Here are the search-related news and developments we think mattered most for enterprise SEO this past week, with our point-of-view on why they matter and what action to take (if any). Look for the POV tag after a news item.

Google Releases March 2023 Core Update

On 15 March 2023 Google announced the release of its first core algorithm update since September 2022. Core updates are major updates to Google's ranking algorithms released several times each year. They are meant to bring search results more in line with Google's goals for quality results for its users.

POV: Google says there is nothing in particular you can do in response to a core update. Core updates are not penalties and do not target individual sites, but some sites will see increases or decreases in ranking and traffic if rankings in their important keywords are affected.

It is also often the case that a short while after a core update, Google will make some midcourse corrections that may reverse unintended results, so initial fluctuations don't always last.

Nevertheless, if you see a significant reduction in traffic following a core update, follow this triage procedure to zero in on what was affected.

OpenAI Releases GPT4

I hesitate to post this here as by now you've certainly heard that OpenAI has released the much-anticipated new iteration of their generative-AI engine, but this has become The Topic That Must Not Be Ignored.

OpenAI says this new version improves "reliability, creativity, and handling of nuanced instructions." GPT4 is already incorporated into Bing and ChatGPT (the latter with limited usage, for now).

POV: Generative AI is now here to stay, and love it or fear it, we as SEOs need to learn how to use it responsibly while taking advantage of the promises of scale it offers. Stay tuned for some very exciting announcements from seoClarity coming soon!

Google to Include Generative AI in Workspace Features

On the same day as the release of GPT4, Google announced it will soon bring generative AI features to its workspace apps, including Gmail, Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

The technology will be used to do things like create on-the-fly replies, sum up conversations, turn email threads into briefs and presentations, and much more.

Here's Google's video overview of how the new features can be used:

Updated Google Desktop Listing Features

Google announced two changes to the appearance of desktop listings, bringing them more in conformity with mobile listings:

  • Display of favicons and site names
  • Clearer ad labels
Google advised site owners to use structured data to ensure a correct display of their site names.

AI Analysis of First-Party Data

Google published a new Think With Google article discussing the value of doing complex, AI-powered analysis of first-party data, the data a site collects directly. Suggestions are for audience analysis and using privacy-safe user tagging for better attribution, then implementing the insights in all channels and taking a full-funnel approach.

POV: Even though these suggestions are targeted at agencies, they are just as useful for sights themselves to implement.

Bing in the Edge Sidebar

Microsoft announced the ability to 'chat, create and compose" with Bing's ChatGPT capabilities in a sidebar in the Edge browser.

GSC Bulk Data Export in seoClarity!

Last week I told you that Google now allows you to export all your Google Search Console Data with no row limitations. We're excited to announce that you can now bring all of that data directly into seoClarity Search Analytics!

Learn how in our Knowledge Base article "How to Set Up and Integrate Google Search Console Bulk Data Export via BigQuery."

Google Will Pull the Switch on GA4: Are You Ready?

The Google-mandated switch from Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is fast-approaching with a deadline of July 1, 2023.

At that time, standard UA properties will stop processing data. Fortunately, enterprise users have a bit more time to transition as Universal Analytics 360 won’t sunset until July 2024.

The good news is we've prepared a complete guide to make that transition as smooth as possible.

The better news is seoClarity clients can integrate GA4 directly into seoClarity Site Analytics, seamlessly mapping the new GA4 metrics to your familiar UA metrics and with no loss in historical data continuity.

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!