2024 predictions, cookieless arrives, and Buzzfeed's ticking clock.
New Year, new SEO challenges. After traffic graphs resembling snakes and ladders boards became the meme of 2023, we all hope for some stability to return. Here's what the best brains in the search results business think will be the main challenges and opportunities in '24. "Be prepared for continued volatility in search results." Roger that.
Foot in mouth comment of the year so far
Meta's Chief AI scientist Yann LeCun is clearly not thick, and can't have been oblivious when he appeared to suggest many authors shouldn't be paid for their work. Freely poking the authorial hornet's nest when anger is peaking over AI bots hoovering up the planet's content for free seems a little unwise. He did some serious backwards rowing to clarify his position, but surely should have seen it coming.
No cookie, no cry
The end of third-party cookies could leave content thieves and AI bereft of the things which help them make money from pinching your stuff: any sort of insight into readers. In fact, it could be a remarkable opportunity for publishers, says our resident baker Rob.
New York Times versus OpenAI and Microsoft
The grounds upon which the NYT is making claims against OpenAI and Microsoft are now understood. The tech companies have "reaped substantial savings by taking and using - at no cost" NYT content to feed their LLMs. The claim calls for the destruction of all LLMs trained on NYT copyrighted work. The two sides did attempt to reach a deal last year, so we guess this confirms how that all worked out.
Instagram vs news
How do young people - increasingly difficult for publishers to attract, modern wisdom suggests - view platforms like Instagram for news consumption? Let's ask them.
Buzzfeed's clock ticking louder by the day
Once the name which struck fear into 'old' media companies, Buzzfeed is facing an important year ahead, based on analyst digging into filing reports. Did we say a year? It could be much less than that...
Transformers aren't robots in disguise
They are the power behind the LLMs which we are all so in awe at the moment. Whatever your feelings about the hype surrounding such technology, transformers themselves are devilishly clever. If you have the time, this is a decent primer on how they work.
Hidden gems part XXV
Google's disastrous recent attempts to improve the quality of search has amongst other things led to some fairly old and not particularly helpful results being surfaced. Consequently, we think, Google has now announced it is ending support for Usenet groups on Google Groups.
Misinformation trends for '24
Deepfake audio, dodgy sites, untraceable sources - we all know that in publishing you need a better nose than ever to detect and unveil the things not quite what they seem. It's going to get more difficult to be certain in 2024.
It's not the most glamorous part of being in a publishing powerhouse, but... how are your subscriber renewal communications looking? The LA Times just walked into a whopper of a fine for not being up to par on emails to subscribers: check yours are suitably good.