Google Reviews Update is live | What is AutoGPT? Ep.282 (Apr 14, 2023) - Public Version

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A new Google update is live: The April Reviews Update. Now, much more than products are assessed under Google’s review system. This will impact all content that gives recommendations, opinion and analysis on services, travel, and much more. Also, have you heard about AutoGPT? It is mind blowing…we are close to AI that can reason.

Discussed this week:

The stuff that’s just for paid subscribers:

  • Office hours next week
  • March Core Update case – Detailed recovery story shared by Tony Hill with additional thoughts from Marie
  • What will it take to rank in the age of AI search? – Marie’s thoughts with information from the QRG that we should pay attention to


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1) The April Reviews Update

I thought Google had made a typo at first! Not a Product Reviews update, but rather simply Reviews.

Launched April 12, 2023, The Reviews update is an upgraded version of the product reviews update.

Google’s criteria for writing good product reviews have now been modified to apply to any kind of review content. If you are “providing a recommendation, giving an opinion, or providing analysis” your content is likely assessed under this new system.

opinion, analysis

To me, this sounds like it would apply to most of the informational content on the internet.

Google’s documentation on the Reviews Update/System

Google’s checklist of questions to assess your content against

How could Google algorithmically assess questions like this?

We have talked extensively about assessing content against Google’s helpful content questions. These questions are not a direct checklist, but rather, a list of things that Google builds algorithms to try and reward. We first started seeing this type of question with the Panda questions. In 2011, we could not conceive of a set of rules that could be coded into an algorithm to assess content in this way. These questions were seen as nice ideals to shoot for.

Google told us in that Panda post,

“These are the kinds of questions we ask ourselves as we write algorithms that attempt to assess site quality. Think of it as our take at encoding what we think our users want.”

This was before Google started using deep learning models which are now the major AI systems powering search today. They’ve been using AI in their search algorithms since 2016 (I suspect since around the time of Penguin 4.0, the update in which Google told us they can confidently ignore unnatural links). I go into much more detail on this in my upcoming course.

So far, I have not heard much chatter in the community of changes. I have had a quick look at my data and there are a few sites with wild increases that start in early April, but not specifically on April 13.

I suspect this system will act like the helpful content system in that its effect was only seen by some initially, but more and more as the system is improved over time.

2) Changes to video thumbnails in the search results

Starting April 13, Google is only going to show video thumbnails next to a search result when the video is the main content of a page. 

3) AutoGPT

AutoGPT is an open-source experiment, illustrating AI’s potential to think, reason, and perform actions based on user-defined goals.

Some are saying AutoGPT is essentially early AGI or Artificial General Intelligence, refers to an AI system that can perform tasks and process information at or beyond human levels.

I am trying to wrap my head around this. 

The video demo shows a Python program that starts with this warning,

“Continuous mode is not recommended. It is potentially dangerous and may cause your AI to run forever or carry out actions you would not usually authorise. Use at your own risk.”

The user then enters what it is they want the AI to do and sets goals. In the demo’s case, create Chef-GPT, an AI browser designed to browse the web to discover upcoming events and unique and original recipes that would suit it.

AutoGPT then goes through steps that ask it to think, reason, criticize its reasoning and eventually perform actions.


Here are some of the lines:

CHEF-GPT THOUGHTS: I will search for ‘April 2023 events’ to find a more relevant and specific event.

REASONING: My previous search results didn’t have a specific event. Searching for events in April 2023 will give me more focused results

AutoGPT eventually chooses to create a unique recipe for Earth day and creates a prompt for it to use to make a recipe with eco friendly ingredients. It then produces a full recipe for Earth Day Quinoa Salad which sounds delicious!

ChefGPT recipe

You can apparently easily set AutoGPT up on your own computer.

Here are similar discussions on BabyAGI and AgentGPT.


AI News

Amazon has entered the AI race with Bedrock, a system which lets businesses customize AI models that do things like respond to queries with human-like text or generate images from a prompt using their own data. 

Dolly 2.0 is a large language model similar to ChatGPT that is open-source and freely available for commercial use without having to pay for API access. This will enable businesses to integrate LLM capabilities into their products and services. This looks like something we should be paying attention to.

OpenAI is offering a bug bounty of $200 to $20,000 if you can find vulnerabilities in ChatGPT

Bloomberg’s AI model, trained on financial documents, will be delivered via their terminal. It can evaluate and generate headlines for investor sentiment and has potential beyond just headline writing.

POMP: a novel method for pre-training vision language models to recognize a wide range of visual concepts.

ARNOLD: using language in 3D scenes – The robots are coming to organize and clean our houses!

Here’s an interesting thread showing OpenAI’s plugin that assesses the security of other plugins. Here are OpenAI’s rules for plugins.

AI is affecting the job of video game illustrators in China. “Two people could potentially do the work that used to be done by 10.”

Quantum computing is coming soon and will make AI much more powerful and faster. Current AI tools are limited by its machine processing power. 

Google is considered by many to be the leader in the AI race. In this article, Brett Tabke shows that the majority of the original authors of Google’s iconic Attention is All You Need paper are no longer with Google. This is an interesting read.

Alibaba, the Chinese multinational conglomerate specializing in e-commerce, retail and technology will soon have its own ChatGPT rival.

The Chinese government has introduced strict rules for AI use. The content produced must reflect the core values of socialism, should not subvert state power and should not generate false information. 

Meanwhile, the US government is taking 60 days to weigh whether it should be making special rules for AI tools like ChatGPT. President Biden was asked by a reporter whether the technology is dangerous. He said, “It remains to be seen. It could be.”

This is a good read by OpenAI’s Greg Brockman on how they believe the government needs to be more involved in the upcoming transformative technological change of AI.

A third of researchers fear AI could lead to a nuclear level catastrophe. Reading this sent me off to try and understand more. Here is a good article from Stanford a few years ago on the potential risks regarding AI and nuclear weapons.

This next story feels like it’s the plot of a weird movie. Elon Musk founded OpenAI with Sam Altman, and left saying they were too far behind Google. Musk stopped paying OpenAI, which forced them to seek investment. Microsoft invests. Musk cuts off OpenAI’s Twitter access, Musk asks the world to slow down on building AI for 6 months….and now Musk and Twitter have reportedly purchased millions of dollars worth of equipment to build their own AI.

SEO Tips

GA4 migration checklist by Shaun Anderson. Also, GA4 released an update that gives more flexibility in counting goals

Olaf Kopp on how entities have changed SEO

A thread by Olaf Kopp on how Google can identify authors and attribute content for E-E-A-T. He discusses how Google can use Named Entity Recognition to recognize entities based on linguistic patterns. I’d recommend reading this thread.

Semrush has made changes to their organic research tool that many appear to be enjoying. I have not yet had a chance to check them out. It sounds like there is more ability to see SERP changes which is very important right now!

How Google’s Selective Link Priority Impacts SEO – New study by Cyrus Shepard. When a page links to one URL with multiple anchors, which matters to Google? Cyrus explains link priority. This is an interesting read.

This month’s Google office hours. There’s no transcript so no summary this week.

SERP Changes

Google is showing more shopping grids in the search results. Cindy Krum says they many tools are not tracking these. 

Glenn Gabe is noticing a large drop in FAQ snippets starting April 4/5 .

Q&A Carousels spotted:

ChatGPT tips and interesting info

GPT-4 is more accurate than 3. When we see people showing examples of ChatGPT in use, keep in mind that many of those are using the free version which is GPT-3. I have found GPT-4 to be remarkably more useful and helpful than GPT-3.

ChatGPT and DejanSEO created a Chrome extension to list the external links and anchor text on a page. 

Use it to help guide a pricing strategy

Ask it to summarize a book

Do stuff with spreadsheets like “please flip the columns and rows”

Install GPT4 on a local machine.

For decision making, ask it to use the GROW (Goal, Reality, Options, Will) coaching model to help make a plan.

Use it to write your Sitebulb and Screaming Frog regex.

Here’s the Instacart ChatGPT plugin in action. (Not widely available yet). Ammaar described what he likes to eat and his budget and magic happens:

Instacart ChatGPT plugin

Digging into data: The next time you need to do things with data, play around with feeding it to ChatGPT. This prompt was so enlightening for me:

Here is some data. If you were me, what prompts would you use to learn the most about it?

Midjourney tips

Midjourney cheat sheet

Midjourney starter guide

This looks cool:


The stuff that's just for paid subscribers

We’ll do a group zoom call Wednesday, April 19 at 11am EST to discuss the two recent updates: March core and the ongoing April reviews update. If your site was affected, I’d love for you to join and share about your site. 

This call is available to all paid subscribers. There is more information here. (Also, for paid subscribers, I’ve linked to the past office hours videos.)

Also for paid subscribers this week:

  • March Core Update case – Detailed recovery story shared by Tony Hill with additional thoughts from Marie
  • What will it take to rank in the age of AI search? – Marie’s thoughts with information from the QRG that we should pay attention to


Subscribe to the public version

Stay up to date on the latest on SEO & AI News

I'll send you an email each week once I've published newsletter.

Everything I've found interesting this week. Unsubscribe any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Local SEO

A thread showing the serious spam issues amongst locksmiths in local search.

A thread showing how sites often improve in rankings after getting 10 GBP reviews.

I did not have much on my radar this week re local business news. If you’re a local business owner who reads newsletter, I’d love to hear from you about what type of information I include that helps you the most.

Interesting research papers and reading

If you’re looking for stuff to dig into this week, these are all things that look worth spending time on!

Entity SEO: The definitive guide by Timothy Warren on Search Engine Land. I have not yet fully digested this article, but it looks like a very good one to read.

NLP: How is it useful in SEO? Jess Peck on the OnCrawl blog.

Teaching Large Language Models to Self-Debug – New paper discussing how self-debugging helps AI models fix their own code mistakes.

TaskMatrix.AI: Completing Tasks by Connecting Foundation Models with Millions of APIs. TaskMatrix focuses on using existing AI models and existing APIs together. This sounds important to me.

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

SEO Manager ~ Break The Web ~ $60-85K ~ Remote (US)

Global SEO Director ~ National Pen ~ $140k-$230k ~ Remote (US)

SEO Lead ~ Proper and Co ~ $50k-$70K ~ Remote (US)

SEO Coordinator ~ Weedmaps ~ $73k-$80k ~ Remote (US)

SEO Executive ~ Bird Marketing ~ £21,000 – £27,000+ ~ Remote (UK)

Marie's News

My traffic drop assessment course – The course is set up and I have a few tweaks to make before sending it out. I’ll be sending an email soon to all who submitted your sites to me. Once I’m ready to make the course public, I’ll be doing a lot of work actually reviewing many of the sites submitted. I’ll share more with you soon on what that will look like!

Consulting – I am now offering some traffic drop consulting options and a few spots on my calendar if you want to brainstorm over a traffic drop or discuss the potential impact of AI on your business

Podcast – Oh, how I miss podcast. I have promised myself the course must get out first. One of my biggest motivations to get the course done is so I can get back to podcasting.

I’m looking forward to seeing how this new Reviews update behaves. Hope you have a great week!


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