8 Years Covering The Search Industry

Dec 2, 2011 • 8:10 am | comments (12) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Blog Administration

Search Engine Roundtable 8 Years LogoThis site has turned 8 years old today. 8 years ago, on December 2, 2003, I started this site to keep track of what I read and learned from around the search industry. It was always, and still is today, focused around the community and learning from within the community. That is still what sets this site apart from the others. This is what makes me proud to keep the site going. Thank you all for reading, participating and making this industry so great.


This year, we averaged over 500,000 pageviews per month, with about 300,000 unique visitors per month. We posted almost 2,000 stories, 50 video summaries and had over 14,000 real (not spam) comments over the year. Our traffic is almost twice as much as the year before, with page per visits increasing almost 30% and time spent on site up 14% and our bounce rate dropped almost 30%. These are all solid numbers from our redesign on December 1, 2010. A trend I am also seeing is mobile browsing is 5 percentage points, up by 220% year over year. Mobile OS statistics shows me that iOS is 62% of mobile usage, whereas Android is 31%, followed by SymbianOS at 3% and Blackberry at 1.5%. On the browser side, Chrome users jumped by 12 percentage points, Safari increased 2 percentage points, Firefox users dropped 7 percentage points, and IE users dropped 8 percentage points.


Like I have been doing for the past few years, I wanted to share the top topics and links to the most important stories that I've written here over the past year.

In 2010, it was about the Google May Day update, the Caffeine index, Google Instant results, social and real time search and Yahoo and Bing's migration plan. In 2011 it wasn't all that different.

2011 was about the Google Panda update, a stronger play on freshness in the search results, improved webmaster communication and more. Panda was and still is absolutely the largest topic of concern for Webmasters and SEOs in 2011. The freshness update hit after, but there is less concern about that. Google + was introduced this year and is probably Google's number one priority this and next year - it is everywhere on Google. Social is still important, but Google doesn't have a deal with Facebook or Twitter like Bing does, so their focus is more on Google +.

Also, Google has greatly improved Webmaster Tools, as did Bing, adding tons of more communication notifications. Google was also embarrassed time and time again, some examples include Overstock in the WSJ, JC Penney in the NY Times, Mother's Day link spam in NY Times, and locksmiths Google Maps spam in NY Times.

Yahoo's migration on organic search was completed this year, so they killed off Site Explorer. Google is forcing logged in searchers to SSL, killing off the search query referrer. Apple Siri is a possible new major threat to the search space.

Finally, Schmidt stepped down as CEO, replaced by co-founder Larry Page who has done a pretty good job. Yahoo's CEO meanwhile was fired, while Yahoo seeks some vision for the future.

That just touches on some of the major changes over 2011. Below is a categorized summary by headline of the most important topics I wrote this year. I hope I didn't miss any.

Thank you all so much for reading and making this site something I love to write at every day. Without you - there is no way I would have kept this up for 8 years. Thank you all!

Google Panda:

Google SEO/Webmaster:

Google PageRank:

Google Webmaster Reports:

Bing SEO/Webmaster:

Yahoo SEO/Webmaster:

Google Search:

Google +:


Google Maps:



Microsoft adCenter:

Search Business:

Search Industry:



Top Stories By Visits:

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: December 1, 2011



12/02/2011 01:20 pm

Many congratulations and thank you keeping us updated with latest happening in SE industry. 


12/02/2011 02:01 pm

Happy 8th Birthday SERT !!!

Barry Schwartz

12/02/2011 02:11 pm


Nathaniel Bailey

12/02/2011 03:14 pm

Happy 8th :) This site has been a great hand for me to keep up with changes and views of other SEO's around the world, so thank you for all the work and time you have put in to building and run such a helpful site for me and many others in the industry

David Wallace

12/02/2011 04:25 pm

Congratulations on 8 years! Your contribution to the search marketing industry has been most valuable. Keep up the great work!

Nick Roshon

12/02/2011 04:51 pm

Congrats, we are lucky to have your coverage and here's to another 8 years!


12/02/2011 06:38 pm

Congratulations Barry! Many more to come....


12/02/2011 07:59 pm

Congrats Barry! I've been reading for 5 years now, and your my first stop in the morning. Thanks for everything! 

Daniel Hollerung

12/02/2011 08:30 pm

SERT its your birthday! Happy birthday to you. Keep up the hard work, it is appreciated.


12/03/2011 02:01 am

Congratulations, Barry. What a great achievement!

kalyani jainapally

12/03/2011 04:06 am

Congratulations.  Your contribution is very valuable. This Site has been very helpful to know the updates.

David Eaves

12/03/2011 11:36 pm

Happy Birthday to SERT, keep up the great work 

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