SEO & Analytics Links from January 2023

Here’s a summary of the posts and news I found most interesting in January.


How Google Search and Ranking Works, According to Google’s Pandu Nayak

One of the more informative SEO posts I’ve seen lately that discusses Google’s ranking algorithms in detail and includes lots of acronyms and internal system names. I ended up returning to this article a few times in January so I’m including it here for future reference.

Google’s Shifting Approach to AI Content: An In-Depth Look

A great post on AI-generated content and SEO by Mark Williams-Cook.

Google CEO Talks Future of SGE, Gemini, Ads and AI Search

This seems mostly relevant to me in light of Google’s recent layoffs and the general degradation of search results in some industries (e.g., travel) in 2023.


GA4 Is Likely Exaggerating Your Direct Traffic (and here’s how to fix it)

This explains how GA4 is inflating direct visitors. Basically, if a tab is inactive and users come back after 30 minutes, GA4 counts them as a return visitor. This return visitor has a session of “direct,” even if the visit that landed them on the website was organic or PPC (or whatever). That’s a good quirk to know about, and this is a simple post explains it well and provides complimentary solutions in GA4 and GTM.


Consent Mode V2 for Google Tags

All of Simo Ahava’s posts are great if you want to stay on top of the world of Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, and this post is no exception (even though it’s a guest post). This post is about the updated consent mode settings in Google Tag Manager. These settings tie into cookie consent mechanisms and universal opt-out mechanisms. They’re also required in the EU in order to comply with Google’s EU user consent policy.


It’s not just you: YouTube is slowing down your PC if you have AdBlock installed by making your CPU sweat—though despite the company’s past behaviour, it’s probably AdBlock’s fault

A popular ad blocker increases your energy consumption when you block YouTube preroll videos.