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Is Bing AI trustworthy? SEO updates: Lighthouse 10, keyword-rich domains and link best practices; PPC updates you need to know; Best ads and more

Welcome to this week’s Digital Discovery. Each week we cover the latest developments and everything you need to know in the world of digital marketing.

This week we cover:

  • Is Bing AI trustworthy?
  • Lighthouse 10 update and impacts on SEO
  • John Mueller advises against keyword-rich domain names for SEO
  • Google releases new section on link best practices in SEO
  • PPC and paid media updates advertisers should know

Plus we look at some of the best ads discovered this week and look ahead at key content dates coming up next week.

Don’t forget to subscribe to this newsletter and follow me on LinkedIn.

Ok, let’s dive into this week’s update…

Is Bing AI trustworthy? Analysing the accuracy and credibility of Microsoft’s new search engine

The buzz and excitement around the new AI Bing is real. Within 48 hours of its release, one million people signed up to try the new AI powered search engine by Microsoft.

But can it be trusted?

Like many others, I jumped on the Bing bandwagon in last week’s blog, praising Microsoft’s new AI product while highlighting the failings with Google’s Bard.

However, as the week progressed, I stumbled across a post by well-known SEO expert, Lily Ray, who shone a light on the issues with Bing’s new AI chatbot.

Lily shared an article Bing AI Can’t Be Trusted’

The article provides multiple instances of information that are blatantly inaccurate. Even when Bing attributes the information to a source, the statements do not seem to exist on the referenced page. This strongly suggests significant flaws within the product. Which is highly concerning.

When Google’s Bard AI made a mistake during an ad, it was immediately noticed and sparked a narrative that Google is scrambling to keep up with Bing and making errors. Alphabet shares dropped as a result. While this narrative may have some validity, it overlooks the fact that Bing made even more significant mistakes during its own launch and demo.

Furthermore, The Telegraph reported that Bing “is insulting its users, lying to them and appears to have been forced into wondering why it exists at all”.

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Users consider accuracy and credibility to be fundamental expectations when using a search engine. However, both Google and Microsoft have failed to meet these expectations due to their hasty release of AI products without adequate due diligence.

This is an overall disappointing development.

Why does any of this matter?

With Google owning a consistent ~90% share of the search engine market, many SEOs and marketers rightly focus their efforts on Google Search and Google Ads. However if Bing can successfully disrupt Google’s dominance then we may all have to reconsider our approach to SEO and PPC.

Furthermore, the introduction of AI into SERPs presents a new challenge for marketers to gain traffic when competing against chatbot responses.

Lighthouse 10 update and impacts on SEO

Lighthouse 10 is set to conclude the deprecation process that began in Lighthouse 8 by removing the Time To Interactive (TTI) metric. As a result, 10% of TTI’s score weight will be reallocated to other metrics, while the remaining 25% will be assigned to Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which will now play a more significant role in determining the overall performance score.

 It is important to note that Google no longer values TTI as significantly as they once did in the realm of web development and has placed more emphasis on CLS. Therefore, it is advisable to be mindful of these changes in Lighthouse.

According to Google’s John Mueller, this modification does not affect rankings and Core Web Vitals (CWV). John Mueller tweeted “CWV are independent of Lighthouse scores (there might be some components that overlap, but the scoring Lighthouse does is separate).”

Two new audits are included in the Lighthouse 10 update:

1: Back/forward cache

The back/forward cache (or bfcache) is a feature that allows for instantaneous back and forward navigation. This greatly enhances the browsing experience for users, particularly those who have slower networks or devices.

2: Paste-preventing inputs

The previous Best Practices audit, “Allows users to paste into password fields,” has been updated to verify that pasting works in any non-readonly input field. In most cases, prohibiting pasting results in a negative user experience and hinders valid safety and accessibility workflows.

Google search advocate John Mueller advises against keyword-rich domain names for SEO

Having a domain name that was rich in keywords is often believed to be an effective way to increase a website’s visibility and improve its search engine rankings.

I’ve certainly seen this be the case when conducting SEO competitor audits.

Google Search Advocate John Mueller recently shared his opinion on the matter in response to a thread on Reddit.

In the r/SEO forum, a user asked if it was worth paying a hefty fee for a domain name containing the exact keywords they wanted to rank for.

Mueller responded by saying that he wasn’t a fan of keyword-keyword domains. He added that having such a domain name could lead people to think that the website is spammy, and changing or expanding the business focus could be more challenging.

Additionally, he said having no brand name could make it difficult for people to search for the website. As a result, the website would always be competing rather than building value with long-term users.

Google releases new section on link best practices in SEO

Google has updated their SEO and search developer documentation with a new section on link best practices. While the original document focused on creating crawlable links, the new section covers more ground, including:

  • The importance of using an <a> HTML element with an href attribute to make links crawlable
  • Guidelines for anchor text placement between <a> elements
  • Tips for writing good and relevant anchor text, which should be descriptive and concise
  • The significance of internal links within your content to help both people and Google understand your site more easily
  • How to use external links to help establish trustworthiness and provide context for your readers

Google also provides examples of good and bad anchor text placement and writing, as well as advice on linking to external sites and using the nofollow attribute for spammy links.

ADS OF THE WEEK

Pringles Multigrain

Marketing Agency, Grey, and Pringles have teamed up for a new campaign that features an unconventional but refreshingly unique concept. The focus is on Pringles’ new Multigrain range, which is non-HFSS, and a standout hamster with impressive showmanship skills.

 Netflix YOU

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PPC and paid media updates advertisers should know

Instagram has announced that it will be discontinuing its live shopping feature in March, which enables brands to showcase and sell products during live video sessions.

Meta (formerly Facebook) has launched a new tool to increase transparency in ad targeting for Facebook and Instagram users. The feature will allow users to see why they are being shown certain ads and which personal information is being used for targeting.

Microsoft Ads has announced six new updates, including the ability to exclude specific audiences from campaigns, the addition of in-market audience segments, and improved ad scheduling options.

KEY CONTENT DATES THIS MONTH

Month Long

LGBT History Month (UK)

Febraury

  • 01 January 2023: New Year’s Day
  • 02 February 2023: Groundhog Day, Time to Talk Day, World Wetlands Day
  • 03 February 2023: Golden Retriever Day
  • 04 February 2023: World Cancer Day, Six Nations Rugby (4th Feb to 18th Mar) Begins
  • 05 February 2023: World Nutella Day, Yorkshire Pudding Day
  • 06 February 2023: National Sickie Day, Children’s Mental Health Week Begins
  • 07 February 2023: Send a Card to a Friend Day, Safer Internet Day
  • 09 February 2023: National Pizza Day
  • 10 February 2023: World Pulses Day, Welsh Language Music Day
  • 11 February 2023: International Day of Women and Girls in Science, National Inventors’ Day, The BRIT Awards
  • 12 February 2023: Super Bowl LVII
  • 13 February 2023: Galentine’s Day, World Radio Day
  • 14 February 2023: Valentine’s Day, Library Lovers’ Day
  • 15 February 2023: Singles’ Awareness Day
  • 17 February 2023: Random Acts of Kindness Day, Care Day, London Fashion Week (17th-21st) Begins
  • 19 February 2023: BAFTAs
  • 20 February 2023: Love Your Pet Day, World Day of Social Justice, Family Day
  • 21 February 2023: Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day), International Mother Language Day
  • 22 February 2023: Ash Wednesday, World Thinking Day
  • 23 February 2023: Digital Learning Day
  • 24 February 2023: World Bartender Day
  • 27 February 2023: National Strawberry Day, World NGO Day
  • 28 February 2023: Rare Disease Day

Thanks for reading!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s newsletter and found it useful.

Please follow me and subscribe to my Digital Discovery newsletter. I’ll be posting each week about the digital marketing stories that matter.

See you next week.

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