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2023 in Review: Updates for Bloggers, Website Owners and AdSense Publishers


This year saw a number of updates for publishers and clear trends going into 2024.

AI Everywhere

AI tools are all the rage, of course. People are using ChatGPT, Bard, Bing and other tools to brainstorm, generate outlines, create images and (for better or worse) even write full articles. That is sure to continue. Not surprisingly, there are also new settings for blocking the bots that scoop up public content for training AI models. Read more about AI tools, Google Search and auto-generated content.

Social Media and the Fediverse

The other interesting trend is the fragmentation of social media and the rise of the Fediverse. Changes at Twitter (now X) have spurred the creation of a number of other social media platforms. Currently at the top of the heap is Meta’s Threads, Bluesky is still invite-only but has a number of active communities, and Mastodon keeps on going in its low-key way.

I mention those platforms specifically because they are moving towards federation. It’s sort-of like email, where I can use Gmail, and you can use Yahoo email, and someone else can use their work email address, and we can all send messages to each other.

Mastodon and other “Fediverse” platforms use ActivityPub. Threads has slowly started testing using ActivityPub as well, so that a Mastodon user to follow someone on Threads and engage with their posts, and will eventually allow a Threads user to follow and engage with posts on Mastodon.

Why should you care as a blogger or web publisher?
It’s early days yet, but this could end up the new normal. Publish to your own website or blog, and rather than sharing to social media, instead be part of the larger social web where someone on Threads or Mastodon could be following your posts directly.

I’m following this shift with interest.

Blogger Updates

Blogger is a venerable old platform, four years older than WordPress (which turned 20 this year).

I was surprised that Blogger is finally requiring all legacy blogs (not signed into since before 2007) to migrate to a Google Account. I’m surprised because I thought that deadline had passed some years ago. It’s a good thing they will no longer have to maintain blogs that require outdated infrastructure.

Blogger had a few quiet changes this year.
  • Starting at the end of 2022, Blogger now lets you manage trashed posts and pages. They can be restored within 90 days of deletion.
  • Google added an age-verification requirement to blogs with an adult content warning. That means people need to be signed in to Google to view the content.
  • You can now manage your blog’s images in the new Media Manager. Previously images were managed in your Google Account’s Album Archive.
  • Improvements to the video manager.
  • Stored images are in an updated format on Old images from your blog should have been migrated automatically, but if there was any issue you will see a notice in your Blogger account.
  • You can set your blog to use lazy loading for images.
  • You can set your blog to serve images in the WebP format (which are smaller files than JPG or PNG images)

Blogger Tutorials

Google Search and Analytics

The big change in Google Analytics was that Google Analytics 4 (GA4) completely replaced Universal Analytics in July. If you did not manually migrate your site property, a GA4 property was automatically created in March. Note that if you have a Blogger blog, you should make sure you have added the GA4 property ID in your blog settings.

Google Search announced a number of updates for websites that want to be found in search. Whether you have a blog or full website, it’s important to keep up-to-date to make sure your site is discoverable.

AdSense Updates

Finally, there were a number of updates to AdSense for web publishers, including new ad formats, account interface updates and policy changes.

In the coming year, there will be a focus on privacy, as AdSense requires compliance with European privacy regulations, and third party cookies are phased out in Chrome.

Starting on January 16, 2024 all AdSense publishers must use a Consent Management Platform (CMP) certified by Google to show ads to users in the European Economic Area or UK. If you choose to create a European regulations message, but don’t publish it, Google will publish a default message using Google’s CMP. Be sure to sign in to AdSense to confirm which options you want to use and customize the message.

Also early next year, Google will launch programmatic bidding for “limited ads” (for example with no CMP present), which only use cookies for invalid traffic detection.

The other big change going into effect in early 2024 is a transition from primarily paying per click to paying per impression. It's not clear how this might affect earnings. 

Along with these changes, AdSense is also updating their revenue sharing structure, so that instead of 68% revenue share, there will be separate buy-side and sell-side rates. The overall revenue share will continue to be about 68%.

Updates this past year:

Account Interface Updates

Ad Format Updates

Other Updates

AdSense Tutorials

More 2023 Updates