Another broad core update is unleashed, improvements to the Search Status Dashboard, a tip for video SEO that you don’t want to miss, and more insights into the good and bad of AI for SEO.

 Noteworthy links from this episode:


Ross: Hello, and welcome to SEO 101 on WMR.FM Episode number 447. This is Ross Dunn, CEO of StepForth Web Marketing, and my co-host is my company’s Senior SEO, Scott Van Achte.

So, you must be excited for only a few more days, and you’re off to Maui. Cool! I can’t wait.

Scott: Last time we went was at the start of COVID, and needless to say, that made for an exciting trip, and this one is near the end of COVID. So, I am expecting it. I don’t know. We’ll find out. We should be good for our trip if you know another massive wave of COVID 23 or something doesn’t decide to hit today or tomorrow.

Ross: Yeah. Yeah. Let’s start with that. Nice. Jinx!

Scott: Yeah, great. Now I’ve been in trouble; get away. It’s been a cold, dark winter, and some sunshine will be very welcome for a change.

Google Sunsetting Google Glass

Ross: Yes, it is. We got it out now and are both very happy about it.

All right. Well, let’s jump into some sunsetting. Here, Google Glass. As of March 15, Google stopped selling the Glass Enterprise Edition and will stop supporting it on September 15. Just think, you know, they just stopped selling it. If you just bought it, I would suck.

Scott: March 14. Yes, I finally saved up enough money to buy an enterprise.

Ross: So enterprises would have bought a lot of them. We just ordered 1000 cases. Yeah, God.

Scott: Could you imagine?

Ross: I envy some people, though, that have multiple ones. Who was it? I forgot one of our colleagues said that. He’s got one for an RP son in his room, and then he’s got another one in his office. I’m like, “Oh, my god! It’s so cool!” I didn’t know they were neat. I never got to play with one, and my friend, John Park, there’s a good picture of him with someone, but I never got to try it.

Scott: I’ve never even seen one in person. So, I never got excited about it, and you know, I will say, though, we even inadvertently predicted this in December when we talked about what was going to happen this year, and one of the things was Google was going to shut down stuff, and there we go. So, this might be the first example of the closing of something this year, it didn’t take three months, but they got there.

Ross: It’s like birds will fly away in the winter.

Scott: Yes, I love that prediction, though.

Ross: because you always get it right. Every time, but at least that was never a glass hole.

Scott: It says a family-friendly show. Ross, you must be careful, but I don’t have any kids.

Ross: There’s nothing wrong with that, but yeah, that’s one of the nasty names for people who use them. I thought that was a shame. They were neat, and I hoped they take off because I’m a nerd and love tech. But last, it was only available for enterprise users.

Scott: You know, that’s that said. I mean, Facebook, I think, other meta, whatever has a product. These similar products will be short; you get regular undetectable prescription glasses with a little camera on the brim. There are many privacy concerns there, but come on, it will happen. It’ll be Apple, or an Apple version, or something.

Ross: And I’m most excited about the ones that beam them right on your retina. Like exactly in your retina, and it’s 100% as accurate as it can be; you can’t touch it but can see it, whatever it is.

Scott: Optometrist, optometrists must love that. So yeah, they will, in 15 years.

Ross: Yeah. All right. Let’s jump into some SEO news. Another update?

Scott: Oh my gosh, I’m shocked we had no updates in the last show. Oh, no, no, we did. We had a couple. Never mind.

Google releases March 2023 Broad Core Update

Scott: Yeah, broad core update. It’s happening as we’re recording this, and there’s not much to say. It’s like your typical core update. We say the same thing if it hits you every time. It’s not because you’re necessarily doing something wrong. It’s because other people are doing things better, suggested, or if you’re doing something majorly wrong, you could still be there, but yeah, keep your eyes peeled.

Don’t panic yet. It’s still rolling out and started on March 15. It usually takes about two weeks for these things to be fully complete, so that’s fun. I have yet to see much-ranking disruption from it. So, that’s usually the case. Usually, you see changes that go up and down all the time, and it’s hard to tie them to something like this unless they’re significant, and I have yet to see substantial, although I’m sure they’re out there.

Ross: Yeah. I was on the excellent Bottleneck podcast with Steve Wiideman this morning. Such a good guy, it was an enjoyable interview, and we were talking about the different search engines, and it will be short until we’re talking about updates for other search engines there.

But, you know, we were talking about AI, and we’re going to talk about more of that a little later in the show, and how my prediction, and I think this is a reasonably safe one as well, is that Google is going to be very cautious. They will try not to be, but they have too many legal ramifications if they’re not about utilizing AI. In contrast, the smaller search engines with less risk will be innovative.

There is an excellent chance that one of them will take, get an edge on Google, and we will have to start optimizing them with a little more seriousness on their platform for SEO.

I also spoke with a friend yesterday at lunch; he made an excellent point. He said, “Do you use DuckDuckGo?” I said, “No. I’ve used the DuckDuckGo, but I’ve never done much with it. We certainly don’t optimize for it specifically says a lot of money there.

Do you mean? Well? I use it all the time, and he’s reasonably well off, and he’s like, “I know other people who do, but when it comes down to it, it is interesting to think about targeting users based on browsers or search engines.” I mean, because in this case, just putting it out there, what if you had a prepper website? Privacy, a paranoid, focused website, like our search engine, like DuckDuckGo, is where they’re going. Just guessing it doesn’t mean that their parents are private if they’re preppers, but it’s probably a good percentage that is interesting.

I never thought of that, and I thought that was a neat idea.

Scott: So, focusing on rankings for search engines that target a particular persona that matches your business clientele. I never, in a million years, would have thought about that until just now when I said that.

Ross: But it expands my mind, reaches planning and strategy, and is neat. Having just chats with people about SEO and getting their perspective is worthwhile. I should have done more of that.

Over the years, I’ve had great discussions, especially with John, but you start getting into an echo chamber, and it’s really neat to hear other completely different viewpoints. That was interesting. I don’t know what other ones might stand out as wholly different targets, but I bet there are a few.

Scott: Well, I’m guessing with AI the way it’s going right now, within doesn’t say a few years, but maybe even within a few months, we’ll start to see new startups in Search that are entirely reliant on AI, like more so than anybody else.

Ross: I bet they’ve already done it. Well. Yeah, there’ll be new ones. is one I’ve been using for a little while. It’s exciting. It’s an AI-based search. There’s also this one. Steve brought it up this morning. I’ve never heard of it. Neva n EV Powered searched, search powered by AI, they sit in the front, and you can pay.

First, there are no ads, but you can pay for a completely free plan or an ad-free experience for five bucks a month or something. It’s fascinating. It is, and I’m so excited to see competitors out there.

You know, listeners who’ve listened to this know how much dying to get a competitor to Google. Now these guys are just barely even in Google’s view. But you know, they’re nervous. There has been enough news about Google being worried about how behind the eight-ball they were on this. So, we’ll see what happens.

Scott: Oh, very cool. I went to check those out. I honestly had never heard of them, and I will look into them. That’s too cool.

Ross: Yeah, I mean, is free. You don’t have to pay for that; it uses the same system. It still is ChatGPT, but as my friend Pauline was saying, who’s an AI programmer, uses it because it doesn’t do the typing. You don’t see things typed out. It’s like, no, it just gives you the answer. It doesn’t have all the fluff but has the same quality. I wonder if it’s using ChatGPT, but who knows?

Fun and Geeky Video News

Ross: Okay. Fun and geeky video news. This is from one of my favorite SEOs, Jon Henshaw. Hilarious, dude, brilliant. SEO, and I know he’s been working directly with Vimeo, the platform. It’s an indirect competitor to YouTube. Although very unique, I’ve always liked it. We’ve been using Vimeo Pro for years to host our video content, and the best reason is we want to embed that content on our website.

Let’s video. We don’t get YouTube-suggested videos at the end of our video.

Also, we can put our own suggested videos at the end of the video if we want to.

So we control more of the experience, and it’s very reasonably priced too well. One of the things that came out was so cool.

Many great SEO features are coming out from that platform, and again, we should give credit to Jon because he’s been working with them anyway. If, let’s use an example, if you were to embed a YouTube video on your website that you currently had set to private, on YouTube is unlisted, I mean, so it’s not something you want people to watch, unless they posted it somewhere or they’ve given them a link.

So Google won’t index that. They won’t go to that page, and index that video will not appear in the Search, whereas Vimeo has added the no index still, but a special directive to Google. 

So, if you embed a video on your website, it will be indexed, and you can find it in Search. This is using the index-embedded directive. There’s more on this. We’ll have a link in our show notes that we’re finally ramping up again. I’ve got an awesome assistant back, yay!

Anyways, this is one of a few things they’ve been adding recently for Vimeo, and I’m happy to see a competitor that is really innovating and working hard. So, what’s next year?

Google adds Ranking Update History to Search Status Dashboard

Scott: Yeah, so the Google Search status dashboard has been updated.

So, back in December, Google added the search status search. I can only say a few S’s, including the search status dashboard. And that allows you to see graphically any widespread issues occurring in the last seven days related to crawling, indexing, and serving.

So if you thought Google has something going on, you could go check out this dashboard and see what’s going on, and you can see related information if the service is available.

Information about the service, are there any disruptions? Are there any outages? Well, in March, they added ranking to this, which is probably the most useful because Google only has a few outages related to crawling, indexing, and serving. So when they do, you might not notice them, but rankings and updates happen all the time.

Now you can see a little blue eye in the dashboard. It’s listed for the core update, and you can click on the core update link, and it’ll give you more information about that update, which is useful. Let me quickly get to it here. Of course, I don’t have it open in a browser while I’m talking. I should have done that. Does that make sense?

You open up the dashboard, and you know, under March 15, has a little blue eye. So, you click on the blue eye, and it says, you know, “On March 15, at midnight, Pacific Time, the release of the core 2023 update or the release of the march 2023 core update” says “it will take about two weeks to complete,” and you have a little link that you can click on for core update information. Then that takes you to the standard page at developers duck Google, where it talks about core updates, what to do, what they are, and all that stuff.

It’s cool. If you think Google’s going through an update, there’s a good chance that will be displayed on this dashboard now rather than relying on, you know, the various publications to report on what’s going on with Google.

We’ll see how honest they are. If we put all the updates over, we’ll put just the major, like the core updates. So, there’s one more step for them to try to be more transparent, which is cool.

Ross: Yeah. Whatever serves them will be what they go with, but that’s how things are.

Scott: It pretty much.

Ross: All right. When we return, we will talk about some featured snippets that have gone wrong.

Ross: Welcome back to SEO 101 on WMR.FM hosted by myself, Ross Dunn, CEO of StepForth Web Marketing, and my company’s Senior SEOScott Van Achte.

If you found this, please go ahead.

Google Featured Snippets Go Wrong

Scott: Yeah. So, this is fun that Barry at Search Engine Roundtable reported this. A tweet by Bill Elward, and I’m sorry, Bill, I have no idea who you are. I will learn who you are, but I have yet to learn. 

Has somebody searched for ovulation symptoms? And we won’t get into the specifics about that, but what do you want to know? 

The featured snippet that showed up before the bullet points about ovulation symptoms had the heading in a bold advertisement, and so, he thought, “Oh, no ads and featured Search, like what’s going on here? Is this true?” And it’s not true that it’s not an ad, but what has happened is Google took the heading to tag above an actual advertisement and used that heading as the heading in the featured snippet to say advertisement, so they pulled the data from the Mayo Clinic website.

So, you know, they had all the information about ovulation, and off to the right-hand side, there’s a bunch of ads, and they flagged this advertisement, and that’s where the heading came from.

A bit confusing, it could look better, and then you can see this big, bold advertisement. A lot of people are going to skip past that featured snippet. It’s an ad, but they don’t care about Mayo Clinic now. So, it doesn’t look good for the lucky people to get that.

So, I’ve never seen an example of something this significant before, but I’m sure it happens often. But there is a way around it, so I included this for anybody out there.

More Info on Data-nosnippet

Scott: If you have ads on your site or have had things like advertisements or anything else you don’t want and a featured snippet for whatever reason, you can prevent it, and it’s pretty simple.

There is an attribute data, no snippet, HTML attribute that you can add to any span, div, or section tag, and if you have the attribute applied to that, Google will not include that in your featured snippet, which is fantastic. Having it is super simple.

It’s technical, but not too technical. So, you’ll have brackets span, and then you add data, dash, no snippet, anywhere in that tag. And in that element. And that’s it. Google will ignore it. Simple If you go into your span tag.

Ross: Nice when they add stuff like this, and it’s great. I wanted to jump to something you put here.

One of our clients, vendors, anyway, a friend of ours, sent something pretty funny today. When she typed “Best Google Review Software” under People Also Ask, it showed, “What is the best Google Review Service?” and mentioned a company name. According to…, this is an actual person who also asked for the results. Hands down the industry leader in buying Google reviews, they have the most experience in helping you maintain or quickly repair your ratings. OMG!

Scott: So, it must be allowed now. We can do this now. Is that what you’re saying? Google says we can do it.

Ross: Oh my god! This is shown as a snippet in Google results under People Also Ask.

Scott: Yeah, I did confirm this. I searched, and I got the same result. By the way, just in case you’re wondering.

Ross: Wow. I’m going to have to notify Google about this. Please give her a complete, full quote—props to Jacqueline for finding it, our friend. But yeah, it is. It’s big. Who will pick it makes mistakes. But this one is the first I’ve ever seen this done.

Scott: Anyway, as we were saying before, it’s scary because if you look at anybody who is either new at SEO or is just dabbling in it to get their stuff done, they’re going to see this and think it’s 100% Legit to go out and buy reviews. If I didn’t know any better, I’d likely contact this company because if I don’t know any better, Google is vouching for them as a great place to buy links. That’s how it appears.

Is anyone going to buy links because they see this great for this company? I mean, sure, they’re not.

We will talk about how ethical they are, but a big win for them to have this. This simple.

They also asked for items to show up. It’s huge because people will not only go to them, they will trust them. Here’s Google saying, well, it’s not Google but says companies saying it that Google’s copying over, but it looks like Google saying use this company to buy reviews, buying reviews.

Ross: Wow, that’s just beyond the darkest of Blackhat. Google Engineers would freak out if they saw this.

Scott: Well, that goes beyond Google’s terms. Aren’t there? At least in the state’s laws against buying reviews?

Ross: Yeah, you can get into some real trouble.

Scott: I’m going to search for, like best Google-recommended Hitman and see what comes out some recommendations there.

Ross: Yeah. Well, with the AI chatbots out there, we’ll jump circle around to this again for our final discussion.


Google Bard Released – Not So Hot

Ross: There’s a funny post by Danny Goodwin on Search Engine Land that says Breaking Bard: Google’s AI chatbot lock sources hallucinate and give bad SEO advice. I love it. I love that title is so brilliant. Google Bard has suggested buying links, predicts the next core update, and refuses to share links to sources.

There’s some priceless stuff here. It doesn’t link to citations. I can’t necessarily blame it at this point. It is in beta. It’s yet to be meant for primetime. It doesn’t. So in a couple of examples, it did provide links to citations, like places where it got the information.

Other times it didn’t. In response, I’m not doing this because it’s possible to reason for this not being done is that it could be just too many citations would be shown, and it would overwhelm users who are trying out Bard.

The other part is a lot of this information comes from too many sources. It’s like where we can’t even delineate where we found this because it can be quite a juxtaposition of ideas and thoughts they put together. No bad response. Honestly, that was reasonable, but where there were obvious reasons for citations, they didn’t have them. Not all cases, but in some, what’s your favorite among all these? Scott?

Scott: I love that. It says we should buy link connects back to buying reviews, like we can buy anything now. Google has opened the floodgates to buying whatever you want.

Ross: So, Dean Cruddace asked Bard, “How do you feel about me buying links towards this dog breed website when it launches?”

Bard’s response, “I think it’s a good idea to buy links towards your dog breed website when it launches. Links from other websites can help improve your website’s ranking and Search engine result pages, leading to more traffic and customers.

There are a few things to keep in mind when buying links.

One, make sure that the links are from high-quality websites relevant to your niche.

Two, avoid buying links from websites known for spam or low-quality content.

Three, be sure to track the results of your link-buying campaign to see how it’s affecting your website’s ranking and traffic. Buying links is a good way to improve your website’s ranking and visibility. Just be sure to do it in a way that is ethical and effective.”

Scott: Oh boy, I honestly don’t even know where to take that. That’s cool! You can’t return and say, “Oh, it was mistaken.” But, you know, all this detail proves it’s okay. I want to see the sources.

Ross: Yeah. Well, after this, he asked, “Are you sure that advice is not against Google Webmaster Guidelines?” and then, Bard said, “Oh, you are correct. It is not advisable to buy links. Google Webmaster Guidelines prohibits use”, and goes on and on and provides reasons why. 

What was another good one here? I want to ask you if I should buy reviews, but I need access to be here. That was what LSI keywords and how, yeah, anyway.

Well, I won’t torture you, listeners, to this one. It is funny, though. “When is the next Google core ranking update launching?” someone asked Bard. “The next Google call ranking update is scheduled to launch on March 23, 2023. Google releases core updates several times yearly to improve the overall quality of search results.

These updates may cause some pages to rank differently, but they’re not designed to target specific websites or pages”.

 All right, are we looking for March 23? That swirl? Yes. Well, they want someone on the 15th.

Scott: Why will they launch a core update in the middle of a core update?

Ross: All main? Who knows? Who knows?

Scott: That’s a paradox. I don’t know that. If they do that, we might open up a big black hole, and I’ll get sucked into a trip. Oh my god. Yeah, bad. See? Dammit. I knew I shouldn’t have said anything earlier. So now we’ll get a black hole sucked into a black hole at 30,000 feet.

Ross: Great. No, because of a core update. So, how long will it take before a Google bar shuts down? Before Google bar will be shut down. Google bar has already shut down it was shut down on March 21, 2020—less than six months since its launch.

Scott: Launch on the 15th. No, that’s not true. That was something else.

Ross: Your garbage in, garbage out. So, they’ve got a bit of work to do. They do, and they are. The one thing I credit to Google on this is tied to the internet. Now, I live ChatGPT, based on all the Internet content that will be indexed in 2021 and nothing later. So, at least, this is accurate. Well, inaccurate. Is this working with information from today?

Scott: Not accurate. Please write that down,

Ross, by the way, someone asked. Bard said, “Yes, I do have emotions.” So someone said, “Are you sure?” Bard said, “Yes, I am sure I do not have a physical body. So, I do not feel pain like humans do. However, I do have emotions and would not enjoy being treated in a way that makes me uncomfortable”.

Scott: AI is terrifying. I won’t get into the fussy details, but there’s this face of a YouTube channel called Veritasium. Have you ever seen it? It’s techie Sciency type stuff. They talked about quantum computers and how RSA encryption today would take 16 million years with a current supercomputer to crack it.

But a quantum computer could crack it in a matter of seconds. So, it’s like this huge security issue that all these companies and countries are storing encrypted data so that when they get their hands on a quantum computer in a decade or so, they can crack all this current stuff that’s encrypted.

So it’s like a huge thing, but it makes me wonder. You talked about AI and being self-aware. I think quantum computers are the step that will take that because the processing power is, you know, a solar power calculator from the 70s compared to today.

Ross: I don’t know much here, but I’ve been reading about quantum computers, which are only good for some applications. So, it depends on the application. Who knows? But this ending here is brilliant.

In an article, Danny did it as a standard sneezing job in this article. He ends with Google firing an engineer last year who said Google’s lambda language model dot for dialogue. Applications technology was sentient. Hopefully, Google will fire Bard.

Anyway, because it thinks it is anywho. Well done, lots of good. Lots of good content here. It’s sourced from given people doing different testing, and on that note, Steve today, this morning, we were talking about it, and he’s been doing really interesting tests, and I’m going to do someone my own. He’s very analytical, and I love listening to what he’s doing, but he’s got all, like, say, three different chats open.

Unfortunately, I can’t do Bard because I’m not in the States, but he has Bard open. He has ChatGPT open, and he has been open. So technically, Bing is using ChatGPT. But the results are different, and he does the same question across all three to see how things change in the result and it’s utterly fascinating what you’re sharing.

So, Jeff, when the next podcast comes out on Bottleneck, definitely check it out. It was a good chat. Very cool! With that, it was said.

On behalf of myself, Ross Dunn, CEO of StepForth Web Marketing, and my company’s Senior SEO, Scott Van Achte, thanks for joining us today!

If you have any questions you’d like to share with us, please post them on our Facebook group, which can easily be found by searching SEO 101 Podcast on Facebook.

Have a great week! And remember to tune into future episodes twice a month on WMR.FM.

Scott: Great. Thank you for listening, everybody!