Google has confirmed that a March Core Algorithm update has rolled out on March 15, 2023. The rollout is expected to be completed in 2 weeks, meaning it should have been rolled out by March 28, 2023.
Although there are no clear indications of the main intentions for this update, Search Engine Journal has outlined some things that you should bear in mind:
- It will take time before you see any noticeable effects resulting from this update.
- You’ll be able to decipher whether your website has been affected by this update by monitoring your organic traffic and keyword ranking.
- Ensure that your content is valuable and answers users’ search intent, as this is what Google is currently focusing on improving with these updates.
- Ensure all technical features are optimized, including indexing, page load speed, and so on.
Overall, most updates have a common goal of improving the user experience with regard to search. So, as long as you focus on providing high-value content via an optimized website, you shouldn’t have much to worry about.
To stay updated on the Google March 2023 Core Algorithm update, you can find the Google ranking updates release history here.
Google Adds Generative AI to Gmail and Docs: Google has announced that it will introduce generative artificial intelligence (AI) to Workspace. When using Google Docs and Gmail, you can now use a prompt – Help me write – to draft text in Google Docs. This, of course, doesn’t mean that this text will automatically be error-free. Google has acknowledged that these AI features are not being introduced to replace creatives. You may have to edit the text as AI is still fallible. Gmail also allows you to use generative AI to help draft emails by inserting some notes and rewriting them using the Formalize feature. Other features include Shorten, Elaborate, Bulletize, Write a Draft and I’m Feeling Lucky. Google also has another new AI feature looming on the horizon – Vaporware. Although these features are rumored to save you time in certain tasks, it may be worth testing first to see if it’s worth your while.
John Mueller Gives Insights on How To Simplify Site Structure: John Mueller, Google Search Advocate, has offered some insights via a Reddit thread on how to simplify website structure. He suggests first taking a look at your user experience and search ranking before looking at the website structure. There are various ways to do this without affecting your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy or efforts. When it comes to removing subdirectories, Mueller suggests alternative ways to move subdirectories and that you should add hreflang to pages. Mueller also highlighted X-Default’s significance when working on geo-IP redirects – ensure the root homepage redirects to the correct version and specify it as the X-default. Mueller also recommends only using geo-redirects on the homepage of a site. This should make it simpler for users to find the most accurate domain search result based on location.
Google Improves Access to Healthcare Information for US Search Users: Google has made it easier for users to access information about healthcare in the U.S. Users will be able to find information about programs, benefits, or re-enrollment for Medicare or Medicaid, for example, as well as schedule healthcare appointments, and find services in partnership with certain health insurance providers. Google is also dedicated to assisting those who don’t have health insurance by showcasing community healthcare providers who offer lower rates or free services. To do this, Google is using conversational artificial intelligence (AI) called Duplex to improve the accuracy of information. Google has also announced efforts to focus on mental health. It has enlisted Throughline, the biggest global verified network of crisis and mental health helplines, to help provide relevant results to mental health searches.
OpenAI New GPT-4 Model Released: OpenAI released its multimodal version of ChatGPT, GPT-4, on March 14, 2023. GPT-4 reportedly has elevated human-like capabilities at academic and professional levels. It has the ability to decipher text and images to provide answers to searches. GPT-4 has improved capabilities regarding languages, including English and even low-resource languages like Swahili or Welsh. It is also customizable; however, there are some limitations to the new model. GPT-4 still makes mistakes regarding facts and reasoning, especially events that have taken place after September 2021, according to Search Engine Journal. This means that there are some risks when it comes to GPT-4; however, OpenAI is currently working on reducing the number of errors and inaccuracies in results. It is currently 82% better than its predecessor GPT-3.5.
Microsoft Bing Chat Answers may Replace Bing Search Responses: It’s rumored Bing is considering showcasing Bing chat responses in search results instead of the usual answers. Mikhail Parakhin, head of Bing Chat and Bing Search, made the announcement via Twitter. Parakhin also mentioned that this might require updates to the current interface; however, users can expect improvements in integration between Bing Chat and Bing Search. Microsoft has also reported a significant growth in users; more than one million active daily users and 45 million chats in total, with over a third of preview users using Bing for the first time, not to mention using Bing Chat every day. It would be worth your while to observe the changes being made regarding AI search features – if chat responses replace featured snippets, for example, pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies may have to be adjusted to optimize click-through rates and organic traffic.