Google Search Central AI generative insights live in Tokyo

The Google Search team organized Google Search Central Live, Japan’s first in-person event since the 2019 Webmasters Conference.

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

Attendees had the opportunity to interact with online practitioners from different regions, gain insights into the latest developments in Google search, and participate in discussions on how to improve their site’s search performance.

Although the event was not open to the press for reporting purposes, there was a diverse array of speakers including Google employees and experts. The speakers shared their knowledge and expertise on website performance and optimizing Google search results.

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

Google search and generative AI

As expected, many #SearchCentralLive tweets were about AI.

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

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

Google SearchLiasion shared the same reminder nearly 12 hours later in response to a recent query Article which seems to encourage ecommerce store owners to create content for robots.

Google FAQs on Generative AI

A participant divided a link to a document from Google 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 have learned from data to create new content such as text, images, music and code. You learn from patterns in data.
  • Large language models (LLMs) are generative AI models that can use learned patterns to predict the next words in the text.
  • LLMs are not databases or information retrieval systems. They generate responses based on their learned patterns, so their responses may contain factual errors.
  • The safety and risks of LLMs must be controlled through measures such as filtering training data, fine-tuning models, and verifying responses.
  • LLMs are trained on large amounts of data to learn patterns – the more diverse the data, the better the model’s performance.
  • LLMs do not inherently understand the information they generate. Their reactions, which appear to show emotion or opinion, are based on patterns learned from human-generated data.
  • LLMs “hallucinate” when they generate factually incorrect and apparently coherent answers due to insufficient relevant information. Hallucinations can be reduced but not completely prevented.
  • To mitigate bias in generative AI models, they need to be enhanced with balanced data representing different perspectives and views.

The updated user report on search quality

Google recently updated the form that Google Search users can use to report spam to ensure search results comply with Google Search Essentials.

Participants shared the new feedback form, which includes options for spam content, spam behavior, deception, poor quality, paid links, or other abuse of search tactics. It also has a bulk submission feature that allows you to submit up to five pages in one report.

The search status dashboard

Another helpful link shared by several participants was related to the Google Search Status Dashboard. This dashboard shows the current status of crawling, indexing, ranking, and serving issues that may affect site owners.

Google Search Central AI generative insights live in TokyoScreenshot by Google, June 2023

Fast-paced lightning talks

In addition to the informative talks and presentations, the event offered unique features like the Lightning Talks sessions.

Deviating from traditional conference formats, these sessions consisted of short, quick presentations. Each speaker had a time limit of 7 minutes and a limited number of slides to convey their ideas, encouraging interdisciplinary conversation and collaboration.

A Lightning Talk session covered the use of AI chat at work, suggesting that many workers don’t understand how to use generative AI chatbots for the right tasks. The speaker recommends that AI chat is best for idea generation, writing, coding, translating, and summarizing.

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

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

Valuable insights for website owners

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

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

Featured image: Daboost/Shutterstock