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Episode 20

| January 11, 2023

How to adapt to changes on the SERP?

Did you know Google calls its own SERP an ecosystem? That’s right. Today’s SERP is its own living, breathing thing. Google is constantly coming up with new SERP features & changes which impact rankings and placement of content.

How do you adapt to all these changes, you ask? That’s exactly what we’ll discuss in this episode of the SERPs Up SEO Podcast!

With over 12 years of SEO experience, Lily Ray has led SEO campaigns for dozens of major retailers and brands. She joins the SERP’s Up team this week to discuss SERP changes and their impact on CTRs. Join Mordy and Crystal, and learn how to cope with SERP changes.

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00:36:25

SERP's Up Podcast: How to adapt to changes on the SERP? | With  
Lily Ray

This week’s guest

About

Ryan has been working in SEO for 7 years and has worked both agency-side and in-house as well as building his own websites as side projects. Currently he's focussed on growing Land of Rugs into an 8-figure revenue business, using organic growth as the vehicle for doing that. Of course, he's having fun and learning lots on the way too.

About

Ryan has been working in SEO for 7 years and has worked both agency-side and in-house as well as building his own websites as side projects. Currently he's focussed on growing Land of Rugs into an 8-figure revenue business, using organic growth as the vehicle for doing that. Of course, he's having fun and learning lots on the way too.

Transcript

Mordy Oberstein:

It's the new wave of SEO podcasting. Welcome to SERPS Up. Aloha, Mahalo for joining the SERPS Up podcast. We're pointing out some groovy new insights around what's happened in an SEO. I'm Mordy Oberstein, Head of SEO branding at Wix, and I'm joined by the lustrous, the fabulous, the amazingly whatever, whatever, whatever, I've run out of adjectives yet again, the head of SEO communications here at Wix's Crystal Carter.

Crystal Carter:

That was an amazing introduction, Mordy.

Mordy Oberstein:

I know. I totally nailed it, right? Nailed it.

Crystal Carter:

You nailed it.

Mordy Oberstein:

I nailed it. I had all the words in my head and I forgot them.

Crystal Carter:

But whatever, whatever, whatever, I think I should get that on a business card.

Mordy Oberstein:

I want that on my tombstone, whatever, whatever, whatever, Mordy Oberstein.

Crystal Carter:

I mean, to be fair, it's normally a shower of compliments, which I'll take that. I'll take that.

Mordy Oberstein:

I meant, whatever best adjectives you can think of and that's what I meant.

Crystal Carter:

Insert adjective here.

Mordy Oberstein:

That's in my heart.

Crystal Carter:

Someone posted an outreach email that was like, insert name.

Mordy Oberstein:

I saw that on Twitter.

Crystal Carter:

Here, insert name. I hope, insert current event and or whether and/or blank, we would be delighted to have you, blah, blah, blah. I was just like, "Wow." It's like you were sincerely, insert name, again.

Mordy Oberstein:

Amazing. Wow. They have one job to do.

Crystal Carter:

Yeah. Honestly. Honestly.

Mordy Oberstein:

Yeah. Well, cold outreach is hard. Let's be fair.

Crystal Carter:

Oh man.

Mordy Oberstein:

Oh, it's so hard.

Crystal Carter:

The thing that used to drive me crazy is when people would call you up and they'd be like, "Oh, can I have five minutes of your time?" I'd be like, "No. My God."

Mordy Oberstein:

Telemarketers back in the day... Now I just get spam on my text messages and scams in my text messages. It used to be scam phone calls at home, at dinner.

Crystal Carter:

Scam calls at home, at dinner. Right, right. I used to get them at the agency. People would call us up and they'd be like, "Can I have five minutes of your time?" I was like, "I don't know, how much money you got. I have billable hours. These are billable hours, sir." Like, "No, I don't have time for you, because I'm on billable hours. Goodbye."

Mordy Oberstein:

But aren't you interested in the Renoco slow cooker?

Crystal Carter:

I'm not doing a survey for you for free. What? No.

Mordy Oberstein:

The SERPS Up podcast is brought to you by Wix's, where you can manage your local citations, respond to user reviews across various platforms, and even set up Google posts. All right. From Wix with our overall app. Look for it in the app market within the Wix dashboard. We're talking about the Uberall app and all that local stuff, because local stuff is full of SERP feature stuff and SERP feature stuff is what we're talking about, because it's constantly changing. The SERP is constantly changing, which is why today we're talking about how you can adapt to the changes on the Google results page.

Things like why, oh why is Google changing all the time, all the time, and how to keep up with these changes. Why you should keep up with these changes and what you should do with all of these changes. Also, the Great Lily Ray stops by to share the most significant changes and trends she's seen on the SERP and we dive into a tool to help you keep track of those changes. Of course, we got some snappy news for you and a very special edition of who you should be following on social media for more SEO awesomeness. Episode number 20 of the SERPS Up podcast is on the move.

Crystal Carter:

I can't believe we're at episode 20.

Mordy Oberstein:

Isn't that nuts?

Crystal Carter:

This is crazy, Mordy. What have we been doing with ourselves?

Mordy Oberstein:

I've been podcasting this whole time. I don't know what you've been doing.

Crystal Carter:

I feel like a celebration is an order or something. I don't know. What is it like-

Mordy Oberstein:

Well, in the last episode, I think we mentioned every time we dance when we celebrate.

Crystal Carter:

This is true. This is true. We'll do a little's podcast dance.

Mordy Oberstein:

This is a time on sprockets when we dance, for all you Saturday Night Live folks from back in the '90s.

Crystal Carter:

If anybody is listening to this podcast, I hope people are listening to this podcast, but everyone who's listening to this podcast, the dance moves that I'm doing right now are incredible. But you've never seen dance this….

Mordy Oberstein:

You're not even dancing anymore.

Crystal Carter:

I am dancing, Mordy, and the moves are incredible and amazing and they're world changing. Oh, now Mordy's doing some very strange dancing.

Mordy Oberstein:

The John Volta thing from Pulp Fiction. Anyway, let's talk Google and it's search results, because the SERP is an ecosystem. I was at a Google event recently in Tel Aviv a little while ago, and that's how Google described themselves and the SERP. They called it an ecosystem, a little spoiler, not sure I'm allowed to share that are not. Too late. They called it an ecosystem. And because it is an ecosystem, it's not just a spattering of URLs and do-hickeys, aka SERP features. It's a living, breathing dynamic and it is indeed a dynamic. Things in a dynamic constantly change and on Google and this dynamic, it is very much constantly changing. I don't just mean URLs and changing in rank. I mean the very fabric of that ecosystem. The ether that is the SERP is always changing.

I'm talking about, again, not just the results that Google's showing, but also the media format Google tends to prefer for various keyword intents, how it goes about showing that information. It's not just what Google shows, but how is it showing it to searchers and how is that changing over time? Then what does that say about the way we consume content? Because there are a lot of lessons you can learn from what Google is doing on the results page and how it's changing. Of course, I'm talking about the format of the very SERP itself and the tests and the changes that it makes inside of SERP features. Things like boxes and carousels and do-hickeys, SERP features, which we spoke about on the podcast a couple weeks ago with Kevin Indig. By the way, from now on, calling SERP features do-hickeys officially.

Crystal Carter:

I'm totally on board with that. I think that's fine.

Mordy Oberstein:

SERP do-hickeys.

Crystal Carter:

Yeah, I think in the animated Spiderman that was recently out, I think Spiderman calls it like a dongle or a dougle or something. The thing that you've got to go get to save the day.

Mordy Oberstein:

Yeah, dougle. Yeah, sure.

Crystal Carter:

Yeah, and that sort of thing.

Mordy Oberstein:

That's what these SERP features are and Google's always testing new functionality inside of them and new elements inside of them. Sometimes keeping up with them at least can sometimes feel voyeuristic, but as someone who tries to keep up with all of it, if you take a step back and you try to aggregate all of the changes that Google's making on the SERP, it does kind of paint a picture of how that ecosystem is functioning and working and what kind of things Google wants from you. So let's start off with why is Google always changing this thingamajigger around so much, Crystal?

Crystal Carter:

I think the reason why they make a lot of these updates is because the way that we search for information and the way that we access information is constantly changing. So if you think about mobile first, for instance, and the mobile age, when Google first started way, way, way back in the day, there was pretty much one way to access the internet and it was on your computer in your house or in your office. That was one way to access information online. Now there's lots of ways to access information online, your computer, your phone, your car, your refrigerator, your washing machine. There's lots of different ways that you can access information from the web and Google has to be there to meet those requests and to satisfy those queries. The features that we see, a lot of the SERP features are actually very mobile first, for instance.

Those big boxes are really easy to click. They're much easier to click than a single word. The SERP features where if you think about recipes, for instance, they have a video, they'll often have a video card that's animated. Again, these are things that are really useful for people. Also, there's a lot of input on Google now. I don't know if you've watched that Wednesday series on Netflix, and if you watch a new series on Netflix or whatever it is, then you can go onto Google. When you look that up, you can also submit a review there.

If I go to a restaurant somewhere, for instance, I can also submit a review there. I can say I'm here right now and it's busy, for instance. So it's a two-way conversation. In order for Google to keep up with that, they have to adapt and they have to adapt to new features that are available on phones. They have to adapt to new ways that people are accessing the web. They have to adapt to lots of different things so that they can provide the most accurate and the most accessible in lots of different ways, both accessible with a small A, of both accessible on a phone and also accessible for people who have different abilities and different accessibility challenges. Yeah, they have to make sure that the web is most accurate and most accessible and that the information that people are getting from them is good.

Mordy Oberstein:

The mobile case is a really good example of that. It's a really stark example of that, how the web changes, user behavior changes, consumer expectations, user expectations change, and Google has to adapt and you can really dive into... That's why I think by the way, that when you look at what Google's changing on the results page, it's a good way of looking and seeing how Google thinks users and their content consumption experience and expectations are also changing. You can always take away lessons from that. The thing that speaks out to me the most, and you really dive into this, is you see the way that Google has changed the formatting of the SERP, it's very visual now. Or for example, it used to be you searched for Jameson Tyrone, who's a pitcher in baseball, used to be for the Yankees. he got traded to the Cubs, not traded, signed with the Cubs recently. It doesn't matter.

Crystal Carter:

Oh yeah, of course.

Mordy Oberstein:

Yeah, of course. Obviously, right? It used to be a kind of linear, it would give you a picture of him, maybe some stats about him, but now it's way more immersive. Google shows you a video up there and a bunch of these little bubble things about how tall he is, how much salary is, a little snippet about him. It's a lot more dynamic than it used to be, because consumer expectations around consuming content have change and Google's trying to align with that. I think it's a good lesson just as to why it's important to keep up with these things. Content is malleable, the expectations around them are very, very malleable. It's always changing. I always go back to the 1960s, six '60s, it's got to be '60, presidential debate between Richard Nixon and JFK. Crystal's looking at me like, "What the hell are you going to say now?"

It was the first televised debate on TV, that's where things are televised obviously, that's not redundant. If you listened on the radio, you thought Nixon won the debate. But if you watched it on TV, you thought that Kennedy won the debate and always say it like this, because why? Because Richard Nixon looked like Richard Nixon and JFK looked like JFK. But it changed expectations around what people want out of that kind of content. They want to be much more visual. That includes certain implications about how the content is delivered. It's the same thing with web content. It's constantly changing. People are expecting different things out of it. They're expecting to be way more quality now than they did in the past. Why? You see this conversation about Google and quality results and are Google's results quality, because what people expect constantly changes and the SERP changes along with that. So that's why it's really important to keep up with it. But now I guess the question is, how do you keep up with all of it?

Crystal Carter:

I mean Barry Schwartz is one, shout out to Senior Roasty Break.

Mordy Oberstein:

Is this new?

Crystal Carter:

Is this new? So yeah, so that's really useful. I think also it's important to remember that Google doesn't even always know when... I'm sure someone at Google knows, but there's a lot of tests being run in conjunction with each other a lot of the time. So I think that there are particular verticals where there's going to be a lot of action. I think in e-commerce there's a lot of changes very regularly. That's a very dynamic SERP. So if you are in an e-commerce space regularly check in on some of your keywords and on how-

Mordy Oberstein:

It's been nuts.

Crystal Carter:

Yeah, how they're displayed on the SERP. You won't even see those displayed in third party tools necessarily, because they're adding new elements to the SERP all the time. They can't tell you much more about them, because there isn't really a metric for it yet, because it only just showed up. If there's particular SERPS that are really valuable to you, actually Google them every now and then. I don't know, once a week, maybe once a day, but depending on what it is, because they will change. I don't think necessarily you need to know every single SERP feature that's ever existed for every single thing.

Mordy Oberstein:

What?

Crystal Carter:

So for instance, there's-

Mordy Oberstein:

What? Wait, you don't?

Crystal Carter:

No, I don't think so? I mean, if it's not at the-

Mordy Oberstein:

You're killing me here.

Crystal Carter:

I mean from an SEO point of view, it's useful, but if you are somebody who is a business owner, you don't necessarily need to know..

Mordy Oberstein:

No, you're totally right. I'm a freak. I get it.

Crystal Carter:

But Google for instance, also some of the sort of features on Google are also tools. For instance, I looked up timer, I needed a timer and I didn't want to dig around in my phone to find the timer. I just typed in timer into Google and there's a timer and I can just use a timer. There's also, I was doing some sewing and I needed to get the circumference so I could do a circle and stuff and they have it. There's a pie conference, pie R squared, find the diameter, solve for R, all of that sort of stuff. You can just put in one of the metrics and it'll spit out the others. There's lots of tools like that that are in the SERP. Some of those elements will push down other parts of the SERP and might change the things.

For instance, if you have an article about circumference or the origins of pie or how to solve pie for, I don't know, 1700 places or whatever it is, you might be lowered down and you might see different click-through rate before, if there's now a tool on that SERP. Understand which queries are relevant to you and keep an eye on those queries actually in the SERP or those queries. I don't think it necessarily has to be every single one, but if there's particular ones that you know you get a lot of traffic or you know are head terms that have a knock on effect for the rest of your keyword profile, then make sure that you're checking in on those SERPS regularly.

Mordy Oberstein:

Oh my god, I have so much to say now. I don't know where to start. You said so much.. I actually do that. I have a thing, I put it on my notes, check the SERP once a week. Yeah, you're right, you can't do it for everything, but I just kind of want to see what's happening in the ecosystem. Two, your point about e-com is amazing, because back in the day when I was really first getting started, checking in all these SERP features all the time, I'm thinking like 2016, 2017, a lot of the changes were around local, local packs, local finder, map, all those kind of stuff. They kind of told you where Google's focus was, which was very much local. If you look at what Google's changing today and what they're announcing today about how they're changing the results page, it's almost all, not say all, but a lot of it is about e-com.

Then it just goes to show you where Google thinks opportunity is, where Google's focus, maybe we speaks to where Google thinks the web is heading. Maybe the web itself is coming more e-com focused as opposed to informational focused. So seeing where Google's making these changes is another reason why it's important to keep track. Kind of shows you where they think things are at and what's important to them. In terms of tracking it? Yeah, Barry is an amazing resource. We're going to talk about more resources a little bit later on, but definitely one of the things I like doing is looking at seroundtable.com every day, because Barry will keep track of what's been happening. Again, it kind of seems like, wow, they changed the line here, who cares? Sometimes legit is that, they changed a line here, who cares? But sometimes when you aggregate it all together, it kind of helps you to understand directionally what's happening.

Again, as you mentioned, there's definitely real impact. One of the things that Google announced recently is there's like these filters or carousel filtered to the top of the results page. I've been screaming about this forever, not forever, for two years, because they've been there for two years in a different format. They've been more bubble filter kind of things. You'd search, where to go on vacation? And there'd be a filter of with kids, without kids, without kids, for your parents, I don't know, whatever it is. In the summertime? Instead of seeing your feature snippet there, I would just bypass and then go without kids and see results for all the vacation results without kids, just so I can dream. Yes, all of that. Oh my gosh, I just said a lot there, I know.

Crystal Carter:

I know, I know and I agree with you. I think that for those topic levels, again, that is something that is around mobile first, because without kids it's easier to just click it than it is to type it all in again. Also, I think that you were talking about back in the day it was about local and now it's more about e-com, some of these things have to do with some of the tools that Google has available, some of the new shiny tools that Google has available. Google Maps was the big thing for Google for a while. They have gone all in on that. They covered every inch of the globe. I've personally seen them driving around the streets of my town.

Mordy Oberstein:

It's a weird camera thingy.

Crystal Carter:

Right, and I'm like, "Oh look, there's Google. It's Google."

Mordy Oberstein:

There they are.

Crystal Carter:

Right. I've seen people who've tagged, they're like, "There's my dad in a Google Maps picture." These are the things. So Google Maps was the big one. At the moment they're going really big on visual search. A lot of stuff from vision AI and they're adding loads of that to the e-commerce experience, partially, because you can think about the wider ecosystem. Within Amazon, they have a visual search thing. I could take a picture of a handbag and they could be like, "Oh, this handbag?" And Google's trying to follow suit using a lot of the tools that they have.

I think that thinking about that and thinking about where they're going is really useful. We talked about Barry Schwartz. It's also really useful if you want to have a bird's eye view of some of the things that Google's going to be rolling out. Things like Google IO and search on our amazing resources so they're free. Google has a couple of big annual events where they'll say the kinds of things that they're doing over the next year or so and then over the next few months you'll see them sort of slowly rolled out.

Mordy Oberstein:

The filter thing is from IO.

Crystal Carter:

Exactly. So it's worth paying attention to those. You can watch them at a time and a half if you want to save some time. Failed to do a little recap of it as well.

Mordy Oberstein:

That makes me nuts by the way, does FYI. The time and a half, I know people love that... Glen Gabe loves that. I love that.

Crystal Carter:

I love it.

Mordy Oberstein:

It makes me crazy.

Crystal Carter:

It's my favorite. I love it.

Mordy Oberstein:

One thing I do want to hit on, which we kind of barely touched on, which you really dive into is the SEO tools and the third party tracking. Because one, as you mentioned, they don't always track these things and show them how it impacts your rank, but they do track that they exist on the SERP. Sometimes you see a lot of posts about go after those SERP features, go into the SEO tool, see what SERP features are showing for the queries that are important for you and get those SERP features.

There's this kind of pressure of better go get those SERP features, I won't get any traffic. I feel like as anything in SEO, that really depends. I think that comes down to opportunity costs. What's there for you? Look, PAA box is great. Sometimes the questions are wonky. So if the SEO tool is telling you, "Yeah, you better get a PAA box, people also ask, there's four questions there, you expand the box, you get your URL in there, people will grab that URL and go to your website." Yeah, they would if the questions are relevant, but if the questions are wonky, they're not.

Crystal Carter:

Yeah. The other thing I would say about that is good about third party tools particularly, and that sort feature element that you're talking about is they'll tell you if a SERP is particularly spicy. So if you're seeing that for your query, there's like four different SERP features that they're saying are available for that, then that's telling you that that's a busy SERP and that if you've just got a page of text, that probably ain't going to cut it.

Mordy Oberstein:

Yeah, there's multiple kind of intent there. There's image intent, video intent. There's all kinds of things there. Yeah, I'm not knocking the tools. Tools are great.

Crystal Carter:

Yeah, yeah. But I think that if it's telling you that there's a busy SERP, then that means that we got to mix it up here, people. We can't just do text, we need to have texts, maybe some images, maybe some video, maybe something else going through there. I don't know, I don't know, I said lots of things.

Mordy Oberstein:

Totally. But take it all with opportunity costs, because again, you can have a feeder snippet there and Wikipedia's in there. Let me tell you something about that Wikipedia URL, that's not going anywhere.

Crystal Carter:

Not going anywhere. It's not going anywhere at all. Yeah, there's a few different things you can think about, but I think that it can also tell you that there are other opportunities. Because I think when we think about SERP features, we sometimes think about SERP features on the main part of Google, but there are SERP features within SERP features and there's also lots of different parts of Google. So there's the images, there's shopping, there's news, there's travel, there's things like that. There's lots of stuff within that. You can pitch for one part at one heavy SERP feature and potentially make your way onto the main as well. So it's complex, but it's worth doing.

Mordy Oberstein:

Yeah, definitely worthwhile to track all this. Definitely worthwhile to read up on all of this. If a new feature does get announced and you think it might impact you, don't freak out. Let's see how it goes. I look at these things very directionally and I would take thematically, analyze what's kind of happening on the SERP and see where's Google going with all this? So many filters, oh I guess I should probably write much more specific information than it was in the past, because Google's getting more filters. But I don't want to get lost in all this, because we have an amazing guest. Lily Ray is here. She is phenomenal.

Crystal Carter:

Lily Ray. She's the best.

Mordy Oberstein:

She the best. We did a wonderful webinar with her and Glen Gabe all about content and what you should be doing with content around your website. But today Lily's here to talk about, because she very much keep us up with all of this, what's the most significant change or trend on the SERP that's been out there in the relatively recent past? So Lily's here to tell us what's she seen.

Lily Ray:

So the most significant change to the SERP that I've seen maybe in the last year or so is really just Google becoming a lot more visual with the types of results that it's showing. Not just in terms of showing Google images for example, but making the knowledge panel more colorful and robust. If you Google celebrity names, you might see a really colorful panel at the top with a lot of different news about that celebrity or different information about them and they're just kind of tweaking the way that looks. But it does take up a lot of real estate on the page, especially on mobile. That's kind of a big trend with Google in general. I think that they're rolling out a lot of features that are more interactive directly in the search results. They're more colorful, they're more engaging. There's things like journeys and interesting finds and all these different ways that you can get a lot of interactive information directly on Google.

Also, there's a lot of new accordions that they've been rolling out in the last year or two. So of course we see people also ask across the board for most queries these days. I know sometimes the tools show that it comes and goes, but really there's definitely been a big rise and people also ask in the last few years. But beyond that, Google's using that same kind of functionality to roll out across different types of accordions. So things like buy-in guides and things to know, for example. If you'd Google specific medical conditions or products that you might be reviewing, Google can show something like things to know or buy-in guides. That's actually information taken from various different websites and kind of integrated into this accordion where you can learn about specifications about the product or different symptoms and treatments for medical conditions and things like that.

So I think the trend is and always has been that Google's taking information from different sites, repurposing it into different ways that they display directly on the SERP. I mean even as a searcher myself, sometimes I find myself not clicking on any sites, because everything that I need is directly there. These people also ask, accordions are also kind of like if you click on one and then you click on a second one, they just scroll infinitely. So you can click on it, just kind of stay on Google and keep clicking on them. So we've all known this in the SEO space, but it definitely seems to be the case that Google is experimenting with a lot of different features that make it easy to just get all the information you need directly on Google without clicking on anything. As much as a lot of these things appear to be SEO opportunities, I see a lot of people saying, "Hey, how do you get into the people..."

Also ask accordion or buy-in guide accordion and yeah, you should probably do that. But unfortunately, realistically, I don't know how many people are actually clicking into those links and it's very hard to track with search consoles. Yes, optimize in all the different ways that you can, but unfortunately I think the trend continues that a lot of these new features kind of cut into click through rates. It'll be interesting to see what happens in 2023. Hopefully there are some changes that benefit SEO a little bit more and drive more traffic to our sites. So good luck with your rankings.

Mordy Oberstein:

That was amazing as always. Definitely follow Lily on Twitter at Lily Ray NYC. She's all over the place. There's not enough praise I can heap on her and not enough links we can link to where we can find the things that she's talking about. So find all of it.

Crystal Carter:

Yeah, find all of it. She's really active on Twitter, she's really active on LinkedIn as well. She writes loads, she presents at many, many conferences around the world.

Mordy Oberstein:

Many, many.

Crystal Carter:

Around the world. So keep your eye out and yeah, do give Lily a follow, because she shares a lot of great tips and a lot of great insights.

Mordy Oberstein:

Now keeping with the Lily theme, because I actually found out about this from Lily, she shared it on Twitter. I'm like, "Oh, that is cool." It's important to keep up with what's happening on the SERP, not just SERP features, but what's happening with rankings. What I mean by that is not like, "Okay, I'm here now I'm there." I mean what's switched with who and who switched where, because what does that mean? I'll give you a really clear example. All of a sudden you had, I don't know, five ultimate guides are ranking at the top of the SERP and then you see Google swap those five top ultimate guides with that really specific one and shorter answers to that particular query. That kind of tells you that, well the whole intent is flipped. There's a tool out there that Lily has shared a long time ago that I've always loved. It means that for the second week in a row, we're going tool time on the SERPS Up podcast

When you're trying to see who switched with who, who's up, who's down, who got replaced by who on the results page,

Crystal Carter:

Who's on first.

Mordy Oberstein:

Who's on first, now is on second on the second page of the SERP. SISTRIX has a great tool, I don't know the name of it, I don't know if it has a name, but it is part of their trend and I guess it's called Compare SERPS. What it does is, it shows you the date. So let's say on January 1st, it shows you all the URLs that are ranking one through 20 for particular keyword. Then you pull another date, let's say a week later and you can see who went down and who went up and who switched with who. Sometimes there's direct swaps, like this one was number nine and that one went up to number 10 and they actually replaced each other. Those are the ones I really like, because you can see, okay, Google's purposely switching these two URLs around for the same kind of intent or whatever is on the SERP. It's a great tool.

Crystal Carter:

It's a great tool. It's really, really useful and it can help you track activity over time. It can also help you to see the volatility of a SERP over time. So sometimes things will change on the SERP because somebody's published something new and sometimes recency it can be a factor. Let's say nobody's written on a topic since 2018 or something and then you write something in 2022, then Google's like, "Okay, well this is probably more up to date than the thing before." So that might be one of the reasons why, but it's very interesting when you're saying some of these swaps, it's like have they updated something on the content or has Google updated how they understand that content?

Mordy Oberstein:

That's why I like looking at this kind of stuff after an update, because then you can see, okay, I can see this swap. Before the update here was the top 20, after the update, you can see who switched with who. Then take a look at, okay, the one that went up, what did they have on the page that the other one that lost didn't have? Or these five went up, these five went down. Is there a common theme between them? Because then you can try to pull the needle out of the haystack, which is what did Google add to the algorithm that now they're looking for that they couldn't do before? Which is the magic billion-dollar question.

Crystal Carter:

Exactly. I think that this can help you to plan your content, to optimize your content. You talked about opportunity costs to see which opportunities might have the most value for you. I think it's a really, really useful tool, especially as it can sometimes feel a little bit like a memory hole , because you're like, "What? Was that there? Is that new? I'm not sure." So being able to-

Mordy Oberstein:

Were they really ranking number seven last week? I don't remember. But now you know.

Crystal Carter:

Also, I think because sometimes clients will be like, "Oh, it's not on online." And I'm like, "Well it's on mine." Or like, "Oh, it's not on my desktop, we're here." I'm like, "Well mobile, you're there," and that sort of thing. So this is a great example of where a tool is really satisfying at really valuable need from SEO.

Mordy Oberstein:

If you want to look at it, I have the documentation on it, I found it. I will link to it in the show notes for you so you could take a look at it if it's new to you. Now, if that's new to you, what I know what else is new to you is actual news. Every week I get so corny about this pivot, I feel so corny inside, but that's me.

Crystal Carter:

Nailed it.

Mordy Oberstein:

Slightly corny. So anyway, here's Snappy News.

Snappy news. Snappy news. Reports are abound that ChatGPT is coming to Bing. Search from Barry Schwartz, over at Search Engine Land. Microsoft to add ChatGPT features to Bing search. It's not official, but there are reports coming out that Bing could be adding everyone's favorite new technology ChatGPT to Bing search. To quote the source of the, I'll call it rumors, but maybe it's more than rumors. Anyway, to quote them, "Microsoft could soon get a return on its 1 billion investment in open AI creative ChatGPT, Chatbot, which gives human-like text answers to questions. Microsoft is preparing to launch a version of its Bing search engine that uses the artificial intelligence behind ChatGPT to answer some search queries rather than just showing a list of links according to two people with direct knowledge of the plans."

I know there's all sorts of talk about ChatGPT being a search engine killer and that we don't need search engines anymore. We're just going to ask AI writers like ChatGPT questions and it'll spit back answers. I don't see it that way. I'm curious to see how they do integrate it into the platform, obviously makes sense that they invested so much money to do that. However, even if you provide a summary, and now I'm also curious about authorship or attribution, who do you attribute the source of the information. If the source is an AI writer scraping the entire web and regurgitating it back for you, different question. That's more of an ethical question I guess. But either way, even if the AI writer can give a short summary of something, you're, much like a feature snippet, going to need links in order to allow the user to extend the journey they want to learn more about it.

I guess unless it's like a direct answer where they're like, how many home runs did Babe Ruth hit? 714, whatever. Also, there's questions about how it would handle a long tail queries where the information is a little bit more nuanced and so forth. We're probably getting this at a future episode of the SERPS UP podcast we haven't planned already, so stay tuned for that. But I don't think it's a search engine killer.

Also, story number two, here's a fun little one for you. From Barry Schwartz again, over at seroundtable this time, Google's John Mueller says, "SEO skills needed for 2023 are curiosity and persistent." When asked what skills an SEO needs in 2023, Google's John Mueller said, "Curiosity and persistence." What does he mean by that? Who knows. My take, it highlights the creative end of SEO and that SEO is a slow grind with lots of trial and error. That'll do it for this week's version of the Snappy News.

Wasn't that news? Snappy...

Crystal Carter:

Oh, because I mentioned the Wednesday.

Mordy Oberstein:

Because you mentioned Wednesday. See, I haven't watched that yet. I've been like binging an old show I've watched a long time ago. I'm almost through it. It's one of the ones I want to go to.

Crystal Carter:

Go on, what is it? What have you been watching?

Mordy Oberstein:

It's such a guilty pleasure. I don't know if I want to say.

Crystal Carter:

Come on.

Mordy Oberstein:

Are you going to judge me?

Crystal Carter:

No. Probably.

Mordy Oberstein:

Friday Night Lights.

Crystal Carter:

Friday Night Lights. I've heard good things about this. Do you know what that's completely on brand, Mordy. It's a football show.

Mordy Oberstein:

It's a football show. Yeah, there's parts of high school drama and that's a guilty pleasure part. My wife was like, "What are you watching?" I'm like, "Oh, Friday Night Lights," and there's a movie. Don't get confused. It's duplicate content and they're not canonicalised. There's a movie and that's based on a book and that's a true story. That's crazy in its own right, because these people are nuts. Then there's a TV show that's kind of based off the movie format wise, but that's not true at all. And there's a high school drama part of it, which is the guilty... My wife's like, "What the hell are you watching?" But part of it's real and it's good and everyone wants the coach to be their dad kind of thing. It's amazing.

Crystal Carter:

The cool kids are talking to the other kids and somebody's going to go to the dance and all of those things.

Mordy Oberstein:

Yeah, there's a little bit of that. But there's also a little bit like my dad's off fighting in... It's the old show, fighting in Iraq and I'm stuck watching my grandmother who has dementia while I'm going to school and on the football team, kind of thing.

Crystal Carter:

Wow. I wasn't expecting that. This is a deeper show than I was expecting it to...

Mordy Oberstein:

See, it's deeper than you think. Okay. It's deeper than you think.

Crystal Carter:

I thought you were going to say Dawson's Creek or something when you said that.

Mordy Oberstein:

No, I'm not. Who do you think I am?

Crystal Carter:

Lot's of people love Dawson's Creek.

Mordy Oberstein:

Only thing I like my Dawson is the meme with the guy crying. Anyway, okay, follow of the week before we leave, follow week. I mentioned before, we have a very special section of the follow of the week this week, because we're talking about changes on the SERP. There are so many people who cover these things who are keeping up on that and reporting on the news site. I thought instead of giving you one person, because I couldn't narrow it down, I'm going to give you one, two, three, four, five, six people to follow this week.

Oh boy. It's a lot. I'm going to do it. One breath. You ready? Barry Schwartz... I can't give it one breath. Sorry. Barry Schwartz at Rusty Brick, Matt Southern, who writes for SEJ, that's @MattGSouthern, Danny Goodwin, who used to be at SEJ, but now he's a Search Engine Land. That's probably a whole bunch of SEO soap operaness, @MrDannyGoodwin, Goodwin with an I, not a Y. Then there's Lauren Baker, who is the founder of SEJ, which just happens to be a member of our SEO advisory board. He's @LaurenBaker. Then there's Roger Monty who writes for SEJ also and he's @MartinIBuster. Then there's Brody Clark who doesn't write for anybody, but who's just keeping up on all this stuff all the time. He writes his own blog, but he's keeping up on all this stuff on Twitter and he's @BrodySEO. I'm not going to go through spelling all these for you, but I'll link them in the show notes.

Crystal Carter:

Can I also throw out a special mention to Glen Gabe? To Mr. Glen Gabe?

Mordy Oberstein:

Yes, I'm so sorry. I was debating do we have Glen again? Because we had Glen as a follow week in the past, but yes, and @MarieHaines also.

Crystal Carter:

@MarieHaines. @MarieHaines as well. There's so many people who keep up with this. It's so much fun. It's super fun. Also, if you add Barry Schwartz, is this new, it's a lot of fun. Even if he tells you it's not new. If it is new, then you may very well get yourself a little bit of internet fun times.

Mordy Oberstein:

Celebrity and fun. I have a whole website dedicated by the way, isthisnew.com, the Wix site. You can check that out. You can also buy DA from Barry there.

Crystal Carter:

These are all lies, people.

Mordy Oberstein:

No, the fact I have a website called isthisnew.com is not a lie.

Crystal Carter:

Oh, that's not a lie. That's not a lie at all. Mordy has talked a lot about this website. And he's extremely proud of himself.

Mordy Oberstein:

I love it. It's my favorite website. There's a Easter egg, our head of SEO editorial, George Winn who used to work at Search Engine Land and Run SMX. I have a little GIF of him there also. So it's a little fun little one pager website. It shows I have no life.

Crystal Carter:

Follow the whole crew who are keeping up with the SERP, because they will keep you up with the SERP. They're amazing.

Mordy Oberstein:

They'll keep you up on the SERP. It's kind of like SERPS Up. Get it? Oh, amazing. That was amazing. Anyway, we'll link all their profiles in the show notes, because there's way too many spellings to do for you. I'm going to lose all my audience if I do that. Like Mordy, why are you spelling so many names out? I can't write them down fast enough. Anyway, thank you for joining us on the SERPS Up Podcast. Are you going to miss us? Not to worry, we're back with the new episode as we talk about site migrations, thundercloud, lightning, ominous. Look wherever you consume your podcast or our SEO learning hub at wix.com/seo/learn. Look and learn more about SEO. Check out all the great content and webinars we have at the Wix Learning Hub at, you guessed it, wix.com/seo/learn. Don't forget to give us a review on iTunes or a rating on Spotify. Until next time, peace, love, and SEO.

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