Google wrote “On October 5, we found a bug with how our October 2023 core update was applied to Discover. As of October 31, we fixed the bug. Some sites may see an increase in Discover-related traffic, as a result of this bug fix,”
Following the announcement of this bug fix, Google announced a different algorithm update, this one intent on improving the search engine’s performance rather than fixing underlying issues. The new update is known as the “Hidden Gems” update, and intends to promote businesses that, while likely new and without domain authority, have seen success in their public image. The Hidden Gems update intends to look at third party sources that speak well of specific businesses. The new algorithm will look at personal insights and experiences from social media blog posts, forums, and third-party review websites, trying to connect back these genuine experiences to the brands to which they refer.
While Google has over many years diminished the value of a social media presence for ranking listings on its SERP, it now looks to be reviewing organic social marketing. Google does not care if the business itself posts on its Twitter accounts or has a Facebook page, but it will care if the consumers are mentioning the business through those activities. By scrubbing forums like Reddit for positive mentions of brands, business managers will have to encourage their clients to discuss their products and events online, for Google to understand that these “Hidden Gems” made a positive impact on their customers lives. Word of mouth is now being digitized, with even AI checking to see who’s saying what.