March 21 2023


Bing’s AI-Chat Capabilities and Google’s Latest Core Updates: What You Need to Know About These Latest Changes

The AI Race and Routine Updates

Search engines regularly introduce changes to improve how they rank content—Google historically makes thousands of unannounced updates per year and has substantial core updates 2-3 times a year. These are done with all of us in mind, looking to improve search results and filter out AI-generated and unhelpful content. The irony is that Bing and Google are competing for AI search supremacy, adding the technology to help generate more quality searches with human-like reasoning and a conversational tone.  

Bing added OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 (the same technology that powers ChatGPT) five weeks ago. Google’s answer to that, Bard, began opening access and feedback yesterday in the U.S. and U.K, and will expand over time. Though not explicitly stated, updates from both search engines announced last week are likely a part of this AI race. Regardless of why the updates are happening, when search engines make changes, concern from business owners who rely on search results for revenue and awareness is understandable.

TopSpot constantly keeps a pulse on these changes because we are constantly evaluating search landscapes and combing through data tools. Also, like business owners, we don’t like surprises when it comes to SEO and work hard to stay ahead. In this blog, we look at the updates from both Bing and Google to let you know what to expect.

Traditional Bing search result for high-def plasma cutting in Houston.

GPT Upgrade: Bing and OpenAI’s Latest

OpenAI announced the release of GPT-4, an upgrade to the language model system powering ChatGPT. Microsoft confirmed this upgrade is running in the new Bing search experience launched earlier this year. The upgrade’s capabilities are an improvement in terms of reliability, creativity, and the handling of nuanced instructions. 

Bing Chat search result for high-def plasma cutting in Houston.

The difference between a traditional search and a chat search is the delivery of information. A chat search will give you a human-like response offering definitions (most common use case), products, services, and supporting links. While the landscape is different, the foundation of the search is the same as a traditional search results page. 

What Does Bing’s Update Mean for Businesses Now?

Not much will change here as the output or result is still only as good as the input. GPT-4 is pulling directly from the internet up to September 2021. If the B-SMART® Method was in place on your website before that, the AI will respond to user intent and align your target keywords to prospective buyers.  

The B-SMART Method is TopSpot’s tried-and-true approach to getting in the search results of quality leads.

If this method was not in place—don’t sweat it. Traditional search is still dominant given the technology has been on the market for a matter of weeks and Bing currently has a 23% market share when it comes to search. However, given Google’s race to catch up on the AI front or the potential for Bing to gain a stronger following, thinking of the future is critical. Putting a B-SMART strategy in place will prepare your business for when AI catches up and pulls more recent content.

Google’s Latest Core Algorithm Updates

The last few updates from Google focused on trust and helpful content. Last week, Google announced what it’s calling the March 2023 Broad Core Update, and it is targeting all types of content globally, promoting and rewarding helpful content. There’s been no answer to how many queries will be impacted, but it is assumed to be wide-reaching. 

Core updates take weeks to roll out, so it’s too early to address the impact. Algorithm fluctuations can affect results early on, but once an update is complete, results stabilize, and we can start observing trends. While you may hear some concern in the news, no one truly knows the impact just yet.

What Does Google’s Update Mean for Businesses Now?

As with Bing’s changes, what we can assess is the foundation of search engines—user intent. To make sure current or future core algorithm updates do not impact search rankings, using the B-SMART method keeps websites aligned with altering algorithms by providing unique, valuable, and helpful content that answers a users’ query. 

How TopSpot Keeps an Eye on Updates

We’ve seen a lot of updates over the last 20 years, so we know that no matter what Google or Bing does, they prioritize the accessibility of useful information and valuable content regardless of the technologies operating behind the scenes. TopSpot’s BSMART Method was developed to do exactly that, providing valuable content based on user intent.  

At TopSpot, as soon as the algorithm was announced, our SEO team came up with a plan to monitor the changes and address impacted strategies based on the data. We continue to monitor metrics and performance, looking for opportunities to boost rankings with quality content. To do this, we keep it simple.

The four steps TopSpot takes when evaluating Client success.

It all goes back to leads, and TopSpot focuses on positioning Clients in digital landscapes that matter through an integrated strategy that ultimately generates high-quality leads. TopSpot’s invaluable lead data through LOOP Analytics validates the success of this strategy. If you have questions about your search rankings reach out to your CRT or SEM specialist. If you aren’t a TopSpot Client and want to stay ahead of changes like these, contact us for more information.   

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