| An important note about using AI
There’s the novelty of AI and then there’s the practicality of AI.
For SEOs and for digital marketers of all kinds making this distinction is incredibly important.
Technology and how we adopt it is a constant evolution that undergoes different stages of development. This is all the more true for a rapidly developing and all but tantalizing technology like AI and the abilities it offers.
We’re at a bit of an inflection point. The novelty of AI still captivates us but the demand for producing strong results still weighs heavy on our shoulders. As we increasingly adopt AI and integrate into our workflows we have to be mindful of its effectiveness in each and every scenario.
There is no SEO or marketing panacea out there. There are only wisely adapted techniques and technologies.
Before you utilize AI we recommend you ask yourself:
How do I add human uniqueness to AI’s output?
How do I ensure the AI output will align to the client’s brand?
Does using AI in this instance really save me time and free me up to handle more complex tasks?
| We welcomed Kim Garst on the SERP’s Up+ Podcast to talk about how marketers can best put AI to work. Have a listen so that you can learn how to adopt the latest tech the right way.
Crystal and Mordy
Pointers from the pros
Principal Product Manager, Bing
| IndexNow and the future of crawling and indexing
How does IndexNow work?
IndexNow is a protocol that allows web publishers to notify search engines about any content change (new, updated or deleted) content on their websites in near real time. Instead of relying on periodic crawls or sitemaps, which can be slow or incomplete, IndexNow enables web publishers to send HTTP requests containing the URL or set of URLs they want to index or update.
If IndexNow is ultimately widely adopted, how might the job of SEOs change?
IndexNow enables A/B testing by enabling control of the crawler. Without IndexNow, it can take days to weeks to get content changes reflected in search engines, with IndexNow this is more like seconds to max 2 days. So, SEOs can iterate faster, are in control and test various hypotheses.
What does the future look like for crawling (in general)?
It will become all about maximizing crawl efficiency to minimize cost and emit less CO2. With IndexNow and a sitemap refreshed at least once a day, we really don’t need to crawl far more. We aim to not crawl if nothing changes.
Just as the August 2023 Core Update wrapped up, Google launched another Helpful Content Update (the first since December 2022).
The Helpful Content Update looks at the quality of the content not on specific pages but in aggregate across the entire domain. Well, actually, now that includes subdomains as well.
As part of the update, Google revised its guidance around the Helpful Content Update to:
Include subdomains when evaluating overall quality
Focus on “content created for people” as opposed to “content written by people”
Define expertise as either being “written or reviewed by an expert”—not just written by one
| Obviously, the two latter changes to the guidance would seemingly speak to the advent of more AI-written content on the web.
Dive into the details of how the Helpful Content Update’s guidance has evolved in this article from Maria Haynes.
| How do you keep your brand fresh in an AI-first world?
Continuous learning and adaptation: It's crucial for brands to keep up with the rapid advancements in AI technology. Implement tools like ChatGPT and other generative AI models to curate personalized content, respond to customer inquiries, and drive engagement. Continuously train these models with the latest brand messaging and updates to ensure that the AI represents the brand accurately and relevantly.
Hybrid content creation: Blend human creativity with AI-generated content to strike a balance between automation and authenticity. While generative AI can produce vast amounts of content efficiently, human oversight ensures that this content resonates emotionally with the target audience and aligns with the brand's core values. This hybrid approach ensures fresh, diverse, and authentic content that engages customers in meaningful ways.
Data-driven insights for personalization: Harness the power of AI analytics to gain deep insights into customer preferences, behaviors, and feedback. Use these insights to refine brand messaging, create tailored marketing campaigns, and develop products or services that cater to the evolving needs of your audience. An AI-first approach to data analytics enables brands to remain agile and adapt to changing market dynamics, ensuring they remain fresh and relevant in the eyes of their customers.
| Join this month’s webinar
| Live SEO audit: Quick wins and opportunities
Get a speedier pay off from your SEO efforts. Join us and Angie Nikoleychuk of Search Engine Journal to learn strategies for fast-tracking organic growth.
| Be gone SEO myths!
Make sure your SEO strategies are built on facts. Listen in as we tackle common SEO misconceptions head on with Andi Jarvis of Eximo Marketing.
| In the pipeline
Next month, we get to the bottom of two crucial topics for business websites. Find out the best ways to identify and fix cannibalization issues from Lazarina Stoy and get a breakdown of how to measure your link building efforts from Debbie Chew.