What an exciting AI filled week it’s been. Just like many other weeks recently. Some brands are now blocking GPTBot (until offered cash, no doubt), Lyft is slapping ads into its app, Meta is being useful, Google is actually stopping UA processing (sniff), and there’s been another Google Core Update to pontificate over. Interested? Dive in for more.

Brands Blocking GPTBot

Since I mentioned Chat GPT’s GPTBot a couple of weeks ago, something like 69 of the top 1000 websites have taken to blocking the bot from crawling their sites and content. In internet terms this is quite a lot of websites, but it’s not overwhelmingly huge – despite misleading graphs making it look like there’s a very high % of websites doing this. Think Amazon, Quora, NYT, CNN, Reuters for starters – you know the kinds of websites that make their money (or want to make money, if their poverty-stricken cries are to be believed) from aggregation of information, repackaging and then reselling, via ads, or subscriptions. Funnily enough, I would think that a smidge of cold, hard cash into their coffers would probably change their mind. The may also be doing it for altruistic reasons, as a degree of their current content may have been written by AI and they don’t want to contribute any more to AI Circularity.
On another note, I saw an unbelievable stat that 85% of marketers are using AI in their workflow. That is cobblers – marketers are not ultra sophisticated, yet. 85% of a self-selecting group of marketers is more like it.
If you want to talk to me about web technology, technical SEO and content strategy in these days of breathless AI, then please contact me.

Lyft Releasing In-App Ads

What a time to be alive! Not content with disrupting cable TV with ad-less streaming apps, before…. wait for it… including ads on them, taxi-disrupting Lyft has taken the opportunity of an apparent 9-10 times of app engagement during a journey to squeeze an ad space in their app.  Pretty much every experience which was VC funded will be turning to the almighty ad-dollar and squeezing ad space in at every opportunity. Interruptive advertising is, was, and pretty much always will be, an unwanted pain in the what-not. Relevant, unobtrusive, useful ads are fine. Grrrr.
Talk to me about all of the fun ways to advertise digitally without annoying your potential customers, using PPC or Paid Social Media for example.

Meta Releases Code Llama

Quietly, Meta, that social media behemoth, does some good things – or at least some reasonably well-intentioned things. One of those has just been released and it is Code Llama, their latest iteration of their large, language model (Llama) and a co-output of Code Llama, which take s pretty good stab at generating code from scratch after being prompted, using natural language as well, and also can insert code in the middle of pre-existing code. This is unbelievably handy for creating snippets of code, or small apps, or helping (maybe) to debug / edit large blocks of code. It’s still a bit of tech legwork to get it up and running, but it’s very handy to have on a machine rather than in a browser.
Talk to me about using AI and other tech to make web management and web development a fair bit easier. Also, talk to me about social media management. You won’t regret it.

Google Notices: UA Stopping

And so, it has come to pass that the omnipotent Google is slowly taking away what it did once giveth. Namely it is sending out notices around Universal Analytics actually stopping processing new data and coming to a grinding halt. It seems from the accounts I have access to that this is mainly smaller accounts at the moment, but make no mistake, Google will be stopping the big accounts fairly soon as well. If you have not yet upgraded to the replacement GA4, then you must do it now. Google may have created a default installation for you, but you can be it won’t be set up quite the way it should. Google may also not have set up the replacement, or it may have created a complete bodge of the job.
If you have not set up GA4, talk to me. If you have set up GA4, talk to me. If you just want a chat about Analytics & Performance, or anything else, like Digital Marketing, talk to me.

Google Releases Core Update

So, Google has released another core update which changes…. *things*. When I say *things*, nobody really knows what things have changed, apart from when they read the tea-leaves and see what they want to see… EG link specialists always find that links have changed, same with on-page specialists and so on. The reality is that you need to focus on the broader aspects of SEO and getting them right that worrying about a 15th level intricacy which may only work for the next three months. Get your content right, focus on architecture, usefulness, links from reputable sources, and make your pages and content relevant to your topics and you are away. Occasionally, good SEO is deceptively simple, but people benefit by making it complicated.
One thing I do find grating is the discussion around waiting until the next core update for your rankings to improve if you have been hit by a credit update. That is utter cobblers. Most websites who are hit have over-done it on one aspect or another, accidentally, or by virtue of the algorithm changing. That means you bring your site and its elements back into a normal range for your niche and competitor set and you will slowly regain rankings as you are re-indexed and re-evaluated. Only if you do nothing will you have to wait.
Talk to me about SEO, content strategy and analytics to understand any changes to your website.