Welcome to your June 2023 SEO News Recap! Last month, we shared the latest on Google and Bing’s AI advancements, upcoming changes regarding helpful content, an update about Google Analytics 4, and more.
In this month’s update, we have the latest on Google indexing mobile sites first instead of desktop versions, AI in search, how Google views videos, and more. Let’s get started!
Jump to each June 2023 SEO news topic using the links below:
- The Move to Mobile-First Indexing Is Complete
- Google Bard Unleashes Some Power-Packed Updates: Shopping to Citations
- Google Introduces Its Search Generative Experience
- Google’s Perspectives Search Filter Is Here
- Videos Must Be Obvious to Google
- Google Improves Its Search Console Video Indexing Report
- More Featured Snippets Appear on Desktop Search
- Mobile-First Experiences Roll Out for Microsoft & Bing Becomes Default ChatGPT Engine
The Move to Mobile-First Indexing Is Complete
Over six years ago, Google started the transition to indexing the mobile versions of websites rather than the desktop versions. The undertaking was huge, but they finally finished on May 22nd (mostly).
John Mueller told Barry Schwartz on Mastodon that there were still some sites that just don’t work well on mobile that have not been transitioned and will still be crawled with the desktop Googlebot.
Most Google Search Console users will be able to see that their site has been switched to mobile-first indexing, but there is a bug in the system that still reports some sites as desktop-first despite being transitioned.
On June 13th, Search Engine Roundtable reported that fixing that bug isn’t a priority since it’s a reporting error, and you can still view the crawling stats to see that your site is being crawled correctly.
Google Bard Unleashes Some Power-Packed Updates: Shopping to Citations
Google has introduced several updates to its conversational AI tool, Google Bard, aimed at enhancing user experience.
The notable improvements announced at Google I/O include the integration of Google Lens, which allows users to include images in their prompts, helping Bard understand the visual context.
Google Lens has also gained the ability to detect and provide visual matches for various skin conditions based on uploaded photos.
The shopping experience has been streamlined with the option to take screenshots or snap pictures of desired items, and Google Lens will find similar products and provide purchasing links. The multisearch feature allows users to combine images and text for more specific searches.
Google Bard now offers more accurate local results by leveraging precise location data if users choose to share it. Users can also view images within Bard’s responses and access the source for additional information.
Citations to sources have also been upgraded, displaying numbered references that users can click on to verify sources.
Bard has been equipped with better summarization capabilities, allowing for quicker understanding of topics. These updates contributed to Google’s new search generative experience (SGE).
Google Introduces Its Search Generative Experience
In late May, Google began the slow rollout of the experimental Search Generative Experience (SGE). The initial results left many SEOs with complaints and questions.
In several different Twitter threads, Search Liaisons Danny Sullivan and John Mueller did their best to assure users the quality will improve with time and feedback.
The initial concerns centered around:
- The SGE directly quoting web pages without obvious sources
- Personally identifiable information being fed into the system
- People in many countries lacking access to the SGE
- Answers coming in too slowly
Under two weeks later, Google released its first quality updates to the SGE, doubling its speed in creating answers and reducing its occurrences of plagiarism.
In another update on June 15th, the SGE added reviews and images sourced from Google Business Profiles to some local and travel search results with the goal to bring together the most helpful information from across the web to answer user queries.
In related news on the same day, Google announced a new clothes shopping experience, using AI-generated imaging to show how clothing and products fit on real models who represent diverse sizes, skin tones, hair types, ethnicities, and body shapes. The virtual try-on is currently limited to certain brands in the United States, including Anthropologie, H&M, and LOFT.
Google’s Perspectives Search Filter Is Here
Originally demoed at Google I/O, the Perspectives Search Filter is now live for mobile search by selecting “Perspectives” in the search filter bar.
The Perspectives filter will show more diverse content related to a given topic, including discussion board posts, video results, social media posts, and Q&A sites. This moves beyond traditional organic results and includes more overt information about each result’s author.
Keep in mind that the Perspectives Search Filter is different from Google’s News Perspectives, launched in late March.
Videos Must Be Obvious to Google
To determine whether a video thumbnail should display in search (next to search results), Google’s Gary Illyes says the video doesn’t have to be the first element on a page – but it does have to be “in your face” to show that it’s the “main content” on the page.
This is so the user (and the search engine spider) will know what to expect when visiting your page. If you’re not sure what to do, Gary recommends checking out how YouTube and Vimeo display videos as the main content because that’s what Google’s algorithms look for.
Google Improves Its Search Console Video Indexing Report
A Google Search Central Blog post on June 12th announced improvements to the video indexing report in Search Console.
Now, instead of a vague error message, it can show three reasons that Google couldn’t identify a prominent video on the page. Each reason also comes with specific instructions to fix the error:
- If the video is outside the viewport, reposition the video to show within the renderable area on the page.
- If the video is too small, increase the height or the width to larger than 140px and ensure it takes up at least a third of the page.
- If the video is too large, reduce its height to below 1080px.
More Featured Snippets Appear on Desktop Search
Google Search results are beginning to include more than one featured snippet per result, often including 2-3 featured snippets at the top of the page. We’ve seen this on mobile search recently but are beginning to see more of this on desktop.
This further emphasizes the importance of optimizing helpful content for featured opportunities, as “traditional” organic search result links are pushed farther down the page by more dynamic rich results.
Mobile-First Experiences Roll Out for Microsoft & Bing Becomes Default ChatGPT Engine
Microsoft announced that Bing and Edge will see mobile-first updates, including:
- A Bing Chat widget for iOS and Android
- Enhanced experiences like Knowledge Cards
- Cross-platform chat continuity
- New social sharing capabilities
Microsoft is also enhancing text drafting and translation with SwiftKey, allowing users to compose messages with AI and translate text more easily.
Bing Search is now ChatGPT’s default search engine (currently available for paid users and coming soon as a plugin for free users), allowing for web data integration when prompting.
Tying It All Together: June 2023 SEO News
If you keep up with our monthly SEO news recaps, you know that the large amount of June 2023 SEO news isn’t out of the ordinary. The organic search landscape is constantly shifting, and trying to keep up with it on top of all your other responsibilities as a marketer can quickly become a headache.
What if you had a team of experts dedicated to improving your SEO based on all the latest changes? To discover the brand growth opportunities waiting for you through SEO, send a message to our team today.
- Search Engine Roundtable, Google Bulk Mobile-First Indexing Switch Batch Today (Last Batch Done).
- Search Engine Roundtable, Google: It’s Not A Priority To Fix The Search Console Desktop Indexing Reporting Bug.
- Search Engine Roundtable, Google Bard Gets Lens, Lens Detects Skin Conditions & Helps You Shop.
- Search Engine Roundtable, Google Bard Can Now Provide More Precise Local Results.
- Search Engine Roundtable, Google Bard Gains Images With More Coming Soon.
- Search Engine Roundtable, Google Bard Now Shows Citations Like Bing Chat.
- Search Engine Roundtable, Google Search Generative Experience Early Complaints & Responses From Google.
- Search Engine Roundtable, Google Search Generative Experience Sources Reviews & Photos From Business Profiles.
- Search Engine Roundtable, Google Search Perspectives.
- Google The Keyword Blog, Learn from others’ experiences with more perspectives on Search.
- Search Engine Roundtable, Google: Video Doesn’t Have To Be First Element But Should Be In Your Face.
- Google Search Central Blog, Improving prominence reporting in the Search Console video indexing report.
- Microsoft Bing Blogs, Continuing to deliver new AI innovation in Bing and Edge this week.
- Microsoft, Microsoft SwiftKey.
- Search Engine Roundtable, Bing Search Is The Default Search Engine For ChatGPT.