Tag Archives of: google

Because most new AI updates and tools are launched mainly outside Europe, we in the Netherlands can quietly watch how this is received by users. So too with the AI Overviews introduced by Google two weeks ago. This new part of Google Search shows AI-generated summaries above search results, but the results still appear to be unreliable. This has led to a lot of criticism.

For example, there is an example where AI Overviews indicates that you can add some glue to the sauce if the cheese is not staying properly on your pizza. And so there are countless other examples. Search Engine Roundtable even keeps a record of embarrassing outcomes.   

Screenshot 2024-05-30 at 16.44.46

Influence of Criticism on Google's Reputation

This criticism may affect Google's reputation for reliable search results. In addition, it could lead to a decrease in the number of people clicking through to Web sites.

Possible Disabling of AI Overviews

The concerns are so serious that several experts suggest that Google may temporarily disable the feature. This also happened previously with Gemini's images, when it was found that unwanted images were being generated. These situations seem to have become increasingly common recently due to the challenges and risks of developing and implementing AI technologies (too) quickly. During a fascinating interview with Google's CEO Sundar Pichai by Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief of technology news website The Verge, initial reactions to AI Overviews and other AI developments were discussed.

Pichai parries most of the tough questions by emphasizing that new technologies always cause short-term disruption, but that Google is focused on creating value for users. He claims that users find these new AI features useful and are even more likely to click on links in AI previews. He also indicates that Google is working to improve the accuracy and reliability of AI results, but acknowledges that challenges remain.

Challenges of AI

Examples include the problem of "hallucination" where AI generates incorrect information. Patel also challenged Pichai with his "Google Zero" issue, asking what happens when Google's traffic to websites goes to zero. If AI chatbots and AI-generated search results summarize everything a user needs, why would people still visit a Web site? And then what is the point for businesses to publish content on their Web sites? Pichai acknowledges the concerns of businesses and content creators about AI systems using their work without returning sufficient value. He indicates that Google is trying to strike a balance between innovation and protecting the interests of content creators.

In a recent data breach at Google, thousands of APIs used in ranking Web sites have become public. Interestingly, much of the information from this document directly contradicts what Google has publicly communicated. Let's look at what the key findings are from the leaked documents and how they may be relevant to your business if you are in the business of marketing and want more (organic) traffic to your website.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

One of the biggest secrets within marketing is how search engines like Google use their algorithm to rank websites in search results. When you do optimizations for this, it is called search engine optimization, or SEO. 

Through much experimentation and testing over time, we have gotten a good idea of what works, but it always remained based on assumptions. Virtually no one (even most employees within Google) knew what the algorithm was looking at. Until now.

Google turns out not to be entirely honest

In the past, Google has made many statements about which factors are important for optimizations. However, many marketers were skeptical of these statements, and rightly so, it now appears. The leaked documents show that Google has not always been honest. Optimizations that they claimed would not work actually turn out to be important ranking factors.

What does the document say?

The leaked document is highly technical, discussing more than 200 factors that can affect Web site rankings. These range from the quality of content, to technical optimizations and user experience. It further reveals that Google collects data from users (including through Chrome and navigation within Google), to use as input. 

Want to read some of the documents yourself? Then check out the following pages: Api reference, data & click signals.

How did the data become public?

The data comes from the developer platform GitHub. Google notes the APIs they use here. APIs are a piece of code that allow applications to exchange information with each other. Usually, information that Google does not want made public is put private. However, sometimes employees forget to do this. When that happens, this data can be copied and distributed.

No response from Google

We initially learned from several sources that Google had not released an official statement or response about the leak, including not confirming whether the information was real or fake news. This lack of communication left much room for speculation about the authenticity of the leaked data.

However, Google has since put out a statement. Google warns against making incorrect assumptions based on information that has been taken out of context, is out of date or incomplete. Google does not want to comment on the specific elements from the leaked documents to avoid manipulation of their algorithm. They stress that it would be incorrect to assume the data is complete, relevant or current.

This emphasizes the importance of building a strong brand. The focus should remain on building a good Web site that provides a fine user experience and good content.

What can we learn from the Google data breach?

User behavior 

The leaked information emphasizes the importance of how a user behaves on your Web site. Key elements are:

  • How long a visitor stays on the page.
  • Whether the visitor clicks back and clicks on another search result.
  • Whether the visitor is "satisfied." 

This indicates that the quality of your content and the user experience on your Web site are crucial. If a visitor goes to look around but is not actually of much use to your information and quickly clicks away, this has a negative impact. 

On-page SEO / Content

  • It is important to Google that authors who publish on your website are experts on the topics they write about. This principle, known as EEAT (Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness & Trustworthiness), was previously known in the marketing industry through Google algorithm updates.
  • Having bad content on parts of your site can impact your entire website.
  • Google looks at the "freshness" of content. This means that you want to update content when it is no longer relevant or outdated. For this, Google looks at the content on the page, the URL and the edit date. 
  • Another important factor they Google looks at is "titlematchScore," this indicates that page titles are still relevant. Here, it is important that this page title matches a user's search intent. 

We recommend ensuring that your website provides a good user experience according to best practices, such as fast load times, mobile-friendliness and clear navigation, and that you publish content that matches the user's search intent. This will lead to better quality traffic, which will ultimately improve your search rankings in Google. 

Backlinks

Backlinks continue to play an important role in Google's ranking process. Despite the view that naturally obtaining links to your website or link building would be redundant, the paper shows that diversity of links with high authority is still very important. Anchor text of links (the clickable text in a link) also plays a role here. Both internal anchor text (links to other pages within your own site) and external anchor text (links from other domains to your website) are important.

Google also further tracks domain registration data (think registrar, domain purchase date and more). 

The importance of a strong brand

One of the biggest insights from Google's data breach is the importance of a strong brand. Want to increase your organic search results and traffic? Then focus on building a popular brand that people search for, both in Google and beyond. 

An important channel beyond Google for this is social media. Recent updates have made it easier for smaller businesses and brands to get more visibility, too. We wrote an article about it where you can find more information.

Whitelist

This point is related to having a strong brand. Indeed, what we see is that during elections and the COVID period, among others, Google gave certain websites priority in search results. This means that well-known and trusted websites such as major news organizations and official health authorities were given higher visibility. 

Some sites are excluded from certain algorithm updates because they are on a whitelist, so they did not experience a drop in traffic when normally they might have. This highlights the importance of building a strong brand identity and authority in your niche.

Conclusion

The leaked document offers valuable insights into how Google's algorithm analyzes websites and incorporates them into its index. However, there is no way to prove whether every API feature leaked is currently being used as a ranking factor within Google. 

But at least for businesses, this means that it is important to have a good SEO strategy that focuses on high-quality content, a good user experience and building a strong domain authority. In addition, building a strong brand that is visible on many relevant online channels is essential to increase organic traffic.

Would you like help with your content or SEO strategy? Then contact us with no obligation. We would be happy to help you further.

It is no coincidence that OpenAI announced major updates last Monday. Indeed, a day later, the annual Google I/O 2024 event took place, presenting the latest developments and innovations to developers and tech enthusiasts.

Whereas OpenAI has bundled all the capabilities within ChatGPT, Google announced numerous AI updates for different tools. This can make it a bit confusing which tools you all need for different applications. But it is becoming increasingly clear that AI functionalities are being integrated into all Google tools such as Gmail, Chrome, Maps, Android and Search.

An important update that could potentially have a major impact on Web site search behavior and search traffic in the near term is the new AI Overviews

AI Overviews are generative AI summaries that appear at the top of search results pages instead of the usual blue links and ads. In the video below, you can see how Google's search engine is really going to look very different after 25 years.

Preparing for rollout of AI Overviews

AI Overviews, like many other AI updates, is being rolled out in the U.S. this week. It will be available worldwide by the end of the year. 

There are still many uncertainties and doubts about the effects of AI Overviews on Google search traffic, ads and other marketing aspects. We will keep a close eye on these developments and continue to keep you informed.

Here's what you can already do to make your content more future-proof:

  1. Prepare - No one yet knows exactly what the impact of AI Overviews will be. Do start adjusting your SEO strategy ahead of time by focusing more on keywords that people use when they get closer to making a purchase. Also, be sure to update your content so that it appears in AI Overviews (similar to how you optimize your content for "featured search results").
  2. Ensure high relevance and engagement - Make sure your content offers your readers the most relevant information, practical tips and answers to their (buying) questions. This can help your pages appear higher in AI Overviews.
  3. Leverage your own experience - You have something that AI does not: your own human experience, customer stories and specific expertise in your field. Incorporate these unique insights into your content as much as possible.

Check out all the announced Google updates here.


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Last week, an interesting interview was published by Bloomberg Originals. In it, Emily Chang talks with Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, about the future of AI and the challenges and opportunities it presents. You also get a nice insight into the Plex, Google's headquarters (village).

Interesting points from the conversation

  1. Change in Search: Pichai describes how Google is adapting to changing technology. AI is having a big impact, and while Google has not always been first with new technologies such as search engines or browsers, it has always been a leader in innovation.
  2. Integrating AI: Google is integrating AI into all aspects of the company, which is crucial to staying relevant in a rapidly changing tech world. 
  3. Future vision and leadership: Pichai shares his long-term vision for Google and AI, emphasizing that continuous innovation and adaptation to changing technologies are essential. "Technology changes quickly, and we must innovate to stay ahead." He also talks about the importance of taking responsibility for mistakes and learning from challenges. 
  4. Impact of AI on everyday life: He reflects on how technology, such as AI, has caused and will continue to cause profound changes in everyday life, and highlights AI's potential to solve problems and improve quality of life.

    "AI has been around for decades, but it seems like everything is happening everywhere, all at once," he said.

    "The challenge for everyone and the opportunity is, how do you have a notion of what's objective and real in a world where there's gonna be a lot of synthetic content?"

Take a leap forward in your marketing AI transformation every week

Every Friday, we bring you the latest insights, news and real-world examples on the impact of AI in the marketing world. Whether you want to improve your marketing efficiency, increase customer engagement, sharpen your marketing strategy or digitally transform your business, "Marketing AI Friday" is your weekly guide.

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Recent research from BrightEdge shows that Google's Search Generative Experience (SGE) is going to fundamentally change the way we search, a "Searchquake" in the digital world! It is critical that companies prepare for the impact SGE will have on brand visibility and customer behavior.

SGE allows you to perform searches more efficiently by instantly providing comprehensive answers, reducing the need for multiple searches and clicking through to websites. In this regard, AI acts as a bridge between your content and the Google user.

For example, we are going to see that AI can simulate a complete shopping experience, guiding visitors step by step without requiring them to leave the search engine.

The rise of zero-click experiences has far-reaching implications for search behavior and Google ads.

The study shows that 84% of Google searches will be affected by SGE and that the healthcare, e-commerce and B2B technology sectors will be most affected. 

SGE makes the visibility of Web sites in search results more complex, which can lead to a decrease in the number of visitors to your Web site through search engines. However, the visitors you still attract may be more valuable and engaged.

The shift to SGE is not just Google's next algorithmic change. It is the most significant search engine change ever and represents a profound change that will affect every industry, every business and every marketer.

It is essential that you adjust your SEO strategy and website experience accordingly. To prepare for SGE, here are some action items:

  1. Strengthen E-E-A-T (Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness):
    • Expertise: Show that the content on your website was created by people with in-depth knowledge of the topic. For example, share extensive biographies of authors and relevant qualifications. 
    • Experience: Share evidence of practical and relevant experience, such as case studies or customer stories.
    • Authoritativeness: Gain authority through recognition from leading websites and achieving certain certifications or standards.
    • Trustworthiness: Secure your website, be transparent in communication and collect positive reviews.
  2. Optimize for conversational search and long-tail keywords:
    • Use natural colloquialisms in your content.
    • Anticipate literal questions from your audience and integrate them into your content.
    • Write in the second person to create a personal dialogue.
    • Enrich your content with storytelling and interactive elements such as chatbots.
    • Be clear and concise in your message.
  3. Integrate multimedia content:
    • Use videos, podcasts and infographics to make answers more lively.
  4. Analyze search intent:
    • Track how search intentions change and adjust your content strategy accordingly.
  5. Build your online reputation:
    • Collect customer reviews and mentions in leading publications.
  6. Provide contextual relevance:
    • Create in-depth and informative content that not only answers questions, but also understands the broader context.
  7. Stay flexible:
    • Be prepared to adapt your strategies to the rapidly evolving digital marketing world.

By applying these recommendations, you will ensure that your SEO strategy and website experience are ready for the future of search with SGE, and provide a more valuable experience to your visitors.

Take a leap forward in your marketing AI transformation every week

Every Friday, we bring you the latest insights, news and real-world examples on the impact of AI in the marketing world. Whether you want to improve your marketing efficiency, increase customer engagement, sharpen your marketing strategy or digitally transform your business, "Marketing AI Friday" is your weekly guide.

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Google yesterday launched their most advanced Ultra language model under the name Gemini Advanced. In addition, they changed the name Bard to Gemini.

What is Gemini Advanced and what are the initial experiences?

Gemini Advanced

Gemini Advanced provides access to Google's most powerful AI model: Ultra 1.0. With this, it offers many more capabilities on highly complex tasks including:

  • Programming
  • Logical reasoning
  • Following nuanced instructions
  • Creative collaboration

In addition, Gemini Advanced offers the ability to upload files, documents, data and more for deeper analysis. And it integpricing with Google apps such as Gmail, Maps and YouTube. You can communicate with Gemini via text, your voice or images.

Google indicates that Gemini Advanced will continue to expand in the coming months with new and exclusive features, such as increased context length, expanded multimodal capabilities, and even better programming features.

A Gemini app has also been launched, however it is not yet available in the Netherlands. The browser version is available in the Netherlands though, which you can use to test Gemini Advanced right now. However, it seems that we cannot use the optimized version at this time. Google also indicates that Ultra 1.0 is only available and optimized for English, but can answer in the other languages such as Dutch.

My initial test results showed that Gemini Advanced is not currently equivalent to ChatGPT4.

The first test was a question about current events. 

Here Gemini failed completely, while ChatGPT-4 gave an accurate answer. 

During testing, I was sitting on the couch and took a picture of 2 tennis balls lying next to me and put there by our dog. To use this to test recognizing and giving context to an image. See below the response of Gemini Advanced versus GPT4.

n this example, a clear difference can also be seen between Gemini Advanced and ChatGPT-4, where the latter (except for text recognition), recognizes the context of the image very well and Gemini has very limited success in this. 🤨

A follow-up question to test the contextual power of both tools was "how do you think those balls got on the bench?

Again, ChatGPT-4 gives a very correct answer, where Gemini's answer is very general. 

A subsequent test with an image gave similar results and clearly shows the current quality difference between Gemini Advanced and ChatGPT-4.

Fortunately, Gemini itself also states "I'm still in the midst of development, so it's possible I haven't seen everything shown in the image." but it's clear that Gemini still has quite a few strokes to make, which I'm sure will happen in the near future. 

In any case, it is definitely worthwhile to go test Gemini and experiment what it can already do and repeat this regularly. You can test Gemini Advanced for free for 2 months now, after that the cost is Euro 21.99 per month per user. 


Take a leap forward in your marketing AI transformation every week

Every Friday, we bring you the latest insights, news and real-world examples on the impact of AI in the marketing world. Whether you want to improve your marketing efficiency, increase customer engagement, sharpen your marketing strategy or digitally transform your business, "Marketing AI Friday" is your weekly guide.

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Last year, OpenAI, with their groundbreaking ChatGPT, shook up the world of AI. Meanwhile, Google, known as one of the pioneers in AI technology, remained somewhat out of the spotlight. But with the unveiling of game-changer Gemini, they seem poised to take a giant leap forward!

The game is on!

This week, Google introduced Gemini. Unlike current language models such as GPT-4, Gemini is a "multimodal AI model" capable of processing and understanding information from multiple sources in real time, including text, images, video, audio and code.

The introduction looks very impressive and promises applications we haven't seen before with ChatGPT or other AI tools. While the impression is given that this is a real-time demo of how Gemini works, soon after the introduction it turns out that this is not quite so. The video has been edited and there were no real spoken prompts. Google states that "all user prompts and outputs in the video are real but shortened to keep the video concise(read: among other things, the extra promps needed for this output were omitted). The video illustpricing what multimodal user experiences built with Gemini might look like. We created it to inspire developers".

Watch this 6-minute introductory video to get a first impression.

What can Gemini be used for? 

Its multimodality makes Gemini a powerful tool for a wide range of applications, including:

  • Natural language processing (NLP): Gemini can understand and process text, and can be used for tasks such as translations, summaries and answering questions. 
  • Computer vision (CV): Gemini can understand and process images and videos, and can be used for tasks such as object recognition, face recognition and pattern recognition.
  • Audio processing (AP): Gemini can understand and process audio, and can be used for tasks such as speech recognition, music analysis and sound synthesis.
  • Code understanding (CU): Gemini can understand and process code, and can be used for tasks such as code analysis, code generation and code assistance.

How does Gemini perform relative to other AI models such as GPT-4?  

According to Google, Gemini is based on one of the largest and most advanced AI models in the world and also significantly outperforms other AI models, including GPT-4.

For example, in a natural language processing (NLP) test, Gemini scored 20% better than GPT-4, and in a computer vision (CV) test, Gemini scored 15% better than GPT-4.

With a score of 90.0%, Google also says Gemini Ultra is the first model to outperform human experts on MMLU (massive multitask language understanding), which uses a combination of 57 subjects such as math, physics, history, law, medicine and ethics to test both world knowledge and problem-solving skills.

Key differences between Gemini and GPT-4 (according to Google)

  • Multimodality: Gemini is a multimodal AI model, meaning it is capable of processing and understanding information from different sources. For example, it can translate text, taking into account the context of the image associated with the text. Identify objects in an image, taking into account the text written about the object. Write code that performs a particular task, taking into account the audio instructions associated with the code. GPT-4 is a language model, which means that it can only focus on text.
  • Size and complexity: Gemini is the largest and most advanced AI model in the world. GPT-4 is a large language model, but it is not as large or complex as Gemini. Gemini is based on 1.56 trillion parameters, GPT-4 on 1.5 billion parameters. 
  • Different versions: Gemini is available in different versions, with different capacities and capabilities. GPT-4 is currently only available in one version.

Gemini will first be integrated with the chatbot Bard, followed by other Google applications such as Pixel 8 Pro, Search, Ads, Chrome and Duet AI. The amount of applications and data Google has access to (think also Gmail, YouTube, Next camera and Google maps), gives a huge potential and unique position compared to other parties such as OpenAI.

It will first be rolled out in 170 countries outside Europe, so we will have to be patient until we can start using it in the Netherlands as well. 

A side note is that Gemini's Ultra model is compared to GPT-4 and where it scores better these are only a few percentage points. The exact operation of Google's top AI model is still uncertain and is not expected to be rolled out until early 2024, while GPT-4 has been available since March 2023. OpenAI has been developing GPT-5 behind the scenes for a long time, so it will be interesting to see what the applications of this will be and when it is rolled out.

See more about the Gemini launch here. 

Take a leap forward in your marketing AI transformation every week

Every Friday, we bring you the latest insights, news and real-world examples on the impact of AI in the marketing world. Whether you want to improve your marketing efficiency, increase customer engagement, sharpen your marketing strategy or digitally transform your business, "Marketing AI Friday" is your weekly guide.

Sign up for Marketing AI Friday for free.