Generative AI Insights from Google Search Central Live In Tokyo

The Google Search team hosted Google Search Central Live, the first live event in Japan since the 2019 Webmaster Conference.

Website owners, digital marketers, web developers and SEO professionals attended the event from June 15th to 16th, which served as a platform to discuss SEO and website optimization best practices, while also providing an opportunity to learn from industry experts and the Google Search team.

Attendees had the chance to interact with online professionals from various regions, learn about the latest developments in Google Search, and participate in discussions about improving their website’s search performance.

While the event wasn’t open to the press for coverage reasons, it was attended by a diverse lineup of speakers, including Googlers and pundits. Speakers shared their knowledge and expertise on website performance and Google search results optimization.

Below are insights from the event shared with the hashtag #SearchCentralLive on Twitter.

Google Search and Generative AI

As expected, many #SearchCentralLive tweets revolved around AI.

Several tweets from the event included comments from Gary Ilyes, a Google analyst, about generative AI.

An interesting slide shared on Twitter from the event included an important reminder to write for humans, not robots.

Google SearchLiasion shared the same memo nearly 12 hours later in response to a recent item which apparently encourages ecommerce store owners to create bot content.

Google’s Generative AI FAQ

One participant shared a link to a Google document that answers frequently asked questions about Generative AI.

In it, Google explained the following about generative AI and large language models.

  • Generative AI refers to machine learning models that can use what they’ve learned from data to create new content such as text, images, music, and code. They learn through patterns in the data.
  • Large Language Models (LLMs) are generative AI models that can predict next words in text based on the patterns they have learned.
  • LLMs are not databases or information retrieval systems. They generate answers based on their learned models, so their answers may contain factual errors.
  • LLM safety and risk must be managed through measures such as training data filtering, model tuning and fact-checking answers.
  • LLMs are trained on large amounts of data to learn models – the more varied the data, the better the model performs.
  • LLMs do not inherently understand the information they generate. Their responses that appear to show emotion or opinion come from the patterns they learned from man-made data.
  • LLMs ‘hallucinate’ when they generate actually incorrect and seemingly coherent answers due to insufficient pertinent information. Hallucinations can be reduced but not completely prevented.
  • Mitigating biases in Generative AI models involves enhancing them with balanced data representing different perspectives and viewpoints.

Updated search quality user report

Google recently updated the form that allows Google Search users to report spam to ensure that search results meet Google Search Essentials.

Attendees shared the new feedback form, which includes options for spam content, spammy behavior, deception, low quality, paid links, or other abuse of search tactics. It also has a bulk send feature for sending up to five pages in one report.

The search status dashboard

Another helpful link shared by several attendees was for the Google Search Status Dashboard. This dashboard shows the current status of crawling, indexing, rating, and publishing issues that may be of concern to website owners.

Generative AI Insights from Google Search Central Live In TokyoScreenshot from Google, June 2023

Fast-paced speeches

In addition to informative speeches and presentations, the event offered unique features such as Lightning Talks sessions.

These sessions deviated from traditional conference formats and consisted of short, quick presentations. Each speaker was given a 7-minute time limit and a limited number of slides to convey their ideas, promoting cross-disciplinary conversations and collaboration.

A lightning talk session covered the use of Chat AI at work, which suggested that many workers don’t understand how to use AI chatbots for the right tasks. The speaker recommended that AI chat is best for idea generation, writing, coding, translations, and summaries.

As a great use case example, I used Google Translate (which uses artificial intelligence) to translate many tweets, slides, and documents about the event.

You can view more Lightning Talks on YouTube, including this recent one on Search Console for news sites.

Valuable insights for website owners

Overall, Google Search Central’s live event provided a valuable platform for website owners, web developers and SEO professionals to enhance their knowledge of Google Search and improve the performance of their website.

With its diverse lineup of speakers, tailored content, and networking opportunities, these events can be a productive and engaging experience for attendees.

Featured image: Daboost/Shutterstock

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