AI functions.
Google Introduces Search Enhancements at I/O: Exploring the Generative Experience of SGE Through 12 AI Overviews
Matt G. Southern provides a summary of Google’s recent announcement, where they unveiled the first AI-powered search upgrades during the Google I/O event. These upgrades include two significant features: generative AI in search results and a new feature called “Perspectives.”
The generative AI feature is expected to enable search results to answer more intricate questions and improve various search-related purchasing decisions by providing connections to additional information. This advancement aims to enhance the depth and relevance of search results.
Overall, Google’s introduction of AI-powered search upgrades signifies a significant step forward in providing users with more comprehensive and informative search experiences.
In their announcement, Google acknowledged the need for safeguards to ensure that the newly introduced AI-powered search features do not provide potentially harmful or dangerous information in certain searches. They are implementing measures to prevent such instances.
One of the new features, called “Perspectives,” aims to offer a wider range of information for search results involving opinions. During demonstrations, Google showcased the feature presenting a mix of authors and content types to provide diverse perspectives on a given topic.
These AI enhancements in Google Search are only the beginning, as Google plans to introduce additional features in the future. Stay tuned for the latest updates on AI and other relevant topics from Google.