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Search Engine Recap - Week 8 (2024)

Every week, we bring you the biggest news and updates from the search engine world to keep your SEO strategy competitive. Welcome to the 8th week of the year.

Welcome to week 8, which has seen exciting updates from Google as well as criticism of the search engine's algorithm. Additionally, rumors are circulating that OpenAI 'might' be developing a new search engine. Here's an overview for you.

Google Updates 'Image Removal' Guidance

Google has updated its guidelines for removing images - also known as Image Removal - from its search index, providing more detailed instructions for website owners. This update is crucial for anyone needing to manage the visibility of images in Google's search results more effectively.

google image removal guidelines

The new guidance outlines the steps to remove images and offers solutions to common issues encountered in the process.

Understanding these updated procedures is essential to ensure that images are indexed correctly or removed in accordance with Google's guidelines and your strategy.

Google Announces Gemma

Google has introduced Gemma, a laptop-friendly open language model based on Gemini technology, which will assist both developers and analysts.

google gemma announcement

Available in two versions, with two billion or seven billion parameters, Gemma has a large vocabulary of 250.000 tokens, enhancing its versatility.

The model is developed with a focus on security and accountability and comes with a toolkit to further optimize security.

Gemma represents a step forward in accessibility and security within artificial intelligence and large language models.

You can read more about the introduction of Gemma here.

Introducing 'Help Me Write'

Google has launched 'Help Me Write', an AI assistant for the Chrome browser, designed to enhance writing tasks by offering suggestions and improvements as you type.

google chrome help me write

This tool aims to make writing more efficient and is part of Google's ongoing focus on integrating AI into everyday applications. It can be particularly time-saving and content-optimizing for those looking to convert thoughts into coherent text.

Initially, the feature is available in English only for users in the USA.

Google Expands Structured Data for Product Variants

Google has announced expanded structured data for product variants in search results, offering more optimization opportunities, especially crucial for e-commerce businesses.

structured data support for product variants

The new markup allows online retailers to display different variations of products they sell, such as color, size, material, and more.

Previously, Google supported structured data for single products, shipping, and returns. The updated options now allow for even more specific and user-friendly presentations.

Websites must use the ProductGroup type and associated properties to implement the new markup.

Valid structured data is eligible for inclusion in Google's search results, but it does not guarantee that Google will display the page as a rich result - this also requires helpful content and holistic optimization.

Criticism of Google's Algorithm for Bias

Google's review system algorithm has been criticized for being biased by favoring larger brands over independent publishers.

Following several instances raised by smaller media, Google has addressed concerns about potential bias in its review algorithm in response to evidence suggesting differences in how reviews are treated and displayed.

Investigations into this issue are ongoing, and improvements are anticipated. This response is crucial for those in SEO and companies working with product reviews, as it may explain selected search results today and Google's increased focus on improving the algorithm.

OpenAI with a New Search Engine?

We conclude with rumors that OpenAI is developing a new search engine.

News of OpenAI's alleged development of a search engine that could challenge Google raises questions about its feasibility and purpose.

Reports suggest that OpenAI's project might leverage Bing's technology, leading to speculation about whether it would truly challenge Google or serve another function.

There are also concerns about OpenAI's lack of expertise in information retrieval and Microsoft's potential involvement in the project.

The timing of the announcement, coinciding with Google's Gemini updates, adds further interest to the situation, leading some to speculate whether it was more of a publicity stunt.

Overall, while the news has generated significant interest, it also underscores uncertainties surrounding the idea of an OpenAI search engine.

This is partly due to the difficulty in seeing how the search engine would be justified, as OpenAI already runs on Bing's search engine, and Bing already has its chat functionality. However, it could perhaps be more of a bid for a search engine within the chat, but time will tell.

Takeaways and Recommendations

Week 8 was a bit of a mix of everything, from updates to existing guidelines to news on new developments. Additionally, we were introduced to Gemma, which will be relevant to follow and understand.

Those working in e-commerce should particularly optimize based on the new structured data opportunities for product variants. This helps both users and the search engine better understand the different products today and in the future.

However, it still remains unclear whether OpenAI is actually developing a search engine and how it would function. Some believe it's a stunt, while others might be convinced. What we always know is that only time will tell, and the development is often more than exciting.

Thomas Bogh

CPO & Partner

Thomas er CPO samt Partner, hvorfor fokus til dagligt ligger i evig analyse af Googles algoritme og udvikling af SEO som produkt. Thomas har arbejdet med SEO i flere år med stor passion for at sprede know how på, hvordan man som virksomhed implementerer SEO bedst i sin forretning. Ved siden af Bonzer bidrager Thomas med viden til læserne hos bl.a. Search Engine Journal, DanDomain og Detailfolk. Herudover har han også undervist i Digital Mediestrategi på Copenhagen Business School i København. Har du ønsker eller spørgsmål vedr. SEO universet, kan du altid kontakte ham på [email protected].

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A brief meeting, where we review your position in the market and present the opportunities.