The Google February 2023 Products Review rollout is complete and has been causing significant volatility. The update first rolled out on February 21, 2023, and was completed on March 7, 2023, taking 14 days to roll out.
Although the February Product Review Update is quite similar to past updates, it had a much wider reach this time in terms of languages. This update affected the following languages:
Marketing professionals, however, have noticed some significant volatility. Semrush and Rank Ranger both made a comparison between previous updates and found the February 2023 updates caused much more instability.
Semrush chose to compare the February 2023 Product Reviews update to the July Product Reviews 2022 update rather than the September Product Reviews update. This is because it is difficult to ascertain whether the volatility experienced is due to the September Core and Product Review updates, as they overlapped. Semrush found the July update affected its Sensor scale – moving it from 1.8 to 2.7. In comparison, the February 2023 update moved the sensor from a baseline of 3.1 to 5.4, which is much more significant.
Rank Ranger, however, decided to go with a comparison between the September 2022 update, regardless of the Core Vital update overlap. Rank Ranger results still showed more volatility with regards to the average position change – February update (3.63%) versus the September 2022 update (3.38%) and a 3% higher volatility in the top 10 rank results. For more insight, visit Search Engine Land here.
More SEO News You Can Use
Brave Search Engine Is Using AI To Summarize Web Pages in Search Results: Brave, a privacy-centered web browser, has announced that it is introducing artificial intelligence (AI) driven rich results to its search engine results pages (SERPs). The Brave Summarizer is based on a Large Language Model based on existing in-house technology created to display featured snippets and knowledge graphs. The search engine will use this AI feature to summarize content on web pages instead of meta descriptions, which most search engines use. In some cases, Brave will create a summary based on both the AI interpretation and meta. Contrary to speculation, it is not linked to ChatGPT. Brave has openly announced that the system is far from perfected and that users can still expect some mistakes, especially when combining snippets. The Summarizer notably links to its digital sources and can be found at the end of the summary, marked in red. For more details, visit Search Engine Journal here.
New Google Trends Portal Launched: The Google Trends Portal has a spruced-up interface, offering trends in real-time via the homepage. Google made the announcement on March 8, 2023, stating that the new portal is updated every hour, showing links to published news articles. The three significant changes include the location of the real-time trends, the hourly updates as well as direct links to news resources. The new additions to the portal can be used “to help you better understand the world around you, the homepage highlights what’s trending in your local country or region – and sparks your curiosity by sharing trends from around the globe,” said Rachel Hespell, a Google Keyword contributor. This is an excellent opportunity to push traffic to websites as well as determine new trends to help with content ideation. Users can now search trends data via topics or categories, according to Search Engine Land.
Google Updates Search Design for Desktop: Google Search for desktop now has a new look and feel! The search engine giant recently revamped its mobile search in October 2022, and now it’s desktop’s turn. Features like new favicons, site names and sponsored labels (previously an ad label) have been added. Google has been testing these new features since November 2022. Google has also provided recommendations on how site owners can ensure they benefit from these updates. Firstly, it’s best to use homepage structured data to ensure Google can easily identify your site name. Secondly, be sure to revise Google’s favicon best practices guidelines to get the best out of the new favicon search feature. Thirdly, Google states that ads are now being labeled more clearly and will be displayed in a separate line to remove any confusion between organic and paid ad search results. For more highlights on these updates, visit Search Engine Journal here.
DuckDuckGo Introduces AI-Powered DuckAssist: Along with Bing and various other search engines, DuckDuckGo is joining the latest trend of artificial intelligence or AI-powered search features. DuckAssist was launched on March 8, 2023, and helps to generate instant natural language answers using Wikipedia results as well as other similar sites such as Britannica. The feature is currently only available in English and can be used in browser extensions as well as the app. The privacy-focused search engine plans to release a number of AI-based updates over the next few months. DuckAssist is based on technology from Anthropic and OpenAI. To increase the likelihood of getting DuckAssist answers, Search Engine Land suggests adding “wiki” to your search query and phrasing searches in a question format. It’s important to note that this feature is still in the early phases, meaning users should expect some errors.
Microsoft Reports Increase in Users and Engagement due to AI-Powered Search: Microsoft has released new data showing how artificial intelligence or AI-driven Edge and Bing features drive growth. Although results are still marginal, Microsoft expects continued growth as they reel in 100 million active users daily. There has also been a substantial boost in engagement, which is expected to increase as more AI-based features are released. Microsoft also announced its plan to include Bing Create and Search in the Edge Sidebar to help improve relevance and drive more traffic and growth. Bing has also seen significant growth due to its search chat feature, reporting over 45 million chats reported to date. Bing’s Mobile AI Copilot app has seen an incredible 600% growth, with 10 million Android downloads so far. For more on Microsoft’s AI-based features and growth, visit Search Engine Journal here.
Editor’s Note: “SEO News You Can Use” is a weekly blog post posted every Monday morning only on SEOblog.com, rounding up all the top SEO news from around the world. Our goal is to make SEOblog.com a one-stop-shop for everyone looking for SEO news, education and for hiring an SEO expert with our comprehensive SEO agency directory.