Search News You Can Use Episode 266 -Is the death of websites near? Plus turbulence as two Google updates continue to roll out

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You need to be paying close attention to AI chat. There is a good chance that we are on the cusp of a change in the internet that has massive implications for civilization. This may sound like I am overreacting. Perhaps I am. In this episode I will share how AI based chat, whether it comes from OpenAI, Google or someone else is going to cause the loss of millions of jobs. We need to prepare ourselves.

In SEO news, we are still in the midst of two Google updates:

The December Helpful Content Update was supposed to be finished rolling out but Google told us it will take longer.

The December Link Spam Update is rolling out and it is impactful. I will report in future episodes on what I am seeing. Many sites are affected.

In many cases people have no clue what hit them.

Important Google update news

Both the December Helpful Content Update and December Link Spam Update are still rolling out. To recap:

December helpful content update (HCU)

  • Started rolling out December 5.
  • Google said it would take two weeks to completely roll out and then told us that “this one is going to take longer.”
  • I have not analyzed sites hit yet. There are many. This is not just an update that hit sites using large amounts of automation.

December link spam update (LSU)

  • Started rolling out December 14. Still running.
  • I have not analyzed this yet, but can see that many sites are hit. I see several clients with decreases that may be related to link building methods, many of which would be considered whitehat. I will share more when I analyze this update once it is complete.
  • Google says this update nullifies links that go against their guidelines.

There is significant turbulence but this could be due to holiday shopping and many other things as discussed in last week’s podcast.

The paid version of newsletter this week is the most important I’ve ever written. I share extensive thoughts on:

  • How to determine what has caused traffic losses in December.
  • How I believe AI will radically change the world. And quickly. GPTChat is not just a glorified chatbot. It’s damn good. And there’s a good chance that it will drastically change your job in the very near future. There will be great need for people who understand what is happening and can advise businesses. But I feel that there will be great devastation as well. I know that sounds dramatic. I hope I am wrong.
  • Search in video (related to MUM?)
  • A couple of excellent new resources to help you better understand and implement schema.

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Podcast / YouTube

The point of last week’s episode was to help you cut through the confusion and understand the different things that could be impacting your traffic right now. You can listen to the audio version here:

I also had fun doing two livestreams this week where I opened up the QRG and reviewed the new changes. There are a lot!

In this one I shared a bit about how I use ChatGPT as an assistant, while dissecting the new QRG changes.

Important for local businesses

Helpful for local businesses

Does the text of your review impact where you rank? Joy says no!

Google Business profiles are appearing in Discover

12 local search developments you need to know about.

Who keeps editing your listing?

SEO Jobs

Looking for a new SEO job? is a job board curated by real SEOs for SEOs. Take a look at five of the hottest SEO job listing this week (below) and sign up for the weekly job listing email only available at

I hope I have not been too gloomy in this episode! I really can’t see how the world will not soon be changing dramatically with the help of AI. I do have to say that I am more excited than terrified, but both of those emotions have been living in me this week.

I wish you the best for the holidays! We will be snowed in this Christmas – rumors of power outages too with a big storm. So it should be fun! David bought a generator and we are all set.

I am not sure whether I will be producing a newsletter next week. There will be no podcast episode (most likely…we’ll see!)

Merry Christmas!


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