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March 2023 SEO Industry Updates

  • Industry News
  • By multiple authors
  • 8 minutes read

Google and the search industry had some major announcements roll out in April 2023. Here are the things you need to know from the Conductor Customer Success team.

Google had a lot to say in April 2023 with announcing a new search engine with A.I-based features and GA4 introducing a "once per session" conversion counting method.

Google's March Broad Core Update 2023

By Nick Gallagher

The what

Google announced they’ve completed their first broad core update of 2023. The last update was in September 2022.

The rollout was complete as of March 28th. Right now, this update doesn’t seem to target any specific sites or pages but rewards high quality content and web pages overall.

Some webmasters have also noticed volatility in traffic from Google Discover and within the search engine result pages where content that was previously under-rewarded is now doing a lot better in rankings.

The why

Whenever Google releases a Broad Core Update you need to make sure you are keeping any eye on your website’s traffic and keyword rankings.

The Broad Core Updates have an impact on low quality content and reward high quality content. By monitoring your content, you can make sure you take action right away if you were impacted by the update.

These Broad Core Updates will continue to prioritize content on websites that displays Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T). Make sure you continue to prioritize user experience which includes fast page speed with engaging and relevant content.

Additionally, it’s important you ensure all the technical elements of your site are intact so the crawlers can easily access and understand what pages are important.

By performing a content audit, you can identify which content on your site is performing well or needs improvement and make optimizations to improve the quality of the content.

For everyone

The recommended workflow when a Broad Core Update rolls out is to monitor your keyword rankings and organic traffic. Set up a reminder in the calendar to check this and identify which pages are impacted, either positively or negatively. If you are impacted, make sure you can improve the content by making optimizations or technical changes on the page.

For Conductor customers

You can monitor your keyword rankings and organic traffic using the Conductor platform:

  • Create workspaces in the platform to quickly analyze pages that are decreasing in traffic or keyword rankings that are volatile.
  • Request an Organic Performance Report to monitor your traffic for a specific sub-folder or request a Content Audit to analyze which content is performing well and which content is under-performing.
An example of a performance report in the workplace section of Conductor
Create a workspace in Conductor to monitor performance

You can also use ContentKing to monitor the technical health of your website to identify page speed issues, broken links, and any other technical issues.

Read more about this:

Countdown to GA4: 100 Days to Make The Switch

By Mari Irby

The what

In July of 2023, Google Analytics Universal Analytics (UA) will sunset in favor of the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4). After July 1st, your UA will cease to function as it does today - simply put: reporting on ROI for SEO is on the line if you're not ready for the impending change.

Need some help with GA4? Sign up for the Conductor webinar GA4 Strategy & Setup for SEO on April 4.

The last day to switch from Universal Analytics 360 (the enterprise version of UA) to GA4 is July 1, 2024.

The why

In order to keep up with an ever-changing and complex digital landscape, Google Analytics 4 has been designed to allow businesses to report on more than just Sessions as a key metric; instead broadening the scope of what is possible for analytics reporting by accounting for detailed customer journeys. GA's selling point? That GA4 will carry the brunt of the analytics reporting workload and be able to provide its users with clear and actionable insights.

GA4 will also now combine Web and app data for your company in one place.

It’s important to make the switch as soon as possible in order to have as much historical data as possible within the platform for improved insights into what is happening on your website.

For everyone

  • Set up your GA4 instance as soon as possible in order to get as much historical data as possible.
  • Monitor the GA4 instance to make sure it’s accurate and similar to what your UA instance is.

For Conductor customers

  • In anticipation of this change, Conductor has already published the article What You Need to Know About GA4 and What to Do About It for you and your team to leverage as you make the transition from UA to GA4.
  • Start the set-up of GA4 and reach out to your Conductor team that you want to integrate GA4 within Conductor.
  • Set-up a performance report for the last year or so of organic traffic/conversions within Conductor to monitor your top page performance. This will allow us to do a YOY analysis for your content.

Read more about this:

Google Releases Their AI Chatbot Bard

By Zack Kadish

The what

Google has officially released Bard , its version of an experimental AI chatbot, to compete with ChatGPT.

Google Bard can provide answers to questions, summarize information, provide links for more discovery, and even create certain forms of content.

The why

When OpenAI released ChatGPT, people believed the search industry was going to be disrupted. Google Bard is the direct answer to this and is being powered by LaMDA.

LaMDA is a large language model that is trained on datasets consisting of public dialogue and web data.

Google envisions that Bard will be a feature in search. Bard is separate from search and will not replace it, it’s more like a new interactive way to access knowledge around topics since Bard samples web information.

For everyone

  • Join the waitlist for Bard (US and UK only at the moment).
  • Continue to monitor your organic rankings, impressions, and traffic.
  • Bard can help with longer tail keywords and questions/answers. Since this might have a direct impact on your pages that answer these questions, it’s best to monitor and see what might happen as Bard is released and other search results are pushed down.

For Conductor customers

  • Create a page group with your content that answers questions or is more informational based to monitor traffic.
  • Create a keyword group with longer-tail keywords to keep a pulse on rankings.
  • Monitor clicks, impressions, and CTR using Google Search Console, Conductor, and ContentKing.
  • Set up alerts in ContentKing to monitor if any pages see a big decrease in impressions or CTR.

Read more about this:

How to Use ChatGPT for Keyword Research

By Zack Kakuda

The what

Since the rise of open-source AI programs like ChatGPT people have started using the technology to understand how people are searching around particular topics.

The why

Traditional keyword tools are also used by your competitors, who may have higher domain authority. Using a non-traditional keyword research tool like ChatGPT could yield different and unique topics to create content around that competitors may not know about.

By using specific prompts, you can easily generate potential new content ideas or identify which domains are writing content around a specific topic. This can make it easier for you to then do keyword research as you have your topic/target keyword selected.

In this example, the we asked ChatGPT to help us come up with blog content around blog content for a kitchen supply store that wants to capitalize on people searching for Thanksgiving recipes. These content ideas give the user a good idea of what types of content users need and will allow the kitchen supply store to meet new customers where they are searching.

In this example, we asked ChatGPT to help us come up with blog content around blog content for a kitchen supply store that wants to capitalize on people searching for Thanksgiving recipes. These content ideas give the user a good idea of what types of content users need and will allow the kitchen supply store to meet new customers where they are searching.

ChatGPT generated responses to a prompt from a kitchen supply store asking for ideas to target customers looking for Thanksgiving recipes
ChatGPT generated Thanksgiving content

Here, we asked ChatGPT to help us brainstorm content ideas for a series of blogs about SEO and video strategy. We still need to do the keyword research and optimize our own blogs, but ChatGPT can help us outline our content calendar.

ChatGPT generated answers for blogs about SEO strategy for video
ChatGPT generated answers for blogs about SEO strategy for video

For everyone

Make sure to continue to monitor Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or another SEO platform to better understand if your site’s traffic or keyword rankings are being impacted by the release of AI answers, specifically for longer tail keywords and question related queries.

For Conductor customers

While ChatGPT is a great tool for topic ideation it will not give you important keyword metrics like MSV, CPC or Buyer's Journey Stage.

Conductor's Explorer feature will give you that valuable data. Then, by plugging these target keywords into Content Guidance , you can get more insights on how to structure your content and where these targeted keywords should be included.

Use ChatGPT to assemble a list of topics and drop them into explorer where you will get that valuable SEO data.

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