Digital Marketing Updates: Google, Microsoft, Amazon and AI SEO Innovations - Date: June 20th, 2024

Google SEO News

Organization-Level Return Policy Markup Support

Google has added support for organization-level return policies, allowing businesses to specify a general return policy rather than individual ones for each product. This update simplifies managing return policy markup and reduces the size of Product structured data. Businesses without a Merchant Center account can now provide a return policy for their business. The Rich Results Test tool can be used to validate the return policy markup.

SEO Recommendations by Jason

As per our SEO News from last week, it is vital that businesses have their snippets updated in GMC; this update would mean that one return policy snippet can be applied to all or a group of products. 

Father's Day Weekend Google Search Ranking Volatility

Significant fluctuations and volatility in Google Search rankings were observed over the Father's Day weekend, with SEOs reporting major changes in keyword rankings. This continues the trend of unconfirmed weekend updates, adding to a series of similar occurrences throughout recent weekends and the earlier March 2024 core update.

SEO Recommendations by Jason

As always these updates can effect positions, temporarily, once updates have passed check back to monitor key search positions, they should stabilize. 

Bing SEO News

Bing Tests Black Review Stars

Microsoft is experimenting with black-colored review stars in Bing Search results, replacing the traditional yellow or orange stars. The reason for this color change is not yet clear.

Amazon SEO News

How to Set Alt Text using AI (Rank with Amazon SEO) 

Stephen Pope, founder of My Amazon Guy, presents an AI hack to optimize alt text for keywords on Amazon. By creating a master keyword list using tools like Helium 10’s X-ray and Cerebro, you can rank and rate keywords. Then, using an AI tool like Claude, generate 90 random sets of 100-character combinations of these keywords. Implement these in the alt text of images in your A+ content on Amazon, utilizing the Image Alt Text Viewer extension to ensure each image has optimized alt text. This method enhances keyword indexing, potentially suggesting increased traffic to your listings.

SEO Recommendations by Jason

ALT Tags in all aspects of SEO are key, wether its a listing on GMC, Amazon, Images in your blog articles or listings on your site. ALT Tags are an extremly powerful way of getting visibile with image search. With this method shared by My Amazon Guy you can automate the listing Alt Tags and faciliate/speed up the process.

AI and SEO News 

AI Overview in Google Search: What You Should Know! 

Google's AI overview feature, introduced at Google IO 2024, aims to improve search efficiency by providing quick, insightful answers and condensing complex topics. Integrated into Google search, it benefits users by saving time and offering relevant recommendations while potentially increasing Google's ad revenue and user engagement. However, concerns include reduced website traffic for smaller sites, the possibility of AI-generated inaccuracies, and limited user control over opting out. Initially an experimental feature, AI overviews are rolling out to all US users with plans for global expansion. The impact on digital traffic and SEO strategies remains to be seen.

SEO Recommendations by Jason

There is still much to be learnt about the true impact of Google’s SGE (or now known as AI Overview). That being said smaller to medium sites (less than 100k visitors monthly) if not ranking in top positions in search willl most likely see volatility in search rankings due to the roll out of AI Overview. This doesn’t mean SERPs are dead, quite the contrary, the importance of ranking in top positions for search terms that are aligned with your core solutions/services/offerings is highly important. I do feel niche websites will outperform the broader sites, and potentially we will see websites becoming more segmented based on their niche and target audience. 

My recommendations are:

  1. Focus on building Niche content vs broader content 
  2. Consolidate your key positions, and create a basis for authority and relevancy on your domain for search terms that make sense for your organization.

Google I/O 2024: Everything Revealed in 12 Minutes Include Project Astra


At Google IO, Google announced several exciting advancements involving its AI technology. They introduced Project Astra, which enhances AI assistants using Gemini models to process information quickly by encoding video frames and combining inputs into an event timeline. They also unveiled "Veo," a generative AI video model that creates high-quality 1080p videos from text, image, and video prompts, providing unprecedented creative control. Additionally, the sixth-generation Trillium TPUs offer significant performance improvements and will be available to cloud customers by late 2024. Furthermore, the AI-powered Google search experience, including AI overviews, will be fully rolled out in the US and expanded globally. Finally, Gemini's capabilities are being integrated into Android 15, providing new AI-driven experiences and features. 

SEO Recommendations by Jason

This is important for content creators to adapt, engage and adopt AI without the loss of the creative input, prompt and strategic direction of content. 

AI doesn’t axe creativity, and wether its a midjourney creation or Veo, these projects, like Astra, are here to reinforce embracing AI is better route vs denial and rejection.

Will Google's AI Overviews Change SEO Forever?


Google introduced four significant updates to its search engine in recent months, marking the most profound changes in 15 years which could change the way users engage with search in such a way that potentially could change the way organizations approach SEO.

1. AI Overviews (formerly SGE):

    * Launching soon, AI Overviews will generate AI-powered answers at the top of search results.

    * Initially limited in display frequency but expected to expand globally and multiple languages.

    * Marketers and the SEO community are obviously concerned about potential impacts on organic traffic.

    * As far as we know, Google will not differentiate traffic from AI Overviews and regular searches in the Search Console.

2. AI-Organized Results Pages:

    * Google's AI will categorize search results under different AI-generated headings.

    * Example: Searching for "anniversary celebration dinner places Dallas" sorts results into sections like restaurants, local listings, and romantic steakhouses.

    * This dynamic approach may complicate navigation but offers a tailored user experience.

3. Multi-Step Reasoning:

    * Google will handle complex queries by breaking them down into parts and providing a comprehensive answer.

    * Example: Finding the best yoga or Pilates studios in Boston with details on intro offers and walking distance.

    * This feature aims to streamline user research but could impact traffic to individual content creators and businesses.

4. Planning Features:

    * Google will help users plan activities directly in search results.

    * Initial focus on meal planning and trip planning, with potential expansion to party planning, date nights, and workouts.

    * This could reduce traffic to websites offering detailed planning guides.

Implications for Marketers:

* Need to optimize content for AI Overviews and ensure brand visibility across the web.

* Focus on generating Google reviews and ratings.

* Anticipate challenges in tracking user journeys and attributing conversions due to increased branded search and less visible user paths.

SEO Recommendations by Jason

These changes will have a tremendous impact on Organic Search traffic, but more importantly will potentially change the way Users engage with Search. Why? Well if these changes impact the way people physcially engage with search engines, we could potentially be seeing a different behaviour which could have a long term effect on the role SEO plays. 

For example these changes could mean people don’t engage with featured snippets, or FAQs, or even go as far as saying, as any results beyond the top 5-10 positions could be considered irrelevant. With that being said does this mean the SERPs are dead? 100% NO. But as these changes are rolled out it will become even more important to establish more authority within the niche the websites care about and focus on maintaining key positions and most importantly building high-value content targetting hyper-specific long tail search terms, building brand awareness, community, and tracking user engagement.