Here's the search-related news and developments we think mattered most this past week, along with our point-of-view on why the news matters and what (if anything) actions you should take. Look for the POV tag after a news item.

Here's what mattered in search this past week:

How to Export GSC Data in Bulk

Last week we covered Google's announcement of the ability to download all of your Google Search Console data via an API. We've published a handy guide to walk you through the semi-complex task of setting that extract up in Google Cloud Services.

Google Head: AI All The Things

Even though Google has been seen as the world leader in AI research for years, the frenzy over the release of ChatGPT-3 (and then Bing's announcement that they are incorporating it into their search engine) seemed to throw the search giant into a near panic.

According to Bloomberg, Google parent company Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai has issued an order that generative AI be pushed into as many Google products as possible as soon as possible.

POV: As with many other machine learning initiatives at Google (e.g., RankBrain), there is nothing particular you can do to optimize for the increased incorporation of AI-chat-based responses in search engines. 

However, if Bing's early examples of incorporating ChatGPT responses in its search engine are any indication of where Google might go, it emphasizes more than ever the importance of having the best, most complete coverage of your topics. seoClarity tools like Topic Explorer and Content Fusion use AI technology to help you  achieve that goal.

NoFollowing Links Doesn't Hoard Link Equity

Google's John Mueller once again is trying to kill the persistent myth of "PageRank sculpting," the notion that nofollowing some of the links on your site forces more link equity/authority into the links you want to count most.

POV: Google has become much  more sophisticated on how it handles and values links on your site. Don't waste any more time on this long-discredited SEO trick. Here's some confirmation from veteran SEO Eric Enge:


Update LastMod Tag in XML Sitemap If Something Is New

Google's John Mueller said you should update the LastMod tag date only if you are "providing something new for search engines that you'd like reflected in search." See the linked post by Barry Schwartz for a few important technical details.

New Data Sets SERP Feature

Google has introduced a new SERP feature highlighting vetted data sets when users search for data on a topic.

image1-3POV: To have your data sets included in this feature, Google recommends the following:

Dataset Search primarily indexes dataset pages on the Web that contain structured data. The metadata allows Web page authors to describe the semantics of the page: the entities on the pages and their properties. For dataset pages, metadata describes key elements of the datasets, such as their description, license, temporal and spatial coverage, and available download formats. In addition to aggregating this metadata and providing easy access to it, Dataset Search normalizes and reconciles the metadata that comes directly from the Web pages.

If you are a dataset author or provider and want others to find your datasets in Search, make sure that you publish your dataset in a way that makes it discoverable and specifies how others can reuse the data. Specifically, ensure that the Web page that describes the dataset has machine-readable metadata. The easiest way to ensure this is to publish your dataset in an established dataset repository. Some repositories cater to specific research communities, while others are "generalists" (,,,, etc.). These repositories automatically include metadata in dataset pages for every dataset, which makes it easy for search engines to discover and include them in specialized result sections, as in the figure above.

GPT-4 Releasing Next Week

Microsoft announced this week that the new iteration of the AI-engine that powers ChatGPT, GPT-4, will go live next week.

GPT-4 will be "multi-modal," meaning it will be able to work with more than just text (i.e., images, videos, etc.), with the ability to "translate" between modes (for example, creating a video from a set of text).

That's a wrap!

Watch next Friday for another edition of Search This Week and stay up to date on the search news that matters for enterprise SEO!