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.

View Hourly Sessions in GA4 During Core Updates

When Google announces a core update rollout (as they did recently), you might want to keep an hour-by-hour eye on your site's performance to catch any consequences as quickly as possible. This was relatively easy to do in Google Universal Analytics (GA3) but not intuitive in GA4.

Glenn Gabe published a guide to setting up an hourly view in GA4 that allows you to compare hourly performance the day before (as recent as GA4 will allow) to the same hours on a previous day.

POV: See our guide to making the transition to GA4, including how to integrate GA4 with our Site Analytics to preserve your reports and ability to do historical comparisons!

GA4 Increases Limits on Properties

Google has increased the limits for properties in GA4 to 2000 (from 100) and will entertain requests to go beyond the 400 limit for sub-properties

Bard Is Out...and SEOs Are Not Amused

Google announced the arrival of its answer to the challenge of ChatGPT (and its integration into Bing Search. Bard is not (yet) incorporated into Google Search, and Google cautions that it is "not a search engine." 

Nevertheless, SEOs with early access immediately started running comparisons to "New Bing," and according to Search Engine Land columnist Barry Schwartz, one of the first things they noticed was Bard including far fewer source citations than Bing's AI chat does. 

For example, here's the response I got to a query using Bing Chat:

Instagram Post Vertical 1080x1350 px (1)Notice the multiple source citations at the end (including our own article!). 

Now here's how Google Bard answered the same question:

BardNo citations provided, so zero opportunity for this response to send traffic to any sites it may have used to glean the information.

Apparently in response, Google updated the Bard FAQ to explain that Bard will typically show citations only when quoting at length directly from a site, claiming that otherwise Bard "generates original content" with no need for any citations.

POV: This anxiety among some SEOs may be premature. Google seems to be approaching any incorporation of generative AI into its search product slowly and with caution. We don't know what that will look like yet, but some who have seen early mockups say the include citations in a carousel of sites.

GSC Bulk Data Export with Multiple Properties

Recently we told you about the new Bulk Data Exports feature that allows you to download all your Google Search Console data via an API using Google Cloud and BigQuery. See our GSC Bulk Data Exports setup guide.

Google just announced that now you can export from multiple GSC properties into one Cloud project. See the tweet below for details.

Screenshot 3-27-2023 at 10.37 AM

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!