10 Years Covering The Search Industry

Dec 2, 2013 - 8:54 am 69 by

“SearchTen years ago today was my first post on the Search Engine Roundtable and I have not stopped since. I've been writing about search, SEO, Google, Bing, Yahoo and search engines that have come and gone for ten straight years. On average, I push out five articles a day on this site - it still amazes me to this day that there are five new things I can talk about within the search niche daily.

I've spent 30% of my life writing about search engines, when I think of it that way, it is a bit scary. Let me break down the stats for you. There are about 18,000 articles on this site since we launched, about 15,000 I've written myself, or about 83% are from me. I wrote over 5,000 stories on Search Engine Land since 2006, when we launched it and who knows how many at Search Engine Watch back in the day. This year, I've written about 1,700 stories on search over here and we had over 20,000 comments (not marked as spam). So as you can see, I write a lot about search.

Videos are something I've been keeping up here as well. I posted about 50 videos this year, each around 10 or more minutes long. So that is about 500 minutes of SEO video content produced in the past year here. I hope you like them, I've been trying different things to make them more useful.

The best part, for me at least, is that we have not changed much from the original purpose behind this site. That is - to bring to you the most talked about discussions going on within the search community through the discussion forums and social networks. You guys are busy - you don't have time to be part of every conversation going on. We look for the most important discussions and bring them to you over here.

Without there being a search community - which means you guys - this site would not exist. So thank you!

Yearly Recap:

If I had to sum up the year in search marketing in a few of paragraphs, this is how I'd do it.

On the Google algorithm end, we had the Panda algorithm get rolled into a more routine monthly push cycle, where Google no longer even confirms or acknowledges Panda refreshes. Google's Penguin algorithm was updated twice in the past year, we had version 2.0, which was the fourth update, and version 2.1, which was the fifth update. Google also released a spam algorithm targeting heavily spammy queries. Let's not forget the Mugshot algorithm and merchant quality algorithms. Of course, Google quietly said they rewrote their whole algorithm and code named it Hummingbird, oh, by the way.

Google seems to have stopped updating the Toolbar PageRank values, which may be a good step forward. But we still see big brands getting in trouble with penalties with Google including the BBC for links, Mozilla, Sprint, Interflora and others. Both very dark link networks like Ghost Rank and others were targeted this year, while the big text broker, Text Link Ads was also hit. Plus, Google ditched out more details on manual actions, adding transparency to manual penalties. Which brings to me finally yielding to Google and nofollowing my paid links after years of stubbornness.

We know mobile SEO has become an important topics, while SEOs prepare for a big social push in the near future. Google changed their design from the black bar to the white app launcher. They launched KitKat and Google Glass, dropped virtually all keyword data (aka not provided), shut down Google Reader and iGoogle and turned 15 years old. Google's change to image search wrecked havoc on traffic for image web sites.

We lost legends in our industry, from the great Ted Ulle of WebmasterWorld and Phil Payne from Google's Webmaster Forums. While other legends stepped down, such as Jill Whalen.

Overall, it was a pretty amazing year in search - when you look back. 2014, will indeed be interesting.


This year we had about 8 million pageviews, which is not a huge increase from last year. The average time on this site improved a lot, doubled from last year - so that is good. Our mobile traffic was 13.5% of our traffic, up from 7.4% the year before. Chrome users are 40% up from 25% the year before, Firefox is 22% up from 19% the year before, IE is 20% down from 44% the year before, Safari was 10%, up from 6.3% the year before - so IE took a major hit here. On the mobile device front, the stats did not change much, 35% iPhone, 20% iPad, 8% Android. Our not provided average in 2013 was 60%, up from 40% in 2012 but last month it was closer to 90%. Our social traffic is up 15% with Twitter being number one, followed by Facebook and Google+. Our search traffic 19% of our overall traffic, with Google accounting for way too much at 95% up from 92% last year. We wrote over 1,700 stories this year, that is over 100 more than last year. We had over 20,000 comments this year, that is over 5,000 more than last year. Plus we published over 50 videos, like last year, and our youTube channel has over 5.2 million views.

Google Penguin:

Google Panda: Google Hummingbird: Google Misc Algorithms: Google Misc Updates: Google Penalties: Google SEO/Webmaster: Google Not Provided: Google's Matt Cutts Video Answers: Google Rich Snippets: Google Webmaster Reports: Google Search Interfaces & Features: Google AdWords: Google AdSense: Google Mobile/Glass: Google Maps: Bing: Yahoo: Facebook: Business Industry: Community Industry: Logo:


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