14 Years Covering The Search Industry

Dec 2, 2017 - 7:34 pm 26 by

Search Engine Roundtable 14th Anniversary

Today is the 14th year anniversary of this site, the Search Engine Roundtable. This site, started as a way to keep my notes on the changes happening in the SEO/SEM space, has been consistently around and documenting those changes for 14 years straight. And I am proud to say, like I do every year, the core missions of this site has not changed - in those 14 years. We still cover what the industry is talking about from within the industry chatter. From Google algorithmic updates and chatter all the way to breaking news. We simply cover what you, the industry, is talking about it and care about.

On average, I post about five stories a day. I rarely ever take off and even if I am traveling for business, I make sure the stories are posted normally between 7am and 8:30am EST, Monday through Friday. That includes a fun Search Pic of the Day, to the industry news and chatter and the consistent weekly SEO video recaps for those who need a quick way to catch up. It also includes my big monthly Google webmaster reports.

It feels like yesterday that we became a bar mitzvah here but no, it was a year ago.

Our Growth & Analytics:

Checking our analytics, our traffic is up over 12% year over year (last year it went up over 20%) which is encouraging. Our unique users are also up about 10% year over year. Our search traffic is up 15% year over year, referral traffic is up over 35% and our social media driven traffic is up over 18%. Mobile visitors are up 60%, while desktop visitors is down 4% - that trend does make sense. Our mobile traffic as a percentage of our overall traffic makes up over 35% of the traffic on this site. So the analytics look good as a whole - something I look at annually when I write this up (of course, I spend time looking at the real time analytics on a daily basis).

There are now almost 25,000 stories on this site, of which I wrote about 22,000 of them - that is a heck of a lot of stories on search. In the past year, I wrote just under 1,800 stories here and we had about 16,000 non spam comments posted here (of course, a ton of spam ones and abusive ones which were removed). I do appreciate all the comments and love how sarcastic many of them are - I know it is a turn off for some readers and I am doing a better job of removing the abusive comments (I think).

On the video front, we've posted a video a week here as noted above. Our YouTube channel has over a 1,000 subscribers in the year with about 4,500 subscribers (which seems low to me). The videos in total have about 5.8 million views. There is over 1.4 million minutes of watch time, over 6,600 likes and 1,200 dislikes. We made a whopping $220 on our YouTube ad revenue!

Most Important Stories In Past 12 Months:

I am always nervous about posting our "most important stories" over the past 12 months because on an individualist level, one story for one webmaster way be way more important than another story for another webmaster. But hey, this is my anniversary post so I need to somewhat tell you what I think are the most important things we covered over the past year.

Google really did not confirm any of the Google updates we saw but we are tracking them anyway over here. The closest thing to a confirmation was the Google Fred update. The mobile first index started to slowly roll out and Google has been busy with fighting fake news on many fronts. The new Search Console beta is out and we are expecting, still, a years worth of data when it does roll out. Danny Sullivan left Search Engine Land and then joined Google - I know bizarro world.

Here is that list of the top stories I think are the most important or notable of the year:

Most Viewed Stories In Past 12 Months:

Here are the most viewed stories in the past 12 months of 2017 based on Google Analytics:

So it looks like you guys like these Google update stories?

Looking Forward To 2018:

It would be unfortunate if I just looked at the past, so let me give you what I think is important for you to think about in the future for 2018.

Mobile: Clearly the mobile first index will be rolled out over 2018 in a much bigger way. So if you don't have a really good mobile site that is equivalent in all ways to your desktop site, then you are going to have some issues. So make sure to focus on your mobile efforts now, more than ever.

Voice/Assistants: Featured snippets are everywhere, knowledge panels are everywhere, Google is giving the searchers answers at the top. This is not because they are so concerned about people searching on desktop or mobile but more because people are searching using voice. Asking their phone questions, their Google Homes, their cars, there appliances, TVs, etc. Google needs to have these answers so they can reply to their voice queries. Look deeply at what you can do to show up in these areas.

AMP/PWAs: I expect more of a push from Google on sites going AMP and also adopting PWAs. It seems native apps are kind of dying out and the mobile web will become more and more powerful. So spend time here as well.

Those are the three pieces of advice I have for you for 2018.

I deeply appreciate and thank you all so much for reading every day, commenting (or ignoring the comments) and for sharing the stories here. Keep up the chatter and let's build an even better search community this coming year.

Deepest respect,

Barry Schwartz


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