SEO and AI news roundup: 5 can't-miss developments

SEO news roundup: Stay up on the latest developments

By Jenna Warner

February 15, 2024
5 can't-miss happenings in the world of AI and search engine optimization

Technology is moving faster than search engine optimization specialists can keep up. To help you — and us — we’ve compiled five of the most important recent developments in the land of SEO, and what they could mean for your content efforts

1. Google updates its SEO starter guide

We preach the power of internal and contextual linking here at Imprint, and we’re updating our standard practices based on one of the changes to Google’s SEO starter guide. When linking to a related page on your site, Google now wants you to hyperlink copy that explicitly describes what the user will find at that link — not just hyperlink a keyword.

For example, in the past you might link to your contact page by hyperlinking text that says: “Contact us here to learn more.” Instead, Google now prefers the hyperlinked text to read something like: “Complete the submission form on our contact page, and we’ll contact you to schedule a short exploratory call.”

The takeaway: Make sure your hyperlinked text is comprehensive, favor brevity over verbosity, and use similar color palettes across your site.

Source: Search Engine Journal

2. AI and search inseparable on Alphabet’s quarterly earnings call

As we know, Google has moved away from the traditional “10 blue links” and is now accelerating toward what it’s calling Google Search Experience (GSE). By incorporating generative AI models, such as Gemini, GSE will be a more conversational experience. On their latest quarterly earnings call, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said Gemini helped reduce the latency of search results by 40%, which results in a better user experience.

Pichai said Google is “surfacing more links with SGE and linking to a wider range of sources,” but those aren’t blue links. Google has already acknowledged that SGE will have fewer traditional links, but the information on the results page will be sourced from a wider range of sites.

The takeaway: SEO continues to be more and more about citability, ownability, and unique points of view.

Source: Search Engine Journal

3. ‘Circle to Search’ the latest visual search enhancement

Google’s recent AI updates have transformed search by introducing “Circle to Search” on Android. “Circle to Search’” lets users interact with any onscreen content by drawing a circle with their finger, then selecting the search option. The device then uses the circled image as a search input.

Imagine you’re watching a music video from your favorite artist. What if you could draw a circle around their shoes, then find yourself at the purveyor’s website where you could buy them in your size?

This “multisearch” combines images and text, using Google Lens to create a richer, more interactive search experience. This shift towards visual search requires content to be visually optimized for AI-driven queries.

The takeaway: Content marketers can soon start taking advantage of visual optimization beyond standard alt-text to make the most of AI-powered visual search.

Source: Google

4. Bezos boosts Perplexity as Google challenger

Perplexity, an emerging AI-driven search engine, has recently gained a significant boost with a major investment from Jeff Bezos. This backing positions Perplexity as a formidable Google competitor, offering a clean, fast, and ad-free search experience. With its user-centric, privacy-respecting approach and a user base of around 10 million monthly users, Perplexity is poised to challenge Google’s dominance in the search engine market.

The takeaway: Google remains the clear leader in search, but challengers like Perplexity are gaining traction.

Source: BGR

5. Bing “Deep Search” rolls out to more users

Microsoft introduced “Deep Search” in December, and reports on social media indicate the feature is being released to more and more Bing users.

Deep Search used OpenAI’s GPT-4 large language AI model to offer a deeper analysis of a query. Microsoft made it a point to say that Deep Search does not (yet) replace the existing Bing web search, but that it enhances the search experience by helping find “even more relevant and comprehensive answers to the most complex search queries.”

The takeaway: For you Bing users out there, keep an eye out for the Deep Search button just to the right of the search bar. If you see it, try it out and let us know about your experience!

Source: Search Engine Land

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