In this week’s digital news roundup, we delve into Google Ads’ new AI Assistant, Twitter’s recent changes, and Google’s stance on AI-generated content. We also explore YouTube’s latest strategies against AdBlockers and its new linking features. Lastly, we touch upon some valuable insights from MozCon on Local SEO. Curious to know more about these developments and how they can impact your digital marketing strategy? Let’s dive in and dissect what these updates could mean for your business. Interested in leveraging these changes to your advantage? Get in touch to discuss your SEO, AI, PPC campaigns, social media management, and content strategies.

Google Adds Ads AI Assistant

Google Ads is in the process of wheeling out an AI Assistant to answer queries its users look for in its help files. It’s still in beta and it’s still “learning”, but it may yet prove useful. What would be useful would be if the answers it gives go beyond the generic, uninformative answers you often find in Google’s help files, which answer 70%-80% of your query, but leave one or two big sub-questions unanswered – so annoying at times. This is also in conjunction with Google’s purported beefing up of its SME service teams, which may yet provide valuable insights into your account beyond the general recommendations on-screen, and suggesting “broad match on the letter ’s’”.
So, in reality, we have an advanced chat bot because people can’t construct a decent search query, or Google can’t organise its help files in a useful manner. Annoying but necessary and a sign of things to come. Talk to me about using AI effectively in your Google Ads PPC campaigns.

Twitter: Bins Promoted Accounts, Paywalls TweetDeck

I read somewhere last week that with the X re-brand, someone had taken to pronouncing the The Platform Formerly Known As Twitter as Xitter, with the Chinese “sh” pronunciation of the letter X. That amused me in a very puerile fashion. Not content with last week’s shenanigan’s Musk has this week turned off Promoted Accounts (so you can no longer launch your brand / account into potential followers’ timelines for $$), and made TweetDeck pay-to-play, causing much angst among other power users running multiple feeds or streams at once.
So, he turned off the API (or made it so expensive it was abandoned), pushing people to the in-house TweetDeck, and then made that into a payola scenario. Not quite bait and switch, but think more of corralling a user and their wallet. It’s quite possible that isn’t done to make money, but to turn the service into enough of a ghost town it becomes unviable to support it – and the same goes for Promoted Accounts, presumably they cost more money to manage (old code?) than they made.
If this all seems rather confusing, then talk to me about my VCMO services, social media management, paid social, and content strategies to deal with all of this.

Google Unironically Says AI May Rehash Content

In somewhat unsurprising news Google has stated that if you are using AI to generate content, you are at some point re-hashing the content of other websites. Physician heal thyself, I say. Of course, this is blindingly true, as AI isn’t actually intelligent, but it is very smart, and its informational returns are always going to be based on whatever information it has consumed up to that point.
However, there is a very big elephant (or two) in the room, which Google is ignoring. Firstly, its Generative Search answers are therefore “rehashed” from other sites, which perhaps isn’t the best look, if you’re saying rehashed content is bad – what’s good for the goose etc. And the second big issue, especially for Google, is if content is continually rehashed, then as that content gets republished, scraped and rescraped by the AI bots, it becomes reductively rehashed until it makes no sense, or the information simply becomes a generic wall of tripe. That is equally not good for search results as Google links essentially to results which are all the same / variations on a theme with little unique insight, and even less originality.
Good times ahead, eh?

YouTube Times Adblockers, Enables More Links

YouTube has had a bit of a week. Firstly, it’s taken another step in its cat and mouse game with AdBlockers, with a little popup timer announcing when the next ad will play – always useful, and then presumably at a certain point it just turns off video playback for people who use AdBlockers. It is hard to feel sympathy for YouTube in this – ads are now getting more and more common, more and more interruptive, and generally more annoying, which leads to more users trying to block them – and yet YouTube is not penniless. There has to be a middle ground somewhere, but I guess it won’t stop until a 10 minute video is 9 minutes of ads.
YouTube creators & channels can also now add a few more links to their pages, which is useful to provide outlinks to your other channels. And YouTube is also on the path to enabling linking between Shorts and regular videos, so you can move the user from the short to your ad supported video. That’s great if the Short is a snackette version of the long video.
Talk to me about how to use YouTube as part of your digital marketing, video content creation, and integration of digital technology for improved business outcomes.

MozCon Has Some Local SEO Info

Mmmmm, I go through real swings of feelings about SEO conferences. Half the time, they are made up of presenters reselling their services to a captive audience, half the time they are filled with  dreary, re-hashed information that’s been around for donkey’s years, and the other half of the time they are excited “new findings” presentations from people who have no business counting and analysing in the first time.
There is some useful info here, but really. If you’re a halfway decent practitioner you should be aware of most of this: not all links are equal, some types of links are better than others – and guess what, relevance and local authority are key; AI and its effect on SEO is still a bit indistinct; users love video; and yet more truisms.
It’s as if the company is in the business of selling space at its conferences.
Now, talk to me about improving your SEO and Local SEO. I’ll help you.