Last updated on February 28th, 2019
We wanted to squeeze in one more SEO roundup before the close of the year to reflect on significant events in the world of internet marketing during 2014. The last 12 months have certainly been active in terms of SEO’s changes. As one industry blogger puts it, “Every year, we say how much has changed in the industry – and every year, we’re right.”
Well in case you just woke up from a year-long coma, or you need a recap, here are the big SEO stories from 2014 by month:
- January – The popular travel site Expedia got slammed with a ranking penalty, Matt Cutts almost singlehandedly made guest blogging obsolete, and Google announced its intent to focus more on mobile optimization.
- February – “Not Provided” search data, caused by Google moving to 100% secure search in late 2013, surpassed 80% for most sites.
- March – Google released redesigns for desktop users, such as increasing font size for title tags, removing underline links and tweaking the placement of ads.
- April – The Heartbleed virus was announced. The computer bug affected Google, AWS and millions of other sites, raising serious questions and concern about online privacy for all Internet users.
- May – Enter Panda 4.0. Sites with low quality content were most affected, including Ask.com, RetailMeNot and eBay.
- June – Authorship photos in SERP listings and search results were removed.
- July – Pigeon made its premiere on Google’s list of algorithm animals, focusing its efforts on determining local rankings. Also, Groupon published a study proving that 60% of its direct traffic was actually organic search traffic.
- August – Google encouraged all site admins to shift from HTTP to HTTPS in a move to improve online security. Google also officially abandoned its Authorship program.
- September – High quality content, strong page architecture, and user signals were identified as the most important ranking factors by Searchmetrics, while keyword links and social signals dropped in value. Late in the month, Google also released its 27th Panda update.
- October – Google finally refreshed its Penguin algorithm, allowing sites hit by the last update a chance to redeem themselves.
- November – Mobile-friendly search metrics were rolled out for Google Webmaster Tools, marking the beginning of a possible ranking algorithm for mobile-optimized sites.
- December – Bing came out with their version of Panda.
Clearly, it has been a busy year for SEO. However, as far as the last week and a half is concerned, news has been scarce. Most professionals were away for the holidays, taking a much needed breather before plunging into the next year.
Nevertheless, there were a few articles worth noting from the last few days of the year. Here are the highlights:
- If you’ve been engaging SEO strategies on your site, odds are you have a fair number of unnatural links to your website. These links can trigger a penalty from Google’s Penguin algorithm if ignored. Avoid this by checking out this complete guide to using Google disavow tool.
- “Blogging creates a forest of content trees that can be continually harvested.” That quote has stuck with one writer, who shows in this post how great content can make huge ripples in the SEO pond.
- Do you tend to think everything online marketing-related falls under SEO? Or are you convinced SEO is the only important part of getting a brand out there? If so, you may be showing symptoms of SEOcentrism. This article examines why this mindset can be harmful and how to beat it.
- In their most recent Whiteboard Friday video, the Moz blog takes a very festive approach to a very important SEO ranking factor: user engagement.
- This AdWords whizz shares his top insights from managing Google’s advertisement platform in 2014, including using Scripts to automate basic tasks, tricks for making a great advertising decisions on minimal data, and the merits of running brand ads.
- Will Google submit to the unstoppable tide of the mobile reality and incorporate “mobile-friendliness” into its search ranking algorithm this year? Click here to learn more and read about some other predictions from Search Engine Land columnist Chris Marentis.
- And finally, we just couldn’t end the year without taking a look at Google’s top search trends of 2014, and other year-in-review lists.
Thus concludes another year. Please feel free to leave a comment below and share on social media. Have a happy New Year!